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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - August 23, 2021

House Returns to Work on Budget Resolution

Washington Update

Budget Resolution

House Democrats returned to Washington, D.C. to work on the $3.5 budget resolution that will advance many of President Biden’s biggest policy promises - including expanding Medicare, combating climate change, and immigration reforms. A group of moderate House Democrats have threatened to vote against the plan unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) first allows a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, however, nearly 100 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have signaled they will withhold their votes on infrastructure until they complete work on the reconciliation bill.

Pelosi has suggested that the House would take a single procedural vote this week to advance both the bipartisan infrastructure package and the budget resolution. The budget resolution unlocks the reconciliation tool that Democrats are planning to use to pass many elements of Biden’s domestic agenda, including his major education priorities, without needing GOP votes. In the coming weeks, congressional committees will finalize details of the spending bill and try to come to an agreement on contentious issues such as free community college and universal pre-K. The budget resolution sets a non-binding September 15 deadline for the committees to complete their work.


On Thursday, August 19, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced it is more than doubling the amount of funding initially available under the CAREER Dislocated Worker Grant opportunity, which was first announced back in June. The Department now plans to award up to $90 million in CAREER grants, which can provide resources at the state and local level to support and enhance comprehensive employment services, provide virtual services to unemployed jobseekers, and support the data systems necessary to connect the unemployed to reemployment. According to the agency, this investment — including the application process — is designed to ensure these grants are accessible and timely for an array of applicants positioned to meet immediate needs and serve workers in their states and communities.

To submit applications go to before the August 31st deadline and you can access the new TEGL here. If you wish to learn more about managing Dislocated Worker Grants, you can access the operating guidance from March 2020 here.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending August 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 348,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 375,000 to 377,000. The 4-week moving average was 377,750, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 396,250 to 396,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending August 7, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the full report

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