Thursday, September 24, 2015

Government as Affirming Congressional Identities

Politico has a nice long piece on the many many programs run by the Education Department.  A few excerpts:

"WHAT MAKES IT so difficult to eliminate ineffective and duplicative programs? Politics, mostly. Creating a program can leave a lasting legacy for a lawmaker, something they won’t give up even in the face of evidence that the program doesn’t work. Often times, Congress can’t defund the program until that lawmaker retires.
 It's bipartisan--Obama has tried to consolidate but:
The Senate’s bill[redoing No Child Left Behind], on the other hand, was a compromise between Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The GOP draft bill consolidated or eliminated 21 different programs. But lawmakers effectively renewed most of them during the amendment process, including Physical Education and Ready-to-Learn Television.
They also brought back the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program—renewed thanks to an amendment offered by Barbara Mikulski. It passed unanimously.

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