"Power to the Parents!" SOAR Act Passes the House
“The power should go to the parents. Plain and simple. Every parent. Charter school, public school, home school, private school…you name it. That’s where the power should lie,” said Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) debating the SOAR Act on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Yesterday, for 225 members of Congress (224 Republicans, 1 Democrat), the power did rest in the parents and children of Washington, DC. By a vote of 225-195, the House passed the SOAR Act (H.R.471), thus reauthorizing the successful DC Opportunity Scholarship Program sponsored by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
Heritage Action included the measure as a key vote on our scorecard and applauds those members of Congress for their principled conservative stand. We must put children and their parents back in the drivers seats of their education and demand that innovation and competition promote a stronger education system overall in the District of Columbia. To see a list of those members, check out the final vote tally here. Please take a moment and let your representative know how much you appreciate their strong stand on this issue.
195 members (186 Democrats, 9 Republicans) voted against the measure, siding with the teachers unions and special interest groups that have long wanted to end the successful program. 12 members (7 Republicans, 5 Democrats) did not vote. You can see a full list of those members here. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) of Washington, DC, offered an amendment which would have stripped the DCOSP authorization that 185 members (181 Democrats, 4 Republicans) voted in favor. See how your Representative voted here.
The bill now moves to the Senate where the fight for the parents and children of Washington, DC continues. S.206 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) are current sponsors of the bill. They are advocating that all Senators on the committee and in the Senate to be supportive of the DCOSP program going forward.
Heritage Action will continue to advocate for this great program that “isn’t about politics, it’s about the kids.”