Stop D.C. Vouchers Home
Voucher Proposal for DC
Status of D.C. Vouchers
Timeline of Vouchers
Who Opposes Vouchers
Voucher Analysis
What You Can Do:Vouchers
New!!! Email the Senate
 Status of D.C. Vouchers


As of Monday May 10, 2004.

The voucher plan fails to attract projected numbers of applicants.


Democratic presidential candidates oppose private school vouchers; Dean condemns D.C. voucher plan


Senate approves vouchers


House approves the omnibus spending bill which approves vouchers for D.C.; Senate likely to rubber stamp.



Reports indicate that voucher proponents in the Senate may attach the D.C. school voucher plan to the omnibus federal spending package, risking a shut-down of the federal government.   Congressional proponents push vouchers after weeks of failure to gain support on a vouchers only legislation.


The Senate's Tuesday debate on school voucher legislation for D.C., S. 1583, resulted in what many are calling a 'retreat' from the voucher legislation attached to the D.C. Fiscal Year 2004 budget bill. See press release.


As of Thursday, Septemer 25, 2003

Vouchers Are Bogged Down in the Senate.  Debate held today, September 25, 2003.
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) and Senator Carper (D-De) are swing votes to pressure in order to thwart D.C. vouchers.


As of Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Senate may vote on the voucher legislation, S. 1583.  See the  text of legislation here.


As of September 9, 2003

The full House of Representatives last night, Sept. 9, approved school vouchers by one vote while 38 African American members attended a presidential debate in Baltimore. House approved the ill by one vote 209 to 208  (A preliminary vote that advanced the voucher plan passed narrowly on Friday).  READ COMMENTARY!

See how Members of the House voted on the voucher legislation.

With the help of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca), the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee has approved voucher legislation, bringing the bill to the full Senate and closer to becoming a law -- the first time that federal funds ($13 million in the Senate; $10 million in the House) would ever be  used for private school tuition subsidies



As of Friday September 5, 2003.


A Senate Committee has approved vouchers for D.C. by a margin of 16-12.  Senator Feinstein (D-Ca), Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) voted across party lines to support the measure, and Senator Landrieu (D- La) abstained. Senator Specter voted against his party and the voucher plan. The voucher measure awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, and is expected there later today.  Read more here.


Read what you can do here.


Voucher* Status.  Vouchers Now Linked to the D.C. Appropriations Bill.


As of August 4, 2003 


On July 24th, the House of Representatives delayed a vote on the Fiscal Year 2004 D.C. Appropriations bill and the underlying voucher plan for D.C..  The House was expected to authorize a voucher plan by attaching the Davis voucher plan (HR 2556) to the $10 million earmarked in the D.C. budget bill, HR 2765.


In the Senate Appropriations committee, the voucher plan has stalled the entire D.C. Appropriations bill (HR 2765) in that committee.  A Senate amendment to the D.C. budget bill funding a voucher plan in the amount of $13 million is opposed by Democrats, with Senator Dianne Feinstein as a potential swing vote.  It is expected that the Senate committee will not hold a final vote on the bill and the underlying voucher amendment, until after the summer recess. 


What Happens Next: See Whose Votes Count!


Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) is expected to oppose the voucher proposal along with the Democrats; and if Democrats stand together, vouchers could be defeated in the Appropriations committee by a margin of one vote .  If, however, Senator Feinstein (D-Calif) breaks with her colleagues, even with Sen. Specter's opposition, vouchers would pass the committee: with13 Democrats and 1 Republican opposing and 14 Republicans and Democrat supporting vouchers.


Senator Durbin (D- IIlinois) is expected to offer amendments to eliminate the voucher amendment from the D.C. Appropriations bill.  The 14 Democrats and 15 Republicans are deadlocked on vouchers. 


In the House, Rep. Norton is expected to offer an amendment opposing the House voucher plan.


What Can You Do? 


U.S. Senate


Urge all Senate Appropriations members to oppose vouchers.


Urge Senate Democrats and Sen. Arlen Specter (R- Pa) to steadfastly oppose the voucher plan.


