Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

GOP Looking to Settle Turmoil in House Leadership

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

GOP Looking to Settle Turmoil in House Leadership

Article excerpt

Amid all the turmoil in Washington, D.C., Republicans in the House of Representatives are hoping that a former high school wrestling coach can help calm the waters and withstand the pressures that ended two Congressional careers within a month.

Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was named speaker of the House when the new Congress convened Jan. 6.

Hastert, 56, taught government and history for 16 years at a Yorkville, Ill., high school, but his views on education and children's issues are not well known.

"I don't think he was somebody we have paid a lot of attention to," says one higher education lobbyist.

Despite his education background, Hastert has emphasized his work on health care, the environment, and anti-drug programs during his six terms in Congress. He also is a former state legislator.

The Illinois Republican had not planned to actively seek the speaker's job but says he received numerous requests to accept the post.

"It is a calling that I have not sought. …

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