Education - Meet the Freshmen


The 117th Congress ended with the Biden administration making good on a campaign promise to cancel student debt for millions of Americans, a policy priority for Democrats.[1] Having notched this win, Democrats are entering the new term with their eyes on additional ways to make higher education accessible and affordable for more Americans.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) – a former preschool teacher and Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee – and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) are both working on bills to provide universal pre-K to millions of preschool-aged children, something President Biden maintains will lead to Gen-Z being the “most-educated generation.”[2] [3]

Meanwhile, Republicans eye the educational system more skeptically, and their policy priorities reflect that skepticism. Former National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) released a plan to abolish the US Department of Education and eliminate the $75 billion in federal funding it administers.[4]

Other members of Scott’s party are taking more limited approaches to educational oversight. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) could each take a second shot at bills they’ve introduced previously – Hawley’s 2021 Parents’ Bill of Rights Act and Fitzgerald’s CRT Transparency Act – both of which are intended to intervene in classroom curriculum and expand parent choice.[5] [6]

[1] “FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most,” The White House, August 24, 2022, available at

[2] Aaron Kunkler, “Sen. Patty Murray proposes universal pre-K in Build Back Better,” Washington State Wire, November 3, 2021, available at

[3] Office of US Representative Bobby Scott, accessed November 7, 2022, available at

[4] “Education,” Rescue America, accessed November 7, 2022, available at

[5] S 3218 – Parents’ Bill of Rights Act of 2021, November 11, 2021, available at

[6] HR 5162 – CRT Transparency Act, September 3, 2021, available at

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