Eddie Bernice Johnson
   
 

ISSUES

 
 


 

 

Education
The Environment
Health Care
Homeland Security, National Security, Veterans
International Relations, Trade, Peace
Science
Transportation

Education

Congresswoman Johnson supports helping lower and middle class families pay for college.  Through the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Congress and the Democratic Party increased college affordability for millions of students.  This included an increase in Pell Grant awards, an increase in the College Access Challenge Grant program, and reforms to the federal loan system that provide for income-base loan repayment.  By increasing the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $5,975 by 2017, an investment of $74,593,356 was made in Texas’s 30th Congressional District, and $2,476,399,998 in the state of Texas over the next 10 years.

Through her seniority in the U.S. Congress, Congresswoman Johnson has brought home millions of federal dollars for Dallas educational programs such as:

  • $214,000 for the City of Dallas Early Childhood and Family Literacy Programs in FY 2009;  The City is embarking on an effort to train library, recreation, health care, day care and other workers in contact with young families and children to teach key reading readiness skills. This funding will expand these efforts.  Expanding these initiatives through federal partnership will lead to improved academic achievement and literacy rates within our community.  

  • $1,950,000 for the Dallas Achieves -- Math, Science and Technology Initiatives in FY 2009 and 2010.  The Dallas Achieves Math, Science and Technology Initiative is focused on scaling up proven academic programs that lead to high academic achievement and college and career readiness.  These programs can be focused on both struggling students and/or students who excel and are in danger of dropping out due to lack of engagement.  The initiative is designed to support cost associated with expanding the reach of these successful programs to help as many students as possible.  In addition, the initiative will provide the necessary infrastructure to improve the classroom technology environment by providing increased bandwidth to classroom facilities and improving student to computer and teacher to computer ratios.

  • $300,000 for Dallas County Community College District for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Professions Initiative in FY 2010. This project will create a national model for teacher preparation in math and science.  The model will include processes for identifying potential teachers, offering opportunities to intern in classrooms as volunteers in 7-12th grade and/or placement in teacher aide positions in local schools.   The Initiative will also adapt the successful NSF model for full-time students to accommodate part-time, non-traditional students in community colleges. The initiative will include scholarships to help cover costs such as tuition, fees, books and supplies.

Leadership in Congress
Congresswoman Johnson is Co-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Community Reinvestment Taskforce which oversees educational issues and priorities for the CBC.  Under the Congresswoman’s leadership, the Taskforce played a significant role in attaining $250 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) within the reconciliation process.  She has also worked to develop CBC priorities for the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Texas School Districts
Congresswoman Johnson was a leader in having Texas specific language inserted into the education jobs portion of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.  Following the passage of last year’s Economic Recovery Act, Texas State Republican Leadership took $3.25 billion intended to support local Texas school districts and used them to replace state education funding, thereby denying an increase in support for our local school districts.  The Texas Democratic Delegation worked to insert a provision within this emergency funding package that would prevent this from occurring again.

In response to the approval of new social studies curriculum standards by the Texas State Board of Education, Congresswoman Johnson introduced H.Res. 1593, a resolution that finds deficiency in Texas’s process of approving social studies curriculum standards.  It resolves that the House of Representatives supports standards of curriculum that are developed by experts and not subject to political biases.  The resolution supports social studies curriculum standards that are clear, informed, and inclusive.  It supports stands that allow students to be knowledgeable of our nation’s diverse history and culture to ensure that all students’ cultures, experiences, backgrounds, and histories are an integral part of what students learn in the classroom, just as they are an integral part of our nation as a whole.

Reading Is Fundamental
Congresswoman Johnson continues to play a lead role in ensuring funding for Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization.  In four decades, RIF has provided new books free of charge to more than 300 million underserved children. With congressional support, last year RIF provided new books to 4.5 million children and mobilized thousands of community members to support reading achievement.   Dallas ISD offers one of the nation’s largest RIF programs serving almost 50,000 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eight.

By providing new books to children through a series of different programs, RIF helps students in many communities, including those who are at high risk for educational failure. RIF works to engage children and their parents and to use all aspects of a child’s environment--school, home, and community--to reinforce the value of literacy.
  
