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Legislative Report Card for the 112th Congress (2011-2012) 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. Members of Congress typically 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.

In the 2011 Report Card, new emphasis is given to votes involving union rights and votes to increase federal revenues.  We believe it important to hold lawmakers accountable at a time when both public and private sector unions and the right to bargain collectively are under severe attack.

The following votes were scored in the 112th Congress: 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  1. HEALTH CARE:  NEA opposed passage of the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” (H.R. 2). This legislation would have repealed the landmark Affordable Care Act, which will provide health care to 32 million previously uninsured Americans, including many students sitting in NEA members’ classrooms every day. The legislation passed 245-189 on January 19, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-14). 

     

  2. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD/WORKERS RIGHTS:  NEA opposed an amendment offered by Representative Price (R-GA) to the fiscal year 2011 “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act,” (H.R. 1)  that would have eliminated $233 million in funding for staffing and expenses of the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB enforces the National Labor Relations Act and works to guarantee the rights of employees to bargain collectively. The amendment failed 176-250 on February 17, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-75).

     

  3. DECEPTIVE PRACTICES IN FOR-PROFIT HIGHER EDUCATION: NEA opposed an amendment offered by Representatives Kline (R-MN) and Foxx (R-NC) to the fiscal year 2011 “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act” (H.R. 1) that would have blocked implementation of “gainful employment” regulations designed to protect students from deceptive practices by some for-profit career education programs. The amendment passed 289-136 on February 18, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-92).

     

  4. WORKER WAGE PROTECTIONS: NEA opposed an amendment offered by Representative King (R-IA) to the fiscal year 2011 “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act,” (H.R. 1) that would have eliminated funding to enforce Davis-Bacon wage protections. Davis-Bacon provides that federal construction contracts, and most contracts for federally assisted construction over $2,000, must include provisions for paying workers on-site no less than the locally prevailing wages and benefits paid on similar projects. The amendment failed 189-233 on February 19, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-144).

     

  5. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS:  NEA opposed passage of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (H.R. 471) which would reauthorize the District of Columbia private school voucher program. The bill passed 225-195 on March 30, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-204).

     

  6. EDUCATION, MEDICAID, MEDICARE FUNDING:  NEA opposed passage of the budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 (H. Con. Res. 34), which would have slashed funding for  education, dismantled the Medicaid program serving one-third of America’s children, and turned the Medicare program into a voucher system. The bill passed 235-193 on April 15, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-277).

     

  7. SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CLINICS:  NEA opposed legislation (H.R. 1214) to repeal funding for a one-time series of grants for construction, renovation, and equipment for school-based health centers (SBHCs). More than 1,900 SBHCs across the country provide access for nearly two million students to a range of primary, mental, and oral health care services. The bill passed 235-191 on May 3, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-290).

     

  8. PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES: NEA opposed an amendment offered by Representative Hunter (R-CA) to the fiscal year 2012 “National Defense Authorization Act” (H.R. 1540) that would have created a private school voucher program for students with disabilities in military families. The amendment failed 203-213 on May 25, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-344).

     

  9. CHARTER SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY:  NEA opposed an amendment offered by Representative King (R-IA) to the “Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act” (H.R. 2218) that would have struck language requiring that charter schools demonstrate success in increasing student academic achievement for economically disadvantaged students; students from major racial and ethnic groups; students with disabilities; and students with limited English proficiency. The amendment failed 43-374 on September 13, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-703).

     

  10. WORKERS RIGHTS: NEA opposed the “Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act” (H.R. 3094), which would have permitted employers to delay unfairly a union election, thereby allowing more intimidation and harassment of employees, including hiring union busting companies. The bill passed 235-188 on November 30, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-869).

     

  11. EDUCATION FUNDING: NEA supported passage of the fiscal year 2012 “Consolidated Appropriations Act” (H.R. 2055), which provided small increases for IDEA special education and Title I, preserved the maximum Pell Grant award, continued or increased funding of key programs slated for elimination under an earlier bill, and rejected efforts to defund the new health care law and attack workers rights. The bill passed 296-121 on December 16, 2011. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-941).

