EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress February 2, 2020

Infrastructure package needs to do more for schools

House Democrats unveiled a $760 billion infrastructure package that would improve roads, bridges, and transit systems, among other things. When asked, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said school modernization also needed to happen this year. But timing is unclear, so we need to make sure Congress knows schools need to be part of any infrastructure package that moves forward. The overall condition of public school facilities gets a D+ on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 infrastructure report card. To build support for school modernization, we need personal stories—your stories. Tell us about your leaky roofs, crowded classrooms, broken heating and air conditioning, lack of wiring for high-speed broadband, contaminated drinking water, insects and vermin—whatever needs fixing in your school.  Share your story

Tell Congress to repeal unfair Social Security penalties

Nearly 2 million people dedicated to public service, including many educators, have their Social Security benefits reduced—or lose them entirely—due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). The Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521/H.R. 141) would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP while the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 4540) starts to fix problems caused by the WEP, but not does address the GPO. Email your representatives and tell them to support both of these pieces of important legislation. Read more.

Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Social Security Fairness Act.

Cheers and Jeers

By a vote of 221-189, the House passed the Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020 (H.R. 3621) by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to protect student loan borrowers from unfair credit reporting practices.

NEA urged the House Ways and Means Committee to support the FAMILY Act (H.R. 1185) by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); the bill would provide 12 weeks of paid leave per year for the birth or adoption of a child, the serious illness of an immediate family member, or a worker’s own medical condition.

By a vote of 393-5, the House passed the Never Again Act of 2020 (H.R. 943) by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to provide funding for educational programs about the Holocaust and other human rights atrocities.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Greg Murphy (R-NC), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Jason Crow (D-CO), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Joe Courtney (D-CT), John Garamendi (D-CA), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and George Holding (R-NC) signed a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressing serious concerns about “turmoil within the Department of Defense Education Authority (DODEA),” including imposing 24 additional hours of unpaid time per quarter on our Federal Employee Association members.

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