This year, National Journal‘s Women in Washington list focuses on women who exercise powerful influence in five policy areas: energy, health care, technology, defense, and education.
Martin was Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s right-hand aide until March, when she left her post as assistant secretary to run the education-research unit at the liberal Center for American Progress. At the department, she oversaw Duncan’s major endeavors, including Race to the Top grant applications. At CAP, Martin is a go-to expert on all things K-12. She previously worked for education guru Edward Kennedy in the Senate.
Anyone who can go toe to toe with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel must have some stamina. As president of the Chicago Teachers Union, Lewis has been on the front lines of the city’s battles over longer school days, teacher evaluations, and salaries. She led the 2012 teachers union strike, when her members sought a 30 percent pay increase.
Gates is the non-Microsoft face of a philanthropic organization that has revolutionized how education is viewed in the United States. The Gates Foundation bankrolls dozens of groups dedicated to reforming public schools, and is a big supporter and funder of the controversial Common Core State Standards. She is also a prominent force for reducing global poverty.
Rees is an outspoken advocate of school choice and has frequently functioned as a conservative spokeswoman on education. She implemented much of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, and served as an education adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.
At the Education Department, Delisle — Arne Duncan’s top aide on all matters pertaining to pre-K and K-12 — is in charge of approving states’ requests for No Child Left Behind waivers. Before joining the department, she was a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education, which partners with schools and districts to create best practices for classrooms.
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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.