Mel Martinez on Welfare & Poverty
Republican Jr Senator (FL); previously Secretary of H.U.D.
In only a little over 3 months, Martinez proposed a 6.8% budget increase that will expand homeownership opportunities and for the first time in nine years, he raised multifamily loan limits by 25%, to spur construction.
Martinez has also been extremely responsive to the nation’s immediate needs, earmarking $105 million to help pay skyrocketing utility bills for public housing residents and expediting federal assistance to communities in Washington State following the devastating earthquake in March.
Secretary Martinez’s personal involvement in Catholic faith-based social service agencies began nearly 40 years ago, when the Miami Catholic Welfare Bureau helped [arrange a foster home and his immigration from Cuba to America]. “Had it not been for the work of Catholic charities, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Secretary Martinez. “Kind-hearted people welcomed me to this country, gave me a home and helped me begin my own American dream.”
“I know from personal experience what faith-based groups can do,” said Martinez. “President Bush is right to reach out to the faith community who have an established track record doing the kind of work that changes lives.”
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.
We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."
And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
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