Cardona Tangles With House Republicans

Inside Higher Ed 

Katherine Knott
May 8, 2024
In a fiery House hearing Tuesday, the education secretary apologized for FAFSA delays and pressed for more funding to support investigations into campus antisemitism. But many of his answers frustrated Republicans.
In what may have been Miguel Cardona’s final appearance before the House Education and Workforce Committee—pending election results in November—Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the committee, made sure to let the education secretary immediately know what she thought of his time at the agency.
“You have presided over the greatest decline of educational attainment and institutional legitimacy in the history of our nation,” Foxx said. “Moreover, your refusal to work with this Committee during this utter collapse has been inexcusable … On all the broad strokes, you have a failing grade.”
Foxx’s opening remarks Tuesday set the tone for a contentious and lengthy hearing. The secretary faced a barrage of critical questions about his department’s handling of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, its response to a wave of protests and encampments roiling college campuses, its recently finalized rule overhauling Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to expand protections to LGBTQ+ students, and debt-relief policies that have forgiven $160 billion in student loans for 4.6 million Americans.