Capitol Edge: Avoiding a shutdown, big education changes in U.S.

The west front of the U.S. Capitol is seen under repair Sept. 2, 2015 in Washington. Congress returns on Sept. 8 with a critical need for a characteristic that has been rare through a contentious spring and summer _ cooperation between Republicans and President Barack Obama. Lawmakers face a weighty list of unfinished business and looming deadlines, with a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open on Oct. 1 paramount. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Changing how Europeans can come to America, a new push against gun violence, and pushing back a shutdown top this week’s Capitol Edge.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Budget negotiations continue
  • Deadline for shutdown pushed to Wednesday
  • Massive education system makeover
  • Visa-waiver changes

DETAILS:

Budget Negotiations

Republicans and Democrats pushed back an arbitrary budget deadline set for Friday, Dec. 11 to Wednesday Dec. 16. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he wants to make sure Congress gets the budget right and does not rush negotiations to hit a randomly set deadline.

Ryan would not comment on negotiations, but Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she plans to demand Republicans remove the Dickey-Wicker amendment from the budget plan.

The amendment, which has been included in every budget since 1995, blocks federal organizations from researching gun violence.

If they do not pass another extension or the budget itself by Wednesday, the federal government will shutdown.

Massive Education Makeover

President Obama called it a “Christmas miracle.” Congress passed a bipartisan bill called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which ends the longtime Bush education plan called No Child Left Behind.

ESSA gives more power back to the states and local governments on testing and regarding school accountability. The bill will also decrease the number of federal standardized tests.

Visa-waiver Changes

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would change a U.S. policy, which allows citizens from 38 nations to come to the U.S. without applying for a visa. Americans are also allowed to do the same to many of those nations.

The bill passed in the House would require citizens from those countries, including countries in Europe, Iran, and Sudan, to now get a visa and go through a screening process.

President Obama and many senators support changing the program, but have not agreed to support the same bill approved by the House of Representatives.

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