Accomplishments of the New Congressby Senator Mitch McConnell
Posted on 2015-12-07
McCONNELL. Madam President, on another matter, last November the
American people elected a new Congress to get Washington working again.
Nearly every day seems to bring more signs that we are. Over the
weekend, President Obama signed the FAST Act, a multiyear highway bill,
into law. It represents a significant departure from years of short-
term extensions and congressional inaction. In fact, the FAST Act is
the longest term highway bill to pass Congress in almost two decades,
providing 5 full years of highway funding.
Here is what Kentuckians for Better Transportation--a top transportation advocacy organization in my State--had to say about it: After many, many years of short term continuing resolutions we finally have a long term authorization that will give our states the opportunity to plan for and implement major road projects. . . . We can [now] plan for the future.
That is because in a new and more open Senate, Senator Inhofe, a Republican, and Senator Boxer, a Democrat, were able to work together for its passage. Senator Boxer herself called it ``a major accomplishment.'' Here is another major accomplishment: the Every Student Succeeds Act. It is a bipartisan, reformist replacement for No Child Left Behind. Pundits in Washington could never agree on how to replace No Child Left Behind. The issue went unresolved for many years, but in a new and more open Senate, Senator Alexander, a Republican, and Senator Murray, a Democrat, worked hard and found success in the bill before us. The House already passed it, 359 to 64. The Senate previously passed a very similar version of the bill, 81 to 17.
Tomorrow we should work together to pass it for a second and final time and send it to the President for his signature. It will be the latest important achievement for the American people from a new Congress that is back to work and back on their side.
Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.