Democrats are attempting to torpedo support for war funding by latching another massive spending bill onto the war bill – and blaming lack of support for the war bill on the GOP without telling the public about the wasteful spending bill attached to it.
The stimulus program was the largest one-time infusion of federal education dollars to states and districts in the nation’s history. As the program took shape last year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other officials repeatedly warned states and districts to avoid spending the money in ways that could lead to dislocations when the gush of federal money came to an end.
But from the start, those warnings seemed at odds with the stimulus law’s goal of jump-starting the economy, and the administration trumpeted last fall that school districts had used stimulus money to save, or create, some 250,000 education jobs.
It’s nothing more than a bailout and as this graph explains, a bailout to cover the mistake of schools mismanaging money given to them, even as they were warned by the Department of Education not to spend as they did.
Democrats are playing games with funding our men and women overseas. Instead of allowing the war bill to pass as is they force their opposition to either oppose it or sign on to yet another big spending bill, both alternatives, Democrats know full well, could be used against Republicans.
Obama is making a huge push to support the bailout:
Despite President Obama’s pledge for honest budgeting and billions of dollars in stimulus money spent to save teachers’ jobs, the Education Department is asking for off-the-books emergency funding to keep local districts from laying off school teachers next school year.
An “off the books” infusion.
The request comes just a year after an unprecedented $100 billion in federal stimulus money was allocated to school districts as part of the $863 billion recovery act. Of that amount, $48 billion was designated for saving teachers’ jobs and investing in educational programs. Another $31 billion in stimulus funds were sent to states for Pell grants, competitive funds and programs helping disadvantaged students.
An additional $21 billion in stimulus money is still available but not yet obligated for district expenses, according to the U.S. Education Department.
And it’s likely that this round of funding would be frittered away, just like the last round, and the round before that. Money isn’t solving the problem of mismanagement and tacking it onto a war bill as a way to pass it is a dirty trick. What provision do Democrats value most: supporting our men and women whom they ordered overseas or sending another wave of bailouts to a corrupt educational system which didn’t manage the its last bailout well?
Republicans are calling for a simple war funding bill, one not laden with bailouts:
Giving states another $23 billion in federal education money simply throws more money into taxpayer-funded bailouts when we should be discussing why we aren’t seeing the results we need from the billions in federal dollars that are already being spent,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a statement.
Boehner and other Republicans have called for a “clean” war-spending bill.
“Our troops and the American people need this bill right now, not weeks from now, and certainly not after it’s been loaded up with billions in bailouts,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis (Calif.), the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
Republicans should refuse to play this game and we should refuse to allow our troops – or our children’s education – to be used as pawns.