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Description of Votes Scored




House Report Card | Senate Report Card


 

Votes in the full U.S. House and Senate remain the major criteria on which Report Card scores are based. Members of Congress are notified in writing any time a pending vote may be scored in the Legislative Report Card. Votes are selected for inclusion in the Report Card based on their relevance to advancing NEA's identified legislative priorities. The following votes were scored in the 110th Congress:

U.S. House of Representatives

  1. Minimum Wage:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (H.R. 2). This legislation increased over time the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour, thereby helping certain low-income families to provide basic necessities for their children. The legislation passed 315-116 on January 10, 2007.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. ( House Vote #18)

  2. Medicare Prescription Drug Costs:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 4), which permits the federal government to negotiate certain prescription prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Such negotiations, currently prohibited by federal law, could lower significantly the high cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. The bill passed 255-170 on January 12, 2007. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  ( House Vote #23)

  3. Education Funding Increases:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.J.Res. 20). The measure increased funding for Title 1, IDEA, Pell Grant and other education programs, and was enacted following Congress's inability to pass a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill in 2006. The measure passed 286-140 on January 31, 2007. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  ( House Vote #72)

  4. Union Rights: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (H.R. 800). This measure (also referred to as “card check”) helps protect the right of private sector workers to choose a union by leveling the playing field for employees in organizing efforts. The legislation passed 241-185 on March 1, 2007.A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.   (House Vote #118)

  5. Head Start Block Grants:  NEA OPPOSED passage of an amendment by Representative Tom Price (GA) to legislation (H.R. 1429) reauthorizing the Head Start program. The amendment would have created a block grant demonstration program that would undermine quality and accountability. The amendment failed 165-254 on May 2, 2007. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. ( House Vote #277)

  6. Hates Crimes Prevention:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592). This legislation would help ensure a comprehensive federal state/local partnership to address hate crimes. The measure passed the House 237-180 on May 3, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #299)

  7. Student Loan Interest Rates:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669), which lowered certain student loan rates, increased the maximum Pell Grant award to help finance the cost of postsecondary education for middle- and low-income students and families, and increased financial support for those entering the teaching profession. The legislation passed 273-149 on July 11, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #613)

  8. Federally-Fund Merit Pay Experiments:  NEA OPPOSED an amendment by Representative Price (GA) to the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008 (H.R. 3043). The amendment would have increased funding for unproven and unnecessary Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) programs, such as merit pay experiments, instead of funding important professional development programs. The amendment was defeated 149-274 on July 18, 2007.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #653)

  9. Equal Pay: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831), to reaffirm rights threatened by a Supreme Court ruling that would make it virtually impossible for women facing pay discrimination to take legal action against their employers.  The bill passed 225-199 on July 31, 2007.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #768)

  10. Math and Science Instruction:  NEA SUPPORTED final House passage of the 21st Century Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2272), legislation enacted to strengthen math and science instruction. The measure passed 367-57 on August 2, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #802)

  11. Children's Health Insurance:  NEA SUPPORTED overriding the President's veto of legislation (H.R. 976) to reauthorize and expand the S-CHIP program. The legislation would have provided $35 billion in new funding over five years, thereby allowing the program to serve some 4 million additional children. A two-thirds vote of the U.S. House and Senate is required to override a presidential veto, and the override motion narrowly failed 273-156 on October 18, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #982)

  12. Employmet Protections:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3685 — ENDA). This measure would help combat workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The legislation passed 235-184 on November 7, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1057)

  13. Head Start: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (H.R. 1429), legislation to update and reauthorize the federal Head Start program.  This measure passed 381-36 on November 14, 2007.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1090)

  14. Education Funding Increases:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to override the President's veto of the Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations measure for fiscal year 2008 (H.R. 4043). The NEA-supported measure would have increased federal education funding by $4.5 billion over the President's funding request, thereby providing additional resources to schools. Overriding a Presidential veto requires a two-thirds vote by the U.S. House and Senate, and the motion to override failed by a vote of 277-141 on November 15, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1122)

  15. Higher Education Access: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (H.R. 4137). The bill helped ensure equal college opportunities and fair learning environments for students with disabilities, expanded college access for low-income and minority students, streamlined the federal student financial aid application, and provided supports to help students transition seamlessly from community colleges to four-year programs. The legislation passed 354-58 on February 7, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #40)

  16. Medicaid for Students with Disabilities/ Unemployment Benefits Extension: NEA SUPPORTED the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2642), an emergency funding bill that included a moratorium on Medicaid reimbursement cuts for school-based transportation and/or rehabilitation services. The moratorium delays regulations that would have prevented students with medical needs from getting the school-based services they need, and could have kept them from attending school at all. The bill also included an extension of unemployment benefits. The legislation passed 256-166 on May 15, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #330)

  17. School Modernization: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (H.R. 3021), which authorized $6.4 billion for school repair and modernization. The bill passed 250-164 on June 4, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #379)

  18. Education Funding Increases: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the conference report on the fiscal year 2009 Congressional Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res. 70) - the blueprint for how funds will be spent in the next fiscal year. The Budget Resolution included significant increases for education programs to help students from early childhood through post-secondary education and provided critical resources to proven programs such as Title I, services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Head Start, and Pell Grants. The measure passed 214-210 on June 5, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #382)

