Murray to Remain Ranking Democrat on Key Panel

November 17, 2016

Washington Senator Patty Murray will stay on as the ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senate Democrats announced Wednesday.

Murray worked with committee chairman Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act last year. The K-12 education law replaced the unpopular No Child Left Behind Act and scaled back requirements for some standardized tests in schools.

The two lawmakers are known for their history of cooperation on the committee to pass legislation and are expected to tackle a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act at some point in the next Congress. Murray was also named to the position of assistant Democratic leader in the party's Senate leadership.

In a statement, Murray pledged to continue working with Republicans but said she would oppose any divisive policies offered by President-elect Donald Trump.

“I look forward to continuing my work as the top Democrat on this committee that focuses on so many of the critical issues facing families and communities across the country. We were able to take some important steps forward on this committee in recent years to help students, workers and families -- and I am ready to get to work with any Republican who is willing to work with us to build on that progress and move our country in the right direction," Murray said. "But I am also ready to fight back as hard as I can, every step of the way, if Republicans choose to embrace the darker elements of President-elect Trump’s campaign and focus on dividing our country, taking away access to care for women and families, undermining communities’ rights and protections, hurting students and workers, or dragging us backwards.”

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