Education-Funding Bill Awaits Bush’s Signature

December 04, 1991 1 min read

WASHINGTON--President Bush last week signed into law a $205- billion social-services bill for fiscal year 1992 that would provide $30.5 billion for Education Department programs.

The House overwhelmingly approved the bill, HR 3839, by a vote of 364 to 58 on Nov. 22. A short time later the Senate approved the bill by a voice vote.

The bill won Mr. Bush’s approval because it had been stripped of a controversial provision that would have repealed a federal regulation that bars the discussion of abortion in federally funded family-planning clinics.

President Bush vetoed the original social-services spending bill, HR 2707, that included the abortion provision. (See Education Week, Nov. 27, 1991 .)

The House tried but failed to override the veto. The vote to override the veto was 276 to 156, well short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Although many Democrats and some Republicans wanted to include the abortion provision in the spending bill, the House leadership felt that removing it would all but ensure approval by the Thanksgiving recess.

‘Heavy Heart’

The bill, said Representative William H. Natcher, the Kentucky Democrat who chairs the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations subcommittee, “represents the best we can do for the many important programs that are funded within it.”

Representative Patricia Schroeder, Democrat of Colorado, summed up the feelings of many Democrats who voted for the bill.

“I will vote for this bill today because every program I really care about is in this bill,” she said. “But it is with a very, very heavy heart.”

No changes were made to the funding levels in the bill.

It includes $6.7 billion for the Chapter 1 compensatory-education program, $2.8 billion for special education, and $2.2 billion for Head Start. (See Education Week, Nov. 6, 1991 .)

A version of this article appeared in the December 04, 1991 edition of Education Week as Education-Funding Bill Awaits Bush’s Signature