NEA-supported College Affordability Act headed for the floor
The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), cleared the House Education and Labor Committee in a 28-22 party-line vote last week. The next stop is the floor. NEA supports the bill and successfully advocated for expanding eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) to include adjunct and contingent faculty—a huge victory. Amendments that would have further limited PSLF were defeated, along with other measures opposed by NEA. Tell your representative to support H.R. 4674 and your senators that students and educators need a comprehensive HEA reauthorization. TAKE ACTION
Vote delayed for DeVos ally nominated as appellate judge
The Senate Judiciary Committee had scheduled a vote on Steven Menashi’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, but it was delayed at the last minute—a sign our efforts to defeat him are working. One Republican Senator, Susan Collins of Maine, has already broken ranks and said publicly she will not support his nomination.
An architect of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ disastrous policies, Menashi could do even more harm as an appellate judge. He has failed to protect students from predatory online institutions, failed to ensure student loans are forgiven for public service, and weakened protections against sexual assault and harassment. Menashi also worked with presidential adviser Stephen Miller on immigration policies that have traumatized students, families, and entire communities. Continue to speak out. Tell your senators to VOTE NO on Menashi. TAKE ACTION
Cheers and Jeers
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Democrats in supporting the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to roll back the 1332 waiver rule that threatens health coverage for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions—the only Republican to do so. Unfortunately, the CRA was defeated.
Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA), Alma Adams (D-NC), Susie Lee (D-NV), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) spoke in support of NEA’s position that adjunct faculty should be included in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) sponsored an amendment to H.R. 4674, which passed unanimously, requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the impact of revoking professional licenses (including teaching) of individuals who default on their student loans.
Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) joined Democrats in voting down the Allen amendment to H.R. 4674, which would have prohibited undocumented students from obtaining in-state or otherwise discounted college tuition.