With the ever-growing national debt and out-of-control spending, Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the country we leave for our children and grandchildren. We are saddling them with astronomical debt, which means a very different America than the one you or I have grown up with.
“The power should go to the parents. Plain and simple. Every parent. Charter school, public school, home school, private school…you name it. That’s where the power should lie,” said Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) debating the SOAR Act on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Yesterday, for 225 members of Congress (224 Republicans, 1 Democrat), the power did rest in the parents and children of Washington, DC. By a vote of 225-195, the House passed the SOAR Act (H.R.471), thus reauthorizing the successful DC Opportunity Scholarship Program sponsored by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
Later today, the House of Representatives has the opportunity to pass the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, HR 471. This initiative would reauthorize the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP), restoring funding that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats eliminated in 2009. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), not only sponsored this important legislation, but have also spoke passionately about putting children and their parents first when it comes to the choice of their education, not politics and special interests.
DCOSP, created in 2004, has given more than 3,300 District of Columbia students the opportunity to attend higher performance schools. Congressionally mandated evaluations of the program revealed significant gains in academic achievement. Participants also have a 91% graduation rate, compared to the DC Public Schools graduation rate of 55%.
On Friday, the government’s authority to spend money will expire. In an effort to avoid another shutdown – or slowdown, if you will – House Republicans unveiled a 3-week funding extension on Friday. The measure would cut about $6 billion and keep the entire government operational until April 8. Over the weekend, Democrats signaled their support for the measure.
All is well, right? Not quite.
For a variety of reasons, conservatives are becoming increasingly frustrated with the series of stopgap spending measures. On Friday, Heritage Action, FRC Action and the Club for Growth all announced opposition to the measure and their intent to score the vote. As the Politico noted yesterday, conservatives are growing impatient.
The previous Congress, which failed to set a budget or fund the government, punted funding and policy decisions to the current Congress. Conservatives are committed to ensuring their priorities are reflected in any funding measure. Conservatives in Congress cannot blink.
What else to look for this week: