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Bush Sees Bipartisan Commitment to NCLB

President Bush remains optimistic that NCLB can being reauthorized next year. Asked about his relationship with Democrats in Congress, he volunteered that the K-12 law is one place where he might find common ground with the opposing party. Here's an excerpt from the transcript of this morning's press conference:

"There's some areas where we can work together, like reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, although I will warn Congress that—in that the current bill doesn't expire, if they try to weaken the current bill, I'll veto any attempt to weaken it. But I believe we can strengthen it. I spoke to Senator Kennedy on this issue, and Congressman Miller and Senator Enzi and Congressman Boehner about how to strengthen No Child."

Several comments:

1.) Although the president refers to "the current bill," I believe he's referring to the current law, given his statement that "the current bill doesn't expire."

2.) Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, doesn't necessarily agree with the president's sentiments. In two statements in since November, he has criticized the president for political grandstanding on NCLB and for failing to work with Democrats to add money to the law (see here and here).

3.) Back in October, the president dropped a similar hint that he would veto an NCLB bill if he didn't like it's accountability rules. He never issued a veto threat against a discussion draft proposed by Rep. Miller and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., his GOP counterpart on the committee. But Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings made it clear that she didn't like bill's accountability measures.

4.) I'll have plenty of fodder for this blog in '08.

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