The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

On the Hill: a Glance at 2011

10 January 2011

On the Hill: a Glance at 2011

Immigration Reform
Jan 7 – After years of debate the DREAM Act, which would see a path to legal residency through higher education for immigrants, was voted down at the end of 2010. A similar program to reform immigration law now looks unlikely until 2012 at the earliest. However, anti-immigration reformers would like to see border controls increased and, from some quarters, a reneging on the 14th amendment so that children of immigrant parents would not be automatically granted the right of US citizenship.

According to Campus Progress, 2010 was the highest year for immigrant deportations on record meaning that 2011 will see more divided families than ever before.

Jan 5 - The National Science Foundation has announced new funding for research into the Science of Broadening Participation (SBP) in order to increase involvement of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act at the end of 2010 will increase funding to research but House Republican will likely attempt to squeeze the delivery of such projects when it comes to allocation in January and February according to Wired Science.

Healthcare repeal
Jan 7 – New Speaker of the House, John Boehner, pledges action to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has called the Act a “job killer” which he would like to replace with a program that doesn’t have a mandate on individual insurance. Several bills attempting to repeal the Act have been introduced to the House. A vote on a simple repeal is likely to take place on Jan 12.

The Congressional Budget Office said the repeal would add $230 billion to the federal deficit.

Changes to House Rules
Jan 5 – Republicans vote to change pay-as-you go to cut-as-you-go rules so that there is no longer the requirement that tax cuts or spending increases for mandatory programs to be balanced with tax raises or spending decreases on other mandatory programs.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warned that this could encourage fiscal policy that deepens the federal deficit and further increases the gap between the rich and poor.


Alex Ingrams
SPSSI Policy Coordinator

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