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Legislative Update: Deficit Committee, Bills Introduced

Congress Appoints Deficit Reduction Committee

The Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling earlier this month, requires Congress to select a bipartisan, bicameral committee to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Congressional leaders this week revealed their picks:

Senate

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
    Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
    Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
    Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
    Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
    Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

House

    Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
    Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
    Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
    Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
    Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
    Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

The co-chairs are Sen. Murray and Rep. Hensarling. The committee has until December 23 to vote on a final bill to reduce the deficit. If the committee cannot come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts or revenue, that will trigger $1.2 trillion in across the board spending cuts that will go into in 2013.

Because of the sheer number of cuts that need to be made to reduce the deficit, there is great potential for Perkins funding to be affected. And if we are not a part of the committee’s cuts, we may be impacted by the across the board cuts that will go into effect if the committee does not meet its $1.5 trillion target.

We encourage you to reach out to your members of Congress, but the committee members in particular, to ask them to preserve Perkins funding. Given that Perkins was cut in FY 2011, we know that we are vulnerable. Now is the time to tell Congress how those cuts and future cuts will hurt CTE students and programs.

Bills Introduced:

Hire, Train, Retain Act
Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH) introduced H.R. 2742, Hire, Train, Retain Act of 2011, which would provide tax incentives to employers for providing training programs for jobs specific to the needs of the employers.

METRICS Act
Senator Richard Blumenthal, Richard (CT) introduced S. 1464, Measuring and Evaluating Trends for Reliability, Integrity, and Continued Success (METRICS) Act of 2011. This bill is designed to help states implement integrated statewide education longitudinal data systems by awarding grants to state educational agencies.

Early Intervention for Graduation Success Act
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) introduced S. 1495, Early Intervention for Graduation Success Act in an effort to curb dropout rates. This bill would amend ESEA to direct competitive grants to states and school districts with the lowest graduation rates for school dropout prevention activities.

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