Details are slowly dribbling out on the key differences between the House and Senate versions of the proposed stimulus bill. But one thing remains true: One man’s pork-barrel funding is another man’s life-sustaining job.
Great Education Colorado laments the loss of $148.4 million in stimulus construction funds for Colorado’s K-12 schools. A Senate compromise over the weekend eventually eliminated that chamber’s entire $16 billion allocation to build and repair the nation’s crumbling school buildings. The House’s proposed $14 billion remains in its bill. Supporters are keeping their fingers crossed that funding can be restored in the regular fiscal year congressional appropriations process.
Eldorado Springs Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, a member of the bipartisan Gang of 20 negotiators, told the Rocky Mountain News that Senate Republicans stripped the funding from the bill because “school construction should be a state responsibility.” That’s a pretty shocking about-face considering how vigorously the GOP pushed No Child Left Behind just seven years ago.
The Senate will take up the stimulus vote again Tuesday. A conference committee of key leaders from each chamber is expected to hammer out a compromise bill Friday.