OnTheIssuesLogo

Melissa Hart on Education

Former Republican Representative (PA-4, 2001-2007)

 


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 NO 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

    Let schools display the words "God Bless America".

    Hart co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution on support for the Nation:

    Title: Expressing the sense of the Congress that public schools may display the words "God Bless America" as an expression of support for the Nation.

    Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR248 on Oct 12, 2001

    Supports requiring schools to allow prayer.

    Hart co-sponsored a bill requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer:

    H.R.1, S.73:

    No DOE funds shall be available to any educational agency which prevents participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools by individuals on a voluntary basis. No educational agency shall require any person to participate in prayer or influence the form or content of any constitutionally protected prayer in such public schools.
    H.Con.Res.199 (Nov 19, 1999, Bonilla et. al.)
    Expressing the sense of the Congress that prayers and invocations at public school sporting events contribute to the moral foundation of our Nation and urging the Supreme Court to uphold their constitutionality.
    H.J.RES. 54
    Recognizing the authority of public schools to allow students to exercise their constitutional rights by establishing a period of time for silent prayer or meditation or reflection, encouraging the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and refusing to discriminate against individuals or groups on account of their religious character or speech.
    Source: H.R.1 01-HR1 on Jan 31, 2001

    Focus educational resources to help those with greatest need.

    Hart 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.

    Hart 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.

    Hart adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

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

    Tax deductions for private scholarships to public schools.

    Hart co-sponsored for tax deduction for private scholarships to public schools

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To allow an income tax credit for amounts contributed to charitable organizations which provide elementary or secondary school scholarships and for contributions for instructional materials and materials for extracurricular activities.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Rep. PAUL: This act, a companion to my Family Education Freedom Act, takes a further step toward returning control over education resources to private citizens by providing a $3,000 tax credit for donations to scholarship funds to enable low-income children to attend private schools. It also encourages private citizens to devote more of their resources to helping public schools, by providing a $3,000 tax credit for cash or in-kind donations to public schools to support academic or extra curricular programs.

    Many of those who share my belief that the most effective education reform is to put parents back in charge of the education system have embraced government-funded voucher programs as a means to that end. I certainly sympathize with the goals of voucher proponents, but supporters of parental control of education should view Federal voucher programs with a high degree of skepticism because vouchers are a creation of the government, not the market. Vouchers are a taxpayer-funded program benefiting a particular group of children selected by politicians and bureaucrats. Therefore, the Federal voucher program supported by many conservatives is little more than another tax-funded welfare program establishing an entitlement to a private school education. Vouchers thus raise the same constitutional and moral questions as other transfer programs. A superior way of improving education is to return control of the education dollar directly to the American people through tax cuts and tax credits.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means; never came to a vote.

    Source: Education Improvement Tax Cut Act (H.R.611) 03-HR0611 on Feb 5, 2003

    Rated 17% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes.

    Hart scores 17% 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

    Supported funding for teacher training & other initiatives.

    Hart adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:

    Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC7 on Jul 15, 1999

    Other governors on Education: Melissa Hart on other issues:
    PA Gubernatorial:
    Allyson Schwartz
    Joe Gale
    John Fetterman
    Josh Shapiro
    Ken Krawchuk
    Mark Critz
    Michael Nutter
    Scott Martin
    Scott Wagner
    Tom Corbett
    Tom Wolf
    William McSwain
    PA Senatorial:
    Bob Casey
    Jim Christiana
    Joe Sestak
    Katie McGinty
    Lou Barletta
    Pat Toomey
    Rick Saccone
    Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
    CA Recall:
    S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
    vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
    vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
    vs.Laura Smith(R)
    vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
    vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
    vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
    vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
    NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
    vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
    vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
    vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
    VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
    vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
    vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
    vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
    vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
    vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
    vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
    vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
    vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
    vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
    vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
    KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
    vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

    vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
    vs.State Auditor Mark Harmon(R)
    LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
    vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
    vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
    MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
    vs.Bill Waller(R)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
    AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
    vs.Bill Walker(I)
    vs.Les Gara(D)
    vs.Billy Toien(L)
    AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
    vs.Chris Countryman(D)
    vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
    vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
    AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
    vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
    vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
    vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
    vs.Anthony Bland(D)
    AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
    Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
    vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
    vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
    vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
    vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
    vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
    vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
    vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
    CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
    vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
    vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
    vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
    CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
    vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
    vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
    CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
    vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
    FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
    vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
    vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
    vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
    GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
    vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
    vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
    vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
    vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
    vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
    HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
    vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
    vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
    vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
    vs.Paul Morgan(R)
    vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
    IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
    vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
    vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
    ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
    vs.Raul Labrador(R)
    vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
    vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
    vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
    IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
    vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
    vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
    vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
    KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
    vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
    vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
    vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
    Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
    MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
    vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
    vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
    vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
    vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
    vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
    vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
    MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
    vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
    ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
    vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
    MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
    vs.Chief James Craig(R)
    vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
    vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
    vs.John E. James(? R)
    MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
    vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
    vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
    vs.Michelle Benson(R)
    vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
    NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
    vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
    vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
    vs.Jim Pillen(R)
    vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
    vs.Carol Blood(D)
    NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
    vs.Dan Feltes(D)
    vs.Karen Testerman(R)
    NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
    vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
    vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
    vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
    NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
    vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
    vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
    vs.Dean Heller(R)
    vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
    vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
    NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
    vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
    vs.Rob Astorino(R)
    vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
    vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
    vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
    vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
    OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
    vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
    vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
    vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
    OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
    vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
    vs.Connie Johnson(D)
    vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
    OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
    vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
    vs.Paul Romero(R)
    vs.Casey Kulla(D)
    vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
    vs.Tina Kotek(D)
    vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
    vs.Tobias Read(D)
    PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
    vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
    vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
    vs.William McSwain(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
    vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
    RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
    vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
    vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
    vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
    vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
    vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
    vs.Seth Magainer(D)
    vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
    SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
    vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
    vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
    SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
    vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
    TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
    vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
    vs.J B Smiley(D)
    TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
    vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
    vs.Chad Prather(R)
    vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
    vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
    vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
    VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
    (no prospective opponents yet)
    WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
    vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
    vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
    WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
    vs.Rex Rammell(R)
    vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
    Abortion
    Budget/Economy
    Civil Rights
    Corporations
    Crime
    Drugs
    Education
    Energy/Oil
    Environment
    Families/Children
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Infrastructure/Technology
    Jobs
    Local Issues
    Principles/Values
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War/Iraq/Mideast
    Welfare/Poverty

     
    Search for...





    Page last updated: Dec 20, 2021