EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress September 27, 2020

GOP refuses to let the people decide Justice Ginsburg’s successor

The day after Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state in the U.S. Capitol—the first woman and first Jewish American ever to be accorded that honor—President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it clear that he plans to confirm the nominee before Election Day—now just 37 days away. The GOP’s refusal to let the people decide Ginsburg’s successor threatens to undo her legacy and deal a fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act.

On Nov.  10, the Court will hear a challenge that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. That would result in 21 million Americans losing health coverage, skyrocketing premiums for the 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions that now include COVID-19, the return of lifetime caps on coverage, and kicking children off their parents’ health plans before age 26. Collective bargaining, public education, voting and LGBTQ rights, First Amendment protections, racial and social justice, and much more are also at stake. The winners of the 2020 elections, which are already underway, should choose and confirm the next Supreme Court justice. TAKE ACTION

Senate majority blocks COVID-19 relief as death toll surpasses 200,000

The unprecedented rush to confirm the next Supreme Court justice has revealed a terrible truth about priorities: For the GOP’s Senate majority, reopening our schools safely and alleviating suffering from COVID-19—physical and financial—do not merit action while filling the vacancy on the Court does. Ironically, the push to install Justice Ginsburg’s successor began just as the nation surpassed the tragic milestone of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

NEA supports the HEROES Act passed by the House more than four months ago. We are calling for COVID-19 relief that includes at least $175 billion to stabilize education funding, including dedicated funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for students and educators. Other top priorities include additional relief for student loan borrowers and at least $4 billion in emergency funding to narrow the digital divide’s homework gap during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 16 million students—roughly 1 in 3—are unable to do schoolwork at home due to lack of internet access and devices. A disproportionate share of those students are Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and live in rural areas or low-income households. TAKE ACTION

Funding bill passed by House includes $8 billion in nutrition aid

By a vote of 359-57, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR)—stopgap funding bill—to keep the federal government running through Dec. 11. The measure includes nearly $8 billion in nutrition aid to help keep schoolchildren and families from going hungry. The CR must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump by Sept. 30 or portions of the federal government will shut down due to lack of funding.

Cheers and Jeers

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke on the Senate floor and urged their colleagues to oppose nominating a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Inauguration D

Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) announced that they will be releasing a series of reports on the real-world impact of Supreme Court decisions, starting with health care and reproductive rights.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blocked Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) effort to pass a resolution to honor the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her dying wish that she not be replaced until after a new president is installed.



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