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Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress (2013-2014) 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 this Report Card, emphasis continues to be given to votes involving union rights, even if they may not impact our members immediately or directly.   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 113th Congress.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  1. DOMESTIC SPENDING CUTS: NEA opposed passage of an amendment to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152) which, if enacted, would have paid for critical relief for families impacted by Hurricane Sandy by offsetting $17 billion in relief funds with cuts to essential discretionary programs, including education, transportation, public safety, medical research, and environmental protection.  The legislation failed by a vote of 162-258 on January 15, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #1-14).
  2. WOMEN’S RIGHTS: NEA supported passage of bipartisan legislation (S. 47) to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act.  The legislation passed 286-138 on February 28, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-55).  
  3. WORKERS’ RIGHTS: NEA opposed legislation (H.R. 803) to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act which, if enacted, would consolidate important categorical programs and their funding streams.  The legislation passed in the House 215-202 on March 15, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.   (House Vote #1-75).
  4. FISCAL 2014 BUDGET: NEA opposed passage of H. Con. Res. 25, a federal budget proposal for fiscal years 2014-2023 which sought to reduce education funding sharply, repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act, voucherize Medicare and slash Medicaid funding.  The legislation passed by a vote of 221 — 207 on March 21, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-88). 
  5. FISCAL 2013 SEQUESTRATION: NEA opposed final Congressional passage of a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 933) to fund the government which failed to eliminate damaging, across-the-board sequester cuts to education.  The legislation passed by a vote of 318-109 on March 21, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #1-89).
  6. COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY: NEA opposed passage of the proposed Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (H.R. 1911) which sought to tie new student loan interest rates to 10-year Treasury Note rates, effectively raising the cost of higher education for millions of middle class students and making it unaffordable for many.  The legislation passed by a vote of 221-198 on May 23, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-183).
  7. WORKERS’ RIGHTS:NEA opposed an amendment by Rep. King (R-IA) to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal 2014 (H.R. 2216).  The proposed amendment would have prohibited the use of funds made available by H.R. 2216 to uphold the Davis-Bacon Act and its prevailing wage requirements.  The legislation failed by a vote of 192-231 on June 4, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #1-191).
  8. K-12 EDUCATION POLICY: NEA opposed passage of the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), a measure to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  H.R. 5 erodes the historical federal role in public education: targeting resources to marginalized student populations as a means of helping to ensure equity of opportunity for all students.  The legislation passed by a vote of 221-207 on July 19, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (House Vote #1-374). 
  9. CHILD NUTRITION:NEA opposed legislation (H.R. 3102) which, if enacted, would impose deep and harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at a time when one out of every five children is living in poverty.  The legislation passed by a vote of 217-210 on September 19, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.   (House Vote #1-476).
  10. FISCAL 2014 FUNDING : NEA opposed a Continuing Resolution for Fiscal 2014 (H.J. Res. 59) which, if enacted, would continue devastating cuts to education set in motion by “sequestration” and permanently defund the Affordable Care Act. The legislation passed by a vote of 230-189 on September 20, 2013. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #1-478.)
  11. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:NEA supported legislation (H.R. 2775) that ended a government shutdown, permitted federal borrowing until February 2014 and temporarily extended funding at fiscal year 2013 levels. The legislation passed by a vote of 285-144 on October 16, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #1-550).
  12. FISCAL 2014 FUNDING: NEA supported the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (H.R. 3547). This omnibus measure, which partially replaced spending cuts achieved through sequestration, set appropriation levels for the 2014 fiscal year and included a Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that prioritized critical formula grants such as Title 1 and IDEA.  The legislation passed by a vote of 359-67 on January 15, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-21).
  13. FISCAL 2015 BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: NEA opposed a budget alternative offered by Rep. Woodall (R-GA) to the proposed FY15 Budget Resolution on behalf of Republican conservatives.   Woodall’s budget plan would have cut deeper than Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s proposed FY15 budget by cutting non-defense discretionary funding to pre-2008 levels. The legislation failed by a vote of 133-291 on April 10, 2014. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-175).