Standing up for those in need
Starting July 1st of this year the Department of Education began offering  the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for young people who lost a parent or guardian as a result of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2008, Congresswoman Johnson, in conjunction with Congressman Don Young of Alaska, introduced and passed this legislative provision as part of HR 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007. This bill provides financial assistance for higher education by waiving the income eligibility requirements on Pell Grant applications.  By waiving this requirement, children of soldiers killed in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will qualify to receive a maximum Pell Grant award not to exceed the amount of their tuition. 

This summer, Congresswoman Johnson successfully offered an amendment to the Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill for FY 2011 to increase funding for activities under Section 107 of the Community Development Grant program at HUD by $10 million.   These funds would be used for Community Development Grant Programs at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). An increase of $10 million for this program would double the budget and allow an additional 12 to 20 MSIs to meet urgent community development needs. These grants allow the MSIs and HBCUs to partner with the community with the goal of economic revitalization of their neighborhoods.

Eddie Bernice Johnson Math and Science Lecture Series
In the fall of 2003, the University of Texas at Dallas launched the Eddie Bernice Johnson Math and Science Lecture Series at the Townview Magnet School in Dallas.  The goal of the lecture series is to expose Dallas-area high school students to brilliant speakers who can become role models and help motivate them to pursue educational and career opportunities in the fields of mathematics and science. 

Since its inception, the Eddie Bernice Johnson Lecture Series has been fortunate enough to have many brilliant speakers.  As American students continue to fall further behind students in other countries in the fields of math and science, it becomes more and more important to empower our youth.  Inspiring our young people to pursue opportunities in science and math is not only an investment in our youth, but also an investment in the future of America’s global competitiveness.

National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week
Congresswoman Johnson’s resolution H.Res. 928, to recognize National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, unanimously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 26, 2006. Celebrated the week of September 10th, National HBCU Week serves as a time to celebrate the great accomplishments of these institutions and recognize their importance to our nation’s history.

For over 170 years, our Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been on the forefront of preparing our nation’s youth for a bright path and successful future.  HBCU institutions have changed the face of this nation for the better and enabled thousands of African Americans the opportunity and access to achieve a level of higher education and compete in the global economy.

Displaced Student Relief Act
Congresswoman Johnson introduced the first House bill to help school districts nationwide accommodate the more than 370,000 displaced elementary and secondary students who are survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Following Hurricane Katrina many schools faced extreme circumstances in order to provide for the influx of new students.  This was particularly true in Texas.  The Texas Education Agency estimated that over 60,000 displaced students enrolled in Texas schools following Hurricane Katrina. Affected school districts required considerable resources to take in these students and provide them with the same learning tools as every other student.

School districts have taken on an enormous expense in providing for these students.  The Displaced Student Relief Act would establish a fund within the Department of Education. The Education Secretary will allot each local education agency $8,305 per child. These funds would be used by the school districts to purchase additional resources such as books, classrooms, school meals, as well as to hire more teachers and fund outreach programs.

Communities in Schools
Congresswoman Johnson led the North Texas Delegation in writing a letter to the appropriators to support funding for Communities in Schools, Dallas Region.

Communities in Schools works with and within schools, connecting community resources and thousands of volunteer mentors and tutors, affecting the lives of thousands of students at risk of failure.

Communities in Schools is a program that has consistently demonstrated solid performance in affecting positive change in at-risk students in our public schools in North Texas for more than 2 decades and merits continuing bi-partisan support.  As one example, last year, CIS Dallas Region provided direct services to over 6,000 at-risk students.  The results:  94% improved in academics, behavior and/or attendance and 100% stayed in school.

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The Environment

Congresswoman Johnson not only understands the environmental challenges that affect the residents of North Texas, but she also uses the means available to solve those problems. She knows firsthand that a healthy environment enhances the quality of our daily lives and that our local natural resources are critical in supporting tourism which is a key element of our local economy.

Clean Air & Water:

Clean air stands as North Texas' number one environmental challenge. Congresswoman Johnson views the Clean Air Act as one of the most effective public health laws ever enacted and is opposed to any legislative or regulatory proposals aimed at rolling back key provisions of the law. She has been a leader in the struggle against the environmentally harmful policies of the Bush Administration and has fought hard to strip legislative riders aimed at rolling back key provisions of the Act. Fighting for clean air for North Texas Families has always been a priority for Congresswoman Johnson.

