February 4, 2018
Looming fiscal issues
Congress is preparing to pass another short-term, stopgap funding bill – the fifth since the start of FY2018 – to keep the government running after Friday, February 8. Soon, the debt ceiling will need to be raised as well. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported this week that the Treasury is likely to run out of cash faster than expected due to lost revenue from the tax bill passed at the end of 2017.
Tell Congress to pass the Dream Act now!
The 9,000 educators who are DACA recipients, including Texas teacher Karen Reyes (picture), are the focus of a lengthy New York Times story about how President Trump’s decision to end DACA is hurting students and educators. “To see them treated in this despicable way, to see them treated as pawns, is just not fair,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. NEA is calling on Congress to pass a Dreamer fix immediately. We support the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440), which provides a 13-year pathway to citizenship via multiple tracks, including higher education, military service, and employment. We oppose the administration’s four-pillar framework, which includes building a $25 billion border wall and slashing legal immigration by ending family reunification – people would no longer be allowed to sponsor their parents, adult children, or siblings – and reallocating or eliminating the diversity visa lottery. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to pass the Dream Act now!
Tell your representative to co-sponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act
Efforts to build support for the IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R. 2902) are bearing fruit – nearly 90 members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors. This bipartisan billwould increase the federal contribution for the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) gradually over ten years from 15 to 40 percent, the level of support Congress promised when it passed the original IDEA. It would also demonstrate that Congress is serious about meeting its commitment to helping school districts support all students. Click on the take action button and tell your representative to co-sponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act.
Tell Congress to invest in education
Just days from now, Congress is likely to pass yet another short-term, stopgap measure that prevents adequate investments in education – especially programs targeting the students most in need like Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In this first full year of implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – enacted with broad, bipartisan support just two years ago – Congress should be helping states and local school districts by providing adequate funding. The longer Congress delays finalizing FY2018 funding, the more uncertainty school districts, administrators, and educators will face as they plan for the upcoming school year. Tell Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion, as it has done twice before, and raise the budget caps on an equal basis for defense and domestic programs like education.
Cheers and Jeers
Representatives David Scott (D-GA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Val Demings (D-FL), Denny Heck (D-WA), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for delivering special order speeches on the importance of unions in light of Janus v. AFSCME, a case soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court that could undermine the entire labor movement, and to Representatives Al Lawson (D-FL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) for submitting statements for the record
President Trump’s four-pillar framework, which would dramatically reduce legal immigration, tear families apart, and ask U.S. taxpayers to pay $25 billion to build a border wall