  14. FISCAL 2015 BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: NEA supported a budget alternative offered by Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD) to the FY15 Budget Resolution on behalf of House Democrats.  Van Hollen’s budget plan set more sensible priorities, called for tax fairness, replaced education funding cuts achieved by sequestration and called for new investment in early childhood education.  The legislation failed by a vote of 163-261on April 10, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-176).
  15. FISCAL 2015 BUDGET: NEA opposed the proposed FY15 Budget plan offered by Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that, if adopted, would have doubled down on cuts to education and other domestic programs, slashed Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and failed to ask the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. The legislation passed by a vote of 219-205 on April 10, 2014. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-177).
  16. CHARTER SCHOOLS: NEA supported Rep. Castor’s (D-FL) amendment to the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10). Castor’s amendment to HR 10 would require the Secretary of Education to develop and enforce conflict of interest guidelines for all charter schools receiving federal assistance. The amendment failed by a vote of 190-205 on May 9, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-212).
  17. CHARTER SCHOOLS: NEA supported Rep. Jackson Lee’s (D-TX) amendment to the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10). Jackson Lee’s amendment to HR 10 would require charter schools to publicly disseminate data on student recruitment, enrollment criteria, student discipline stories, and any parent contract requirements or financial obligations. The amendment failed by a vote of 179-220 on May 9, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-213).
  18. CHARTER SCHOOLS: NEA supported Rep. Wilson’s (D-FL) amendment to the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R.10). This amendment was designed ensure collection and public dissemination of information that will help parents make informed decisions about education options for their children, including disaggregated data on student outcomes, suspensions and expulsions. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 373-32 on May 9, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-214).
  19. BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN PURCHASES:  NEA supported a bipartisan amendment to the fiscal 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R.4660) by Representatives Thompson (D-CA) and King (R-NY). The amendment was designed to provide additional funds to states to ensure that records of prohibited firearm purchasers could be provided to the FBI for inclusion in a national database. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 260-145 on May 29, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote # 2-249).
  20. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: NEA supported the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), a long overdue reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act that maintains a basic job training structure, includes labor representation on workforce boards, and provides employment and training services for low-income, low-skill workers. The bill passed on July 9, 2014 by a vote of 415-6. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-378).
  21. TAX FAIRNESS: NEA opposed the proposed “Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014” (H.R. 4935), a bill designed to provide new permanent tax cuts to the wealthy and severely limit  the Child Tax Credit for the poorest working families which the credit was designed to help. The bill passed on July 25, 2014 by a vote of 237-173. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-451).
  22. IMMIGRATION: NEA opposed H.R. 5272, a bill aimed at preventing expansions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which protects “DREAMers” who were brought to the United States as undocumented children. The bill passed by a vote of 216-192 on August 1, 2014. A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (House Vote #2-479).    

U.S. SENATE

  1. WOMEN’S RIGHTS: NEA supported passage of bipartisan legislation (S. 47) to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act.  The legislation passed 78-22 on February 12, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-19).  
  2. FISCAL 2013 SEQUESTRATION:  NEA opposed final Congressional passage of a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 933) to fund the government which failed to eliminate damaging, across-the-board sequester cuts to education.  The legislation passed by a vote of 73-26 on March 20, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-44).
  3. TITLE 1 PORTABILITY: NEA opposed an amendment to S. Con. Res. 8 by Sen. Alexander (R-TN) that would have instituted a “portability” requirement for Title I funds.  The amendment failed by a vote of 39-60 on March 21, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-63). 
  4. WORKERS’ RIGHTS:NEA opposed an amendment to S. Con. Res. 8 by Sen. Scott (R-SC) that would have prohibited federal payroll deduction of union dues.  The amendment failed by a vote of 43-56 on March 22, 2013.  A “no” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-75).
