EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress September 12, 2021

Corporations and the wealthiest need to pay their fair share

Translating President Biden’s plan to build back better into action includes paying for it—and that means requiring corporations and the wealthiest to pay their fair share. While the pandemic raged last year, 55 of the nation’s largest corporations paid no federal income tax on $40.5 billion in profits. America’s wealthiest 1 percent got $4 trillion richer, capturing 35 percent of the extra wealth while the poorest half of the population received only 4 percent.

Now is the time to say, not anymore! We can turn the corner on the economic upheaval spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic—record unemployment and a dramatic rise in food and housing insecurity—while at the same time taking actions to help create good-paying jobs, rebuild communities, reduce our society’s persistent wealth gaps, and bring about greater tax fairness.

To ensure sufficient revenue to make long-overdue investments in our communities and bring more integrity to our federal tax system, NEA is urging Congress to take specific steps as part of the budget reconciliation package. They include raising the corporate tax rate to at least 28 percent, curbing offshore corporate tax dodging, and establishing a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on profits. We also support restoring the 39.6 percent top individual tax rate, taxing wealth like work, closing loopholes that allow wealthy business owners to avoid paying taxes that fund health care, and cracking down on tax evasion. TAKE ACTION

House committee includes top NEA priorities in budget reconciliation package

The House Education and Labor Committee voted to advance, as part of the budget reconciliation package, measures long advocated by NEA such as modernizing public school facilities and expanding access to free school meals. Our most recent letter stresses the importance of ensuring that all provisions of the legislation apply to all students, including immigrants. It also proposes going even further in support for school modernization and school meals, as well as other key areas including support for young children and early childhood development, lowering the cost of higher education—including providing two years of free community college—investing in educator recruitment, and retention, and preparing students and workers for good jobs. TAKE ACTION

Urge senators to preserve voting rights with federal legislation

When it returns from recess next week, the Senate will vote on whether to advance an updated version of the For the People Act (S.1). In order for the bill to move forward, at least 10 Republicans need to join their 50 Democratic colleagues in supporting action to safeguard voting rights, the foundation of our democracy. The original bill never made it to the floor because Republicans filibustered it.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), the driving force behind the new version of S. 1, said, “This compromise legislation makes it easier to vote by expanding voter access through early voting and vote by mail for those who are eligible and unable to vote in person. Additionally, the bill has been modified to include voter ID requirements that aim to strengthen the security of our elections without making it harder for Americans to vote.”

The Senate may also take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) to reverse dangerous, undemocratic trends flowing from Supreme Court rulings. The court invalidated the crucial “preclearance” provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, decided in 2013, and further weakened the law just a few months ago in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. TAKE ACTION

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