What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : General Education Funding : S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Fund Perkins Loans for Vocational Education Programs. (2005 senate Roll Call 61)
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S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Fund Perkins Loans for Vocational Education Programs.
senate Roll Call 61     Mar 17, 2005
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Perkins loans are used by millions of individuals to enroll in training programs which offer a wide range of technical and vocational skills. Vocational education programs usually combine classroom instruction, hands-on lab work, and on-the-job training. During debate on the 2006 Budget Resolution-a blueprint for taxing and spending priorities in the upcoming year and beyond-Senator Harkin (D-IA) introduced an amendment which would have increased funding for Perkins Loans under the Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. Harkin pointed out that almost no money was provided in the budget resolution for Perkins loans, a situation which he hoped to correct. In Harkin's view, "vocational education programs are a true lifeline for students at risk of dropping out of school." Progressives supported Harkin's proposal on the merits and noted that while the budget resolution calls for eliminating funding for vocational education, it provides an additional $146 billion in tax cuts over ten years where 97 percent of those benefits go to those earning at least $200,000 a year. Conservatives voted against the vocational education funding. Senator Gregg (R-NH) explained his vote as follows: "It [the Harkin amendment] is well-intentioned. I don't deny that. But its practical implication is that it significantly raises spending and significantly raises taxes and it does not necessarily accomplish the goals which the Senator from Iowa wishes to accomplish." Harkin's amendment was defeated 44-56 and the additional funding for Perkins loans was not added to the 2006 Budget Resolution.

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