News in Brief
Senate Approves Spending Boost for U.S. Education Department
The U.S. Senate approved a measure last week that would provide $150 billion in discretionary spending for the federal departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services in fiscal 2008. The bill was approved Oct. 23 on a vote of 75-19.
The measure includes $60 billion in discretionary spending for the Education Department, a 4.3 percent increase over fiscal 2007. In July, the House of Representatives approved a $62 billion funding measure for the department, 7.8 percent above fiscal 2007. The bills will need to be reconciled in a conference committee. President Bush has threatened to veto either version of the Labor-HHS-Education measure because they exceed his fiscal 2008 budget request for those programs.
The administration proposed $56 billion for the Education Department, a 2.6 percent decrease from fiscal 2007. ("Bush, Democrats Face Education Spending Showdown," Oct. 24, 2007.)
The 2008 fiscal year began Oct. 1. Congress has extended funding for most federal programs at existing levels until mid-November.
Vol. 27, Issue 10, Page 4