Committees for the 118th Congress Take Shape
January 27, 2023

​Nearly a month into the 118th Congress, committee assignments are still being finalized, although the picture is relatively clear for education.

The renamed House Committee on Education and the Workforce is now set, with both Republicans and Democrats appointing their members to the panel, which has decreased by four seats from the previous congressional session.

Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced the Republican members Wednesday, including 10 previously serving members of the committee and nine new members. The Democrats followed on Thursday, with 28 members led by Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA). Click here to see the full list.

Foxx is a past chair of that committee and served as the ranking member during the last Congress, when it was christened the “House Committee on Education and Labor.” The name switches back and forth depending on which party holds the House majority.

As Inside Higher Ed reported, Foxx has promised to oppose many of the Biden administration’s education policies, including student debt relief policy changes, and has criticized the state of free speech on college campuses. Both issues will likely be front and center throughout the next two years, and the House could wreak havoc on the Biden administration’s plans in these and many other areas, or at least make any progress very difficult.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will take the helm of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) from Patty Murray (D-WA), who stepped down to head the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Sanders has been on the HELP committee since 2007, but the chance to lead the committee will give him sway on some of his most prominent positions, including on college costs and student loan reform.

House Republicans also this week named their members to the newly formed Select Committee on China. The committee will be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and will include 12 Republicans and up to seven Democrats. The committee is expected to hold hearings and submit policy recommendations by the end of the year.

Gallagher has said the committee will focus on “strategic competition” with China, while also looking at ways to support Taiwan, and closely examine companies with ties to China including the social media app TikTok.

Gallagher this week told reporters he wants to take a look at areas in which domestic industries may be too economically dependent on China or "corrupted by Chinese money and influence operations.”

The issues this committee will delve into areas such as research and national security that affect higher education.

dotEDU Episode 81: What the New Congress and Biden Administration Have in Store for Higher Ed in 2023