Lawmakers say improving transparency in higher education offers chance for bipartisanship


Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that improving transparency in higher education provides an opportunity for bipartisanship.

The two lawmakers joined Hill.TV on Wednesday to discuss legislation known as the College Transparency Act, which aims to create a secure and privacy-protected data system that consolidates information about student outcomes, such as graduation rates and what families can expect to get in return for their tuition investment.

“This is an area where I really don’t think there’s partisanship. I think we’re grappling with a common challenge, which is how do we make sure that our young people and others get the type of post-secondary education they need to be successful,” Krishnamoorthi told Hill.TV.

The measure, introduced by Mitchell and backed by Krishnamoorthi, has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans among its 30 co-sponsors in the House.

Krishnamoorthi said the issue is also important for business owners and the economy, noting that there are an estimated 7 million unfilled jobs across the country.

“We’re trying to help students get the right jobs and right education to get those jobs,” he added. “We’re also hoping to grow the economy and help employers at the same time.”

The bill, which was reintroduced in March, isn’t the first piece of legislation Krishnamoorthi and Mitchell have teamed up on.

The duo co-sponsored a measure in 2017 geared toward upgrading the country’s career and technical education system: The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was signed into law by President Trump in July 2018.

“We respect differences of opinion, and there are things we can work well together on without having to develop some kind of hostility. And I think that exists for many members in Congress,” Mitchell told Hill.TV. “Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not played that way externally.”

Mitchell’s comments come as the White House ramps up its clash with Congress over various investigations related to Trump.

The White House on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report. The move came as the House Judiciary Committee was preparing to vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena for Mueller’s full report and investigative files.

—Tess Bonn

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