Legislative Action Center
In Support of Common Issues and Public Education
VICTORY: IMMIGRATION REFORM CLEARS FIRST HURDLE, URGE CONGRESS TO TAKE NEXT STEP
After three weeks of “markup,” the Senate Judiciary committee this week passed S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, by a bipartisan 13 – 5 vote. NEA sent a letter supporting and opposing a set of specific amendments, while reaffirming our core principles for reform. You can find the letter here. The committee passed key NEA-supported amendments, including:
• The bipartisan "HELP Separated Children Act” by Sens. Franken (D-MN) and Grassley (R-IA), that works to protect children by allowing parents who become involved in immigration enforcement actions to arrange for child care and participate in any proceedings affecting their children; and,
• Sen. Hirono’s (D-HI) amendment allowing students who came to the U.S. as children to be eligible for federal tuition assistance such as student loans and federal work-study support.
The bill heads to the Senate floor now with action expected to take up much of the June work period.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
- E-mail Congress – Tell your Senators and Representative you support passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
- Sign the petition — Students and their families deserve fair immigration reform now
DEADLINE NEARING: URGE CONGRESS TO STOP STUDENT LOAN RATES FROM DOUBLING
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the “Smarter Solutions for Students Act”, H.R. 1911, by a vote of 221 – 198. The bill is the House Republicans’ proposal to address the issue of student loan interest rates, which are scheduled to double on July 1. NEA sent a letter urging members to vote no on the bill which would change the federal student loan interest rate to a variable rate as opposed to a fixed rate, likely resulting in higher borrowing costs for students and families during the life of the loan. NEA praised the plan for including a rate cap but noted deep concern it seeks deficit reduction at the expense of financially struggling college students. Similar action to prevent student loan rates from rising is expected in the Senate when it returns from recess for the June work period.
We need your action and voice to let Congress know that a college education should be affordable for all who want to attend and it should not reduce the deficit on the backs of students by raising interest rates. Check out how a Manchester Community College sophomore is raising her voice.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
- E-mail Congress — Tell your Senators and Representative to prevent student loan rates from doubling and ensure college affordability.
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Issues for the 113th Congress:
- Child Nutrition
- Education Funding
- Educator Tax Relief
- ESEA Reauthorization
- Health Care
- Higher Education/College Affordability
- IDEA Full Funding
- Pension Protection
- Rural Schools
- School Safety
- Social Security
- Union Rights