In the past several days the tax bill extending tax cuts for the wealthy as well as the tax cuts for the middle class was passed, but the DREAM Act was defeated and so was the Child Marriage Bill. The rich will be richer; the kids are in trouble for sure.
So what happened with the kids, as we’ve heard about those tax cuts for weeks and weeks before the critical decision? The Child Marriage Bill was scarcely mentioned on news broadcasts with the hoopla over “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal and the rich folks applauding their big bonus upcoming not just for Christmas but for the next two years.
The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage was put together by a bi-partisan group which the Senate had already passed. Despite the fact 241 Congressman voted in favor of it, and 166 against, the bill failed for insufficient votes.
The bill would have allowed to President to provide assistance “to prevent the incidence of child marriage in developing countries through the promotion of educational, health, economic, social, and legal empowerment of girls and women.” A strategy was also to be undertaken to evaluate human rights practices that included forced marriage. The Republicans put forth a statement on their blog that reminded legislators of the fact most women married by the age of 18 – 20 had been forced into marriage years before.
It was a way to stop human trafficking in girls, through various types of forced marriages. It was killed by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who said it could be used to help girls get abortions, although they were was no wording that opened that door. Ross Lehtinen is the incoming House Foreign Relations Chair.
Now more on the shaft for the kids. The DREAM Actwould have allowed Hispanic youth to obtain citizenship through a series of steps over a six-year period. The requirements for citizenship were that an individual had to either complete college or a two-year military stint and also be of good character. The never-never land of youth with no citizenship had presented serious problems for children of illegal immigrants, with no place to go and no papers to allow them work, school or other options requiring citizenship.
Again it was defeated by Republicans who maintained this would open the door to the parents being granted citizenship as well, although there was no specific language to assume that.
So much for the shaft to the kids on two issues, but what about those tax cuts and what might be the result for them? It turns out, as many people should know but either don’t or don’t care, taxes provide the income base for school and special programs for children, along with a host of other services. With the tax cut extended, and the stimulus funds almost used up, education will get more cuts. Already whole programs at Northwestern University in Natchitoches, Louisiana are gone, while Oregon schools are giving teachers and support staff several days off each month because the state can’t pay the salaries.
So where is the future for kids, when the rich get to keep their money?
We need to tell those little ones there won’t be a Santa again.
How Ileana Ros-Lehtinen killed the bill to prevent forced child marriages
Basic Information About the Dream Act Legislation
Dems Shouldn’t Surrender on Taxes