Reflecting on values
House Majority Leader Dick Armey has given a lot of thought to the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. And, as always, he's more than willing to share his opinions.
In "Reflections on Values in Society," a paper he released this month, Mr. Armey urges citizens to become reacquainted with the country's founding principles. The outspoken Texas Republican says the Founding Fathers were staunch traditionalists who never meant for the U.S. Constitution to set the stage for indecent and violent actions.
He writes: "Over the years, we've come to be more and more disconnected, more and more accepting of incivility and crudeness, more and more accustomed to an ever-rising level of gratuitous sex and violence in entertainment, more and more blasé about unpunished acts of injustice. Increasingly, the only commonly recognized vice is 'being judgmental.' "
Mr. Armey also calls for passing a juvenile-justice bill that would incarcerate dangerous students, and adopting religious-liberty legislation, tax cuts to allow education savings accounts, and the Straight A's, or Super-Ed-Flex, legislation--a plan to give states more freedom in using federal education dollars.
Raising the caps
Education lobbyists hosted a rally in the Senate Budget Committee's room last week to protest threatened cuts in education spending.
Several prominent members of Congress and leaders of education groups were on hand for the packed event, sponsored by the Committee for Education Funding, which lobbies for increased education spending.
At issue this year is a dramatic reduction in Congress' fiscal 2000 spending allocation for the budget category that includes education. The drop is tied to strict spending caps Congress and the Clinton administration agreed to in 1997. ("Budget Caps Put Lobbies on Red Alert," June 16, 1999.)
"I call upon my colleagues to come together to develop a bipartisan plan to increase the federal investment in education," said Sen. James M. Jeffords, R-Vt., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. On raising the budget caps, Sen. Jeffords said "the question is when," not whether, it should happen.
Rep. John Edward Porter, R-Ill., the chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that addresses education, also spoke.
--Joetta L. Sack & Erik W. Robelen
Vol. 18, Issue 41, Page 26