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Description of Votes Scored 109th Congress, First Session (January - October 2005)





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 Congressional 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 first session of 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 (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 (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 (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).

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 (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 (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 math, science, and special education 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 (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 (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 (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 (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).