John Fund reports that congressional Republicans increased the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights with a very generous budget increase last year. Fund takes up the matter in the NR column “How Republicans feed the beast of political correctness.”
OCR is perhaps the most left-wing office in the federal bureaucracy. Bankrolling it that way Congress did was an egregious error (for which they were rewarded with the transgender guidance). This would be understandable if Congress were in the hands of the Democratic Party. As Republicans rule the roost, however, this seriously discredits congressional Republicans.
Fund puts it this way: “If Republicans in Congress wonder why so many conservatives are frustrated with them, here is one reason: GOP lawmakers generously fund the Obama administration’s most out-of-control elements while slapping down the conservatives who try to warn them away from such misjudgments.”
Who raised the red flag in this case? Fund notes that Civil Rights Commissioners Peter Kirsanow and Gail Heriot wrote a letter last year to Appropriations Committee chairmen warning them against giving OCR a huge budget increase. They protested the budget increase as a bad, bad idea.
The Appropriations Committee chairmen not only approved they OCR budget increase, however, they also slapped Kirsanow and Heriot down by including a line in the Commission’s budget commanding us not to send them letters on Commission letterhead.
Kirsanow and Heriot had committed the ancient offense of lèse majesté. Forgive them, your highnesses.
This year the Senate bill again gives OCR a raise. Even worse, Kirsanow and Heriot remain unforgiven. The Senate bill requires the Staff Director of the Civil Rights Commission to report any violations of the ban on the use of letterhead by individual commissioners.
Note well: whenever Peter and Gail write on letterhead, the letter always begins with the sentence, “We write as two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and not on behalf of the Commission as a whole.” As Fund observes, only an illiterate could fail to understand that.
House Republicans may have learned something. I understand that House Republicans are trying to take back last year’s 7 percent budget increase. Fund notes that the latest budget increase being proposed by the GOP Senate is “only” 3 percent. I would say that’s at least 3 percent too much.
Don’t just sit there, do something. Please let your Republican Senators and congressman (if you have one) know what you think.