What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : General Education Funding : Vote on a Democratic amendment to the fiscal year 2005 budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 95), to create a reserve fund to finance an increase in the maximum Pell Grant so that it keeps pace with the rate of increase in public college tuition. (2004 senate Roll Call 51)
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Vote on a Democratic amendment to the fiscal year 2005 budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 95), to create a reserve fund to finance an increase in the maximum Pell Grant so that it keeps pace with the rate of increase in public college tuition.
senate Roll Call 51     Mar 11, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This vote on an amendment, offered by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to the fiscal year 2005 budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 95), would have created a reserve fund to finance an increase in the maximum Pell Grant so that it keeps pace with the rate of increase in public college tuition. His amendment also would extend Pell Grants to 500,000 new recipients, and close certain tax loopholes in order to pay for $4.9 billion in the additional education spending. Kennedy's amendment was rejected 44-53, with one Republican siding with Democrats. Progressives, led by Kennedy, made the case that the amendment was needed to help offset rising school tuitions. Kennedy said, "It is about the children whose family average income is $15,000 a year. It is about 4.8 million children in this country who receive Pell grants -- young people, gifted, talented, bright, smart, who come from families with limited incomes and cannot survive even with the Pell grants, unless they get additional help because of the increase in the cost of tuition over the last three years." Conservatives, led by Senate Budget Chairman Don Nickles (R-Okla.), argued that Kennedy's plan would increase the cost of Pell grants from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2005 by 48.2 percent. "That is a very significant increase, 48 percent in 1 year," Nickles said, adding that Pell grant funding already "has gone up dramatically" under the fiscal year 2005 budget resolution. "There has to be some kind of limit." Nickles interpretation of Kennedy's amendment is, "We want to raise taxes. This is kind of clever, but it does not sell," Nickles said. The amendment failed 44-53, preserving President Bush's tax breaks for millionaires.

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