THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011

For Immediate Release:

March 30, 2011

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.:
Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

H.Res. 186 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 471 - Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (Rep. Boehner - Oversight and Government Reform) (One Hour of Debate) The Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that would provide for one hour of debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Rule makes in order one amendment, offered by Ms. Holmes Norton (DC), which is debatable for 40 minutes equally divided between the proponent and an opponent. The Rule also allows one motion to recommit, with instructions. The Rules committee voted down a motion offered by Mr. McGovern, which would have allowed for consideration of H.R. 471 under an open Rule.

H.R. 471 - Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (Rep. Boehner - Oversight and Government Reform) (One Hour of Debate) H.R. 471 would authorize $300 million for FY2012-2016 ($60 million per year). This authorization would reauthorize and expand the expired DC voucher program (DC Opportunity Scholarship Program), which was authorized in 2003, but expired for students not already in the program in 2009. The DC OSP would provide for government funds to be used to pay tuition at DC private schools for students currently attending DC public schools. It provides an equal portion of the funds for DC public schools, DC charter schools and for DC private school vouchers.

This legislation does not include a plan to create jobs, and it increases the deficit. Instead of focusing on jobs, the Majority is pushing its own priorities on the District of Columbia through this misguided legislation. Some of the negative effects of H.R. 471 include:

  • Increasing the deficit. Despite the GOP Leadership promising to offset any new authorized spending in this Congress, this bill does not contain any offset. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this legislation will increase spending by $300 million over the next 5 years.
     
  • Putting a higher value on students participating in the voucher program.The bill would give 1/3 of all federal dollars available in this bill to a very small number of students in DC (Approximately 1%). This is one of the reasons why Rep. Platts (PA) opposes the bill and it was reported out of committee with bipartisan opposition.
     
  • Making it more difficult for DC public schools to receive federal funds than it would be for private schools participating in the voucher program. H.R. 471includes more stringent reporting and compliance requirements for DC public schools. It does not permit withholding the federal funds under the Act from participating private schools for non-compliance, but permits withholding the funds from the DC public schools and DC public charter schools for non-compliance.
The Rule provides for one amendment in the nature of a substitute:
  • Holmes Norton Substitute Amendment (40 minutes). The amendment would redirect all of the federal funds made available for private schools participating in the voucher program towards DC public schools and DC charter schools. The funding would be divided evenly between DC public and charter schools.
Bill Text for H.R. 471:
HTML Version
PDF Version    
Background for H.R. 471:
House Report HTML Version
CRS Report - Legislation to Reauthorize the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program in the 112th Congress
List of Amendments – List of amendment summaries for H.R. 471
 
Suspension (1 bill)
  1. H.R. 872 - Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (Rep. Gibbs - Transportation and Infrastructure/Agriculture)
 
The Daily Quote

“Leaders of the Tea Party Patriots are planning a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest House Republicans' willingness to compromise on spending cuts in the federal budget….The rally is intended to hold Republicans to a series of campaign pledges - including the Republican ‘Pledge to America,’ which promised to cut $100 billion from the federal budget in the 2011 fiscal year.”

   -   CBS News, 3/24/11