• Spend $681 million teaching English
to students with limited abilities in
• Signed the American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act, which helps at least 40,000 minority families a year buy a home by assisting them in making down payments and covering closing costs.
• Directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to simplify the home-buying process and increase home buyer educational initiatives.
• Eliminate down payments for 150,000 first-time home buyers in 2005.
The Democratic View
• Raises the federal minimum wage to $7 an hour by 2007 to increase the income of an estimated 7 million Americans.
• Institutes a "new jobs tax credit" that, in 2005 and 2006, would cover employers' share of payroll taxes for new jobs in manufacturing, small businesses, and other businesses affected by outsourcing.
• Eliminates incentives for companies to move jobs overseas.
• Closes tax loopholes and prevent tax deferrals.
• Lowers the corporate tax rate by 5 percent, reducing taxes for more than 99 percent of tax-paying companies.
• Proposes an immigration reform bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to gain legalization, encourage family reunification, and strengthen U.S. border protections.
• Introduces a visa worker program with labor protections.
• Creates a cabinet-level position to represent small businesses.
• Gives small business a voice at the World Trade Organization.
• Proposes refundable tax credits for as much as 50 percent of the cost of health coverage to small businesses and their employees.
• Gives small businesses access to the Congressional Health Plan, which would help save an estimated 15 percent in health-care costs.
• Supports restoring benefits to all legal immigrant children.
• Seeks to pass a Patient's Bill of Rights to put medical decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors.
• Enforces provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
• Invests in anti-dropout efforts by offering mentoring in middle schools, shrinking big and unsuccessful high schools, and strengthening high school curricula.
• Gives states and school districts more resources.
• Provides more professional development for teachers.
• Expands GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program), which distributes grants intended to prepare poor students to enter college.
• Provides a tax credit on $4,000 of
• Simplifies the financial-aid process.
• Encourages passage of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act , which would help qualified undocumented high school students achieve legal status to attend college or join the armed forces.
• Increases investment in primary-school math and science education and reward colleges that increase the number of science and engineering degrees.
• Creates online learning technologies.
• Preserves affirmative action in federal assistance to small businesses and minority-owned businesses that bid for federal contracts.
• Expands the SBA 8(a) program, which helps businesses that are certified as socially or economically disadvantaged compete for federal contracts.
• Supports and expands loan programs to help small businesses start.
• Increases the federal government's venture-capital investments.
• Boosts funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of nonprofit centers supporting small and medium-size manufacturers.
• Expands the Minority Enterprise Development program, which promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses.
• Increases government goal for small business' share of federal contracts.
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