While discussing the Biden administration's proposed changes to Title IX rules, which would strip schools from receiving federal funding if they prevent biological males from competing in girls' sports, the NBC host asked, "What do you say to the parent of a high school girl who says, 'I don't want transgender girls competing against my daughter?'"
"It's a proposal right now," Secretary Cardona said. "What we want to make sure is that all students feel welcome."
"We're taking into account the students who are transgender but we're also taking into account perspectives of students who are concerned that they might not be able to compete because of the rules," Cardona told the host.
Secretary Cardona came under significant fire on Tuesday during a House Education Committee hearing, when Republican lawmakers went to war with the Biden administration and their proposed changes to Title IX, Fox News reports.
Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana) questioned Cardona, comparing the participation of biological men competing against women in a way that left Biden's secretary stunned and unable to provide the committee with direct answers.
"Indiana, my home state, recently passed a law at the state legislature that banned biological males from competing against girls in high school and elementary sports because, obviously, biological males have some physical traits that would give them an advantage in sports over girls," Banks said to Cardona.
"The Education Department, your department, has proposed a rule change that would pull federal funding from schools that don't allow biological males to compete against girls in sports. Mr. Secretary, yes or no, does that mean that your department would take away school lunch programs for needy kids because a state or a school won't allow a boy to compete against a girl in sports?" Banks asked.
After avoiding the question, Rep. Banks interrupted Cardona and asked, "No, no, I'm asking you a question. Do you support taking away school lunches from kids who go to schools where boys aren't allowed to play on girls' sports teams?"
Secretary Cardona responded, "We are promoting the most rigorous, intensive academic programming under Raise the Bar. I would love to share more information."
Banks asked the question again for the third time but Cardona refused, yet again.
"It's a yes or no question, Mr. Secretary," Banks said sternly.
Cardona deflected and said, "I'm proud of the work we're doing to make sure that all students feel safe in school."
The topic of trans-identified men competing in women's sports has gripped the nation as the world watched biological men dominate against their female competitors and teammates, winning championships and titles, such as UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas. So far, 20 states have taken the initiative to ban biological male athletes from girls' sports teams.
As a result, the Biden administration proposed changes to Title IX that would strip federal funding from schools that do not allow men to compete against women.
The US Department of Education's proposal to Title IX would set a standard that would "govern a recipient’s adoption or application of sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student’s eligibility to participate on a male or female athletic team consistent with their gender identity."
The Biden administration says that schools must provide clarity on how the plan to ensure that students have equal opportunity to participate on male and female athletic teams as required by Title IX.
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