WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 24, 2009
Dear Republican Colleague:
I am writing to invite you to cosponsor the Priorities in Education Spending Act which would repeal a number of ineffective and unnecessary federal education programs. With congressional Democrats on an out-of-control spending spree, this bill will stand 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. The national debt now stands at more than $11 trillion, and this year alone, the federal government is projected to run a deficit of close to $1.8 trillion. Now, is the time to get the federal budget under control. President Obama has 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.” To aid in that effort, I plan to introduce the Priorities in Education Spending Act, legislation that could save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion this year alone. In the era of trillion dollar spending bills, $1.4 billion may seem like just a drop in the bucket, but I believe every dollar – and certainly, every billion – counts.
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.
The Priorities in Education Spending Act repeals 68 education programs authorized under the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency. A number of the targeted programs 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.
The legislation will put students first when it comes to federal education spending which means supporting programs that will serve them today without saddling them with overwhelming debt tomorrow. If you would like to cosponsor the bill, please contact the Committee staff at 5-6558.
Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Senior Republican Member