Tom Lantos on Education
Democratic Representative (CA-12)
Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
Veto override on the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and Labor. Original bill passed & was then vetoed by the President.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle,
this bill contains what can rightly be considered lower priority & duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Reference: American Competitiveness Scholarship Act;
Bill Veto override on H.R. 3043
; vote number 2007-1122
on Nov 15, 2007
Voted YES on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.
Amendment to preserve the authority of the US Supreme Court to decide any question pertaining to the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill underlying this amendment would disallow any federal courts from hearing cases concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. This amendment would make an exception for the Supreme Court.
Proponents support voting YES because:
I believe that our Pledge of Allegiance with its use of the phrase "under God" is entirely consistent with our Nation's cultural and historic traditions. I also believe that the Court holding that use of this phrase is unconstitutional is wrong. But this court-stripping bill is not necessary. This legislation would bar a Federal court, including the Supreme Court, from reviewing any claim that challenges the recitation of the Pledge on first amendment grounds.
If we are a Nation of laws, we must be committed to allowing courts to decide what the law is. This bill is unnecessary and probably unconstitutional.
It would contradict the principle of Marbury v. Madison, intrude on the principles of separation of powers, and degrade our independent Federal judiciary.
Opponents support voting NO because:
I was disappointed 4 years ago when two judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Pledge, our statement of shared national values, was somehow unconstitutional. I do not take legislation that removes an issue from the jurisdiction of this court system lightly. This legislation is appropriate, however, because of the egregious conduct of the courts in dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance.
By striking "under God" from the Pledge, the Court has shown contempt for the Congress which approved the language, and, more importantly, shows a complete disregard for the millions of Americans who proudly recite the Pledge as a statement of our shared national values and aspirations. No one is required to recite the Pledge if they disagree with its message.
Reference: Watt amendment to Pledge Protection Act;
Bill H R 2389
; vote number 2006-384
on Jul 19, 2006
Voted YES on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.
This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say: The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your
religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
The substitute's opponents say:
Reference: Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act;
Bill HR 609 Amendment 772
; vote number 2006-080
on Mar 30, 2006
- I feel it is not totally the Federal Government's responsibility to provide for all of higher education. The substitute has three critical flaws.
- 1.The name itself, "Reverse the Raid on Student Aid." Don't believe the hype. Not one student in America will receive less financial aid under our bill. Not one.
- 2. This amendment does not retain the $6,000 maximum Pell Grant award that our legislation has. In fact, they stay with the same old $5,800 maximum award.
- 3. It says that we are going to have a 3.4% interest rate for 1 year that is going to cost $2.7 billion, but it has no offsets whatsoever. How do they pay for it? They don't tell us.
Voted NO on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.
Children's Prayers Resolution: Expressing the sense of Congress that schools should allow children time to pray for, or silently reflect upon, the country during the war against terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Isakson, R-GA;
; vote number 2001-445
on Nov 15, 2001
Voted YES on requiring states to test students.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH;
Bill HR 1
; vote number 2001-145
on May 23, 2001
Voted NO on allowing vouchers in DC schools.
Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Armey, R-TX;
Bill HR 4380
; vote number 1998-411
on Aug 6, 1998
Voted NO on vouchers for private & parochial schools.
Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Riggs, R-CA;
Bill HR 2746
; vote number 1997-569
on Nov 4, 1997
Voted NO on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.
Motion to add language to the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" to give federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.
Bill HR 1804
; vote number 1994-85
on Mar 23, 1994
Teacher development grants to improve math & science classes.
Lantos co-sponsored the National Improvement in Mathematics and Science Teaching Act:
Title: To improve the quality and scope of science and mathematics education.
Summary: Directs the Secretary of Education to:
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR117 on Jan 3, 2001
- make grants to States for improvement and recruitment of quality teachers in science and mathematics education;
- make grants to States for professional development of mathematics and science teachers;
- establish 15 John Glenn Academies, for summer workshops and intensive, year-long fellowships for 3,000 individuals to prepare them to meet State certification requirements;
- establish and operate a National Clearinghouse of Best Practices to coordinate successful and proven professional development opportunities for teachers;
- make grants to improve science and mathematics education, and encourage more students to enter the fields of mathematics, science, and technology;
- make grants to promote both achievement equity and gender equity in mathematics and science education;
- establish a tax credit for businesses that employ science, mathematics, and technology teachers in summer fellowships related to their fields of teaching; and
- establish a fair market value tax deduction for charitable contributions of science, mathematics, or technology equipment to public elementary and secondary schools.
Rated 100% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.
Lantos scores 100% by the NEA on public education issues
The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:
To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003
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Page last updated: 3/27/2008