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Parallel universe's vice-president 2000-2008

LL was on diaper duty this morning and couldn’t hear all of Mayor Vince Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown‘s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on congressional efforts to revive the D.C. voucher program.

But when LL’s bean quieted down, LL heard a pretty clear message from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to the city’s top elected officials: support the voucher program or receive less federal funding for D.C.’s public and charter schools.

Lieberman made the point that the proposal to extend the voucher program would include extra money for DCPS and charter schools. When he asked Gray “what’s the harm” in extra funding in exchange for a small number of students getting vouchers for private schools, Gray didn’t have much of answer. Instead he fell back to his talking point about the vibrancy of the District’s charter schools and how they offer parents education alternatives.

The voucher debate will be fun to watch, as it puts Gray and Brown in opposing camps. Add to the mix the fact that House Speaker John Boehner is a huge fan of extending the voucher program and things will only get more interesting from here.