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What Federal Debt?: Congressional Republicans Want New Subsidy For Religious Schools

Watch for a major fight in Congress over taxpayer subsidies for religious and other private schools.

In his Republican response to the State of the Union this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) touted “school choice,” a euphemism for vouchers.

“We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice,” Rubio said. Read more

Voucher Vortex: Tenn. Officials Being Sucked Into Controversy Over Private School Aid

Some Tennessee legislators are big on vouchers, and they prodded Gov. Bill Haslam to establish a nine-member task force to study tax subsidies for religious and other private schools. Unfortunately, its members have promptly blundered into a minefield.

Details can be messy things. The task force wrangled over questions such as accountability, how to ensure that students in voucher schools are getting a good education and how much vouchers should be worth. Read more

Berating Bigotry: Religious And Policy Groups Respond To Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim Hysteria

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s efforts to stir up an anti-Muslim witch hunt have sparked a bit of a pushback, to put it mildly.

As you might recall, Bachmann (R-Minn.) and four other House members (Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida and Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia) sent letters to the inspector general offices of the State, Justice and Homeland Security departments, demanding an investigation into the infiltration of our government by the Muslim Brotherhood. Read more

Eastern Education: What Americans Could Learn from Poland’s Growing Church-State Separation Movement

At a time when the Religious Right wants to put church and state together like peanut butter and jelly, there is a growing movement for church-state separation in a Catholic-dominated Eastern European country. Read more

Chaplaincy Challenge: Why Don’t U.S. House Members Pay Their Own Preacher?

Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending.

That’s House Speaker John Boehner’s mantra and the reason the House Republicans claim they were put in charge.

Yet despite this, Boehner and his friends are continuing to use taxpayer dollars to pick up the tab for a House chaplain. Boehner has nominated the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, a Jesuit priest and theology teacher at a Catholic school in Portland, Ore., to fill the position. Read more

Taxpayer Tithes: House Speaker Uses Budget Deal To Fund Religious Schools With Your Tax Dollars

It’s a gorgeous spring day in Washington today. Sadly, it’s likely to be an ugly day for church-state separation.

This afternoon, both houses of Congress are expected to vote on a budget deal that includes federal taxpayer funding to reauthorize and expand the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. Read more

A Bad Deal: Budget Agreement Advances School Vouchers, Trashes Church-State Separation

The 11th-hour budget deal that averted a shutdown of the federal government has been the talk of the nation. Pundits are going over the agreement with a microscope, listing the winners and losers.

We already know one loser: religious liberty. Read more

D.C. School Vouchers: President Obama Urges House To Vote No

In a few hours, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on whether to reauthorize a taxpayer-funded school voucher program.

Americans United has been working diligently to put a stop to H.R. 471, a measure introduced by House Speaker John Boehner that would allot $100 million over the next five years to restart and expand the failed voucher “experiment” in the District of Columbia. Read more

Public Funds For Fred Phelps?: Voucher Dollars Could Go To Religious Schools That Teach Hate

When it comes to school vouchers, Indiana State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) seems to get it.

The Republican lawmaker doesn’t want to support an Indiana bill that would use public funds to send students to religious and other private schools. Steele is the first Republican legislator in the state to voice opposition to the proposal. Read more

Broken Record: Boehner Wants To Cut All Social Programs – Except School Vouchers, Except School Vouchers, Except School Vouchers….

When House Speaker John Boehner flew to Nashville to speak to the National Religious Broadcasters a few days ago, he sounded a familiar refrain.

Lamenting that the national debt is now over $14.1 trillion, he told the TV preachers, “In other words, we're broke. Broke, going on bankrupt…. Here we must speak the truth.  Yes, this level of debt is unsustainable.  It is also immoral.”

It’s a sermon theme that the Ohio congressman has sounded on more than one occasion. Read more