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Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Description of Votes Scored

House Report Card | Senate Report Card


Votes cast in the full U.S. House and Senate remain the major criteria on which Report Card grades are based.  Votes are selected for inclusion in the Report Card based on their relevance to advancing NEA’s identified legislative priorities and Members of Congress typically are notified in writing any time a pending vote may be scored in the Legislative Report Card.  The following votes were scored in the 111th Congress.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  1. HIGHER EDUCATION -- DREAM ACT: NEA supported passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (H.R. 5281) to help expand access to higher education for students in good standing who meet the bill’s criteria.  Specifically, the bill provides a path to legal status for individuals who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children at least five years ago, have grown up here, and have remained in school and out of trouble.  Such students could adjust their status to that of a conditional permanent resident and could then have the conditional status lifted if they complete at least two years of college or serve in the military.  The legislation passed 216-198 on December 8, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-625). 
     
  2. CHILD NUTRITION:  NEA supported passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307) to reauthorize child nutrition programs, including school meals programs.  The bill helps reduce hunger and increase children's access to healthy meals by better connecting eligible children with free school meals and strengthening nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools,   The bill also provides resources for training and professional development for food service workers and does not include any outsourcing of school food service jobs.  The legislation passed 264-157 on December 2, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-603).

  3. EDUCATION JOBS: NEA supported passage of the Disaster/War Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 4899) to appropriate $10 billion to save the jobs of over 160,000 teachers who would otherwise be laid off.  The legislation passed 239-182 on July 1, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-430).

  4. SCIENCE / MATH / TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: NEA supported passage of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116) to authorize $85.6 billion in fiscal 2011 though fiscal 2015 for science and research programs at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Energy Department, thereby helping to strengthen math and science education.  The legislation passed 262-150 on May 28, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-332).

  5. EDUCATOR TAX DEDUCTION/ PENSION RELIEF/ FMAP: NEA supported passage of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213) to extend the $250 tax deduction for educators’ out-of-pocket classroom supply expenses, provide fiscal relief to states facing budget crises in the form of an increased federal Medicaid match, and provide a fix for public pension systems saving NEA affiliates from having to make significant program and members service cuts.  The legislation passed 215-204 on May 28, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-324).

  6. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING / HIGHER EDUCATION: NEA supported passage of an amendment offered by Representative George Miller (D-CA) to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116) to require that institutions of higher education that employ members of a labor union respond to union requests for information to which they are legally entitled within 15 days, or lose funding for programs authorized under the bill.  The amendment passed 250-174 on May 12, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-265).

  7. HEALTH CARE AND STUDENT AID: NEA supported passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) to provide an estimated 32 million uninsured children and adults with access to health coverage, make other sweeping health care reforms to improve health care coverage and fix the excise tax on employer-provided benefits included in the earlier version of the bill.  The bill also provided record investments in higher education, including an increase in the maximum annual Pell Grant award and $2 billion for community colleges to support their invaluable role in economic recovery.  The legislation passed 220-211 on March 21, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-167).

  8. HEALTH CARE: NEA supported passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) to provide millions of uninsured children and adults with access to health coverage and make other sweeping health care reforms to improve health care coverage. The legislation passed 219-212 on March 21, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-165).

  9. SCHOOL MODERNIZATION BONDS: NEA supported passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2847), which included provisions to expand the Build America Bonds program – an efficient and cost effective program that allows state and local governments to finance school modernization projects.  The legislation passed 217-201 on March 4, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #2-90).

  10. EDUCATION FUNDING / JOBS:  NEA supported passage of the Jobs for Main Street Act (included in the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Bill – H.R. 2847) to provide $27 billion to save/create education jobs and fund school modernization.  The legislation passed 217-212 on December 16, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-991).

  11. HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM: NEA supported passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) to provide more affordable, quality coverage for all, call for shared responsibility by individuals, employers and government, and expand health insurance coverage choices.  The bill includes provisions to make health insurance and health care services more affordable and to retain and strengthen employer-sponsored insurance and extend this responsibility across a broader spectrum of employers.  It includes progressive financing provisions to ensure that middle income families do not take on an even greater burden for securing comprehensive health insurance coverage for their families. The legislation passed 220-215 on November 7, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-887).

  12. HIGHER EDUCATION / STUDENT AID: NEA supported passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) to eliminate federally subsidized private loans and provide $8.8 billion to community colleges over the next ten years – including money for grants to help students stay in and complete college, and funds to help repair and modernize community college facilities.  The bill also would increase the maximum Pell Grant scholarship, lower interest rates on need-based federal student loans, simplify the federal financial aid application, provide $4 billion in grants to states and local school districts to help repair and modernize K-12 school facilities, and make significant investments in comprehensive, high quality early childhood education.  The legislation passed 253-171 on September 17, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-719).

  13. EDUCATION FUNDING: NEA supported passage of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 3293) to restore funding ($1.5 billion) for Title I that the Administration proposed cutting, and increase funding for Pell Grants, IDEA, English Language Learner grants, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Impact Aid, and Head Start.  The legislation passed 264-153 on July 24, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-646).

  14. SCIENCE / MATH / TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: NEA supported passage of the STEM Education Coordination Act (H.R. 1709) to establish a committee under the National Science and Technology Council to develop a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education strategic plan and to coordinate federal programs and activities in support of STEM education.  The legislation passed 353-29 on June 8, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-312).

  15. SCHOOL MODERNIZATION / GREEN SCHOOLS: NEA supported passage of the 21st Century Green High-Performing School Facilities Act (H.R. 257) to provide $6.4 billion for repair and modernization of public schools.  It passed 275-155 on May 14, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-259).

  16. HATE CRIMES: NEA supported passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) to help ensure a comprehensive federal state/local partnership to address hate crimes.  The legislation passed 249-175 on April 29, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-223).

