PLEDGES TO ADDRESS "NEW REALITIES" AGENDA
Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) was named Wednesday to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The appointment was made after a vote by all of the Republican Members of the House pursuant to a recommendation of the House G.O.P. Steering Committee.
"This is a great honor and a great challenge," said McKeon. "I am obviously pleased and flattered that my colleagues selected me for this opportunity. I hope to work with Members on both sides of the aisle to fashion legislation that will truly meet the needs of the 21st century economy."
McKeon, who has served on the House Education and the Workforce Committee since 1993, and has been Chairman of the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness since 1995, based his campaign for the chairmanship on a pledge to address the "New Realities" of the global economy.
"The new realities that I discussed in my chairmanship bid are an economy that is worldwide, high tech and highly competitive. The edge that America brings to the table is innovation and adaptability. If we lose that then we will lose not only our standard of living, but our position of global leadership," added McKeon
Specifically, McKeon has said that he wants to improve the quality of American education, train the workforce to adapt to a high tech global economy and make regulations that are more streamlined and less costly.
McKeon also announced that his Chief of Staff, Bob Cochran, would head the transition team and has already begun the search to fill the positions of Committee Staff Director, General Counsel, and Communications Director.
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce and its five subcommittees oversee education and workforce programs that affect and support hundreds of millions of Americans, from school teachers and small business operators to students and retirees. It had previously been chaired by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), but under the rules of the House Boehner was obligated to relinquish the post when he was elected House Majority Leader.
"John gave me a good foundation on which to build. We have taken steps to transform our industrial age education and job training systems, but we still have a long way to go and not a lot of time to get there. I can’t wait to get to work," said McKeon.