Bipartisan Education Bill Debate Further Confirmation That Senate Is Back to Work

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding the functioning Senate and the Every Child Achieves Act:

“I'd like to share a few lines from an opinion piece Speaker Boehner wrote last week.

“Here’s how it began:

In November, the American people decided to entrust Republicans with control of the U.S. Senate, where common-sense jobs bills too often went to die in recent years. Now, since the start of this year, the Republican majority in the U.S. House finally has a willing partner in our work on behalf of the American people. It’s an opportunity we haven’t let go to waste.   “The Speaker is hardly the only one who feels good about a new Senate that’s back to work for the American people. The state work period was a good reminder of it. Over the past week, Kentuckians repeated similar sentiments at events I attended across the commonwealth.   “It’s no surprise that our constituents would feel this way.   “Because the American people see signs of more open debate in the new Senate.

“They see more opportunities for Senators in both parties to take a stake in the legislative process.

“They see us passing bills.

“And they see committees working again.   “Quite a bit of bipartisan reform legislation has emerged from committee already — often with strong support from both parties.

“This week we’ll begin floor debate on yet another such bipartisan measure: the Every Child Achieves Act.   “Many Washington pundits assumed that Congress could never agree on a workable solution to replace a broken No Child Left Behind law — and they certainly didn’t believe one would receive unanimous committee support from Republicans and Democrats. But many of those folks didn’t think Washington could reform the Medicare payment system or pass trade legislation either.

“So it’s a good thing Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray didn’t listen to them.

“The new Congress has proved the pundits wrong already. If the Senior Senator from Tennessee and his Democratic counterpart from Washington State have their way, the new Congress will prove them wrong yet again.

“The Every Child Achieves Act aims to ensure we’re helping students to succeed instead of helping Washington to grow, and it recognizes an obvious truth: that the needs of a student in Eastern Kentucky aren't likely to be the same as those of students in South Florida or downtown Manhattan.

“The bill would give states the flexibility to develop systems that work for the needs of their students rather than the one-size-fits-all mandates of Washington, taking decisions out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting them into the hands of real experts: parents, teachers, and state and local leaders.

“I'll be talking more about the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act this week.

“But the fact that we’re even here today, discussing yet another important reform solution to yet another seemingly intractable problem is one more reminder that this is a new Congress that’s focused on solutions for the American people.”

Related Issues: Back to Work, Every Student Succeeds Act, Restoring the Senate, Education