Even With GOP Senate Takeover, Education Plan Could Stall

Career College Central Summary:

  • The hurdles will begin with the ideologically diverse committee members, who include Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Al Franken of Minnesota on the left and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on the right, and end with potential vetoes from the president.
  • In between, there are potential issues with working with Senate Democrats, navigating divides among House Republicans and overcoming the perception that major education laws are permanently stalled in Congress.
  • There could be modest gains: Republicans would have more leeway to hammer on President Barack Obama’s education policies, which they see as aggressive federal overreach.
  • Other Republican education wonks, such as Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina, have priorities of their own that are gathering dust but could get more play in a Republican Senate, too.
  • A Republican Congress could also push Obama to compromise more, said Neal McCluskey, associate director for education at the Cato Institute.
  • “I’ve asked the staff to really start from scratch for different parts of the Higher Education Act,” Alexander said.
  • He sees himself as a countervailing force to the Obama administration’s push for regulation in areas such as for-profit colleges, and Congress’ tendency to add more regulations to higher education each time it reauthorizes the law.
  • Two main forces, the market and the accreditation system, should do the majority of the work to keep the system in check, Alexander said.

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