June 30, 2017
June 23, 2017
June 18, 2017
June 11, 2017
June 30, 2017
Keep telling senators to VOTE NO on the GOP health bill
Your emails and phone calls are working! Faced with a flood of opposition to the health bill he crafted in secret, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushed back the vote he had vowed to hold last week until after the July 4 recess. The bill lacks support for good reason: it plays Robin Hood in reverse, taking health coverage away from 22 million of the most vulnerable — children, the poor, and the elderly — to provide massive tax cuts for the ultra-rich.
The centerpiece of the GOP’s “replacement” for the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare) 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.
Postponement of the vote is encouraging, but doesn’t mean the battle is won — at least not yet. Keep those emails coming! Go to nea.org/stoptrumpcare or click on the take action button and tell your senators to oppose the terrible GOP health bill.
Cheers and Jeers
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for keeping Democrats unified in their opposition to the GOP health bill and highlighting how it would hurt kids and schools
Senate Democrats and Republicans Dean Heller (NV), Susan Collins (ME), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Rob Portman (OH) for advocating against Medicaid cuts and pressuring GOP leaders to delay voting on the Senate health bill
Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) for introducing H.R. 1135, which the House passed by voice vote to reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) historic preservation program
Republican Reps. Justin Amash (MI), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Dan Donovan (NY), Pete King (NY), Dave Reichert (WA), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) for opposing the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003), which would withhold federal grant money from cities that do not help enforce federal immigration laws
Attorneys general of Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Idaho Governor C. L. Otter for their letter urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
June 23, 2017
Tell senators to vote NO on GOP leadership health bill
The health bill drafted in secret by Senate GOP leadership has finally been revealed and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to rush to vote on it by Thursday, June 29. Like the terrible bill crafted by House GOP leadership, the Senate bill plays Robin Hood in reverse. It slashes funding for Medicaid, which provides health coverage for 36 million children and $4 billion a year to schools for special needs students, while providing massive tax cuts for the ultra-rich. Like the House bill, the Senate bill also provides that states can allow insurance companies to exclude essential benefits like prenatal and emergency care, mentalhealth services, and addiction treatment. Click on the take action button to send an email or call 1-855-764-1010 and tell your senators to oppose the GOP health bill.
Tell senators to support the CTE bill passed by the House
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) passed by the House is heading to the Senate. The bill reflects NEA priorities in key areas: strengthening professional development, especially as it relates to serving special needs and under-represented students, like English-language learners; involving educators in decision-making and planning; and addressing skills gaps by aligning career and technical education (CTE) programs with in-demand industries and givingprograms flexibility to address local labor markets. CTE programs have long enjoyed broad, bipartisan support — they boast a 93 percent high school graduation rate, which is 10 points higher than the overall graduation rate. Click on the take action button and tell your senators to support the career tech bill.
Urge Congress to restore voting rights protections
The NEA-supported Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2978) restores an essential provision of the Voting Rights Act undone four years ago by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. That ruling has severely undermined the law’s effectiveness and halted progress in eradicating voter suppression and intimidation. Recent years have seen an unprecedented number of anti-voter initiatives in state legislatures — proposals and laws enacted that require photo identification, eliminate same-day registration, shrink early voting windows, change student voting requirements, and make it harder for people to vote in other ways. Click on the take action button and urge your representatives to co-sponsor and support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Cheers and Jeers
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for capturing the essence of the health bill crafted by Senate GOP leadership: “This bill has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous transfer of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his remarks on the Senate floor about the GOP health bill: “The Senate Republican bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill. And we’re potentially voting on it in a week. No committee hearings, no amendments in committee, no debate on the floor save for 10 measly hours on one of the most important bills in decades. That brings shame on this body.”
Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and the Congressional Black Caucus for their letter to President Trump objecting to “the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your Administration,” as well as noting several actions undertaken that would hurt communities of color, cut education, exacerbate mass incarceration and dismantle health care.
Representatives GT Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) for shepherding the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) for reintroducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for crafting a health care bill behind closed doors that will gut Medicaid, cost millions of people their health insurance, and provide deep tax cuts to the wealthy — while rushing toward a vote in just days
June 18, 2017
Urge senators not to play Robin Hood in reverse with health care
A small group of Republican senators is working behind closed doors to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in order to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy. Like the terrible bill crafted by House GOP leadership, the Senate bill plays Robin Hood in reverse. It would slash and cap funding for Medicaid, which provides health coverage for 36 million children and $4 billion a year to schools for special needs students. Other potential pitfalls include allowing states to exclude essential benefits like prenatal care, mental health services, and addiction treatment, and permitting insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions many times more than healthy people as they did before the Affordable Care Act prohibited these practices. Click on the take action button to send an email or call 1-855-764-1010 to tell your senators to oppose the GOP health bill.
