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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Education Jobs Bill

House May Cut Education, Health and Labor Funding by $3.5 Billion

Rep. David Obey (WI), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a hearing on Wednesday that $3.5 billion would be cut from President Barack Obama’s budget request for education, health and labor programs. Obey stated that the need to cut the deficit is being promoted by members from both sides of the aisle and that while many of the requests for additional health, education and labor funding should be funded on their merits, that would not be possible given the political climate.

Administration Lends Support to Education Jobs Bill

Yesterday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to congressional leadership supporting Sen. Harkin’s education jobs bill aimed at helping states and school districts save jobs during the next school year. The Secretary is urging Congress to include $23 billion in supplemental appropriations to preserve education jobs.

Melody Barnes, director of the President’s Domestic Policy Council, also posted a statement on WhiteHouse.gov that calls on Congress to include the education jobs funding in the supplemental appropriations bills. She says, “Our teachers are vital to our nation’s success and if we don’t act now and act boldly, we will not only endanger the future of tens of millions of students but threaten to undermine the recovery of our economy.”

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