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With 91-6 vote, Senate overwhelming votes to move to conference with the House of Representatives


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) delivered remarks on the Senate floor ahead of the Senate voting to move to conference with the House of Representatives on legislation to fix the badly broken No Child Left Behind law. In her remarks, Murray highlighted how fixing No Child Left Behind is critical for students, teachers, parents, and communities in Washington state and across the country, and called for continued bipartisan work in conference to get the legislation signed into law.

The Senate agreed to name conferees and move to conference by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 91-6.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Thank you, M. President.


“We are all in agreement that Congress absolutely needs to work together to finally fix the badly broken No Child Left Behind law for students, teachers, parents, and communities in my home state of Washington and across the country.


“And today, we will have the chance to take another step toward that goal.


“M. President, since February of this year, Chairman Alexander and I have worked together on a bipartisan education bill that would remove the harmful one-size-fits-all mandates of No Child Left Behind, while also including federal guardrails to ensure all students have access to a quality education.


“We improved on our bipartisan bill in the HELP Committee with the help of our colleagues. And in July, the Senate voted to pass that bipartisan bill with a vote of 81 to 17.


“The House also passed their bill in July. Since then, Chairman Alexander and I have worked with House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott.


“The four of us have had good conversations about making sure the Conference is successful, and I hope we’ll be able to continue our bipartisan work in Conference, continue to bring in the priorities and ideas of our fellow Senators and members of the House, and make sure the final product is something that can pass both Chambers and that President Obama can sign into law.


“But first, we need to take the next step in the legislative process by approving this compound motion to name Conferees and allow the Senate to proceed to Conference with the House.


“In the Senate, we want to appoint each member of the HELP Committee.


“Our Committee members have worked hard to craft the Senate bill and we want to make sure their voice is heard in the Conference meeting. And I urge my colleagues to support this compound motion, so we can continue this important work to finally fix No Child Left Behind.


“Thank you, M. President. I yield the floor.”