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The Education for All Act Stops Short Before Passing the US Senate

After a long and hard fought battle, the Education for All Act, or EFA, came up just short of becoming law after making remarkable and unprecedented progress through the House and Senate over the past year.

The bill was projected to come to a last minute vote in the U.S. Senate on December 9th, however, after finalizing the continuing budget resolution, the Senate adjourned late Friday night and headed home without voting on the EFA.   

At this point in the legislative process, the bill’s progress in 2016 will be lost, and the bill will need to be introduced again in the next session of Congress starting in 2017.

Read More: U.S. House of Representatives Just Voted to Provide Education for All!

Despite the disappointing outcome, Global Citizen is excited to hit the ground running in the new year, and build on the incredible momentum that was established throughout this past year.

How did Global Citizens help EFA advocacy in 2016?

Throughout the course of EFA campaigning in 2016, Global Citizens like you took over 30,000 actions to help secure education opportunities for the most vulnerable children and marginalized populations, and we want to thank you for your hard work and dedication.  These 30,000 actions demonstrate the wide spread support for the bill, and the importance for Global Citizen to continue our work 2017 to ensure equal education access for all.

Read More:  The Education For All Act Comes 1 Step Closer to Law!

The 30,000 actions that Global Citizens took resulted in substantial gains.

The calls, letters, and petition signatures Global Citizens directed at their elected representatives helped the bill gather a bipartisan coalition of congressional support, attracting 42 cosponsors in the House and 16 cosponsors in the Senate.

Global Citizens helped the EFA make it further in the legislative process than it has ever gone before.

The bill was originally introduced in 2004 by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), and this past year it showed remarkable progress:

  • In February the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Nita Lowey with Congressman David Reichert (R-WA) signing on as an original cosponsor;

  • In July the bill was amended and passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee en bloc by voice vote. On the same day a companion bill comprised of virtually the same language was introduced in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) Marco Rubio (R-FL) Ed Markey (D-MA) and Susan Collins (R-ME);

  • In September the House of Representatives unanimously passed the amended EFA under suspension via voice vote under the direction of Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA);

  • In December the bill was amended and passed unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The next day the EFA was placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar and began the ‘hotline’ process (a legislative action to quickly pass uncontroversial bills). Unfortunately, the Senate adjourned for the year before the process was complete, and the bill did not pass.

Global Citizen is now looking to the New Year to strongly kick off our EFA advocacy. We are pushing to capitalize on the widespread support we were able to build in 2016, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for announcements regarding our advocacy efforts. We won’t be able to pass this law without Global Citizens like you!