I believe the NEA, the most powerful labor union in America, is a self-perpetuating monster that is corrupting our nation's public schools. Its intense commitment to partisan politics, its impassioned hostility to parental involvement in education, and its animosity towards any substantive reform to our nation's failing education system is reason enough to oppose this powerful organization. But there is more. The NEA has actually suggested that the public school system provide every child with explicit training in homosexuality, incest, AIDS, suicide, contraceptives, and abortion -- without parental consent or knowledge! And they actively endorse such non-education issues as socialized medicine, homosexual "rights," D.C. statehood, gun control, taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants, and federal funding of blasphemous and pornographic "art." What's worse, the union's growing power has exactly coincided with the dismal spectacle of rising spending on education producing deteriorating results.
That the federal government is allowing this powerful union to continue to receive a preferential tax break is outrageous. In fact, a congressional charter given to the NEA back in 1906 allows them to receive a property tax exemption on their plush, corporate headquarters located in Washington, D.C. That is why I have introduced the Integrity in Government Act (H.R. 1130) which, among many other provisions, would repeal the outdated and undeserved congressional charter for the National Education Association. To prevent this provision from getting lost amidst the others, I have also introduced H.R. 2180, which would independently repeal the charter.
You see, the charter was granted by Congress back in 1906 when the NEA was solely a non-controversial professional organization. But things sure have changed. Today, the NEA has evolved into a very wealthy and very powerful, partisan labor union. And it happens to be the only labor union that receives such preferential tax treatment here in D.C. I believe it is the height of irony that the NEA, a monstrous special interest group dedicated, as they would say, "to helping America's children," ferociously clings to $1.6 million each year that might otherwise be spent by the District to improve its impoverished school system.
During consideration of the Fiscal Year 1996 D.C. Appropriations bill, I offered an amendment to repeal the NEA's property tax exemption. While the amendment failed by a close vote of 210-213, I intend to offer this same amendment during the FY 1997 appropriations process.
Please know that I will continue in my efforts to prevent the NEA from receiving this unneeded and outrageous benefit at the American taxpayers' expense.
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