Friday, June 20, 2008

Improving Head Start? Walberg Votes No

Once again, I'm going through old votes that I didn't write about before. Frankly, I'm amazed that I missed this one. I could have sworn I wrote about it. Even so, this one deserves a LOT of attention.

As a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Tim Walberg gets an opportunity every now and then to demonstrate just how far out of the mainstream he is. He showed us this once last year as the sole member of the committee to vote against collective bargaining rights for firefighters.

On March 14, 2007, the Committee on Education and Labor examined HR 1429, the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act. The bill authorized funds for the Head Start program through 2012, including provisions for increasing the number of students enrolled and increasing training for the teachers in Head Start programs. The committee approved the bill, by a vote of 42 to 1.

Can you guess who that lonely "no" vote was?

Congressman Tim Walberg voted No.

When the bill was brought to the full House on May 2, 2007, it was passed by a vote of 365 to 48.

Congressman Tim Walberg voted No.

When the bill went to the Senate, it was passed with unanimous consent.

Then the House and Senate met in conference to resolve differences between the bills.

The Senate approved the conference report by a vote of 95 to 0. The only five senators (Biden, Clinton, Dodd, McCain, Obama) not voting probably would have supported it, but they were busy running for president.

The House approved the conference report by a vote of 381 to 36.

Congressman Tim Walberg voted No.

Let's review this. Head Start is a program dedicated to helping low-income children get a little extra help prior to beginning school. Almost everyone supports the program.

But not Tim Walberg.

For a brief essay about why Head Start is a good thing, read this essay by Jack Lessenberry.

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