Education and Labor

Chair: Bobby Scott

A

Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

8 Investigative Oversight Hearings

22 Policy/Legislative Hearings

62 Total Hearings

Last updated: Oct. 3, 2020, 6:47 p.m.

Often called the Committee on Education and the Workforce under Republican majorities, the committee is responsible for overseeing federal education programs, including Head Start, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the Higher Education Act, adult education, as well as some anti-poverty programs. Its labor responsibilities include pension and retirement security, employee benefits, job training, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employment discrimination, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and compensation for injured workers. Its two major departments, Education and Labor, are relatively small, but its legislation can affect virtually every family in America. It tends to attract partisans from the left and the right. The committee has five subcommittees: civil rights and human services; early childhood, elementary and secondary education; health, employment, labor and pensions; higher education and workforce investment; and workforce protections.

The committee's total hearing schedule has drifted downward over the past five Congresses, but it conducts more investigative oversight hearings than many other committees with a similar legislative load. In the 115th Congress (2017-18), under new Republican Chair Virginia Foxx, a conservative from North Carolina, the committee held 55 total hearings, well below the average for the previous four Congresses. It held only 18 policy and legislative hearings, the fewest number in the 10-year period.

But the committee continued its active program of investigative oversight. It held five investigative hearings during the 115th Congress, many of them reflecting a conservative critique of Obama-era policies: “Restoring Balance and Fairness to the National Labor Relations Board,” held during the first two months of the Trump administration in 2017; “Examining the Corporation for National and Community Service and Its Failed Oversight of Taxpayer Dollars” in March of 2017; “The Need for More Responsible Regulatory and Enforcement Policies at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” in May of 2017; a June, 2017, hearing on “Student Safety in the Job Corps Program” that reviewed a GAO investigation initiated after two Job Corps student deaths in 2015; and another hearing in April of 2018 on the CNCS, “Fraud, Mismanagement, Non-Compliance, and Safety: The History of Failures of the Corporation for National and Community Service.”


Chairs

111th Congress: George Miller (D-CA)

112th Congress: John Kline (R-MN)

113th Congress: John Kline (R-MN)

114th Congress: John Kline (R-MN)

115th Congress: Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

116th Congress: Bobby Scott (D-VA)


Current Congress

We are 99% of the way through the 116th Congress

Education and Labor

8 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 100% historical maximum
22 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 100% historical maximum
62 Total Hearings; 97% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 3 26 77 93% A
112th Congress 4 24 68 89% B+
113th Congress 3 19 67 78% C+
114th Congress 7 20 52 87% B
115th Congress 5 18 55 78% C+
116th Congress* 8 22 62 121% A
Historical average 5.0 21.5 63.5

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
Education and Labor

Date Hearing Title Committee Category