Tell your representative to support the career tech bill coming to House floor next week
The House is scheduled to vote next week on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). The bill reflects NEA priorities in key areas: strengthening professional development, especially as it relates to serving special needs and under-represented students, like English-language learners; involving educators in decision-making and planning; and addressing skills gaps by aligning career and technical education (CTE) programs with in-demand industries and giving programs flexibility to address local labor markets. CTE programs have long enjoyed broad, bipartisan support — they boast a 93 percent high school graduation rate, which is 10 points higher than the overall graduation rate. Click on the take action button and tell your representative to support H.R. 2353.
Tell Congress to fund IDEA fully, not cut it like Trump and DeVos
Over the next 10 years, the NEA-supported bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R. 2902) would increase the federal contribution from 15 percent to the 40 percent Congress promised to provide when it passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In contrast, the Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal would slash funding for IDEA by $113 million — a rollback to pre-2001 levels. The IDEA Full Funding Act would help not only the nation’s 6 million students with disabilities, but public schools struggling to make up for the federal shortfall. Click on the take action button and urge your representatives to co-sponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act, not cut it or create private school vouchers.
Cheers and Jeers
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for condemning the GOP’s approach to crafting a health bill: “We have no idea what’s being proposed. There’s a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions.”
Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), David McKinley (R-WV), Tim Walz (D-MN), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and John Katko (R-NY) for introducing the IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R. 2902)
GOP Senate leadership for developing a health bill in such secrecy even Republicans are complaining they don’t know what’s in it
Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and David Roe (R-TN) for introducing the anti-labor Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775), and Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723), respectively
June 11, 2017
Tell senators NOT to support a health bill like the House bill
The Senate is planning to unveil and possibly vote on its “replacement” for the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), developed without any public input or hearings, before the July 4 recess, according to multiple media reports. Like the American Health Care Act crafted by House GOP leadership, the Senate bill is expected to radically restructure Medicaid, which provides health coverage for 36 million children and $4 billion per year to schools for special needs students. Capping federal support for Medicaid would shift costs to the states, jeopardizing services necessary for students to learn and thrive. Other potential pitfalls include allowing states to exclude essential benefits — like prenatal care, mental health services, and addiction treatment — and permitting insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions many times more than healthy people, as they did before the Affordable Care Act prohibited these practices. Click on the take action button and tell senators NOT to support a health bill with the same shortcomings as the American Health Care Act passed by the House.
Urge Congress to oppose Trump/DeVos voucher schemes
In testimony before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on June 6, education secretary Betsy DeVos continued to advocate for voucher-type schemes, the centerpiece of the Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal. In response to questions about withholding federal support from private schools that violate federal law by discriminating against LGBTQ students, DeVos repeatedly said, “Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law.” She refused, however, to promise to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination when federal law is unsettled or “foggy.” Click on the take action button and tell Congress NOT to take money from public schools and give it to private schools.
Tell Congress to focus on public schools that educate 9 out of 10 U.S. students
If enacted, the president’s proposed budget for FY2018, the opening salvo in the Trump/DeVos privatization agenda, would slash U.S. Department of Education funding by $9.2 billion or nearly 14 percent. At least 22 programs would be eliminated and many more cut, including Title I and IDEA programs that target the students most in need. Federal support for smaller classes and professional development could end altogether. 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
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) for his comments during the Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal: “Education is not mayonnaise. And frankly, the day that we start treating the education of our children like we do the marketing of a condiment is the day that we’ve given up on our kids.”
Senators Patty Murray (D_WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) for their tough comments and questions for education secretary Betsy DeVos, and holding her accountable for defending her terrible budget.
Senate appropriations subcommittee chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) for acknowledging the Trump/DeVos FY2018 education budget proposal is indefensible. “I think it will be all but impossible to get those kinds of cuts through this committee,” he said.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth (D-KY) for their statement on the GOP’s FY2018 budget process: “It is outrageous and inexcusable that eight months into the fiscal year, there is no budget, no agreed-upon discretionary spending levels, and no apparent plan to fund the government past September or avoid a catastrophic default on the full faith and credit of the United States.”
Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) for introducing the Health, Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act (H.R. 2788)
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) for comparing voucher-type schemes to mayonnaise. “I can go down to my over-priced Capitol Hill grocery this afternoon and choose among about six different types of mayonnaise,” he said. “How come I can't do that for my kid in school?”