October 12, 2018
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Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court Justice
After a razor thin, near party-line vote, Brett Kavanaugh became the 114th person to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Every Democrat except Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposed his nomination; every Republican except Lisa Murkowski of Alaska supported his nomination. Overall, Americans opposed his confirmation by a big margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — according to a CNN poll conducted by SRSS shortly before the final vote. “Judge Kavanaugh is simply unfit to serve on the highest court of the land,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. “There is only one thing left to do for those of us who share disappointment in this moment: vote.”
Get ready to vote on November 6
The 2018 mid-term elections are just weeks away and the stakes couldn’t be higher: control of the United States Congress. NEA has made it easy for you to register to vote online, or check your registration status — just click here. And when election day comes, be sure get out and vote!
Trump administration takes aim at legal immigration
Immigrant families could soon find themselves forced to choose between getting a green card (permanent legal status) and access to basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. This horrific choice is the product of proposed changes to a regulation, published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, that broaden the definition of “public charge” to include food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, and Medicaid benefits — including those received by families - including more than nine million with U.S. citizen children. A “public charge” is someone that the United States deems likely to be primarily dependent on the federal government for subsistence. The government can prevent public charges from adjusting their status from a visa category (such as work visa) to a legal permanent resident (green card holders). Under current policy which has been in place for several decades, the only government benefits taken into account in determining who is a public charge are “cash and care” programs, or cash-assistance programs (including Implemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and government-funded, long-term institutional care. Democratic senators weighed in immediately, urging Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to withdraw the proposed regulatory changes. These changes are nothing less than the Administration yet again advancing its anti-immigrant agenda at the expense of our students and their families as they pursue the American dream.
NEA will submit comments and provide additional avenues for members to take action. The Education Insider will provide more information — including actions you can take — in upcoming issues.
Cheers and Jeers
Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for calling on the Government Accountability Office to launch an investigation into the practices and policies of virtual charter schools. This request comes on the heels of a Center for American Progress report which found significant academic shortcomings and a disproportionate focus on profit over quality at virtual charter schools.
Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) for introducing the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2018 (H.R. 6929), which will ensure the annual Cost of Living Adjustment adequately reflects the real cost of living and improve the financial health of the Social Security Trust Fund.
Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), along with 18 other Democratic senators, for sending a letter to Security of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen urging her to withdraw proposed regulatory changes to the “public charge” rule.