In one of the most outrageous displays of arrogance by Washington in recent memory - which is saying a lot, of course - the House Democrats have inserted specific language on top of $10 Billion in funding for education included in a War Supplemental bill targeted directly and solely at Texas - language that demands the money be spent in certain ways.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “The proposal would allow the federal government to give money directly to school districts, provided Perry certifies that the federal support will not replace the state money. Perry must also agree not to proportionally cut education funding more than any other item in the next budget. While the measure includes $10 billion in education funding nationally, Texas is the only state that must make such a certification before receiving the federal funding.”
The thing is, besides being an affront to federalism and our right to live free from far away know-it-alls in DC telling us what to do, Perry’s office makes the good point that, “[t]he House-passed version requires that the governor guarantee the Legislature will provide a certain level of state funding, which is prohibited by the Texas Constitution…”
Maybe the Democrats in the U.S. House were just feeling giddy last week on the eve of the holiday weekend. Maybe wacky would be a better word.
Or maybe they knew what they were doing Thursday when they passed an appropriations bill with provisions that would require Texas and Republican Gov. Rick Perry to jump through hoops required of no other state or governor for a share of $10 billion in education funds.
The best explanation for their behavior may be that they sought to embarrass Perry because this year, he refused to apply for a share of $4.35 billion in federal economic stimulus money dedicated to President Barack Obama's Race to the Top education reform program.
But their ham-handed effort can only embarrass themselves. And in the process they have lobbed a softball that Perry can knock out of the park as part of his continuing campaign to depict Washington as an out-of-control, power-hungry monster.
But it is not the place of Congress to tell Texas how to construct its state budget. Perry couldn't commit to anything about state spending in 2012 and 2013 if he wanted to. That's the Texas Legislature's job.
Democrats are setting Texas school district pay scales and budgets out of the Congress in D.C. These folk, even those from Texas, know no shame when it comes to destroying the rights of Texans to govern themselves.
The only solution for Texas? Defeat every Democrat on the ballot.