Education Committees in the 116th Congress

As the 116th Congress begins in earnest, new members are serving on both the House and Senate Education Committees.

Photo: iStockPhoto / tupungalo

Following the decisive 2018 Midterm election, the U.S. House of Representatives is now under Democratic control, with new leadership for the House Education Committee. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA) has been elected Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor (formally known as the Committee on Education and the Workforce). In a press release, Congressmen Scott stated “As Chairman, I will work to expand access to the building blocks of a strong middle class – a quality education, a rewarding job, and affordable health care.”

Chairman Scott has identified reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and federal support for school infrastructure as priorities for the committee. On January 30th, Chairman Scott introduced the Rebuild America’s School’s Act, which would provide $100 Billion for the construction and updating of school facilities. Representative Virginia Foxx (NC), who previously held the chairmanship, will serve as Ranking Member for the minority.

Senate Republicans retained their majority and leadership remains the same on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) will continue to serve as Chair of the HELP Committee while Senator Patty Murray (WA) will stay on as Ranking Member. Negotiations over HEA Reauthorization stalled in the 115th Congress, with Democrats and Republicans introducing drastically different policy proposals. Senators Murray and Alexander are reportedly open to revisiting the issue to find areas of compromise. Chairman Alexander, who plans to retire in 2020, has expressed a strong desire to reauthorize the Higher Education Act before leaving the Senate.

In the wake of the recent election, NAfME has begun meeting with Members of both education committees on our legislative priorities for music education, including:

• Fully funding Titles I-A, II-A, and IV-A of ESSA;
• Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to support well-rounded education subject educators, including music educators;
• Supporting safe music rooms through school infrastructure;
• Reintroduction of the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education (GAAME) Act.


Full Committee Rosters are below. * indicates members who are new to the committees.


Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee

Democratic Senators           Republican Senators 
Patty MurrayWA – Ranking Member Lamar Alexander

TN – Chairman

Bernie SandersVT Michael EnziWY
Bob CaseyPA Richard BurrNC
Tammy BaldwinWI Johnny IsaksonGA
Chris MurphyCT Rand PaulPA
Elizabeth WarrenMA Susan CollinsME
Tim Kaine        VA Bill CassidyLA
Maggie HassanNH Pat RobertsKS
Tina Smith


 Lisa MurkowskiAK
Doug Jones


 Tim ScottSC
Jacky Rosen*


 Mitt Romney*UT


 Mike Braun*IN

House Education and Labor Committee

Democratic Representatives      Republican Representatives 
Bobby ScottVA – Chairman Virginia FoxxNC – Ranking Member
Susan DavisCA Phil RoeTN
Raul GrijalvaAZ Glenn ThompsonPA
Joe CourtneyCT Tim WalbergMI
Marcia FudgeOH Brett GuthrieKY
Gregorio Kilili SablanNM Bradley ByrneAL
Frederica WilsonFL Glenn GrothmanWI
Susanne BonamiciOR Elise StefanikNY
Mark TakanoCA Rick AllenGA
Alma AdamsNC Francis RonneyFL
Mark DesaulnierCA Lloyd SmuckerPA
Donald NorcrossNJ Jim BanksIN
Raja KrishnamoorthiIL Mark Walker*NC
Adriano EspaillatNY James Comer*KY
Pramila Jayapal*WA Ben Cline*VA
Joe Morelle*NY Russ Fulcher*ID
Susan Wild*PA Van Taylor*TX
Josh Harder*CA Steve Watkins*KS
Lucy McBath*GA Ron Wright*TX
Kim Schrier*WA Dan Meuser*PA
Lauren Underwood*IL William Timmons*SC
Jahana Hayes*CT Dusty Johnson*SD
Donna Shalala*FL   
Andy Levin*MI   
Ilhan Omar*MN   
David Trone*MD   
Haley Stevens*MI   
Susie Lee*NV   
Joaquin CastroTX   
Lori Trahan*MA   


Rob Edwards, Policy and Content Coordinator, February 11, 2019. © National Association for Music Education (