The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed today their Parents Bill of Rights Act bill, which is a piece of landmark legislation that fulfills part of their Commitment to America election pledge. The bill was narrowly passed with 213 votes in favor compared to 208 votes against according to Just The News. The votes are strictly along partisan lines. The bill establishes a parent’s right to “review the curriculum of their child’s school; meet with each teacher of their child at least twice each school year; review the budget, including all revenues and expenditures, of their child’s school” among other rights.
Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) described the bill accordingly when he formally introduced it as “[e]mpowering parents and promoting the well-being of children is a top priority of the House Republican majority. That’s why the Parents Bill of Rights was a critical piece of the House Republican Commitment to America.” Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Chairwoman of the GOP Conference, went to social media to praise the bill’s passage. She tweeted that “The House GOP’s Parents’ Bill of Rights just passed the House! Joe Biden’s weaponized DOJ & FBI labeled parents as domestic terrorists. The Parents’ Bill of Rights Act, H.R. 5, will empower parents, not persecute them.”
#RESULTS The House GOP’s Parents’ Bill of Rights just passed the House!
Joe Biden’s weaponized DOJ & FBI labeled parents as domestic terrorists.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights Act, H.R. 5, will empower parents, not persecute them.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) March 24, 2023
Wesley Hunt’s (R-TX) Press Office put out a statement on social media that listed why he voted in favor of the bill. The statement read “Parents have a right to be involved in the education of their children. Parents have a right to know what’s being taught in schools, they have a right to access the reading materials, they have a right to know their children are safe, and they have a right to be heard. I’m honored to support the Parents’ Bill of Rights.”
Parents have a right to be involved in the education of their children. Parents have a right to know what’s being taught in schools, they have a right to access the reading materials, they have a right to know their children are safe, and they have a right https://t.co/YGCD5jloC4…
— Representative Wesley Hunt Press Office (@RepWPH) March 24, 2023
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who to many conservatives is the bête noire of the progressive Democrats, slammed the bill as an attempt to crush and censor minority communities. She went so far as to effectively describe the bill as “fascist”. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) was not sparing in his criticism either. He referred to the passage of the bill using the following words “Extreme MAGA Republicans just passed legislation to ban books and bully children. Shameful.”
AOC says that the Republican Parents Rights bill is “fascism” pic.twitter.com/G83ApGDZi9
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 23, 2023
Extreme MAGA Republicans just passed legislation to ban books and bully children.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) March 24, 2023
Representative Jamie Raskin’s response was similarly hostile to the bill. He wrote “I’m joining parents, students, librarians and teachers to oppose the GOP’s MAGA federal power grab over local schools, a phony “Parents’ Bill of Rights” designed to extend their rampant book banning and suppression of history.”
I’m joining parents, students, librarians and teachers to oppose the GOP’s MAGA federal power grab over local schools, a phony “Parents’ Bill of Rights” designed to extend their rampant book banning and suppression of history. pic.twitter.com/ZnF5jkykAa
— Representative Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) March 23, 2023
Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC) seconded this assessment of the bill when he declared “[n]owhere in this bill is it banning any books.” Mr. Norman said that the language of the bill allows parents a clear right to inspect books that their children may be subject to. He noted that the books that are under criticism in various states and communities are books of a hyper-sexual nature that find their way into school libraries.
Mr. Norman cited that such books refer to children who are “sexually active from the time…[they were] 6” as well as included “explicit images of oral sex.” The Republican lawmaker then asked “Parents, is this something you want your children to read? Parents, is this something that encourages academics and allows that child to compete in the 21st century?”
Some politicos like Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) critique the bill as empowering conservative activism in the education system and preventing a proper education about history like the Holocaust. The bill, however, also states that “[i]t is the sense of Congress that all public elementary school and secondary school students should have opportunities to learn the history of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.”
The piece of legislation now moves on to a Democratic-controlled Senate where it will be difficult to pass.
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Author: Ilan Hulkower
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