  5. FISCAL 2014 BUDGET:NEA supported passage of S. Con. Res. 8, an NEA endorsed  budget plan for fiscal years 2014-2023 which sought to end damaging spending cuts and restore education funding through a balanced approach to deficit reduction which included increased revenue through the closing of corporate tax loopholes.  The resolution passed by a vote of 50-49 on March 23, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-92).
  6. SCHOOLY SAFETY / GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION:  NEA supported a bipartisan amendment to S. 649 by Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Toomey (R-PA) that would have required background checks for all gun sales at gun shows and online and would have required the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  The amendment failed by a vote of 54-46 on April 17, 2013, since a 3/5 vote was required.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-95).
  7. STATE EDUCATION RESOURCES:NEA supported passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 753), a bipartisan bill to remedy a long-standing inequity by allowing states and local governments to collect sales tax from remote sellers.  If enacted, this legislation would help states stop the erosion of their tax bases and provide needed resources for education and other critical priorities.  The legislation passed by a vote of 69-27 on May 6, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-113).
  8. COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY:   NEA supported a motion to proceed to a vote on the proposed Student Loan Affordability Act (S. 953) which, if enacted, would have extended an existing 3.4% fixed interest rate on student loans for two years. On June 26, 2013, the Senate failed to invoke cloture by a vote of 51-46, since a 3/5 vote is required.   A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-143).
  9. COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM:  NEA supported passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) which, if enacted, would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.  The bill passed by a vote of 68-32 on June 27, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #1-147).
  10. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: NEA supported legislation (H.R. 2775) that ended a government shutdown, permitted federal borrowing until February 2014 and temporarily extended funding at fiscal year 2013 levels.  The legislation passed by a vote of 81-18 on October 16, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-219).
  11. EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: NEA supported passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (S. 815) which, if enacted, would prevent employers from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  The bill passed by a vote of 64-32 on November 7, 2013.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #1-232).
  12. FISCAL 2014 FUNDING: NEA supported the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (H.R. 3547).  This omnibus measure, which partially replaced spending cuts achieved through sequestration, set appropriation levels for the 2014 fiscal year and included a Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that prioritized critical formula grants such as Title 1 and IDEA.  The bill passed by a vote of 72-26 on January 16, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position.  (Senate Vote #2-13).
  13. CHILD CARE: NEA supported the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (S. 1086) which helps low-income working families and parents transition from welfare to work by providing safe, supportive and caring environments for their children. The bill passed by a vote of 96-2 on March 13, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-77).
  14. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: NEA supported passage of the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014 (within H.R. 3979). This legislation to extend unemployment insurance was designed to offer a critical lifeline to those Americans unemployed more than 26 weeks. The bill passed by a vote of 59-38 on April 7, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-101).
  15. MINIMUM WAGE: NEA supported Senator Harkin’s (D-IA) Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223) which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour over a three year period, while tying future minimum wage increases to annual inflation rates. Efforts to move forward with debate failed by a vote of 54-42 on April 30, 2014, since a 3/5 vote was required.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-117).
  16. STUDENT LOAN RATES: NEA supported S. 2432, which would amend the Higher Education Act to allow students who took out loans before July 1, 2013 to refinance and thereby pay the same low rates as new borrowers. A cloture motion on the bill was rejected by a vote 56-38 on June 11, 2014, since a 3/5 vote was required.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-185).
  17. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: NEA supported the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), a long overdue reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act that maintains a basic job training structure, includes labor representation on workforce boards, and provides employment and training services for low-income, low-skill workers. The bill passed by a vote of 95-3 on June 25, 2014. A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-214).
  18. CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: NEA supported Senate Joint Resolution 19, a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would grant Congress permission to regulate and limit the amount of money raised for — and spent on — federal political campaigns, which have been flooded by corporate and other major donor money since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Efforts to move forward with debate failed by a vote of 54-42 on September 11, 2014, since a 3/5 vote was required.  A “yes” vote supported the NEA position. (Senate Vote #2-261).