This vote was on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to legislation that would overturn federal standards for college and universities that qualify for federal student aid.
The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), took aim at new regulations from the Department of Education. The regulations were an attempt to ensure colleges and universities that receive federal student aid meet minimum standards for the integrity of their programs. The regulations set a minimum standard for the work required to earn a “credit hour.” They also required that schools receiving federal aid must be legally authorized by the states in which they operate.
Rep. Foxx argued that the regulations would be an unnecessary intrusion by the federal government into states’ rights to regulate higher education.
“These regulations will restrict innovation, limit flexibility, and pave the way for additional federal overreach into higher education,” Rep. Foxx said.
Democrats opposed Rep. Foxx’s bill because it would weaken the Department of Education’s ability to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to support quality higher education and protected from waste, fraud, and abuse. They criticized Republicans for bringing Rep. Foxx’s bill to the House floor at a time when most Americans wanted Congress to take action to create jobs.
“Here we go again. Another day in the House of Representatives and another day without a jobs bill,” Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) said. “The economy may be inching along, recovering slowly, but it still needs some help. We need a real, comprehensive jobs package. Instead, we just get a bill to dismantle a few regulations with no attempt to make our education system better. This is no way to run the House of Representatives.”
The resolution was passed by a vote of 244-171. Voting “yea” were 234 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Voting “nay” were 171 Democrats, including a majority of progressives. As a result, the House moved to a floor debate on legislation that would overturn federal standards for college and universities that qualify for federal student aid.