How to Begin to Unwind the Department of Education: Move Student Loans to Treasury

Abolishing the Department of Education has long been a goal of conservatives and libertarians, even though there are other ways to reduce the power of the department without completely eliminating it altogether.

One of the Department of Education’s primary responsibilities is to manage the federal student loan program. Moving the one trillion dollar program to the Treasury Department would be a major reduction of the Department of Education’s power. It would also make eliminating the rest of the department that much easier.

The Trump administration recently floated the idea and Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie couldn’t be happier.

I’m glad to see President Trump is considering moving the federal student loan program from the Department of Education to the Treasury. I suggested the same thing in an OpEd a few months ago!

My bill to eliminate the Department of Education (H.R. 899) also got a nod in the same New York Times article that describes the possibility of moving loans to Treasury…

“Scrapping or shrinking the Education Department has long been a popular Republican goal, dating from the Reagan administration. President Trump embraced the idea, saying in his book ‘Crippled America’ that the department should either be eliminated or have ‘its power and reach’ cut. In February, a House Republican introduced a bill to terminate the agency.”

Thomas Massie would clearly prefer that the department be completely shut down but that proposal is a tough sell. Massie introduced a one-sentence bill to abolish the Department of Education earlier this year but it hasn’t moved forward since then and is extremely unlikely to pass. Although, moving the federal student loan program to the Treasury Department is a much smaller ask. It’s a common sense reform that has actually seen bipartisan support in the past.

With any luck, a bill to move the federal student loan program to the Treasury Department could actually pass even with Democrat obstructionism taken into account. If the Trump administration decides to move forward with the proposal, they can surely count on Congressman Thomas Massie and the rest of the House Liberty Caucus’ support.



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