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 Murray WA – Ranking Member   Lamar Alexander

TN – Chairman

Bernie Sanders VT   Michael Enzi WY
Bob Casey PA   Richard Burr NC
Tammy Baldwin WI   Johnny Isakson GA
Chris Murphy CT   Rand Paul PA
Elizabeth Warren MA   Susan Collins ME
Tim Kaine         VA   Bill Cassidy LA
Maggie Hassan NH   Pat Roberts KS
Tina Smith


  Lisa Murkowski AK
Doug Jones


  Tim Scott SC
Jacky Rosen*


  Mitt Romney* UT


  Mike Braun* IN

House Education and Labor Committee

Democratic Representatives         Republican Representatives  
Bobby Scott VA – Chairman   Virginia Foxx NC – Ranking Member
Susan Davis CA   Phil Roe TN
Raul Grijalva AZ   Glenn Thompson PA
Joe Courtney CT   Tim Walberg MI
Marcia Fudge OH   Brett Guthrie KY
Gregorio Kilili Sablan NM   Bradley Byrne AL
Frederica Wilson FL   Glenn Grothman WI
Susanne Bonamici OR   Elise Stefanik NY
Mark Takano CA   Rick Allen GA
Alma Adams NC   Francis Ronney FL
Mark Desaulnier CA   Lloyd Smucker PA
Donald Norcross NJ   Jim Banks IN
Raja Krishnamoorthi IL   Mark Walker* NC
Adriano Espaillat NY   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 Castro TX      
Lori Trahan* MA      


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