Five House Republicans voted against a "parental rights" bill championed by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) as a defense of families under attack by radical leftism.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act appears doomed to fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but McCarthy hailed the bill's passage in the House as a win for parents.
"Today was a win for every mother or father, but most importantly for every student in America," he said.
The bill affirms the rights of parents to review school curricula and library reading lists, to meet with teachers and address school boards, and to receive notification of violent activity in schools or plans to cut programs for gifted kids.
The legislation also requires school officials to get parental consent before changing a child's gender pronouns. Republicans who support the bill say it would create more transparency in public schools overrun by woke ideology.
The Republicans who voted against the bill, Matt Rosendale (Mt.), Ken Buck (Co.), Matt Gaetz (Fl.). Mike Lawler (Ny.)., and former House Freedom Caucus chairman Andy Biggs (R-Az.), cited skepticism of federal government in education.
Gaetz called for the Department of Education to be shut down instead, a long-standing goal of the right that former President Trump recently endorsed on the 2024 campaign trail.
Similarly, Rosendale said the "answer to an out-of-control education system is not turning more control over to the federal government!"
The lopsided Republican vote reflects the embrace of culture war issues by party leaders looking to tap the concerns of parents energized by school closures, mask mandates and far-left race and gender ideology.
The National Education Association, the nation's biggest teacher union and a major driver behind school closures during COVID, said the bill would somehow "stoke racial and social animosity."
While progressives have painted Republican education initiatives as authoritarian and comparable to Nazi book burnings, the lead sponsor of the parental rights bill, Julia Letlow (La.), said it's about transparency.
"It is not an attempt to have Congress dictate their [schools] curriculum, or determine the books in the library," she said.
Noted simpleton and demagogue Hakeem Jeffries (D-Ny.), the leader of the House Democrats, said Republicans just want to "ban books," "bully" gays and transgenders and "bring guns into classrooms, kindergarten and above."