After dubbing President Bush’s economic plan the “Leave No Millionaire Behind Act,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-ND), released a stimulus plan that he hopes Democrats can rally around as an alternative to the President’s plan. Adding Daschle’s plan to the mix brings the current total of Democratic economic plans to five, a number that will grow when the three Democratic senators vying for their party’s presidential nomination release their own plans.
The Washington Post had this to say of the Democrats’ situation: “Even though the plans are similar in many respects, the sheer number of them causes Democrats to appear to have more ideas than focus. That puts them at a disadvantage in articulating a clear alternative to President Bush’s plan to speed up income tax cuts and stop taxing dividends.”
Daschle’s plan, which has a 2003 cost of $141 billion, would send $23 billion in aid to states. Of that, $6 billion would be specifically targeted to “keep the promise of No Child Left Behind.” According to his press release, Daschle’s plan would fully fund the major programs in the No Child Left Behind Act. It “will ensure that every classroom is led by a highly qualified teacher; fund after-school and summer school programs to keep kids safe when they are out of school; and fund programs to help rural schools address their unique challenges.” If combined with the additional $6.65 billion increase for education included in the Senate-passed version of the omnibus spending bill, the $6 billion in Daschle’s economic passage would make a significant contribution for programs included in the No Child Left Behind Act.
More on Daschle’s economic plan is available on his Web site at:http://daschle.senate.gov/~daschle/pressroom/releases/03/01/2003124959.html