DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006--Continued -- (Senate - October 25, 2005)
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Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, Senate amendment No. 2226 will provide Impact Aid to the children of the service personnel in Fort Carson, CO. It will restore $1.2 million in needed educational Impact Aid funding to the El Paso school district. The money for this amendment has already been appropriated and sits within the Department of Education. The El Paso school district educates thousands, serving our men and women at the Fort Carson military base. Many loved ones of the students and staff of the El Paso school district have been deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In fact, over 11,000 soldiers from Fort Carson are currently deployed in Iraq today. That is one-half of the fort's total force.
Due to a technical error, the Department of Education denied the school district access to $1.2 million set aside for that school district's program. The result is the district may have to eliminate as many as 12 teachers and teachers' aides positions. This amendment simply corrects a technical error between the district and the Department of Education and permits the school to access money already set aside for it.
I note, too, that I have discussed this issue with the HELP Committee.
Chairman Enzi and Ranking Member Kennedy have graciously consented to the inclusion of this amendment on this bill. I have also been in close contact with Senators from Arizona and New Mexico who face similar challenges. They support this measure as well.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set this amendment aside to call up amendment No. 2224 and ask for its immediate consideration.