Urge the Senate to support Senator Durbin's amendments to eliminate the voucher plan for D.C.. 


Urge Senator Feinstein to reject vouchers and stand behind her 30 year record, D.C. residents and the Democratic colleagues who oppose vouchers.


U.S. House of Representatives 


Urge Members of the House to support the Norton and all amendments to oppose vouchers.


Background of Legislative Activities


The U.S. House and U.S. Senate have now attached a voucher amendment to HR-2765, the D.C. Appropriations bill, (through which Congress approves D.C.'s spending of local and federally raised tax dollars).  This use of congressional riders has been a popular vehicle for implementing programs that lack local D.C. resident support.  The inclusion of the hotly debated voucher plan in the D.C. budget bill has stalled the legislation that authorizes all spending for the District of Columbia.


HR 2765  The D.C. Appropriations bill contains an amendment to fund a voucher plan (HR 2556) and awaits

               a vote in the House when Congress reconvenes after the summer recess.  The Senate version of the

               bill contains a $13 million appropriation for school vouchers.


HR 2556. The Davis voucher plan was passed by the House Government Reform Committee by a margin of

               one vote and has proceeded to the full House for consideration as has the D.C.            

               Appropriations bill.  This plan would fun vouchers at $15 million a year for the next five years.


HR 684.   The Flake voucher plan, to provide $7 million in funds to support a voucher program in the first year,

               $ 8 million in the second and $10 million in each of 3 years.  This bill has been referred to the House

               Government Reform Committee. This is dormant and not likely to advance.


S4, Part B  The Judd voucher plan.  This would authorize and appropriate $7 million to fund a voucher

               program.  It would fund a program through FY 2009.  Part B of S.4, is authored by Sen. Judd Gregg 

               and approves $55 million in funds for the voucher plan, over the next five years.  This legislation has 

               been referred to the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions committee. Now dormant, this

               legislation should be monitored.




Action is urgently needed prior to the reconvening of Congress to vote on D.C. Vouchers.  Please take action now.


*The voucher proposals for Washington, D.C. all originate in the United States Congress.  There has been no local legislation to implement the taxpayer funded private school subsidy plan.  The are two major congressional plans in Congress to institute school vouchers for D.C. Both pieces of legislation would provide taxpayer funded grants to D.C. students to attend private schools.   The private schools are not required to accept school vouchers; private schools are free to choose or reject students with vouchers just as they are those without.  Voucher plans typically permit discrimination in admissions on gender, sexual orientation, disability bases and use federal funds to pay for religious instruction.




Related Links

Call These Senators:

Call Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) and Senator Carper (D-De) at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 225-3121 to urge them to vote to stop D.C. vouchers.


The News is Dire.  We Must Act Now!  Read More Below and Tell A Friend: 

Email the Senate!  NEW!!


Please call your member of Congress at (202)224-3121 and ask the Capitol Switchboard Operator to connect to your Congressman in the House and your Senator.  Tell them to vote 'no' on D.C. vouchers.

Steve O'Sullivan, member, Stop D.C. Vouchers,
Washington Post,

Saturday, September 6, 2003; Page A17



Rep. Jeff Flake and D.C. Vouchers


Action Needed:

Call Senator Feinstein (D- Ca) to urge opposition to vouchers: (202)224-3841.

Call Senator Specter (R-Pa) to thank him for opposing vouchers.  (202)224-3121.

Call Senator Mary Landrieu to ask her to oppose the voucher plan.  (202) 224-3121

Call Senator Durbin (D- Ill)to encourage him to oppose vouchers through a Senate amendment. (202)224-3121

Call Senator Robert Byrd (D- WV) to ask him to oppose the voucher plan  (202)224-3121.

Call these Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and urge them to follow the will of D.C. residents and oppose the voucher plan in Congress:


Call Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mt.) at 202-224-2644 to encourage him to oppose voucher plan.


Call Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) at 202-224-5721 to oppose the voucher plan for D.C.


Sen. Ben Campbell (R-Co) at 202-224-5852 and voice your opposition.