Congresswoman Johnson continues to work to expand the Clean Air Act. She is a cosponsor of the Clean Smokestacks Act that will set strict limits on the amount of carbon dioxide, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides that power plants can emit.

Congresswoman Johnson has defended the current Clean Air Act against efforts by the Congressional Republicans and the power industry to weaken it through adoption of the deceptively named “Clear Skies Initiative.”

Congresswoman Johnson supported increased funding for and opposed cuts to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which provide low-cost financing to communities for construction and upgrades to water infrastructure.

In the previous sessions of the Congress, Congresswoman Johnson secured House-passed authorization of water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects in the Dallas County region, including projects for wastewater treatment and related facilities, water supply and related facilities, environmental restoration, and surface water resource protection and development.

Greenhouse Gases:

Congresswoman Johnson has been a vocal advocate for enactment of legislation that would address the problems of greenhouse gases and their effects on global climate change. The United States is falling drastically behind other industrialized nations in developing and deploying carbon emission control technology. Due to this increasingly problematic situation, Congresswoman Johnson feels strongly that the United States needs to not sit on the sidelines while protecting polluters but be a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Conservation:

Congresswoman Johnson is a diligent advocate for the Forest Legacy program. She supports expanding wilderness areas, including large tracts of land in the Rocky Mountains, Southern Utah’s Red Rocks, Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, and any non-wilderness areas of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Congresswoman Johnson supports the Clinton era Roadless Rule pertaining to National Forests and opposes Republican efforts to open roadless areas of National Forests to logging, mining, and oil exploration. She has also consistently opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Climate Change:

Congresswoman Johnson is a cosponsor of the Climate Stewardship Act, which would limit the greenhouse gas emissions of major polluters in the electricity, industrial, commercial, and transportation supply sectors. The bill would create a market to trade greenhouse gas emissions credits in units of carbon dioxide equivalence. The legislation addresses all greenhouse gasses, not just carbon dioxide.

Mercury Regulations:

Power plants in Texas are constantly emitting mercury, which is accumulating in our rivers and lakes, and in the fish that we eat. Congresswoman Johnson has been an outspoken opponent of Bush Administration policies aimed at allowing power plants to spew additional amounts of harmful pollutants such as mercury into our air and waterways. Mercury causes brain damage in small children, and can cause birth defects if pregnant women are exposed to it. Congresswoman Johnson believes that the federal government should be protecting our children, not protecting polluters. Congresswoman Johnson is also a lead sponsor on a resolution seeking to overturn the Administration’s Mercury Rule because it allows more mercury emissions in some cases.

Mercury Pollution:

Congresswoman Johnson opposed H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011. Cement plants are one of the primary sources of mercury pollution in the U.S. In the state of Texas alone, there are 10 cement plants which emitted 225 pounds of mercury in 2009 alone. It takes only one-seventieth of a teaspoon of mercury to contaminate a 25-acre lake and render the fish unsafe to eat. And children are the most vulnerable. Mercury exposure impairs a child’s ability to learn, write, walk, talk, and read. As a registered nurse, Congresswoman has seen firsthand how children are particularly sensitive to emissions of mercury and other air toxins. Congresswoman has always been a strong and proud defender of EPA’s charge to protect public health and the environment. In 2009, she led a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson calling for even stronger emissions standards to reduce mercury pollution. And last year, she was pleased to see that the EPA finalized standards for cement plant emissions that will reduce mercury and particulate matter pollution by over 90 percent, resulting in health savings up to $18 billion each year. As the Ranking Member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, she knows that our nation’s scientific, entrepreneurial and industrial sectors have and will innovate to meet new standard as they always have.

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Health Care

Throughout her tenure in Congress, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has been a strong proponent of improving our nation's health care system and increasing health insurance coverage to include every American. On March 21, 2011, Congresswoman Johnson proudly cast her vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s historic health care reform measure, providing high quality, affordable health care for 6 million uninsured Texans.

