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Federal Legislative Update February 2010

February 26, 2010
February 19, 2010


News from Capitol Hill. . .


2/26/10

Senate Passes Small Jobs Package: Tell Them More Needs To Be Done


This week the United States Senate passed a jobs package (H.R. 2847) introduced by Majority Leader Reid (D-NV). The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 70-28. See how your Senator voted on the jobs bill. (Note that the bill was moved under a different name – so this link does not explicitly say “jobs bill”).

The jobs package included a school infrastructure piece advocated by NEA. Specifically, the bill extends and improves the Build America Bonds program. This program, originally authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is very efficient and cost effective for state and local governments. It will help put Americans back to work by creating greater opportunities to build, repair, and modernize schools, and generating construction related jobs in local communities in every state.

Beyond the school infrastructure assistance, passage of this bill creates momentum for passage of additional, urgently-needed jobs legislation, including an Education Jobs Fund and an extension of the higher federal Medicaid match.

E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY! Thank the Senate for passing the first jobs package. Remind them that much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery.

Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes:

  • An Education Jobs Fund – to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs
  • An extension of federal Medicaid funding – to relieve budget pressures and prevent more cuts to education funding
  • Private pension relief – to protect retirement security
  • Extension of the educator tax deduction – to recognize the sacrifices made by educators across the nation who reach into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.

Additional Information:

Read NEA’s Press Release and additional information on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.


White House Hosts Health Care Summit


President Obama hosted a bipartisan summit on health care this Thursday, February 25. The White House health care proposal is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/proposal.

NEA believes the Summit offered an important opportunity to reinvigorate the health care debate and jumpstart action on a reform package. Our nation cannot afford to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control. We must continue to encourage policymakers to support a bill that makes quality health care more affordable and accessible for all working families. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s video message to Summit attendees.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TODAY!

Tell Congress to finish the job and deliver a health reform bill that meets the needs of America’s families.


Ask Senate to Support Bill That Provides Billions of Dollars For Education


Last year, the House of Representatives passed the NEA-supported Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221). This landmark bill provides something for education at every level, including significant investments for:

  • Early childhood education
  • School construction for K-12 schools
  • Higher education (including student aid, grants to community colleges, and money for facilities),

Now, the Senate needs to act.

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS! Tell the Senate to support a bill like the House-passed Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.

For more information on this legislation, visit the NEA website

 

News from Capitol Hill. . .

2/19/2010


TELL THE SENATE: SAVING EDUCATORS' JOBS KEEPS KIDS--AND OUR ECONOMY--ON TOP

This week marked the one-year anniversary of enactment of the historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Passage of this legislation marked a huge victory for education, with unprecedented funding increases targeted directly to local school districts. 

One year later, ARRA has been credited with creating/saving more than 300,000 education-related jobs and the funding provided to education has been touted as one of its most effective successes.  Just this week, the head of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers stated that the education piece of ARRA has been "one of the triumphs" and has had "more bite than we would have thought." 

But, much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery.  Congress returns from recess on February 22.  Immediate action is needed on a jobs package that builds on the successes of ARRA.

  1.  E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY!  Remind Senators that the ARRA education funding (“state stabilization fund”) has been very effective in creating/saving jobs and that a continuation of such assistance through an Education Jobs Fund is essential to economic recovery. 

Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes:

  • An Education Jobs Fund – to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs
  • An extension of federal Medicaid funding – to relieve budget pressures and prevent more cuts to education funding
  • Private pension relief – to protect retirement security
  • Extension of the educator tax deduction – to recognize the sacrifices made by educators across the nation who reach into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.
  1.  CALL-IN DAY TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23!  NEA and our partner organizations will hold a national call-in day on February 23 focused on relieving historic state budget shortfalls by providing aid to states to save and create public service jobs, including education jobs, and by extending the federal match for Medicaid.  Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 (capitol switchboard – ask for your specific Senators).  You can use this sample script for your calls:

     “Hello, my name is _________ and I live in ______. I’d like to speak to the person who is working on the Jobs bill. I’m calling to make sure that Senator _________________ supports and fights for investments in public services like education and Medicaid as part of any Jobs bill.  Saving and creating education jobs is a very effective way to jumpstart economic recovery.   Providing aid to states for Medicaid will also relieve budget pressures that would otherwise force cuts to education and healthcare services. Can I count on Senator __________ to support and fight for this aid?”

 These talking points, along with a form to report back to NEA that you have made calls and provide any feedback you received from the Senators, are available at http://www.capwiz.com/nea/callalert/index.tt?alertid=14704801&type=CO

Additional Information:

Read NEA’s Press Release and additional information on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill. 


 

WHITE HOUSE TO HOST HEALTH CARE SUMMIT, FEBRUARY 25

President Obama will host a bipartisan summit on health care this Thursday, February 25, beginning at 10:00am Eastern Time.  The event will be televised live in its entirety, although specific network coverage has not yet been announced.   In preparation for the summit, the White House will post their health care proposal at www.whitehouse.gov on Sunday evening, February 21.

The Summit offers an important opportunity to reinvigorate the health care debate and jumpstart action on a reform package.  Our nation cannot afford to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control.  We must continue to encourage policymakers to support a bill that makes quality health care more affordable and accessible for all working families.  

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TODAY

Tell Congress to finish the job and deliver a health reform bill that meets the needs of America’s families.

Read the Invitation Letter for the Health Care Summit 
See the complete list of Health Care Summit Invitees