U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici has been appointed chairwoman of the newly created House civil rights and human services subcommittee.

The subcommittee, part of the House Education and Labor Committee, advances policies on civil rights, equal employment opportunities, human services, nutrition and the Older Americans Act.

Bonamici credited Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the committee's chairman, with helping to create the subcommittee to make civil rights and human services a priority.

“Public education can help break the cycle of poverty, and I will do all I can to expand opportunities for people of all backgrounds, especially for students of color who continue to face disparate outcomes in our education system,” the Oregon Democrat said in a news release. 

“We need to do more to deliver on the promise of an equitable, world-class public education for every student in this country. To achieve this goal, we must protect civil rights and provide essential human services.”

The Trump administration has been undermining, rather than protecting, the civil rights of students and workers, Bonamici said.

“I take seriously the obligation of Congress to ensure equity, hold institutions accountable, and provide meaningful oversight of the Education Department, the Department of Labor and the Trump administration,” she said. “I will fight for all students and workers so they can learn and work in safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments.

“I also look forward to reauthorizing the Older Americans Act and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. We can and must do more to strengthen public education, our workforce and needed support services for families.”

Bonamici will also serve as a member of the higher education and workforce investment subcommittee focused on improving college affordability, apprenticeship programs and school safety. She has been a member of the House Education and Labor Committee since 2013.

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