CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 1177, STUDENT SUCCESS ACT

December 2, 2015
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, as I've stated before, this conference report is not the bill I would have written on my own. It is a product of compromise, but a product that did not require either side to compromise on our core beliefs. A core belief of mine--and a core belief of my caucus--is that Congress deems authority to the executive branch to interpret, implement, and enforce federal law. That is the foundational tenet of administrative law.

Although some provisions included in the conference report seek to limit the regulatory power of the Department of Education, nothing in this conference report will inhibit or impede the Secretary's authority--as granted by the Constitution--to interpret, implement, and enforce compliance with the Federal law, including the Secretary's authority to promulgate regulations that clarify and interpret vague statutory terms. Those provisions were carefully negotiated between the Chair and me.

The Every Student Succeeds Act provides states with new flexibility to design systems that hold schools accountable for improving student outcomes, but the Federal government is ultimately responsible for protecting the civil rights of all students. To fulfill that responsibility, the Secretary of Education will maintain regulatory, oversight, and enforcement authority sufficient to fully implement this new law.