July 9, 2001

Congress Stalls on Education Bill

Thursday, on the South Lawn of the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush strongly encouraged the House and Senate to come to a final agreement on his education reform proposal. "I urge Congress to come back and work hard to reconcile any differences that may exist between the House and Senate bills, and get a bill to my desk quickly," Bush said. The House passed its education reform bill on May 23. The Senate passed its version in mid-June. However, the process has stalled due to a weeklong break and the fact that neither House nor Senate has appointed members to the conference committee.

Before Congress can send the education reform plan to the president for signing, the bills must be submitted to conference committee members from both chambers. In conference committee, members will meet to consider differences in the bills and negotiate until they are able to produce a satisfactory version.

The National Center for Home Education has lobbied House leadership to encourage the selection of specific members. "We want members on the committee that have a working relationship with HSLDA and are favorable to our amendments," said Caleb Kershner, acting director of the National Center for Home Education. The National Center will also begin lobbying for Senate committee members yet to be chosen.