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Letter to the House on Hurricane Sandy Supplemental

January 15, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to VOTE NO on an amendment to be offered by Representative Mulvaney (R-SC) to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152) that would offset critical relief for families impacted by Hurricane Sandy by cutting $17 billion from discretionary programs. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Program for the 113th Congress.

NEA strongly supports providing immediate assistance to the millions of families impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. These families, many of whom have lost their homes, have already waited too long for help. Congress must pass this overdue relief to ensure that families can get back on their feet.

However, we cannot use this disaster as an excuse to cut funding from essential discretionary programs. These cuts are a bad idea and would be devastating to the programs and services that ordinary Americans depend on, including education, transportation, public safety, medical research, and environmental protection. The federal government has a responsibility to provide relief for families impacted by natural disasters without slashing the discretionary investments that serve millions of Americans and spur economic growth.

We are very disappointed that the Rules Committee ruled out of order germane amendments to provide McKinney-Vento funding to support the educational needs of homeless students. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the number of homeless students has increased, yet inexplicably, the resources to serve these students will not be included in the relief bill. McKinney-Vento funding has been included in every disaster relief bill in recent history. Its exclusion from this bill will be devastating for the most vulnerable victims of Hurricane Sandy. We hope Congress will rectify this situation and will provide the resources necessary to help homeless students.

We thank you for your consideration of our views on these important matters.



Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations