Early this afternoon, after several hours of negotiation, the United States Senate voted to invoke cloture on debate regarding the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015” (S. 1177). Cloture is a parliamentary procedure used to halt the introduction of additional amendments on a particular piece of legislation, and to bring negotiations to a conclusion.
Originally, the pursuit of cloture on S. 1177 was considered a highly controversial turn of events, because Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) filed for it much earlier than was expected, with countless amendments still left to be debated.
Ultimately, Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pension (HELP) Chairman Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Murray (D-WA) were able to stem the anxiety and cut a deal that would allow for cloture to proceed, while still permitting votes on an additional 40+ key amendments.
Among those amendments, is the all-important Kirk (R-IL)/Reed (D-RI)/Baldwin (D-WI)/Brown (D-OH) “Opportunity Dashboard of Core Resources,” with an emphasis on tracking nationwide access to education opportunities, and which the music education community has so strongly supported. It will receive 60-vote threshold consideration.
With cloture now invoked, votes on amendments (some voice, some with a 60-vote threshold) are scheduled to resume this afternoon at 2:30 PM. Debate is expected to continue into tomorrow.
More updates are to come at the conclusion of the day, but this is an important next step in the legislation’s progression.
Christopher Woodside, NAfME Assistant Executive Director, 15 July 2015. © National Association for Music Education.