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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
We Can Do Better With a Scalpel to the Budget

Dear Republican Colleague:

The Administration just released their FY 2010 budget proposal, which they eagerly claim saves a total of $17 billion government-wide.  While I applaud the effort at trimming unnecessary government programs, I was disappointed that the president’s scalpel wasn’t sharper.  This month I introduced the Priorities in Education Spending Act which would repeal 68 ineffective or unnecessary federal education programs, saving more than $1.3 billion. Compare that to the president’s dull knife:  his budget proposes elimination of 12 education programs totaling just over $550 million.  Half a billion dollars is nothing to sneeze at – if you stop while you’re ahead. But that’s not what the president’s budget would do. Instead, it proposes to create new programs to replace those the president would eliminate at a price tag of $950 million.  That’s right, the president’s “replacement education programs” will cost nearly twice as much as he saves from eliminating a handful of programs in the first place. 

With congressional Democrats on an out-of-control spending spree, my bill stands up for students and taxpayers, and for future generations, by proposing real solutions to reform federal spending and invest more wisely in education.  America is in the midst of an economic and financial crisis. President Obama pledged that his Administration will embrace fiscal discipline by taking a scalpel to the massive federal budget and going through it line-by-line to “stop wasteful, obsolete federal government programs that make no financial sense.”  As you can see from his budget documents, he certainly didn’t go far enough, and I hope my bill will suggest ways that we can find even greater savings as the appropriations process moves forward this year.

Republicans have a proven record when it comes to education, providing both the resources and the reforms necessary to improve student achievement. And we are committed to funding and reforming the core programs that support students. However, in order to keep America’s students and schools competitive in the 21st century, we must focus limited federal resources on programs that work and directly serve students, particularly disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

A number of the targeted programs in the Priorities in Education Spending Act have been recommended for elimination after national evaluations deemed them ineffective or without demonstrated results. Some of the programs have never been funded by Congress. Still others were pet projects created by members of the Congressional leadership or by past Administrations. These programs are highly restrictive, serving only a limited group of students, or are duplicative of existing, larger federal education programs.  This legislation helps put the priority on effective education programs that work and it gets serious about ending programs that don’t serve students or taxpayers well.  I urge you to join me in support of The Priorities in Education Spending Act.  If you would like to cosponsor the bill, please contact the Committee staff at 5-6558.

Current Cosponsors: Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor, Mr. Pence, Mr. Kline, Mr. Hunter, Mr. McClintock,  Mr. Marchant, Mr. Culberson,  Mr. Lamborn, Ms. Bachmann, Ms. Myrick, Mr. R. Bishop, Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Linder, Mr. Hensarling, Mr. Sam Johnson, Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Chaffetz

Sincerely,

/s/

Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Senior Republican Member

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