House Republicans are planning to slash the Education Department’s budget by at least 15 percent, though Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee say the cuts are closer to 30 percent.
The Republican proposal would prevent the department from moving forward with its debt-relief plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court, and carrying out new regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 that would protect transgender student athletes and reverse Trump-era rules, among other provisions.
The House Appropriations Committee will mark up the bill today. The bill also includes the budgets for the Labor and Health and Human Services departments.
Committee Republicans said in a news release that “the bill protects life, promotes American values, prioritizes medical research, and combats the opioid epidemic—all while reining in wasteful bureaucracy and enhancing oversight and accountability.”
The committee has opted to draft appropriations bills below the levels agreed to in the debt ceiling deal, which kept federal spending on domestic programs flat in the upcoming fiscal year. Senate appropriators have said they’ll adhere to the deal.
Democrats on the committee said in a news release that the bill was “an assault on education” and failed to provide an increase for the maximum Pell Grant award.
The Republicans’ bill keeps the maximum Pell Grant at $6,335 per year. The current maximum is $7,395 because of mandatory add-on and discretionary funding.
Under the spending plan, the Office of Federal Student Aid would see its budget cut by about $265 million. The agency is already facing budget cuts after not receiving additional money for the current fiscal year.
Republicans are also proposing to cut the department’s Office for Civil Rights’ budget by about 25 percent. The Education Department’s Office of Communications also would be defunded.