Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Federal Takeovers

Cathy McMorris Rodgers has made her position clear concerning health care reform. One negative characterization she emphasizes is the government takeover of health care, putting government bureaucrats in charge.

Now many of her own party used that against a bill she co-sponsored. She helped submit The Keeping All Students Safe Act which was recently passed by the House. Here are some of the provisions of that bill.

Establish important minimum federal safety standards in schools, similar to the protections already in place in hospitals and other non-medical community based facilities;

Limit physical restraint and locked seclusion, allowing these interventions only when there is imminent danger of injury, and only when imposed by trained staff;

Prohibit mechanical restraints, such as strapping kids to chairs, as well as restraints that restrict breathing;

Those, along with the rest, sound like reasonable requirements for our schools. But there's this issue of federal government control. 145 Republicans and 8 Democrats voted against it.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested on the House floor last week that the bill would lead to a federal takeover of the education system.

"It’s one thing after another after another after another, and pretty soon its a national curriculum with federal mandates, and imposing cultural impositions at the school level in every accredited district in the country," he said.

"I know it's not the intent of this bill," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), "but the underlying message is you people back in your states and local school boards and local governments are a bunch of morons. You can't figure out that sitting on a precious little child and killing them is inappropriate."

Gohmert's reference to "sitting on a child" comes from an example that the bill's sponsors, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), used to draw attention to the problem of child abuse in schools.

How ironic that members of her own party apply their federal takeover talking point against what certainly appears to be a worthwhile bill.

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