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House GOP Identity Crisis

On higher education, as on a host of issues, U. S. House Republicans offer unique criticisms, then wind up proposing solutions to crises that resemble those of the Democratic Party. Before he became House Speaker, U. S. Representative John Boehner, R-Ohio, signed onto a 2003 study on The College Cost Crisis.

Boehner was chairman of the U. S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce at the time. Among the report’s findings:

(It should be noted that the report, once available online, is no longer. Access to it has been disabled. We have a hard copy that we found in the course of moving our offices.)  But what did the House GOP of a decade ago plan to do about it? Well, their proposals would easily fit on a White House teleprompter today.

They recommended:

They then go on to brag about increasing spending on Pell grants. “Republicans are pleased that the FY 2002 appropriation signed by President Bush included another record increase for the maximum Pell Grant to $4,000,” the House GOP announced in 2003.  Nevertheless, every dollar raised through student aid seems to result in more administrative spending—bigger buildings, more land.  In fact, some Pell Grants never made it out of university administration offices to the students they were designed for.

Interestingly, the above proclamation seems to have resulted in some “bipartisan” legislation, co-sponsored by U. S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-California, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.. Emanuel, of course, went on to serve in the Obama White House and currently presides over the city of Chicago.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.