June 23, 2017
Tell senators to vote NO on GOP leadership health bill
The health bill drafted in secret by Senate GOP leadership has finally been revealed and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to rush to vote on it by Thursday, June 29. Like the terrible bill crafted by House GOP leadership, the Senate bill plays Robin Hood in reverse. It slashes funding for Medicaid, which provides health coverage for 36 million children and $4 billion a year to schools for special needs students, while providing massive tax cuts for the ultra-rich. Like the House bill, the Senate bill also provides that states can allow insurance companies to exclude essential benefits like prenatal and emergency care, mentalhealth services, and addiction treatment. Click on the take action button to send an email or call 1-855-764-1010 and tell your senators to oppose the GOP health bill.
Tell senators to support the CTE bill passed by the House
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) passed by the House is heading to the Senate. The bill reflects NEA priorities in key areas: strengthening professional development, especially as it relates to serving special needs and under-represented students, like English-language learners; involving educators in decision-making and planning; and addressing skills gaps by aligning career and technical education (CTE) programs with in-demand industries and givingprograms flexibility to address local labor markets. CTE programs have long enjoyed broad, bipartisan support — they boast a 93 percent high school graduation rate, which is 10 points higher than the overall graduation rate. Click on the take action button and tell your senators to support the career tech bill.
Urge Congress to restore voting rights protections
The NEA-supported Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2978) restores an essential provision of the Voting Rights Act undone four years ago by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. That ruling has severely undermined the law’s effectiveness and halted progress in eradicating voter suppression and intimidation. Recent years have seen an unprecedented number of anti-voter initiatives in state legislatures — proposals and laws enacted that require photo identification, eliminate same-day registration, shrink early voting windows, change student voting requirements, and make it harder for people to vote in other ways. Click on the take action button and urge your representatives to co-sponsor and support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Cheers and Jeers
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for capturing the essence of the health bill crafted by Senate GOP leadership: “This bill has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous transfer of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his remarks on the Senate floor about the GOP health bill: “The Senate Republican bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill. And we’re potentially voting on it in a week. No committee hearings, no amendments in committee, no debate on the floor save for 10 measly hours on one of the most important bills in decades. That brings shame on this body.”
Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and the Congressional Black Caucus for their letter to President Trump objecting to “the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your Administration,” as well as noting several actions undertaken that would hurt communities of color, cut education, exacerbate mass incarceration and dismantle health care.
Representatives GT Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) for shepherding the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) for reintroducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for crafting a health care bill behind closed doors that will gut Medicaid, cost millions of people their health insurance, and provide deep tax cuts to the wealthy — while rushing toward a vote in just days