House takes initial steps to end police brutality
The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (S. 3912/H.R. 7120) by a bipartisan vote of 236-131 while a separate bill failed to advance in the Senate. The bill passed by the House takes initial steps to end police brutality, protect the civil rights and liberties of all people, and change the culture of law enforcement agencies. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could take up the bill or consign it to the Senate’s legislative graveyard, where scores of NEA-supported bills passed by the House already languish. TAKE ACTION
HELP Committee chair calls for federal aid to help schools reopen safely
To help schools and colleges reopen safely this fall, retiring Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is calling on the federal government to provide additional funding—though not nearly as much as educators have sought. “The surest step back to normalcy in our country is when 70-75 million college and high school and elementary school students go back to school,” he said. “If we need more money for that, I’m for that.” This support is helpful and a signal that educators’ advocacy is having an impact. But to move anything forward soon, many more Republican senators will need to put pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
NEA’s priorities for the next coronavirus package include at least $175 billion to stabilize education funding, at least $4 billion to equip students with hot spots and devices to help narrow the digital divide and close the homework gap, at least $56 million in directed funding for personal protective equipment, relief for student loan borrowers, and at least $4 billion to protect voting rights and make voting by mail more widely available. LEARN MORE TAKE ACTION
House infrastructure bill includes more than $130 billion for schools
Your advocacy has paid off. The House is scheduled to vote this week on the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), which now includes the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act that provides significant support for public schools and the students most in need. Specifically, the bill would create a $100 billion grant program and $30 billion tax-credit bond program that target high-poverty schools whose facilities pose health and safety risks to students and staff. It would also provide $5 billion in funding to help close the digital divide and equip more students to go online. Nationwide, as many as 12 million students—1 in 5—are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access. TAKE ACTION
Cheers and Jeers
Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Pete Stauber (R-MN) led a bipartisan letter signed by more than 60 members of the House urging Education Secretary DeVos to revise her CARES act equitable services rule because “runs counter to the intent of Congress.”
Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) played a leading role in building support to try to override the president’s veto of a congressional resolution that would overturn Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ revised borrower defense rule and protect students from unscrupulous for-profit colleges. Although a broad majority of the House voted YES, the veto override came up short—two-thirds must support it.
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Will Hurd (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI) for joining all Democrats present in supporting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
232 representatives voted for the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51), which would make the District of Columbia our nation’s 51st state and give its 700,000 residents the right to full representation in Congress.
180 representatives opposed the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51).