Legislative Update: ESEA, Balanced Budget Amendment

House Democrats Not Optimistic About ESEA this Congress

The House Education and the Workforce Committee has reportedly been working behind the scenes on a bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA, but have failed to reach agreement on key issues. As a result, Chairman Kline (MN) has said that the committee will introduce a series of Republican-only bills in the coming weeks. If the Chairman proceeds with a partisan bill, Ranking Member George Miller (CA) does not believe ESEA will be renewed in 2012. In a statement, he said:

“I have communicated to Chairman Kline my disappointment that he has chosen to go the partisan route. Partisanship means the end to NCLB reform in this Congress. Bipartisanship is the only successful way forward. The Senate has moved a bipartisan bill out of committee. The House could do the same if it had the political will to do so. Our nation’s children deserve a real process for achieving consensus, not partisan political games.”

Senate Votes Against Balanced Budget Amendment

Last week the Senate defeated two Balanced Budget Amendments to the Constitution – one offered by each party. The amendments would have prohibited Congress from spending more than it takes in a given year. Each failed to receive the two-thirds majority needed to send a constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.

Last month the House also rejected a Balanced Budget Amendment. The votes were required as part of the debt ceiling deal reached earlier this year.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


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