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Momentum Building to Eliminate the Department of Education

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie's bill to eliminate the Department of Education is gaining momentum. (Reuters photo)

The bill U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has offered to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education is picking up steam with the addition of six co-sponsors in the past few days.

HR 899 doesn't have a fancy working title like most other pieces of high-profile legislation in Washington, D.C. It's simply "an act to terminate the Department of Education." And, it's perhaps the shortest piece of legislation in recent memory.

Here's the complete operative text of the bill: "The Department of Education shall terminate on Dec. 31, 2018."

Currently, the legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Co-sponsors of the bill are:

  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.),
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.),
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah),
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.),
  • Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and
  • Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)

Amash's office released the following statement on Monday about his co-sponsorship of the bill:

Our Constitution reserves the power over education to the states, and Rep. Amash has consistently supported putting parents and teachers back in control. While relatively little federal money for public education comes from Washington, federal bureaucracy and mandates reduce the total amount of resources available to public schools and cannot properly account for the individualized needs of students.

Amash is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' representative in the House. Following her nomination by President Donald Trump after the election, he made the following statement:

Congratulations to Betsy DeVos on her nomination as secretary of education. She is a friend, a resident of Michigan's 3rd District, and a longtime community leader. I can think of few people as prepared to meet the challenges ahead.

Betsy is intelligent, creative, experienced and passionate about reforming education. I look forward to working with her to empower parents and local communities, advance school choice and competition, protect the right of homeschooling and stop federal mandates and harmful initiatives like Race to the Top and Common Core.

The "libertarian" Republican has long been an advocate for ending federal government control of education. In 2014, he led a conservative effort in the House to put an end to Common Core.

HR 899, if signed into law, would go far beyond that effort.

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