On Friday chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI), released a new seven month continuing resolution (CR) that proposed to cut an additional $6.5 billion from the current CR. This plan did not include cuts to Tech Prep or Perkins.
Today the Senate voted on both this funding bill as well as H.R. 1, the CR passed by the House last month that would cut FY11 spending levels by $61 billion. H.R. 1 failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 44 to 56, while Sen. Inouye’s bill failed by a vote of 42 to 58. These votes were seen largely as “test votes” to show that in order to pass a funding bill, both chambers must come together to negotiate a compromise that will likely fall somewhere in the middle of these two bills. Congress has until March 18 to pass a funding bill in order to avoid a government shutdown.
“Once it is plain that both parties’ opening bids in this budget debate are non-starters, we can finally get serious about sitting down and narrowing the huge gap that exists between the two sides,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference, in a speech at the Center for American Progress today.
This means that every federal program, including Perkins, is still vulnerable to cuts. It is imperative that we continue our advocacy efforts to make sure that both the House and the Senate understand how important CTE is to their district and state.