  17. NATIONAL SERVICE: NEA supported passage of the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act (H.R. 1388) to strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, increase the number of AmeriCorps volunteers, and increase the education reward they receive to match the maximum Pell Grant.  The legislation passed 275-149 on March 31, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-169).

  18. ECONOMIC RECOVERY / EDUCATION FUNDING AND JOBS: NEA supported passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) to provide historic increases in education funding, including increases for Title I and IDEA, a new state fiscal stabilization fund, and school construction bonds.  As a result, funding for the Department of Education increased to $159.4 billion – an increase of 169 percent.  The legislation is credited with saving some 250,000 education jobs.  The legislation passed 246-183 on February 13, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-70).

  19. CHILDREN’S HEALTH: NEA supported passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover an additional four million uninsured children.  It passed 290-135 on February 4, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-50).

  20. EQUAL PAY:  NEA supported passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181) to help ensure that victims of pay discrimination can effectively challenge unequal pay by clarifying the timeframe for bringing a claim, thereby allowing sufficient time to discover the inequity.  The legislation passed 250-177 on January 27, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-37).

U.S. SENATE

  1. HIGHER EDUCATION -- DREAM ACT: NEA supported passage of a “cloture” motion to close debate and move to a floor vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (H.R. 5281) to help expand access to higher education for students in good standing who meet the bill’s criteria.  Specifically, the bill provides a path to legal status for individuals who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children at least five years ago, have grown up here, and have remained in school and out of trouble.  Such students could adjust their status to that of a conditional permanent resident and could then have the conditional status lifted if they complete at least two years of college or serve in the military.  The motion, which required 60 votes to pass, failed 55-41 on December 18, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-278).

  2. EDUCATION JOBS: NEA supported passage of legislation (H.R. 1586) to appropriate $10 billion to save the jobs of over 160,000 teachers who would otherwise be laid off and provide $16 billion in added fiscal relief to states facing budget crises in the form of an increased federal Medicaid match.  The legislation passed 61-39 on August 5, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-228).

  3. HEALTH CARE AND STUDENT AID: NEA supported passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) to provide an estimated 32 million uninsured children and families with access to health coverage and make other sweeping health care reforms to improve health care coverage.  It also provides record investments in higher education, including an increase in the maximum annual Pell Grant award and $2 billion for community colleges to support their invaluable role in economic recovery.  The legislation passed 56-43 on March 25, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-105).

  4. SCHOOL MODERNIZATION BONDS: NEA supported passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2847), which included provisions to expand the Build America Bonds program – an efficient and cost effective program that allows state and local governments to finance school modernization projects.  The legislation passed 68-29 on March 17, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-55).

  5. PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS: NEA opposed an amendment by Senator Lieberman (I-CT) to health care legislation (H.R. 1586) to reauthorize the District of Columbia private school voucher program.  The amendment failed 42-55 on March 16, 2010.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-53).

  6. EDUCATOR TAX DEDUCTION / PENSION RELIEF /  FMAP: NEA supported a “cloture” motion to end debate and allow the Tax Extenders Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213) to move forward for a vote.  The bill extended the $250 tax deduction for educators’ out-of-pocket classroom supply expenses, provided fiscal relief to states facing budget crises in the form of an increased federal Medicaid match, and provided a fix for public pension systems saving NEA affiliates from having to make significant program and members service cuts.  The motion passed 66-33 on March 10, 2010.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-47).

  7. DISCRETIONARY SPENDING CAPS:  NEA opposed an amendment offered by Senators McCaskill (D-MO) and Sessions (R-AL) to establish caps on discretionary spending.  The amendment would have undermined efforts to make strategic investments in education that will help stimulate economic recovery.  The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, failed 56-44 on January 28, 2010.   A no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-11).

  8. HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM: NEA supported a procedural motion to allow the Senate to proceed on consideration of a health insurance reform package (H.R. 3590).  Allowing debate to proceed was critical to continuing on the path toward enactment of meaningful health insurance reform.  The motion passed 60-39 on November 21, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-353).

  9. HATE CRIMES: NEA supported passage of a cloture motion to close debate and move to a vote on an amendment offered by Senator Leahy (D-VT) to the Department of Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) that would add the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) to the bill.  The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would help ensure a comprehensive federal state/local partnership to address hate crimes. The motion passed 63-28 on July 16, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-233).

  10. NATIONAL SERVICE: NEA supported passage of the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act (H.R. 1388) to strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, increase the number of AmeriCorps volunteers, and increase the education reward they receive to match the maximum Pell Grant.  The legislation passed 79-19 on March 26, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-115).

  11. PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS: NEA opposed passage of an amendment offered by Senator Ensign (R-NV) to the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 1105) to continue full funding for the District of Columbia voucher program beyond the program’s set expiration date.  The amendment failed 39-58 on March 10, 2009.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-94).

  12. ECONOMIC RECOVERY/EDUCATION FUNDING AND JOBS: NEA supported passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) to provide historic increases in education funding, including increases for Title I and IDEA, a new state fiscal stabilization fund, and school construction bonds.  As a result, funding for the Department of Education increased to $159.4 billion – an increase of 169 percent.  The legislation is credited with saving some 250,000 education jobs. The legislation passed 60-38 on February 13, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-64)

  13. CHILDREN’S HEALTH: NEA supported passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover an additional four million uninsured children.  It passed 66-32 on January 29, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-31)

  14. EQUAL PAY:  NEA supported passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181).  To help ensure that victims of pay discrimination can effectively challenge unequal pay by clarifying the timeframe for bringing a claim, thereby allowing sufficient time to discover the inequity.  The legislation passed 61-36 on January 22, 2009.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-14).