July 28, 2017
July 23, 2017
July 16, 2017
July 28, 2017
Senate defeats terrible health bills crafted by GOP leadership
Early Friday morning, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John McCain (R-AZ) joined all 48 Democrats in casting the votes that defeated — for now — the GOP’s drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. GOP leadership had drafted the legislation behind closed doors with no hearings, no input from the American people, and no input from the majority of senators from either party. It would have caused tens of millions of Americans to lose health coverage and rolled back federal funding for Medicaid, which covers 40 percent of all children and 60 percent of children with disabilities. NEA urged Congress to start again and take a bipartisan approach to improving the Affordable Care Act. Stay tuned for more in future issues of the Education Insider.
Tell Congress not to cut education funding
The House did not vote on the FY2018 budget before heading home, so an interim spending bill is likely to be needed to keep the government running after September 30. A measure advancing in the House would slash education funding by $2.4 billion, but that could change and the Senate is still crafting its version. NEA continues to push for a budget agreement that raises the overall funding caps. You can help by making sure members of Congress understand that the cuts in the Trump/DeVos education budget proposal would lead to lost jobs, larger class sizes, and undermine ESSA implementation. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to invest in our students, not cut education funding.
Reach out while Congress is back home
The House has already started its summer recess (until Sept. 5) and the Senate plans to begin its recess the third week in August. Please take the opportunity to reach out to your representatives while they’re back home and talk about the threats we’ll be facing when Congress returns in the fall — like vouchers and budget cuts. Continue to weigh in via the Legislative Action Center as well. The Education Insider will take a recess unless developments warrant updates or action.
Cheers and Jeers
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John McCain (R-AZ) for casting decisive votes against the deeply flawed bills crafted by GOP leadership to “fix” the Affordable Care Act
Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) for forming the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) caucus to fight the Trump/DeVos proposal to eliminate the entire program
Representatives Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Steve King (R-IA) for proposing anti-labor amendments to an appropriations bill that prohibit funds from being used to enforce the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires the federal government to pay prevailing wages for public works projects
July 23, 2017
Educators help derail GOP health bill, but another vote looms
Confronted by mounting opposition from millions of Americans, including many educators, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) again postponed action on the NEA-opposed health care bill. However, McConnell vowed to force a vote early this week despite disagreement among the GOP caucus and multiple polls showing that less than 20 percent of Americans support it. If McConnell succeeds, the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, could be repealed and replaced by the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would take away health insurance from 22 million people, gut Medicaid, and allow insurers to sell useless junk coverage. McConnell has also left open the possibility of repealing the Affordable Care Act with no immediate “replacement,” which would cause an additional 10 million people to lose health coverage — a total of 32 million or nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Click on the take action button and tell your senators to oppose the GOP leadership’s health bill.
House committee approves deep cuts to education, but bill’s future in doubt
In a party-line vote of 28-22, the House appropriations committee approved the NEA-opposed Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, which slashes education by $2.4 billion. The cuts include all funding for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and greatly reduced support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provide afterschool services for the students most in need. While it is now less likely the full House will vote on this bill, and the Senate still needs to craft its version, educators and allies must make sure that all members of Congress understand that cutting Title II will lead to lost jobs and larger class sizes, as well as undermine implementation of ESSA. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to invest in our students, not cut education funding. documents,” said NEA president.
NEA leads effort to protect public service loan forgiveness program
NEA and the International Association of Fire Fighters spearheaded a broad coalition effort to stop education secretary Betsy DeVos’ proposed elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Created more than a decade ago with broad bipartisan support, PSLF has helped half a million people pursue careers as educators, firefighters, nurses, public defenders, and other forms of public service. Federal student debt is wiped away after 120 on-time, qualifying monthly payments — 10 years’ worth of payments. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to protect higher education, including this vitally important program.
Cheers and Jeers
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for introducing and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for co-sponsoring the Dream Act of 2017, which would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children
Representative David Price (D-NC) for proposing an amendment to the education appropriations bill that would restore cuts in Title II of ESSA
Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) for leading a sign-on letter urging leaders of the House appropriations committee NOT to eliminate funding for Title II-A of ESSA
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for continuing to push forward a disastrous health care repeal plan that guts Medicaid and takes health coverage away from tens of millions of Americans
July 16, 2017
Tell senators to VOTE NO on GOP health bill
Senate GOP leadership unveiled a revised bill to "replace" the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and will try to pass it this month. Crafted behind closed doors by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the centerpiece of the bill is a radical rollback of federal funding for Medicaid, which covers 40 percent of all children and 60 percent of children with disabilities, and provides $4 billion a year to schools for health care and services that children need to learn and thrive. To compensate for the loss of federal support, states are likely to divert money from education to health care and limit the number of Medicaid beneficiaries, the scope of Medicaid benefits, or both. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an earlier version of the bill would cause 22 million Americans to lose health coverage over the next decade; CBO’s analysis of the current bill is scheduled to be released this week. Go to nea.org/stoptrumpcare or click on the take action button and tell your senators to oppose the GOP health bill.
House committee endorses FY2018 education budget with draconian cuts in Title II
The Trump/DeVos education budget for FY2018 advanced as a House appropriations subcommittee approved the elimination of funding for Title II programs that include professional development, class-size reduction, and after-school programs. “The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. notably stated that budgets are not just financial documents; they are moral documents,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García. “This budget is terrible for students and neighborhood public schools across the country. If enacted, it will deprive millions of students of opportunities by eliminating funding that will result in nearly 8,500 educators losing their jobs.” Click on the take action button and tell Congress to focus on investing in — and improving — the public schools where 9 out of 10 students get their education.
Cheers and Jeers
House appropriations subcommittee Democrats Rosa DeLauro (CT), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Barbara Lee (CA), Mark Pocan (WI), and Katherine Clark (MA) for voting NO on the Trump/DeVos education budget for FY2018
House appropriations subcommittee Republicans Tom Cole (OK), Mike Simpson (ID), Steve Womack (AR), Chuck Fleischmann (TN), Andy Harris (MD), Martha Roby (AL), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA) for voting YES on the Trump/DeVos education budget for FY2018