Tell Congress: DO NOT use federal funds to arm educators
Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT), the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), introduced identical resolutions (H. Res. 231/S. Res. 110) saying federal funds should NOT be used to train or arm educators. The resolutions cite research showing that the presence of guns increases the likelihood of gun violence. They also note that the more guns there are, the more likely students are to be physically injured, feel less safe, and suffer from anxiety, fear, and depression. Already vulnerable groups like students of color and students with disabilities are among those most likely to be affected. A March 2018 Gallup poll that found 73% of U.S. teachers do NOT want to carry guns in school. Click here and urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the resolutions on NOT using federal funds to arm educators.
Tell Congress to stop denying public servants Social Security benefits they have earned
The Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 141/S. 521) would fully repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that unfairly deprive 2.5 million Americans of the Social Security benefits they have earned—educators, police officers, firefighters, and other employees of state and local governments who dedicate their lives to public service. The GPO reduces the Social Security spousal or survivor benefits of people not covered by Social Security themselves. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefits of people who work in jobs covered by Social Security and jobs NOT covered by Social Security—for example, educators who take part-time jobs to make ends meet. Click here and tell your representatives to cosponsor and support the Social Security Fairness Act.
Cheers and Jeers
Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY)introduced the Investing for the People Act (H.R. 2021) to lift the budget caps that could lead to draconian cuts in education, health, and other programs for the students most in need.
Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the PROTECT Students Act (S. 867), which would make significant reforms to hold for-profit colleges accountable to students and taxpayers.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) led a letter signed by more than 100 House Democrats urging Agriculture Secretary to withdraw a proposed rule that would hurt a million SNAP recipients.
House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a letter seeking information on the performance of the Washington, DC, voucher program, and oversight efforts required by the SOAR Act.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced that his committee passed 12 bills to lower health care and prescription drug costs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who refused to allow a vote on Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, gave this rationale for changing Senate rules to drastically limit debate on President Trump’s judicial and executive branch nominees: “The President won the election. He’s entitled to have his own people in place.”