Republicans Pulled Education Measure That Would Have Empowered Low-Income
Parents with Educational Opportunities
For Immediate Release.
September 17, 2002 On
September 12, 2002, children of low-income parents were tragically left
behind academically as House Republicans failed to demonstrate leadership
when they pulled the Back to School Tax Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 5193).
One reason for this given by Republicans was that it was simply
a matter of absenteeism as 12 Republicans were not present. After going home for commemorations of the September 11th
attacks, and since the House was not in session on Friday, September
13, 2002, this was a relatively minor education bill and the only legislation
before the House. As a result,
more than 30 representatives did not return to Washington.
The House Republican leaders knew of the events of September
11th and should have scheduled the vote on the measure for
another date because of the possibility of not having enough votes to
pass it. Democrats opposed the measure arguing it was
just a private school subsidy. Furthermore,
if the bill does come up for a vote and is passed, there is no chance
the measure would become law because it had no chance of passing the
For educational expenses
(that include tuition for private or religious schools, tutoring, supplies,
uniforms, transportation and computer equipment, for qualified parents
of students in kindergarten through twelfth grade) the measure would
provide a tax deduction of up to $3,000.
This deduction would be available to individuals with adjusted
gross incomes of $20,000 or less, or couples who earn $40,000 or less.
children are having to attend public school against their parents’ wishes
because parents cannot afford private school tuition as a result of
the current economic downturn. Most
low-income Americans do not earn high income salaries necessary to send
their children to private schools as the majority of Congress does. Yet sadly, when the House had an opportunity to empower low-income
parents to give their children educational opportunity representatives
were absent. However, when it
comes to increasing their salary, no lack of effort was demonstrated.
So often, politicians
say their whole purpose of pursuing a career in politics is to help
low-income Americans. Yet when given the opportunity as they had
with this bill, they failed. This
measure would have given these children’s parents a chance to pursue
educational choice or to provide them with tools they need to gain the
skills students require to survive in the twenty-first century. Such
opportunities would provide for a better education that would allow
these students to help themselves to strive for a chance to earn a higher
income than their parents. However,
the House could not find the time to give these low-income taxpayers
educational tax relief that they really needed so that they could give
their children educational opportunities they currently cannot afford.
"It is time for
these hard-working taxpaying Americans to realize that lawmakers only
care for themselves and how Washington can advance their careers not
the careers of low-income children," said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski,
president of the American Voice Institute Of Public Policy.
So when November comes, low-income Americans should send a clear
message to their representatives and say, “We do not have time for you.” They should vote against incumbent lawmakers
who feel that tax-relief for educational expenses is not worth their
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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