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Emmanuel Cleaver on Education

Democratic Representative (MO-5)


Adequately fund educational measures in Congress

Ensuring our children’s future through a quality education will remain one of my priorities in Congress. Measures passed in Congress need to be adequately funded in order to provide our school systems with the tools and training necessary to educate our children.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, CleaverforCongress.com , Nov 2, 2004

Voted YES on $40B for green public schools.

Congressional Summary:Make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.

Opponent's argument to vote No: Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.

Reference: 21st Century Green Schools Act; Bill H.R.2187 ; vote number 2009-H259 on May 14, 2009

Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.

Veto override on the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and Labor. Original bill passed & was then vetoed by the President.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle, this bill contains what can rightly be considered lower priority & duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.

Veto message from President Bush:

This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

Reference: American Competitiveness Scholarship Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 3043 ; vote number 2007-1122 on Nov 15, 2007

Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.

Amendment to preserve the authority of the US Supreme Court to decide any question pertaining to the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill underlying this amendment would disallow any federal courts from hearing cases concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. This amendment would make an exception for the Supreme Court.

Proponents support voting YES because:

I believe that our Pledge of Allegiance with its use of the phrase "under God" is entirely consistent with our Nation's cultural and historic traditions. I also believe that the Court holding that use of this phrase is unconstitutional is wrong. But this court-stripping bill is not necessary. This legislation would bar a Federal court, including the Supreme Court, from reviewing any claim that challenges the recitation of the Pledge on first amendment grounds.

If we are a Nation of laws, we must be committed to allowing courts to decide what the law is. This bill is unnecessary and probably unconstitutional. It would contradict the principle of Marbury v. Madison, intrude on the principles of separation of powers, and degrade our independent Federal judiciary.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I was disappointed 4 years ago when two judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Pledge, our statement of shared national values, was somehow unconstitutional. I do not take legislation that removes an issue from the jurisdiction of this court system lightly. This legislation is appropriate, however, because of the egregious conduct of the courts in dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance.

By striking "under God" from the Pledge, the Court has shown contempt for the Congress which approved the language, and, more importantly, shows a complete disregard for the millions of Americans who proudly recite the Pledge as a statement of our shared national values and aspirations. No one is required to recite the Pledge if they disagree with its message.

Reference: Watt amendment to Pledge Protection Act; Bill H R 2389 ; vote number 2006-384 on Jul 19, 2006

Voted YES on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.

This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say:
  • The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.
  • It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.
  • As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
    Reference: Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act; Bill HR 609 Amendment 772 ; vote number 2006-080 on Mar 30, 2006

    $25B to renovate or repair elementary schools.

    Cleaver signed Fix America's Schools Today Act (FAST)

    Source: HR2948&S1597 11-HR2948 on Sep 15, 2011

    Sponsored 10/10 Loan Forgiveness: cancel college loans after 10 years.

    Cleaver co-sponsored Student Loan Fairness Act

    Congressional Summary:Student Loan Fairness Act:

    Opponent's argument against bill: (Blog post on voices.yahoo.com, "Why I'm Against the Student Loan Fairness Act"): The two key points to this bill are:

    1. The 10-10 plan: Where an individual would be required to make ten years of payments at 10% of their discretionary income, after which their remaining federal student loan debt would be forgiven.
    2. Cap federal interest rates at 3.4% and allowing existing borrowers whose educational loan debt exceeds their income to convert their private loan debt into federal Direct Loans.
        Sounds enticing enough. They make a convincing argument that convinced over 200,000 people to sign their petition, many of whom shared their personal stories of student debt and how this act would change their lives. I disagree with all of them.
      • First, there is already student loan forgiveness act that erases your loans after 20 years. It is called Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
      • Many people who signed the petition argued that the government bailed out the banks, so why not us? The main difference [with TARP is that] most banks paid back the loans from TARP [while student loan forgiveness will make] $1 trillion magically disappear.
      • If the average college graduate is 22 years old, then we are talking about being debt free by 32. That is a risk I see many young college students willing to take.
      Source: H.R.1330 13-H1330 on Mar 21, 2013

      2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: Emmanuel Cleaver on other issues:
      MO Gubernatorial:
      Jay Nixon
      MO Senatorial:
      Claire McCaskill
      Roy Blunt

      Left 113th Congress, 2013-2014:
      AL-1: Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
      FL-13:Bill Young(R,deceased)
      FL-19:Trey Radel(R,arrested)
      IL-2: Jesse L. Jackson(D,convicted)
      LA-5: Rodney Alexander(R,resigned)
      MA-5: Ed Markey(D,elected)
      MO-8: Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
      NC-12:Mel Watt(D,appointed)
      NJ-1: Rob Andrews(D,investigated)
      SC-1: Tim Scott(R,appointed)

      Newly-elected special elections 2013-2014:
      AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
      FL-13:David Jolly(R)
      FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
      IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
      LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
      MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
      MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
      NC-12: Pending Jul.15
      NJ-1: Pending Nov.4
      SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
      Won primary 2014:
      TX-4: John Ratcliffe(R)
      VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

      Retiring to run for Senate in 2014:
      AR-4: Tom Cotton(R)
      CO-4: Cory Gardner(R)
      GA-1: Jack Kingston(R)
      GA-10:Paul Broun(R)
      GA-11:Phil Gingrey(R)
      HI-1: Colleen Hanabusa(D)
      IA-1: Bruce Braley(D)
      LA-6: Bill Cassidy(R)
      MI-14:Gary Peters(D)
      MT-0: Steve Daines(R)
      OK-5: James Lankford(R)
      TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)
      WV-2: Shelley Moore Capito(R)

      Former Reps running for House in 2014:
      AL-5: Parker Griffith(R)
      CA-3: Doug Ose(R)
      GA-11:Bob Barr(R)
      CA-31:Joe Baca(D)
      IL-10:Bob Dold(R)
      IL-17:Bobby Schilling(R)
      MS-4: Gene Taylor(D)
      MT-0: Denny Rehberg(R)
      NH-1: Frank Guinta(R)
      NY-11:Vito Fossella(R)
      NY-18:Nan Hayworth(R)
      OH-7: John Boccieri(D)
      PA-13:Marjorie Margolies(D)
      TX-23:Francisco Canseco(R)
      Lost primary 2014:
      TX-4: Ralph Hall(R)
      VA-7: Eric Cantor(R)

      Retiring to run for State Office in 2014:
      AR-2: Tim Griffin(R)
      CA-35:Gloria McLeod(D)
      ME-2: Mike Michaud(D)
      PA-13:Allyson Schwartz(D)
      VI-0: Donna Christensen(D)

      Retiring effective Jan. 2015:
      AL-6: Spencer Bachus(R)
      AZ-7: Ed Pastor(D)
      CA-11:George Miller(D)
      CA-25:Howard McKeon(R)
      CA-31:Gary Miller(R)
      CA-33:Henry Waxman(D)
      CA-45:John Campbell(R)
      IA-3: Tom Latham(R)
      MI-4: Dave Camp(R)
      MI-6: Tom Petri(R)
      MI-12:John Dingell(D)
      MN-6: Michele Bachmann(R)
      NC-6: Howard Coble(R)
      NC-7: Mike McIntyre(D)
      NJ-3: Jon Runyan(R)
      NJ-12:Rush Holt(D)
      NY-4: Carolyn McCarthy(D)
      NY-21:Bill Owens(D)
      PA-6: Jim Gerlach(R)
      UT-4: Jim Matheson(D)
      VA-8: James Moran(D)
      VA-10:Frank Wolf(R)
      WA-4: Doc Hastings(R)
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      Page last updated: Jul 15, 2014