A member of the Congressional Diabetes and Mental Health Caucuses, Congresswoman Johnson has taken a leadership role on many health care issues during her time in office. As a former psychiatric nurse, Congresswoman Johnson has a broad and deep knowledge of health care issues, especially mental illness. Congresswoman Johnson has great concerns that the mental health needs in our country are being unmet and has recently introduced legislation which addresses these concerns.

As a steadfast advocate for the elderly, Congresswoman Johnson has worked to improve the Medicare program so our senior citizens can get the medical attention they deserve. Congresswoman Johnson believes that Medicare is a vital component in improving the quality of life for elderly Americans across all walks of life. She has continuously fought to support the program, despite attempts to subvert it, and remains committed to protecting and preserving
Medicare for this and future generations.

A member of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, Congresswoman Johnson has been an outspoken advocate in the House for increasing Federal funding of medical research with a focus on breast cancer, Parkinson's disease, cancer screening, and stem cell research. She is proud of the fact that the research budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has more than doubled during her tenure in Congress strengthening NIH’s efforts to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

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Science

“Our nation’s global leadership depends on its ability to innovate scientifically and technologically.” – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

A Proven Record of Advancing America’s Science and Technology Infrastructure
Throughout her tenure on the House Committee on Science and Technology, Congresswoman Johnson has introduced and amended dozens of bills and has worked to pass significant legislation, the most important of which is the America COMPETES Act which she co-authored.

Ranking Member on Science Subcommittee
Congresswoman Johnson served as Ranking Member in the 106th Congress (1999-2000) for the Subcommittee on Basic Research. She also served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research in the 107th Congress (2001-2002).

Co-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Community Reinvestment Taskforce
Congresswoman Johnson was appointed to co-chair the Community Reinvestment Taskforce for the 111th Congress, which oversees science policy for the CBC. She played a leading role in developing CBC legislative priorities for the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and led a Tri-Caucus effort asking the Senate to retain diversity provisions in the bill.

Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Science and Technology Braintrust
For 18 years, Congresswoman Johnson has chaired an annual forum with an audience of more than 300 students, teachers, and policy professionals to gather and hear ideas on how to improve research and educational opportunities for young people.  

Eddie Bernice Johnson Lecture Series in Science and Technology
For over seven years, the Eddie Bernice Johnson Math and Science lecture series has been sponsored annually by the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).  As a leader in promoting science and math education in Dallas, UTD sponsored this lecture series in Congresswoman Johnson's name in order to broadcast prominent speakers in the fields of science and technology to local high school students.

Scientific Advisor to Commission for the Building Engineering and Scientific Talent
With former Congresswoman Connie Morella, Congresswoman Johnson advised the Building Engineering and Scientific Talent (BEST) Commission.  BEST was a national campaign for identifying and sharing best practices in building a stronger, more diverse technical workforce.

An Active National Member of Scientific Associations
During her tenure in Congress, Congresswoman Johnson has partnered with the National Academy of Engineers (NAE), the National Society of Women Engineers (NSWE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in efforts to increase scientific output in the United States by raising methods and standards in order to prepare stronger educators and students.

An Ally of Public and Private Scientific Enterprises
Congresswoman Johnson has worked closely with nonprofits and businesses, such as Texas Instruments, Dell, Microsoft, and the Gates Foundation, in order to bolster job creation and to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education opportunities and access.

Co-Chair of the Diversity and Innovation Caucus
In 2007, Congresswoman Johnson founded the House Diversity and Innovation Caucus, a group of more than 60 members of the House of Representatives who promote increased diversity in the science and engineering workforce. 

Led Congressional Perspective on the “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” Report
Congresswoman Johnson served as a lead Congressional speaker on the release of the historic “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report. Conducted by the National Academies and chaired by Dr. Norm Augustine, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” was the catalyst for legislation to invigorate innovation in America.

Recognized by the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Society of Women Engineers and other Scientific Organizations as a leader in science policy
Over the years as an active and engaged Member of the Committee on Science and Technology, Congresswoman Johnson has been recognized and honored on numerous occasions by top scientific organizations for her role in the lawmaking process.

International Speaker on Science Policy
Congresswoman Johnson has been asked to speak at international venues and has worked with top scientists and lawmakers on science policy and discussed the role science plays in the international economy.
Local Leader on STEM Education
Dallas, Texas, is home to the top public Math and Science High School in the nation, the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center.  Since its founding in 1995, Congresswoman Johnson has remained greatly involved in supporting outstanding STEM education and working to close the achievement gap.

