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Description of Votes Scored 2




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 109th Congress:

U.S. House of Representatives

  1. Budget: NEA OPPOSED passage of the fiscal year 2006 budget agreement (H. Con Res. 95). The budget establishes a blueprint for how federal funds will be spent in the next fiscal year. The budget agreement cut $35 billion over five years from programs such as student aid and Medicaid that provide assistance to those most in need, provided $70 billion over five years in tax cuts targeted primarily to those with the highest incomes, and failed to make needed investments in public education. The budget agreement passed 214-211 on April 28, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 149 ).

  2. Career And Technical Education: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act (H.R. 366), which reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. The bill continued and built on the successes of existing programs, rejecting the President's proposal to eliminate funding for career and technical education. The bill passed 416-9 on May 4, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 154 ).

  3. Merit Pay: NEA OPPOSED passage of an amendment offered by Representative Price (R-GA) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to spend $100 million on a new "Teacher Incentive Fund" merit pay program. NEA opposed the program, arguing that limited resources should be directed to proven, underfunded programs such as Title I and special education, rather than to a new program designed to fund initiatives already allowable using existing teacher quality funding. The Price amendment failed 102-298 on June 24, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 308 ).

  4. Higher Education: NEA SUPPORTED passage of an amendment offered by Representative Van Hollen (D-MD) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to close a loophole in student aid programs providing lenders with a $3 billion subsidy. NEA supported closing the loophole and redirecting the funds to help students pay for college. The Van Hollen amendment passed 224-178 on June 24, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 316 ).

  5. Head Start: NEA OPPOSED passage of an amendment offered by Representative Boehner (R-OH) to legislation (H.R. 2123) reauthorizing the Head Start program to repeal civil rights protections and allow religious organizations participating in Head Start to hire or fire teachers or parent volunteers based on their religion. NEA opposed the amendment, arguing that allowing discrimination based on religion would significantly impede the important goals of Head Start as well as send a damaging message to students. The Boehner amendment passed 220-196 on September 22, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 492 ).

  6. Education Funding: NEA OPPOSED passage of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006 (H.R. 3010). The bill slashed overall funding for education programs, including cutting funds for programs under No Child Left Behind by $1 billion (from $24.5 billion to $23.5 billion (-4.1%)), cutting the federal share of the costs of special education (IDEA) from 18.6 percent to 17.8 percent, and freezing the maximum Pell Grant award at $4,050 for the fourth year in a row. The bill passed 215-213 on December 14, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 628 ).

  7. Katrina Vouchers: NEA OPPOSED passage of the "rule" (H. Res. 639) allowing debate and vote on the defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006. The bill included provisions funding the first national voucher program under the guise of relief for students displaced by hurricane Katrina. The voucher program allowed direct cash payments to flow through public school districts to private and religious schools. The bill also included a one-percent across-the-board cut in funding for education and other priorities. The rule passed 214-201 on December 19, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 666 ).

  8. Budget Reconciliation: NEA OPPOSED passage of a budget reconciliation measure (S. 1932), which made massive cuts to entitlement programs, including $7 billion in cuts to student aid that were projected to increase the average student loan debt by $5,800. The bill passed 216-214 on February 1, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 4 ).

  9. Adjunct Teacher Corps: NEA OPPOSED passage of an amendment offered by Representatives McMorris (R-WA) and Holt (D-NJ) to the higher education reauthorization bill (H.R. 609) that created an Adjunct Teacher Corps. The Adjunct Teacher Corps allows individuals to teach solely on the basis of subject matter knowledge, ignoring the pedagogical skills and on-going supports necessary for a quality teaching force. The amendment passed 293-134 on March 29, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 71 ).

  10. Higher Education: NEA OPPOSED passage of the College Access and Opportunity Act (H.R. 609), which reauthorized the Higher Education Act. The bill failed to provide increased access to student aid or lessen the loan burden shouldered by students; promoted for-profit entities in higher education over the needs of students, stifled the free exchange of ideas in the classroom and on college campuses through the unnecessary imposition of an Academic Bill of Rights on colleges and universities; and promoted teacher education through unproven programs like the Teacher Incentive Fund (merit pay) and the Adjunct Teacher Corps. The bill passed 221-199 on March 30, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 81 ).

  11. Estate Tax: NEA OPPOSED passage of the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act (H.R. 5638), which would make permanent the repeal of the estate tax, thereby seriously jeopardizing funds at the federal and state levels for education and other priorities. The bill passed 269-156 on June 22, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 315 ).

  12. Voting Rights Act: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (H.R. 9), which reauthorized expiring sections of the Voting Rights Act dealing with prohibitions on implementation of any voting change motivated by a discriminatory purpose; equal access for language minority citizens; and federal observers to enforce the Act. The bill passed 390-33 on July 13, 2006. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 374 ).

