Yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee reached a bipartisan agreement to advance legislation that would overhaul the No Child Left Behind Program. We at BPC commend Chairman Tom Harkin, Ranking Member Michael Enzi and their fellow committee members on their willingness to overcome partisan differences in the service of a greater good, and to demonstrate that consensus between the two parties is still possible.
t is also notable that the Committee used “regular order” to move legislation through the process in a manner that permitted robust debate and disagreement and succeeded in finding common ground. While it is unfortunate that the process has often been a casualty of increased polarization in Congress, the HELP Committee has shown this week that critical issues like education can still be effectively addressed through the time-honored committee process.
It is imperative that Republicans and Democrats continue to show the type of leadership displayed by the members of the HELP committee. Breaking through the wall of partisanship on difficult issues is vital to ensuring the future health of our country and to addressing the cynicism and discontent with Congress so evident in poll after poll.
- Senators Mark Kirk and Joe Manchin Set an Example, October 5, 2011
- Constructive Collision of Ideas Remains the Engine of American Democracy, October 12, 2011