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AASA Shares Preview Of Biden’s Education Agenda, Expectations For Next Steps In U.S. Congress

From NCASA and AASA Reports

With the elections (mostly) behind us, Washington is watching closely as the Biden Administration and 117th Congress takes shape. At the moment, former Vice President Joe Biden is on a pathway to becoming the 46th President of the United States, although the process could drag on for some time as the Trump Administration is challenging the results in key states. Chris Rogers, Policy Analyst for AASA – The School Superintendents’ Association, updated executives of school administrator organizations from across the country last week on some key impacts from the recent elections. The update included expectations for the President-Elect’s education agenda, his potential nominees for Secretary of Education, and possible next steps on COVID-19 relief and federal appropriations that could come from the current lame duck Congress before the end of the year. Click HERE for that update.

In addition, Rogers shared information about the potential impact the 2020 election is likely to have on key leadership posts in the new Congress that will begin work early next year. On the Senate committee level, the election 2020 results and the beginning of the 117th Congress will have major implications for the leadership roles of two committees critical to education-related issues. In the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is likely to continue as the top Democrat. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is expected to take Lamar Alexander’s spot as Chair when he retires. On the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is next in line to become the top Republican on the HELP Committee. However, he faces an FBI investigation into his stock trades related to COVID-19 Economic Relief Packages. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) comes after Senator Burr in seniority, but it is unclear if Senate GOP leadership would hand him the gavel. After Senator Paul in seniority is Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). For the Democrats, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is expected to retain her positions as the party’s most senior member on HELP.

Compared to the Senate, the 2020 elections will also impact the House of Representatives’ leadership at the committee level. This is most notable in the Appropriations Committee, as current Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) is retiring in the House. There are several Democrats vying for the powerful Appropriations Chair. Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Energy & Water Subcommittee Chair Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Military Construction-VA Subcommittee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) are the lead contenders. Rep. DeLauro appears to be the frontrunner, but Wasserman Schultz has proved to be a more formidable candidate than previously expected due to her support amongst freshmen Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus.