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Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress (2015 - 2016) 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.

The following votes were scored for the 1st session of the 114th Congress.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  1. LIMITING HEALTH INSURANCE: NEA opposed passage of legislation (H.R. 30) that would create a disincentive for employers to provide health care coverage, negatively impacting employer-sponsored health insurance and harming families, children and educators who need coverage.  The legislation passed by a vote of 252-172 on January 8, 2015. (House Vote #1-14).
  2. DREAMers / DEFUNDING DACA : NEA opposed an amendment to the Dept. of Homeland Security Appropriations bill aimed at preventing any funds or fees from being used to consider any new, renewal or previously denied Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications, essentially ending a program that has served to keep approximately 700,000 students and their immigrant families together. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 218-209 on January 14, 2015. (House Vote #1-30).
  3. ESEA / PARAEDUCATORS: NEA supported an amendment to H.R. 5 by Reps. Quigley (D-IL), McKinley (R-WV) and Serrano (D-NY) to restore appropriate standards and qualifications for paraeducators.  The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 218-201 on February 26, 2015. (House Vote #1-98).
  4. UNION MEMBERSHIP: NEA opposed a resolution to overturn National Labor Relations Board rules which are designed to modernize procedures for representational elections, reduce litigation and streamline the election process to benefit employers, workers and unions. The resolution passed in the House 232-186 on March 19, 2015. (House Vote #1-128).
  5. CONSERVATIVES’ BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2016:  NEA opposed a draconian FY16 budget proposal by the Republican Study Committee which, if enacted, would balance the budget on the backs of those least able to afford it by cutting $7 trillion in spending over the next 10 year and by repealing the Affordable Care Act. The legislation failed by a vote of 132-294 on March 25, 2015. (House Vote #1-138).
  6. REPUBLICANS’ PROPOSED FY 2016 BUDGET: NEA opposed passage of the House Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 27) because it also would take us in the wrong direction as a nation by deeply cutting education and other important non-defense discretionary programs, by slashing Medicaid and by repealing the Affordable Care Act. The legislation passed by a vote of 228-199 on March 25, 2015. (House Vote #1-142).
  7. WEAKENING FEDERAL EMPLOYEE UNIONS: NEA opposed an anti-labor amendment to the FY16 Military Construction and Veteran’s Affairs Appropriations Act to prohibit funds from being used to pay a Federal employee for any period of time during which the employee used official time for union business. The legislation failed by a vote of 190-232 on April 30, 2015. (House Vote #1-190).
  8. ESEA / EDUCATION BLOCK GRANTS: NEA opposed an amendment to H.R. 5 by Rep. Walker (R-NC) to abdicate the federal role in education and permit states to block grant education funds to be used for any education purpose, including private school vouchers, thereby taking away funding from students most in need. The amendment failed by a vote of 195-235 on July 8, 2015. (House Vote #1-419).
  9. ESEA / OPTING OUT OF ASSESSMENTS: NEA supported passage of an amendment to H.R. 5 by Rep. Salmon (R-AZ) to prevent states from being punished under the 95% participation rule when parents opt their children out of federally required assessments. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 251-178 on July 8, 2015. (House Vote #1-420). 
  10. PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS IN D.C.: NEA opposed passage of H.R. 10 which, if enacted, would reauthorize a private school voucher program for the District of Columbia. The D.C. voucher program diverts millions of taxpayer dollars away from public schools, does not positively impact student achievement and does not hold private schools to the same level of transparency and accountability as public schools. The legislation passed by a vote of 240-191 on October 21, 2015.(House Vote #1-559).
  11. UNDERMINING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:  NEA opposed passage of the Healthcare Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), which sought to dismantle large portions of the Affordable Care Act, thereby leaving millions of Americans without access to affordable quality healthcare. The legislation passed by a vote of 240-189 on October 23, 2015. (House Vote #1-568).
  12. 2016-2017 BIPARTISAN BUDGET AGREEMENT: NEA supported passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which would raise caps on discretionary spending by $80 billion over 2 years, thereby leaving more room for investments in education programs like Title I, IDEA and Head Start, which help students most in need. The legislation passed by a vote of 266-167 on October 28, 2015. (House Vote #1-579).
  13. ESEA REAUTHORIZATION: NEA supported final passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177), the NEA-endorsed ESEA reauthorization measure, because it addresses key priorities for students and educators such as expanding opportunity, a reduction in high-stakes testing and empowering educators’ voices in decision making at all levels. The legislation passed by a vote of 359-64 on December 2, 2015. (House Vote #1-665).
  14. FY 2016 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL: NEA supported passage of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 2029), which included a two-year delay in the health care excise tax and increased assistance for students most in need, including a $2 billion increase in Department of Education funding. The legislation passed by a vote of 316-113 on December 18, 2015. (House Vote #1-705).
  15. PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS IN D.C.: NEA opposed passage of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4901). The D.C. voucher program diverts millions of taxpayer dollars away from public schools at time when essential federal programs like Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are severely underfunded and does not hold private schools to the same level of transparency and accountability as public schools. The bill passed by a vote of 224-181 on April 29, 2016.(House Vote #2-179)
  16. ANTI-LGBTQ BIAS: NEA supported passage of Rep. Maloney’s (D-NY) amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 5055) to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not go to federal contractors that discriminate against LGBTQ Americans. The amendment passed by a vote of 223-195 on May 25, 2016. (House Vote #2-258)
  17. PERKINS CTE REAUTHORIZATION: NEA supported passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587), which reflects key NEA-supported principles and recommendations for reauthorization of Perkins career and technical education (CTE) programs: involving educators in decision-making, preparing educators to address the needs of all students, and addressing skills gaps. The bill passed by a vote of 405-5 on September 13, 2016. (House Vote #2-503)
  18. JUVENILE JUSTICE REAUTHORIZATION: NEA supported the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5963) to strengthen and update the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which sets national standards for the custody and care of youth in the juvenile justice system and provides direction and support for state juvenile justice system improvements. The bill passed by a vote of 382-29 on September 22, 2016. (House Vote #2-552)
  19. CHILDREN’S HEALTH: NEA supported the Water Resources Development Act and Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 2028), which together provide relief for the lead-related water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Tens of thousands of children have been exposed to contaminated drinking water with high levels of lead, which is associated with learning disabilities and other serious health problems.  The legislation passed by a vote of 326-96 on December 8, 2016. (House Vote #2-620).

U.S. SENATE

  1. UNION MEMBERSHIP: NEA opposed a resolution to overturn National Labor Relations Board rules which are designed to modernize procedures for representational elections in the private sector, reduce litigation and streamline the election process to benefit employers, workers, and unions. The resolution passed 53-46 on March 4, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-67).
  2. ENDING BUDGET SEQUESTRATION: NEA supported an amendment to S. Con. Res. 11 by Sen. Murray (D-WA) to eliminate across-the-board cuts in discretionary domestic and defense spending in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 which were required by “sequestration,” and instead increase discretionary spending on both domestic and defense programs equally. The amendment failed by a vote of 46-53 on March 25, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-91).
  3. FUNDING PARITY: NEA supported an amendment to S. Con. Res. 11 by Sen. Kaine (D-VA) to require any defense-related spending adjustments be equally applied to nondefense discretionary spending, which would include programs like education and healthcare. The amendment passed by a vote of 50-48 on March 27, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-134).
  4. REPUBLICANS’ FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2016 BUDGET:  NEA opposed passage of the FY 2016 Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 11) because it proposed deep cuts to education and other nondefense discretionary programs, cut Medicaid funding, turned Pell Grant awards into a discretionary program and repealed the Affordable Care Act. The bill passed by a vote of 52-46 on March 27, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-135).
  5. ESEA / VOUCHERS:  NEA opposed Sen. Alexander’s (R-TN) amendment to S. 1177 to provide $24 billion in voucher funding for state-approved public and private schools. The amendment failed by a vote of 45-52 on July 8, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-225).
  6. ESEA / EDUCATION BLOCK GRANTS: NEA opposed Sen. Daines’ (R-MT) amendment to S. 1177 to abdicate the federal role in education and permit states to block grant education funds for any education purpose, including private school vouchers, thereby taking away funding from students most in need. The amendment failed by a vote of 44-54 on July 9, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-226).
  7. ESEA / TITLE I PORTABILITY: NEA opposed Sen. Scott’s (R-SC) amendment to S. 1177 to allow Title I funding to “follow” the student to any public or private school, a practice commonly recognized as a pathway to vouchers and one that is harmful to students attending Title I schools. The amendment failed by a vote of 45-51 on July 14, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-232).
  8. ESEA / ENDING DISCRIMINATION: NEA supported Sen. Franken’s (D-MN) amendment to S. 1177 to add the Student Non-Discrimination Act to the base bill in order to ban school discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation. The amendment failed by a vote of 52-45 on July 14, 2015, since a 3/5 vote was required. (Senate Vote #1-236).
  9. ESEA / CLOTURE MOTION: NEA supported a cloture motion to limit debate of the  manager’s substitute to S. 1177 following a bipartisan agreement on which amendments to debate. The motion was agreed to by a vote of 86-12 on July 15, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-237).
  10. ESEA / OPPORTUNITY DASHBOARD: NEA supported an amendment to S. 1177 by Sens. Kirk (R-IL), Reed (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI) and Brown (D-OH) to ensure that states measure student access to critical educational resources and report disparities in such resources. The amendment failed by a vote of 46-50 on July 15, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-240).
  11. ESEA / ANNUAL YEARLY PROGRESS (AYP): NEA opposed an amendment to S. 1177 by Sens. Murphy (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Warren (D-MA), Booker (D-NJ), and Coons (D-DE) to restore AYP-like accountability provisions when one or more subgroups do not achieve certain scores on assessments. The amendment failed by a vote of 43-54 on July 15, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-241).
  12. ESEA / COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: NEA supported Sen. Brown’s (D-OH) amendment to S. 1177 to establish a full-service community schools grant program. The amendment passed by a vote of 53-44 on July 16, 2015.(Senate Vote #1-246).
  13. ESEA / FINAL CLOTURE MOTION: NEA supported the cloture motion to close debate and vote on final passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177). The motion passed by a vote of 79-18 on July 16, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-248).
  14. ESEA REAUTHORIZATION: NEA supported final passage of the Senate’s ESEA reauthorization bill (S. 1177). The bill passed by a vote of 81-17 on July 16, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-249).
  15. 2016-2017 BIPARTISAN BUDGET AGREEMENT: NEA supported passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which raised caps on discretionary spending by $80 billion over 2 years, thereby leaving more room for investments in education programs like Title I, IDEA and Head Start which help students most in need. The legislation passed by a vote of 64-35 on October 30, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-293).
  16. EXCISE TAX REPEAL:  NEA supported Sen. Heller’s (R-NV) amendment to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 40% excise tax provision on certain employer-paid health insurance benefits. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 90-10 on December 3, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-316).
  17. UNDERMINING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: NEA opposed passage of the Healthcare Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762), which sought to dismantle large portions of the Affordable Care Act, thereby leaving millions of Americans without access to affordable quality healthcare. The bill passed by a vote of 52-47 on December 3, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-329). 
  18. ESEA REAUTHORIZATION: NEA supported final passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177), the NEA-endorsed ESEA reauthorization measure, because it addresses key priorities for students and educators such as expanding opportunity, a reduction in high-stakes testing and empowering educators’ voices in decision making at all levels. The bill passed by a vote of 85-12 on December 9 (Senate Vote #1-334).
  19. FY 2016 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL:  NEA supported passage of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill (HR 2029), which included a 2-year delay in the health care excise tax as well as increased assistance for students most in need, including a $2 billion increase in Department of Education funding. This legislation also included varied tax provisions including improvements to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as a permanent extension of the educator tax deduction. The bill passed by a vote of 65-33 on December 18, 2015. (Senate Vote #1-339).
  20. FY2017 FUNDING FOR EDUCATION AND OTHER DOMESTIC PROGRAMS: NEA supported passage of the amendment offered by Senators Reed (D-RI) and Mikulski (D-MD) to Senator McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. 2943) to create parity between defense and non-defense discretionary spending levels pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The amendment failed to achieve cloture by a vote of 43-55 on June 9, 2016. (Senate Vote #2-95)
  21. SCHOOL SAFETY / GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: NEA supported passage of an amendment offered by Senators Murphy (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), and Schumer (D-NY) to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2578). The amendment expanded the existing background check system to cover commercial sales, including those made at gun shows and over the internet; it also strengthened the existing instant check system by encouraging states to enter all available records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The amendment failed to achieve cloture by a vote of 44-56 on June 20, 2016. (Senate Vote #2-104)
  22. SCHOOL SAFETY / GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: NEA supported passage of an amendment offered by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2578). The amendment closed the loophole that allows suspected terrorists on the federal government’s “no fly” list to purchase firearms, including assault weapons. The amendment failed to achieve cloture by a vote of 47-53 on June 20, 2016. (Senate Vote #2-106)
  23. PUNISH SANCTUARY CITIES: NEA opposed passage of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act (S. 3100) because it would strike at the heart of community-based policing efforts vital to public safety, punishing cities where local police focus on community priorities rather than immigration enforcement by withdrawing millions of dollars in federal grants. The bill failed to achieve cloture by a vote of 53-46 on July 7, 2016. (Senate Vote #2-119)
  24. CHILDREN’S HEALTH: NEA supported the Water Resources Development Act and Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 2028), which together provide relief for the lead-related water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Tens of thousands of children have been exposed to contaminated drinking water with high levels of lead, which is associated with learning disabilities and other serious health problems. The legislation passed by a vote of 63-36 on December 9, 2016. (Senate Vote #2-161)