     

  12. EDUCATION FUNDING: NEA opposed passage of a fiscal year 2013 budget (H. Con. Res. 597) proposed as a substitute on the House floor by Representative Garrett (R-NJ) on behalf of the conservative Republican Study Committee. The Garrett substitute would have immediately slashed and frozen funding for education and other important domestic programs well below the levels set in an earlier bipartisan agreement. At the same time, the proposal refused to raise a single dollar in revenue from those most able to pay their fair share. The substitute failed 136-285 on March 29, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-149).

     

  13. EDUCATION, MEDICAID, MEDICARE FUNDING: NEA opposed passage of the budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 (H. Con. Res. 112), which would have slashed funding for  education, provided the wealthiest with an average tax cut of $150,000, dismantled the Medicaid program serving one-third of our nation’s children, repealed the Affordable Care Act, and shifted substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries. The bill passed 228-191 on March 29, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-151).

     

  14. EDUCATION FUNDING/SEQUESTRATION: NEA opposed passage of the Sequester Replacement Act (H.R.5652), which would have replaced scheduled across-the-board cuts in education, other domestic programs, and defense with other across-the-board cuts that would not impact defense, thereby putting all of the burden on education and other domestic programs. At the same time, the bill included no provisions to close corporate tax loopholes or ensure that those most able to do so pay their fair share. The bill passed 218-199 on May10, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-247).

     

  15. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: NEA opposed passage of a watered down version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4970). The bill would have weakened or deleted provisions to increase the safety of Native American women and to address the needs of the LGBT community. The bill also created obstacles for immigrant victims seeking to report crimes, increased danger for immigrant victims by eliminating important confidentiality protections, undermined effective anti-fraud protections, and rolled back years of progress to protect the safety of immigrant victims. The bill passed 222-205 on May 16, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-258).

     

  16. STUDENT LOANS / RURAL SCHOOLS: NEA supported passage of the Surface Transportation Extension Act (H.R. 4348), which included critical provisions to stop interest rates on certain student loans from doubling. The bill also extended funding for the Secure Rural Schools program, which provides essential resources and protects education services in rural, forest-impacted counties. The bill passed 373-52 on June 29, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-451).

     

  17. UNION RIGHTS / WAGE PROTECTIONS: NEA opposed passage of an amendment by Representative King (R-IA) to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5856), which would have prohibited the use of funds for enforcement of Davis-Bacon wage-rate requirements for any program funded under the bill. Davis-Bacon protections require paying local prevailing wages on public works projects. The amendment failed 182-235 on July 18, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-486).

     

  18. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS: NEA supported passage of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412), which would have extended tax cuts for middle class families earning less than $250,000 a year. The bill failed 170-257 on August 1, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-543).

     

  19. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS / UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: NEA supported passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8). The bill permanently extended middle class tax cuts for 114 million households, while raising tax rates for individuals making over $400,000 per year and for married couples making over $450,000 per year; permanently extended a number of tax benefits to help families and student pay for college; extended for five years the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit; extended for 2012 and 2013 the $250 tax deduction for educators who spend money out of their own pockets to pay for school supplies; and extended unemployment insurance for a year for two million struggling Americans. The bill passed 257-167 on January 1, 2013. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-659).

     

U.S. SENATE

  1. HEALTH CARE / STUDENT AID:  NEA opposed passage of an amendment offered by Senator McConnell (R-KY) to the “FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act” (S. 223) that would have repealed the landmark Affordable Care Act, which will provide health care to 32 million previously uninsured Americans, including many students sitting in NEA members’ classrooms every day. In addition, the amendment would have repealed student aid provisions that increased investment in Pell Grants and provided investments for community colleges. The amendment failed 47-51 on February 2, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-9).

