Following the Obama administration's budget proposal to cut a scholarship program named after the late son of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Fox Nation claimed, “White House Gets Even With Stupak,” and linked to a RedState post suggesting that President Obama proposed cutting the program in retaliation for Stupak's proposal of an anti-abortion amendment to the House health care reform bill. However, Stupak himself has reportedly said the proposed budget cut “was not an act of retaliation” and that the program “is a perennial target of budget cutters from both parties,” including former President Bush.
Fox Nation: “White House Gets Even With Stupak”
From the Fox Nation, accessed on February 3:
Fox Nation linked to RedState post suggesting that proposed cut was in retaliation for Stupak's anti-abortion amendment. The Fox Nation linked to a February 1 post by RedState's Erick Erickson that said, “Bart Stupak is learning a valuable lesson in dealing with Barack Obama.” From Erickson's post:
Bart Stupak is learning a valuable lesson in dealing with Barack Obama.
The visuals all around on this look bad -- especially with the Winter Olympics coming up.
Congress funds a $1 million scholarship fund at Northern Michigan University for aspiring Olympic athletes. Robert Costa notes the scholarship was renamed in 1998 for Bart Stupak's son who had committed suicide.
Stupak, you will remember, insisted that Obamacare not fund abortion, even against the wishes of Barack Obama.
On Monday morning, when Obama unveiled his budget he had killed the B. J. Stupak scholarship for aspiring Olympians. The Olympics begin in ten days.
However, Stupak reportedly said cut was “not an act of retaliation” and that Bush also “proposed to eliminate it”
Stupak: “President Bush proposed to eliminate it, too.” On February 2, The Washington Post reported that “President Obama's proposal to abolish a scholarship program named after the late son of Democratic congressman Bart Stupak was not an act of retaliation, Stupak said Tuesday.” The Post further reported that the program “is a perennial target of budget cutters from both parties.” From the Post report:
President Obama's proposal to abolish a scholarship program named after the late son of Democratic congressman Bart Stupak was not an act of retaliation, Stupak said Tuesday.
As it turns out, the B.J. Stupak Olympic Scholarship Program is a perennial target of budget cutters from both parties who don't understand the program's importance, he said.
“President Bush proposed to eliminate it, too,” Stupak (D-Mich.) said in an interview. Besides, he said, Obama “should have been rewarding me, not punishing me” for holding up a House vote on the health-care bill last fall by insisting on adding an amendment that would bar the use of federal funds for abortion. “Without the Stupak amendment,” the congressman said, “health care wouldn't have passed the House.”
Bush repeatedly proposed terminating the scholarship program. Indeed, Bush did not seek funds for the Stupak scholarship program in his FY 2002 and FY 2003 budgets. Bush proposed to terminate the program in his budgets for fiscal years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The program has long been found to be “duplicative” of other assistance programs
ExpectMore.gov: Program is largely “duplicative” of other federal assistance programs and “does not address a specific and existing national problem, interest or need.” Expect More.gov, a program “developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Federal agencies" to “assess the performance of every Federal program,” concluded that the B.J. Stupak Olympic scholarships program was “not performing.” ExpectMore.gov stated that "[t]he Olympic Scholarships program is duplicative of other Federal student financial assistance programs" and offers “little incentive for the grantee to improve outcomes or collect meaningful performance data.” In its detailed assessment of the program, Expect More.gov stated that, among other things, "[t]he program does not address a specific and existing national problem, interest or need. It duplicates Federal student financial assistance programs that are already available to Olympic athletes,'' and that "[t]his program is redundant of other Federal student financial assistance programs. In addition to the vast amount of financial aid available through public and private institutions and foundations, Federal student financial assistance programs offer Olympic athletes the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education."
Obama administration: "[P]rogram offers scholarships for a limited number of athletes." In its “Justification” for proposing to end the scholarship program, the administration said that "[t]his program offers scholarships for a limited number of athletes. There were fewer than 100 scholarship beneficiaries in 2007-2008. The Department [of Education] lacks evidence on the degree to which this particular program enhances educational attainment outcomes for students because the Department is not able to track student-athletes after they leave the training centers." The administration further explained:
In addition, the scholarships are not means-tested, so they may go to students who would be able to afford college without them. Olympic athletes receive generous support from a variety of sources. Athletes who can demonstrate financial need may still receive grant, work-study, and loan assistance through other programs.