Links, Incorporated
Appointed to serve as Links Incorporated’s National Leader for STEM.  Established in 1946, Links, Incorporated, is an international, not-for-profit corporation with more than 12,000 professional women of color in 270 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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Transportation

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is the most senior Texan on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  As the former Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment she continues to be a stalwart supporter of maintaining the economic promise of Dallas and North Texas through unwavering dedication to key components of the region’s transportation infrastructure including DFW Airport, DART, Dallas Love Field, and the International Inland Port of Dallas. She has brought over one billion dollars in federal funding, through direct appropriations and grants, for transportation and infrastructure projects to the 30th District. Out of many road and transportation projects, here are some examples of this funding:

  • Trinity River Corridor project
  • Woodall Rodgers Park project
  • Margaret McDermott Bridge
  • Dallas Floodway
  • Dallas Floodway Extension
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

As the only North Texas member of Congress who voted in favor of the Recovery Act, she is proud that her support for the legislation brought money to help fund the DART 14-mile Orange Line rail construction project that will connect Dallas, the thriving Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving, and ultimately Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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Homeland Security, National Security, Veterans

Congresswoman Johnson is an ardent supporter of homeland security and a strong national defense.

She has traveled to Iraq to meet with our troops and military leaders on several occasions. She has consistently voted for better equipment and protection for our brave men and women despite her opposition to the Iraq War.

Congresswoman Johnson also understands the need to protect the transportation and infrastructure of Texas and America at large from terrorist attacks and has worked hard to ensure that adequate resources are made available to state and local governments.

Congresswoman Johnson has always been a supporter of first responders who protect our community, and she has worked to ensure that law enforcement officials, fire fighters, police, as well as emergency response personnel have the equipment and training they need in the event of an emergency. For example, Congresswoman Johnson strongly supports the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program, which has aided the Dallas Police Department with equipment, technology, and personnel to combat local crime.

As the senior Texan on the Transportation Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson held the first town hall meetings in the DFW region on Homeland Security, addressing the needs of first responders. The Congresswoman examined how the federal government could better assist state and local governments with the consequences of chemical, biological, and nuclear disasters, and domestic terrorism.

For our veterans, Congresswoman Johnson's commitment is unwavering. She has consistently supported increased funding for veterans healthcare, cost of living increases for Veterans Administration benefits, and fought to ensure that Dallas VA facilities remain a reliable and convenient place for our North Texas veterans to attend their medical needs.

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International Relations, Trade, Peace

Congresswoman Johnson is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in democracy, good governance, and human rights. She was one of the first members of Congress to visit Iraq and meet with the U.S. Armed Forces personnel stationed in Baghdad.

Congresswoman Johnson has led the way in Congress to protect the lives and rights of women and children during war, conflict and its aftermath. She has introduced numerous resolutions on the role of women in war and post conflict situations. Her resolutions seek to ensure economic rights and empowerment as important steps toward equal rights all over the globe. She has held national and international peace discussion forums to promote the productive exchange of ideas and experiences among women of all ethnic and national communities. The Congresswoman believes that the children of the world deserve to inherit a culture of peace; a lengthy process, where the results are not visible overnight, but long overdue.

Congresswoman Johnson bases her votes on the foreign policy specific resolutions on the notion that dialogue and engagement are the first steps toward non-violent conflict resolution.

Congresswoman Johnson supports our troops by working to bring them home safely, as soon as possible.

Congresswoman Johnson believes the tragedy in Darfur has gone on far too long.
She has joined colleagues in Congress to pass sanctions against the Sudanese government, encourage international companies to divest from Sudan, and pushing for greater international intervention to bring an end to the crisis.

Congresswoman Johnson knows that trade policies combined with a comprehensive national workforce focused agenda will ensure continued U.S .
leadership in fast growing industries. She continues to look for ways to balance economic policies with the necessary safety nets that will help American workers adjust to the global economy. She supports legislation that guarantees health insurance for all dislocated workers, ensures portable pensions, and lowers college tuition particularly for families that are experiencing economic hardship.

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Paid for by Eddie Bernice Johnson for Congress