Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Rob Simmons on Education

Former Republican Representative (CT-2, 2001-2007)


Voted YES 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

    Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.

    Children's Prayers Resolution: Expressing the sense of Congress that schools should allow children time to pray for, or silently reflect upon, the country during the war against terrorism.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Isakson, R-GA; Bill H.Con.Res.239 ; vote number 2001-445 on Nov 15, 2001

    Voted YES on requiring states to test students.

    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH; Bill HR 1 ; vote number 2001-145 on May 23, 2001

    Focus educational resources to help those with greatest need.

    Simmons adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) helps to fulfill the most basic mission of federal education programs—equal opportunity for all children. To help improve the federal role in education, the Republican Main Street Partnership has identified the following areas that should receive priority during the reauthorization of IDEA:

    Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education 01-RMSP2 on Jul 2, 2001

    Require state standards, regular assessments, and sanctions.

    Simmons adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

    Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education 01-RMSP3 on Jul 2, 2001

    Support Ed-Flex: more flexibility if more accountable.

    Simmons adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

    Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education 01-RMSP4 on Jul 2, 2001

    Rated 58% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education.

    Simmons scores 58% by the NEA on public education issues

    The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

    To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
    In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
    Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

    Other candidates on Education: Rob Simmons on other issues:
    CT Gubernatorial:
    Jodi Rell
    CT Senatorial:
    Chris Dodd
    Linda McMahon
    Richard Blumenthal

    Newly appointed in 2009;
    special election in 2010:

    DE:Kaufman (D)
    CO:Bennet (D)
    IL:Burris (D)
    MA:Brown (R)
    NY:Gillibrand (D)

    Announced retirement as of 2010:
    CT:Dodd(D)
    DE:Kaufman(D)
    FL:Martinez (R)
    FL:LeMieux(R)
    IL:Burris(D)
    IN:Bayh(D)
    KS:Brownback(R)
    KY:Bunning(R)
    MO:Bond(R)
    ND:Dorgan(D)
    NH:Gregg(R)
    OH:Voinovich(R)
    PA:Specter(R)
    UT:Bennett(R)
    WV:Byrd(D)
    WV:Goodwin(D)


    Senate races in 2010:
    AK:Miller(R) vs.McAdams(D) vs.Murkowski(I)
    AL:Shelby(R) vs.Barnes(D)
    AR:Lincoln(D) vs.Boozman(R)
    AZ:McCain(R) vs.Glassman(D)
    CA:Boxer(D) vs.Fiorina(R) vs.Lightfoot(L)
    CO:Bennet(D) vs.Buck(R)
    CT:Blumenthal(D) vs.McMahon(R)
    DE:Coons(D) vs.O`Donnell(R)
    FL:Rubio(R) vs.Crist(I) vs.Meek(D) vs.DeCastro(C) vs.Snitker(L)
    GA:Isakson(R) vs.Thurmond(D)
    HI:Inouye(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
    IA:Grassley(R) vs.Conlin(D)
    ID:Crapo(R) vs.Sullivan(D)
    IL:Giannoulias(D) vs.Kirk(R)
    IN:Ellsworth(D) vs.Coats(R)
    KS:Johnston(D) vs.Moran(R) vs.Bellis(Rfm)
    KY:Conway(D) vs.Paul(R)
    LA:Vitter(R) vs.Melancon(D)
    MD:Mikulski(D) vs.Wargotz(R)
    MO:Carnahan(R) vs.Blunt(D)
    NC:Burr(R) vs.Marshall(D)
    ND:Potter(D) vs.Hoeven(R)
    NH:Ayotte(R) vs.Hodes(D)
    NV:Reid(D) vs.Angle(R)
    NY6:Schumer(D) vs.Townsend(R)
    NY2:Gillibrand(D) vs.DioGuardi(R)
    OH:Fisher(R) vs.Portman(D) vs.Deaton(C)
    OK:Coburn(R) vs.Myles(D)
    OR:Wyden(D) vs.Huffman(R)
    PA:Toomey(R) vs.Sestak(D)
    SC:DeMint(R) vs.Greene(D)
    SD:Thune(R) unopposed
    UT:Lee(R) vs.Granato(D)
    VT:Leahy(D) vs.Britton(R) vs.Freilich(I)
    WA:Murray(D) vs.Rossi(R)
    WI:Feingold(D) vs.Johnson(D)
    WV:Manchin(D) vs.Raese(R)
    Abortion
    Budget/Economy
    Civil Rights
    Corporations
    Crime
    Drugs
    Education
    Energy/Oil
    Environment
    Families
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Jobs
    Principles
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    Technology
    War/Peace
    Welfare

    Other Senators
    Senate Votes (analysis)
    Bill Sponsorships
    Affiliations
    Policy Reports
    Group Ratings

    Page last updated: Oct 29, 2010