This is the third installment in a three-part series on legislation that may emerge from a GOP-controlled Congress. Click here for part one on ending birthright citizenship and here for part two on privatizing Social Security.
If Republicans win control of Congress on Tuesday, their anti-government zeal may soon focus on an old target: the Department of Education. As recently as 1996, the Republican Party platform declared, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education.” However, after multiple bills attempting to do so were stymied by sensible members of Congress, the Department appeared to have been spared. Now, a new wave of Republicans (along with many old hardline conservatives) are trying to number its days once again.
The last time the Republicans made a concerted effort to eliminate the Department of Education in 1995, they ran into a strong public backlash. Polling conducted by Hart Research Associates found that 80 percent of respondents in June 1995 wanted the Department of Education to be maintained, while just 17% wanted it eliminated. With a new New York Times/CBS poll finding that education funding is the last area respondents would like to see spending cuts, it’s no stretch to imagine that a strong majority of Americans still support the Department of Education.
Nevertheless, because there exists widespread support for eliminating the Department of Education in the Republican ranks, the issue could soon come to the forefront in a GOP-controlled Congress. A comprehensive review of the voting records and statements of Republican incumbents and candidates finds that there are 111 GOPers who support shutting down the Department of Education. Though a minority (35 percent) of sitting Republicans are on record supporting elimination, the anti-education bloc will undoubtedly swell in the next Congress due to the 36 new GOP candidates who favor shutting down the Department.
Here are the 111 Republicans who support eliminating the Department of Education (leadership in bold):
John McCain (AZ)Saxby Chambliss (GA)Mike Crapo (ID)Sam Brownback (KS)Pat Roberts (KS)Jim Bunning (KY)Roger Wicker (MS)Richard Burr (NC)John Ensign (NV)George Voinovich (OH)Tom Coburn (OK)Lindsey Graham (SC)House of Representatives (63)Spencer Bachus (AL-06)Don Young (AK-AL)John Shaddegg (AZ-03)Jeff Flake (AZ-06)Wally Herger (CA-02)George Radanovich (CA-19)Elton Gallegly (CA-24)Buck McKeon (CA-25)David Dreier (CA-26)Ed Royce (CA-40)Jerry Lewis (CA-41)Ken Calvert (CA-44)Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46)Brian Bilbray (CA-50)Doug Lamborn (CO-05)Cliff Stearns (FL-06)John Mica (FL-07)Bill Young (FL-10)Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21)Jack Kingston (GA-01)John Linder (GA-07)Paul Broun (GA-10)Tom Latham (IA-04)Donald Manzullo (IL-16)Steve Buyer (IN-04)Dan Burton* (IN-05)Todd Tiahrt (KS-04)Ed Whitfield (KY-01)Hal Rogers (KY-05)Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06)Michele Bachmann (MN-06)Pete Hoekstra (MI-02)Vern Ehlers (MI-03)David Lee Camp (MI-04)Fred Upton (MI-06)Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)Chris Smith (NJ-04)Scott Garrett (NJ-05)Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)Walter Jones (NC-03)Howard Coble (NC-06)Sue Myrick (NC-09)Peter King (NY-03)John Boehner (OH-08)Pat Tiberi (OH-12)Steven LaTourette (OH-14)Frank Lucas (OK-03)Bob Inglis (SC-04)Sam Johnson (TX-03)Ralph Hall (TX-04)Joe Barton (TX-06)John Culberson (TX-07)Mac Thornberry (TX-13)Ron Paul (TX-14)Lamar Smith (TX-21)John Duncan (TN-02)Zach Wamp (TN-03)Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)Frank Wolf (VA-10)Doc Hastings (WA-04)Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)Tom Petri (WI-06)Senate candidates (9)Joe Miller (AK)Ken Buck (CO)Linda McMahon (CT)Rand Paul (KY)Eric Wargotz (MD)Sharron Angle (NV)Rob Portman (OH)John Raese (WV)Mike Lee (UT)House of Representatives candidates (27)Jesse Kelly (AZ-08)John Dennis (CA-08)Gary Clift (CA-10)David Harmer (CA-11)Mark Reed (CA-27)Robert Vaughn (CA-38)Mike Yost (FL-03)Allen West (FL-22)Rob Woodall (GA-07)Austin Scott (GA-08)Ray McKinney (GA-12)Brad Zaun (IA-03)Andy Harris (MD-01)Robert Broadus (MD-04)Tim Walberg (MI-07)Joe Heck (NV-03)Frank Guinta (NH-01)Charlie Bass (NH-02)Anna Little (NJ-06)Chris Gibson (NY-20)Ashley Woolard (NC-01)Bill Randall (NC-13)Steve Chabot (OH-01)Bill Johnson (OH-06)James Lankford (OK-05)Bob Hurt (VA-05)Keith Fimian (VA-11)
*- Burton, LaTourette, and Hastings were members of “The New Federalists,” which advocated for shutting down the Department of Education.