  19. Unemployment Benefits Extension: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008 (H.R. 5749) to provide up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every state to workers exhausting regular unemployment compensation. The bill passed 274-137 on June 12, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #412)

  20. Medicare Improvements: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331), to improve access to affordable, high quality medical care and pharmaceutical services for Medicare beneficiaries in rural and urban areas. The bill passed 355-59 on June 24, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #443)

United States Senate

  1. Minimum Wage:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (H.R. 2) forward for a vote. This legislation increased over time the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour, thereby helping certain low-income families to provide basic necessities for their children. The motion failed 54-43 (60 votes required for passage) on January 24, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote # 23)

  2. Education Funding Increases:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move forward for a vote the Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.J.Res. 20). The measure increased funding for Title 1, IDEA, Pell Grant and other education programs, and was enacted following Congress's inability to pass a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill in 2006. The motion passed 71-26 on February 13, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 46)

  3. Rural Education: NEA SUPPORTED an amendment offered by Senator Wyden (OR) to emergency supplemental appropriations legislation (H.R. 1591) that would reauthorize and fund the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act for five years. This NEA-supported program ensures a predictable funding stream to schools in timber-dependent counties. The amendment passed 74-23 on March 28, 2007. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #118)

  4.  Medicare Prescription Drug Costs:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move forward for a vote the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (S. 3), which permits the federal government to negotiate certain prescription prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Such negotiations, currently prohibited by federal law, could lower significantly the high cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. The motion failed 55-42 (60 votes required for passage) on April 18, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote # 132)

  5. Union Rights:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move forward for a vote the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (H.R. 800). This measure (also referred to as "card check") helps protect the right of private sector workers to choose a union by leveling the playing field for employees in organizing efforts. The motion failed 51-48 (60 votes required for passage) on June 26, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 227)

  6. Student Loan Interest Rates: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669), which lowered certain student loan rates, increased the maximum Pell Grant award to help finance the cost of postsecondary education for middle- and low-income students and families, and increased financial support for those entering the teaching profession. The legislation passed 78-18 on July 20, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #272)

  7. Children's Health: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Small Business Tax Relief Act (H.R.976), which included provisions to reauthorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Over the past ten years, SCHIP has helped reduce the number of uninsured children in America by one-third. However, millions of children remain uninsured or underinsured. The bill passed 68-31 on August 2, 2007. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #307)

  8. Hate Crimes Prevention:  NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move forward for a vote an amendment offered by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) to add the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585). The amendment authorized new federal programs to help ensure a comprehensive federal state/local partnership to address hate crimes. The motion passed 60-39 on September 27, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #350)

  9. Education Funding Cuts: NEA OPPOSED a motion to "recommit" the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill for fiscal year 2008 back to committee in order to reduce proposed funding to the level requested by the President. In contrast to the increases provided in the bill, the President proposed cutting overall education funding by $1.5 billion (-2.6%), including cuts to special education, Head Start, and a 50 percent cut in funding for career and technical education. The motion failed 40-54 on October 23, 2007.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #390)

  10. Higher Education/Dream Act: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move forward for a vote on the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for individuals brought to the U.S. as undocumented children years ago. The Act would apply only to individuals brought to the U.S. at least five years ago as children, who have grown up here, and who have remained in school and out of trouble. The motion failed 52-44 (60 votes required for passage) on October 24, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 394)

  11. Continuing Head Start Program:  NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (H.R. 1429), legislation to update and reauthorize the federal Head Start program. This measure passed 95-0 on November 14, 2007.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #409)

  12. Equal Pay: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move to a final vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831), which would reaffirm rights threatened by a Supreme Court ruling that would make it virtually impossible for women facing pay discrimination to take legal action against their employers. The motion, which required 60 votes to pass, failed 56-42 on April 23, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #110)

  13. Medicaid for Students with Disabilities/ Rural Schools/ Unemployment Benefits Extension: NEA SUPPORTED the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2642), an emergency funding bill that included a moratorium on Medicaid reimbursement cuts for school-based transportation and/or rehabilitation services. The moratorium delays regulations that would have prevented students with medical needs from getting the school-based services they need, and could have kept them from attending school at all. The bill also included additional funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and an extension of unemployment benefits. The legislation passed 75-22 on May 22, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #137)

  14. Education Funding Increases: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the conference report on the fiscal year 2009 Congressional Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res. 70) - the blueprint for how funds will be spent in the next fiscal year. The Budget Resolution included significant increases for education programs to help students from early childhood through post-secondary education and provided critical resources to proven programs such as Title I, services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Head Start, and Pell Grants. The measure passed 48-45 on June 4, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #142)

  15. Medicare Improvements: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to close debate and move to a final vote on the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331), to improve access to affordable, high quality medical care and pharmaceutical services for Medicare beneficiaries in rural and urban areas. The motion, which required 60 votes to pass, failed 58-40 on June 26, 2008.  A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #160)

Grading Scale
For purposes of PAC Operating Procedures and streamlined recommendation procedures, "friendly incumbents" are defined as those receiving a grade of "A." NEA grades of A, B, C, D, or F are determined by each incumbent's overall composite score according to the following scale:
A = 85 and above D = 40 and above
B = 70 and above F = 39 and below
C = 55 and above