The Buzz

TheChat: Sam Graves, Tim Huelskamp split on new education law


Here we go...

▪ “I am proud that the House tonight passed ESEA reauthorization that will end No Child Left Behind, prohibit the federal government from forcing states to adopt Common Core standards, and empower local governments to make decisions based on the needs of individual communities.” — Missouri Congressman Sam Graves, a Republican, explaining why he supported the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.

“With passage of this 1,000+ page bill, Washington continues the core of No Child Left Behind.” — Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican, explaining why he opposed the same law.

The bill replaces the long-controversial No Child Left Behind Law, though conservatives such as Huelskamp remain upset that the new law spends too much money and still gives the federal government too much authority over education.

▪ “Senator Schaefer’s action is wrong-headed and mean-spirited.” — Jim Heeter, the outgoing president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, on the Missouri state senator’s attempt to end the Kansas City earnings tax.

This is unusually strong language from the chamber. Heeter noted in his statement that Schaefer’s actions are in retaliation for the city’s consideration of raising the minimum wage. “Killing the e-tax would have a devastating effect on the City’s ability to provide basic services,” Heeter said.

▪ “We need to eliminate the individual and employer mandates.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, on the Senate floor calling for a dramatic overhaul of the Affordable Care Act.

Roberts said the employer mandate is “stifling job creation....reducing workers’ hours and it is a disincentive for businesses to grow and expand.” Problem is, the mandates ensure that enough consumers are in the system so that insurance companies will cover those who normally can’t get coverage.

▪ “By getting the federal bureaucracy out of the way and refocusing our priorities, this legislation will ensure the roads we all use continue to be safe and reliable.” — Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, applauding the new $305 billion highway bill that passed the House Thursday.

The 359-65 vote was a rare show of bipartisanship as Congress works to move past the three dozen short-term extensions in place since the last four-year bill expired in 2009. Hartzler said the bill returns more transportation decisions to state and local governments.

▪ “I would much rather have moments of action than moments of silence on the House floor.” — California Congressman Adam Schiff saying to Republicans that prayers no longer are enough in the wake of a series of mass shootings that have dogged the country in recent months.

Will this be the moment that gun control gains a foothold? The guess here is no.