     

  2. WORKER WAGE PROTECTIONS: NEA supported a motion to table an amendment offered by Senator Paul (R-KY) to the “FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act” (S. 223) that would have limited Davis-Bacon wage protections. Davis-Bacon provides that federal construction contracts, and most contracts for federally assisted construction over $2,000, must include provisions for paying workers on-site no less than the locally prevailing wages and benefits paid on similar projects. The motion to table passed 55-42 on February 3, 2011. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-11).

     

  3. EDUCATION, MEDICAID, MEDICARE FUNDING:  NEA opposed passage of a budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 (H. Con. Res. 34), which would have slashed funding for  education, dismantled the Medicaid program serving one-third of America’s children, and turned the Medicare program into a voucher system. The bill failed 40-57 on May 25, 2011. A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-77).

     

  4. EDUCATOR JOBS: NEA supported passage of the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act” (S. 1723), which would have saved and created hundreds of thousands of educator and other public sector jobs. The bill failed 50-50 (60 votes were required for passage) on October 20, 2011. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-177).

     

  5. EDUCATION FUNDING: NEA supported passage of the fiscal year 2012 “Consolidated Appropriations Act” (H.R. 2055), which provided small increases for IDEA special education and Title I, preserved the maximum Pell Grant award, continued or increased funding of key programs slated for elimination under an earlier bill, and rejected efforts to defund the new health care law and attack workers rights. The bill passed 67-32 on December 17, 2011. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-235).

     

  6. WORKERS’ RIGHTS: NEA opposed a motion to proceed on the Congressional Review Act (S. J. Res. 36), which included a provision disapproving and rendering ineffective a National Labor Relations Board rule designed to facilitate the union election process. The bill would have slowed the union election process, allowing for employer delay tactics, including intimidation and harassment of employees and the hiring of union busting companies. The motion failed 45-54 on April 24, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-68).

     

  7. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: NEA supported passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (S. 1925). The bill would have enhanced judicial and law enforcement tools to combat violence against women, and improved services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, with a special focus on Native American women, immigrant women, and the LGBT community. The bill passed 68-31 on April 26, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-87).

     

  8. EDUCATION, MEDICAID, MEDICARE FUNDING: NEA opposed a motion to proceed on the budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 (H. Con. Res. 112), which would have slashed funding for education, provided the wealthiest with an average tax cut of $150,000, dismantled the Medicaid program serving one-third of our nation’s children, repealed the Affordable Care Act, and shifted substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries.  The motion failed 41-58 on May 16, 2012. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-98).

     

  9. PAYCHECK FAIRNESS: NEA supported passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220), which would have strengthened the Equal Pay Act by creating incentives for employers to follow the law, empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthening federal outreach and enforcement efforts. The bill also would have deterred wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for violations and by prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. The bill passed 52-47 on June 15, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-115).

     

  10. STUDENT LOANS / RURAL SCHOOLS: NEA supported passage of the Surface Transportation Extension Act (H.R. 4348), which included critical provisions to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. The bill also extended funding for the Secure Rural Schools program, which provides essential resources and protects education services in rural, forest-impacted counties. The bill passed 74-19 on June 29, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-172).

     

  11. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS: NEA supported passage of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412), which would have extended expiring tax cuts for middle class families earning less than $250,000 a year. The bill passed 51-48 on July 25, 2012. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-184).

     

  12. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS / UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: NEA supported passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8). The bill permanently extended middle class tax cuts for 114 million households, while raising tax rates for individuals making over $400,000 per year and for married couples making over $450,000 per year; permanently extended a number of tax benefits to help families and student pay for college; extended for five years the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit; extended for 2012 and 2013 the $250 tax deduction for educators who spend money out of their own pockets to pay for school supplies; and extended unemployment insurance for a year for two million struggling Americans. The bill passed 89-8 on January 1, 2013. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-251).