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FACT CHECK: Vitter Distorts Record on Education

FACT CHECK: Vitter Distorts Record on Education

Summary: At tonight’s debate, Sen. David Vitter lied about John Bel Edwards’ education record.

While John Bel Edwards has fought to invest in stronger schools in Louisiana, Senator Vitter has a long track record of votes in Washington, DC to cut school funding and hurt our students.

Vitter himself said he was “not eager to pour more money” into Louisiana’s education system – even as the state’s students and teacher are suffering through massive cuts. Vitter voted to cut education and training by 53% and to lower Pell Grants for 9.6 million students nationwide.

 

VITTER REPEATEDLY VOTED AGAINST EDUCATION FUNDING AND WAS “NOT EAGER TO POUR MORE MONEY” INTO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

 

Vitter Said He Was “Not Eager To Pour More Money” Into Louisiana’s Education System. “Rep. David Vitter , R-Metairie, argued that Holden’s approach to hiking the property taxes of major industries would not bring tax equity.  Vitter said businesses already pay the bulk of the property taxes in the state and that Holden’s bill wouldn’t improve that situation.  In addition, Vitter said he is ‘not eager to pour more money’ into Louisiana’s current education system.” [The Advocate, 5/13/98]

 

Vitter Voted Against More Than $100 Million In Funding For School Districts With A Large Percentage Of Low-Income Students. In March 2013, Vitter voted against: “Harkin, D-Iowa, amendment no. 53 to the Mikulski, D-Md., substitute amendment no. 26. The Harkin amendment would add $107 million for Title I funding, for school districts with a large percentage of low-income students and $14 million for TRIO, a program that helps students from disadvantaged communities get into college. It would add $125 million for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and $107 million for child care programs. It would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by $211 million and provide a $29 million increase for the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The amendment would be offset by a 0.127 percent cut to certain programs.” The amendment was rejected by a vote of 54-45 (D 52-0; R 0-45; I 2-0). [CQ, 3/14/13; S. Amdt. 53 to S. Amdt. 26 to H.R. 933, Vote 36, 3/14/13]

 

Vitter Voted For The Ryan Budget, Which Would Cut Education And Training By 53%. In April 2011, the Center for American Progress issued an analysis of the Ryan plan, stating “The Ryan-Republican budget cuts per capita investment in education and training by 53 percent, cutting from a current level of $416 per person to a mere $197 per person by 2021.” [H.Con.Res. 34, Vote 77, 5/25/11; Center for American Progress, 4/14/2011]

 

  • Ryan Budget Would Cut Investments From K-12 Education. “This proposal would cut investments away from kindergarten through 12th grade education nationally, including education for children with disabilities and investments in educational innovation. It also would take resources away from programs investing in promote adult education and literacy, career and technical education, community colleges, postsecondary education, and student aid. Cutting investment like this will mean fewer people will have access to the education and skills training they need to fuel economic productivity and compete for good, secure jobs in labor market.” [Center for American Progress, 4/14/2011]

 

  • Office of Management And Budget Blog: Ryan Budget Would Cut “More Than $115 Billion” From The Department Of Education And “Deeply Undermine K-12 Education And College Opportunity.” The Office of Management and Budget wrote in a March 2012 blog post that under the Ryan budget “The Department of Education would be cut by more than $115 billion over a decade. 6 million students would see their Pell Grants fall by more than $1000 in 2014, and, over the next decade, over one million students would lose support altogether. This would derail bipartisan education reforms and deeply undermine K-12 education and college opportunity.” [Office of Management and Budget, Blog, 3/21/12]

 

Vitter Voted Against $5 Billion Increase In Title I Education Funding. In October 2005, Vitter voted against: “Byrd, D-W.Va., motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Specter, R-Pa., point of order against Byrd amendment no. 2275. The Byrd amendment would add $5 billion for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, split evenly between targeted grants and finance incentives.” The motion was rejected 44-51. [CQ, 10/26/05; S. Amdt. 2275 to H.R. 3010, Vote 269, 10/26/05]

 

Vitter Voted Against $500 Million for Education Funding. In March 2005, Vitter voted against: “Specter, R-Pa., amendment no. 173 that would increase fiscal 2006 funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1.5 billion and education funding by $500 million. It would be offset by a $2 billion cut in the allowances account.” The amendment was adopted 63-37. [CQ, 3/16/05; S. Amdt. 173 to S. Con. Res. 18, Vote 56, 3/16/05]

 

Vitter Voted Against Increasing Education Funding By $4.75 Billion To Restore It To The Previous Year’s Funding Level. In March 2005, Vitter voted against: “Bingaman, D-N.M., amendment no. 143 that would increase education funding for fiscal 2006 by $4.75 billion, restoring it to fiscal 2005 levels, and reduce the federal debt by $4.75 billion. It would be offset by a $9.5 billion reduction in tax cuts.” The amendment was rejected 44-49.  [CQ, 3/14/05; S. Amdt. 143 to S. Con. Res. 18, Vote 45, 3/14/05]