Cardona Clashes With Republicans
Inside Higher Ed
May 17, 2023
House Republicans’ frustrations with the Biden administration’s education policies and embrace of the culture wars over education were on full display Tuesday when Education Secretary Miguel Cardona testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
“What color is your suit?” asked Michigan representative Lisa McClain, a Republican, during a heated exchange. “I’m just trying to figure out if we can answer a question.”
The nearly five-hour hearing, which became contentious at times, featured questions, talking points and discussion about a wide range of higher education–related topics from the administration’s budget proposal to the influence of the Chinese government on American universities to student loan policies.
This was Cardona’s first appearance before the committee since Republicans took over the House.
Cardona repeatedly defended his department’s work to improve the student loan system and help students recover from the pandemic, among other issues, echoing his press statements and comments at recent budget committee meetings. He also tried to steer clear of debates about culture war topics.
“The choice we face now is whether we’re going to build on the common ground that we have to invest in our children or protect the broken status quo that’s failed too many of our schools,” Cardona said in his opening remarks. “Now is not the time to break down in partisan or divisive culture wars.”