  13. Pension Reform: NEA OPPOSED passage of the Pension Protection Act (H.R. 4), which changed dramatically the rules governing private sector defined benefit plans. The bill imposed financial and administrative burdens that could discourage private sector employers from offering or retaining defined benefit pension plans. The negative impact on the private sector participation rate in defined benefit plan systems could be so great that it could impact whether states continue to offer defined benefit plans for public employees. The bill passed 279-131 on July 28, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 422 ).

  14. Career and Technical Education: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the final conference report on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act (S. 250). The conference report continued and built on the successes of existing programs, rejecting the President's proposal to eliminate funding for career and technical education. The conference report passed 399-1 on July 29, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 426 ).

United States Senate

  1. Career and Technical Education: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Improvement Act (S. 250), which reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. The bill continued and built on the successes of existing programs, rejecting the President's proposal to eliminate funding for career and technical education. The bill passed 99-0 on March 10, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 43 ).

  2. Education Funding: NEA SUPPORTED passage of an amendment offered by Senator Bingaman (D-NM) to the fiscal year 2006 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18) to restore $4.8 billion for 48 education programs slated for elimination in the underlying bill, including Career and Technical Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, education technology state grants, and the TRIO and GEAR-UP programs. The amendment failed 44-49 on March 14, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 45 ).

  3. Higher Education: NEA SUPPORTED passage of an amendment offered by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) to the fiscal year 2006 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18) to restore funding for college prep programs, raise the maximum Pell Grant to $4,500 a year (from $4,050), and provide up to $23,000 in student loan forgiveness to new teachers in high need schools. The amendment passed 51-49 on March 17, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 68 ).

  4. Budget: NEA OPPOSED passage of the fiscal year 2006 budget agreement (H. Con Res. 95). The budget establishes a blueprint for how federal funds will be spent in the next fiscal year. The budget agreement cut $35 billion over five years from programs such as student aid and Medicaid that provide assistance to those most in need, provided $70 billion over five years in tax cuts targeted primarily to those with the highest incomes, and failed to make needed investments in public education. The budget agreement passed 52-47 on April 28, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 114) .

  5. Pell Grants: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to waive the budget act and allow an amendment offered by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to increase the maximum Pell Grant award from $4,050 to $4,250. The motion failed 48-51 on October 25, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 268 ).

  6. Title I: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to waive the budget act and allow an amendment offered by Senator Byrd (D-WV) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to increase funding for Title I. The motion failed 44-51 on October 26, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 269 ).

  7. Head Start: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to waive the budget act and allow an amendment offered by Senator Dodd (D-CT) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to increase funding for Head Start. The motion failed 47-52 on October 26, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 272 ).

  8. IDEA: NEA SUPPORTED a motion to waive the budget act and allow an amendment offered by Senator Clinton (D-NY) to the fiscal year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) to increase funding for special education. The motion failed 46-53 on October 26, 2005. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 273 ).

  9. Budget Reconciliation: NEA OPPOSED passage of a budget reconciliation measure (S. 1932), which made massive cuts to entitlement programs, including $7 billion in cuts to student aid that were projected to increase the average student loan debt by $5,800. The bill passed 50-50, with Vice President Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote, on December 21, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 363 ).

  10. Katrina Vouchers: NEA OPPOSED passage of the "motion to invoke cloture" (close debate and move forward to a vote) on the defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006 (H.R. 2863). The bill included provisions funding the first national voucher program under the guise of relief for students displaced by hurricane Katrina. The voucher program allowed direct cash payments to flow through public school districts to private and religious schools. The bill also included a one-percent across-the-board cut in funding for education and other priorities. The motion failed 56-44 (needed 60 votes) on December 21, 2005. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 364 ).

  11. Budget: NEA SUPPORTED an amendment offered by Senators Specter (R-PA) and Harkin (D-IA) to the Senate budget resolution for fiscal year 2007, which would add $7.1 billion for education and health programs. The amendment passed 73-27 on March 16, 2006. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 58 ).

  12. Estate Tax: NEA OPPOSED passage of the "motion to invoke cloture" (close debate and move forward to a vote) on the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (H.R. 8), which would make permanent the repeal of the estate tax, thereby seriously jeopardizing funds at the federal and state levels for education and other priorities. The motion failed 57-41 (needed 60 votes) on June 8, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 164 ).

  13. Voting Rights Act: NEA SUPPORTED passage of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization (H.R. 9), which reauthorized expiring sections of the Voting Rights Act dealing with prohibitions on implementation of any voting change motivated by a discriminatory purpose; equal access for language minority citizens; and federal observers to enforce the Act. The bill passed 98-0 on July 20, 2006. A "yes" vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote # 212 ).

  14. Pension Reform: NEA OPPOSED passage of the Pension Protection Act (H.R. 4), which changed dramatically the rules governing private sector defined benefit plans. The bill imposed financial and administrative burdens that could discourage private sector employers from offering or retaining defined benefit pension plans. The negative impact on the private sector participation rate in defined benefit plan systems could be so great that it could impact whether states continue to offer defined benefit plans for public employees. The bill passed 93-5 on August 3, 2006. A "no" vote supported the NEA position. (House Senate # 230 ).

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