The Senate HELP Committee continues its discussions of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Reports are that HELP Committee Chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) would like a vote by April but the Senate will be out of session from March 28 through April 12 so in a best case scenario they will have to take Committee action within the next three weeks including debate time. In the meantime, the House is out of session and will return on March 16 for a two week period.
The House legislation (HR 5) ran into problems with a final vote on the floor when it was pulled on February 27. It had been approved by the Education and Workforce Committee earlier in February. Debate time and votes on allowable amendments had been agreed to through the Rules Committee but instead the House leadership ended debate when it looked like there would not be enough Republican votes to approve the final bill. Congressman John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has said that he wants a vote this month and also indicated that there would be enough support. He also said that he thought there was some confusion within the House membership in understanding what is included in HR 5.