INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2003
Mr. CARPER. Madam President, as a former Governor for Delaware and chairman of the National Governors Association, for a long time I have supported full funding for IDEA. In fact, when Senator Gregg was Congressman GREGG, we served together in the House, and we talked about full funding for IDEA. We talked about the Government's commitment to 40 percent of the funding for special education and that we weren't coming close to it. Today, we are actually making progress in getting closer to that number. We are about halfway there. We have a good way to go. Senator Harkin's and Senator Hagel's amendment will take us where we need to go.
I rise to say I would like to be able to offer an amendment to the Harkin-Hagel amendment, but I cannot do it. Under the unanimous consent agreement, this pay-go amendment is precluded. Since I cannot offer it, I ask unanimous consent that this amendment be printed in the RECORD.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
(Purpose: To pay for mandatory full funding of part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by restoring the top income tax rate to its pre-2001 level)
At the end add the following:
SEC. __. RESTORATION OF HIGHEST INCOME TAX RATE TO PRE-2001 LEVEL.
(a) IN GENERAL.-The last column in the table contained in section 1(i)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to reductions in rates after June 30, 2001) is amended by striking "35.0%" and inserting "39.6%".
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2004.
Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I printed this amendment for Senator Chafee, myself, and Senator Feingold, who have been among the champions for the pay-go principle. I think if things are worth doing, we ought to pay for them. If it is worth investing more money in our efforts in Iraq, we ought to pay for it. If it is worth funding special education, we ought to pay for that. I think that argument goes for both meritorious causes.
The thing about pay-go is that it calls for a 60-vote margin in order to bust the budget and the caps. We used to operate under these guidelines throughout the 1990s, when we went from huge deficits to balancing the budget.
Pay-go lapsed in 2001. We need to restore it. One of the issues being discussed and debated now in the conference on the budget resolution is whether to reestablish the pay-go principle. It ought to be restored and reestablished.
Today, rather than being denied the opportunity to offer this amendment because of the procedures we are operating under, we would be able to cite the Budget Act pay-go principles and automatically have a 60-vote procedure before us. Having said that, we are operating under a rule that will-in this instance at least-require 60 votes, so that threshold of a 60-vote supermajority will apply even without pay-go.
I will vote for this amendment. I just wish we had the pay-as-you-go principle in place so we would not be denied the opportunity to offer this amendment and we could offer it routinely. That is what I wanted to say today. I especially thank Senator Baucus who was in line ahead of me.
I yield the floor.