There is no money for school construction projects in the education bill.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- School districts receiving money under the federal education-reform bill would be required to use American-made steel in construction projects under an amendment by U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant approved by the House.
The bill does not include any money for school construction projects, said Charles Straub, Traficant's spokesman. "It's a pre-emptive strike and now he'll work toward getting construction money during the House-Senate conference or later in the year," Straub said. The House approved the amendment 415-9, his first since his May 4 indictment on 10 felony counts including bribery, racketeering and tax evasion.
Related matter: During debate before the vote on his amendment, Traficant of Poland, D-17th, urged Congress to consider the inclusion of money in the education bill for school construction projects.
"We don't need to put a ton of money in it; even if it's 10 percent to 15 percent for hard-pressed communities that can't build schools," he said.
A number of amendments to the education bill for construction projects have been rejected by the House and Senate.
The education bill, endorsed by President Bush, would provide money for reading programs, intervention for at-risk pupils and annual testing in reading and math for children in grades three through eight.
Traficant's bill will help stimulate the ailing steel industry, Straub said. Foreign steel could be used only if no American steel could be found for the work.