Parents Bill of Rights, amending Taiwan Assurance Act up for votes this week in GOP-led House

House GOP leaders introduced the Parents Bill of Rights to "empower parents" in their child's education, including securing their "right to know what's being taught in schools and to see reading material."

Published: March 20, 2023 3:58pm

Updated: March 20, 2023 11:33pm

The Parents Bill of Rights Act, which was part of the House GOP's Commitment to America agenda, and amending the bipartisan Taiwan Assurance Act are both up for votes this week in the GOP-led House.

"Empowering parents and promoting the well-being of children is a top priority of the House Republican majority," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said at the beginning of the month when the bill was formally introduced. "That's why the Parents Bill of Rights was a critical piece of the House Republican Commitment to America, and that's why the Parents Bill of Rights was introduced in the House as H.R. 5."

The legislation is aimed at ensuring parents have the "right to know what's being taught in schools and to see reading material" as well as the right to be heard at school board meetings. The bill also includes the right to view the public school budget and spending as well as the "right to protect their child’s privacy" and the right to be "updated on any violent activity at school."

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said that "in the face of the woke agenda and radical CRT the Far Left is pushing even in the midst of the devastating learning loss, we are ensuring parents have the transparency to know if their child is being properly equipped in the classroom."

The National Education Association is one of the groups opposed to the legislation.

McCarthy "would rather seek to stoke racial and social division and distract us from what will really help our students thrive: an inspiring, inclusive, and age-appropriate curriculum that prepares each and every one of them for their future," the group said in a statement. 

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul and Vice Chairwoman Anne Wagner have introduced legislation that would make changes to the Taiwan Assurance Act.

"I was deeply concerned when the Biden Administration decided to reimpose certain restrictions on contacts between U.S. and Taiwanese officials, a dangerous action that only emboldens China's Communist Party and weakens U.S. support for our ally Taiwan," Wagner said in a statement. "When Congress passed the Taiwan Assurance Act in 2020, we were crystal clear that the United States needed to eliminate these outdated and unnecessary restrictions on U.S.-Taiwan engagement.

"At a time of global instability, we must stand strong against China's anti-democratic actions. President Biden's bureaucratic red tape harms that stance, undermining our ability to coordinate more closely with Taiwan." 

Wagner emphasized that the new legislation would "reinforce Congressional oversight on U.S.-Taiwan relations and ensure that changes in U.S. policies towards Taiwan are aimed at deepening and enhancing this important relationship."

The bill would "require periodic reviews and updated reports relating to the Department of State's Taiwan guidelines," according to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise's office.

Wagner connected the bill to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"As Russia continues its appalling war on Ukraine with the support of the brutal dictatorships in Beijing and Tehran, the U.S. must boldly stand by its closest friends and partners," she said.

The Taiwan Assurance Act vote is expected to take place on Wednesday when the House comes back into session. The Parents Bill of Rights Act vote is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. 

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