With election day behind us and a shift in power in the House that leaves the future of a variety of policy issues uncertain, Rep. John Kline, the current ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee (and potential chair during the next session), wasted no time in outlining his priorities for the committee. In a press release issued today, Kline set forth broad policy areas that the committee will focus on to “promote American competitiveness and hold government accountable.” Chief among his concerns is job creation and turning around the economy. Other priority issues that the committee will address in the 112th Congress include:
- Giving employers the certainty, flexibility, and freedom to create jobs;
- Conducting robust oversight of education and workforce programs across the federal government to protect students, families, workers, and retirees;
- Modernizing and streamlining training programs to help job-seekers get back to work; and
- Pursuing education reform that restores local control, empowers parents, lets teachers teach, and protects taxpayers.
It remains to be seen what impact the change in House leadership and a divided Congress will have on pending legislation such the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act. Will Congress come together to pass these vitally important pieces of legislation? Or will the gridlock in Washington continue?