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Centrist Coalition Recommends Stimulus Cuts

February 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

A bipartisan group of centrist senators, including Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and others, is circulating a discussion document that suggests cutting $77.9 billion of spending from the stimulus package.

View the full document at TPM>>

The ad-hoc coalition, led by Sen. Nelson, has come together to “cut out spending that doesn’t deal with the immediate economic troubles we face.” Their cuts they suggest are focused mainly on education funding. Here are some of the biggest items they have singled out for removal:

  • $24.8 billion in state stabilization funding (for state education funds – distributed based on state population)
  • $15 billion in state incentive grants (for state education programs that meet certain criteria spelled out in the bill – placing highly-effective teachers in high-poverty areas, meeting standards related to No Child Left Behind, etc.)
  • $6.8 billion for IDEA (special-ed funding)
  • $6.5 billion for Title I funding (school’s with a high percentage of students from low-income families)
  • $5.5 billion in discretionary grants for transportation infrastructure projects
  • $4.5 billion for Title 17 EISA energy technology loan guarantee program
  • $1.4 billion for the National Science Foundation

On a related note, ProPublica has released a list of earmark-like funding that has made its way into the bill. It looks like there is some cross-over between the ProPubilca list and the Nelson-Collins document, but that some of the “earmarks” would remain funded.

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