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Advocacy & Policy Update - August 31, 2020



Coronavirus Stimulus Bill/Appropriations

On Thursday, August 27, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) and chief Administration officials had a 25 minute phone call to discuss coronavirus negotiations, which ended with no resolution or momentum forward. Pelosi indicated that Democrats are willing to come down to $2.2 trillion, an amount rejected by the White House and Republicans.

On Friday, August 28, the White House countered with a proposal of $1.3 trillion for the relief bill, an amount Pelosi said falls well short of what is necessary to give citizens relief. In a ‘Dear Colleague” letter, Pelosi made it clear she does not support anything less than the $2.2 trillion package proposed by Democrats. 

In a regular conference call with Senate Republicans on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the Senate is not likely to come back in session until after Labor Day.  Meadows is ‘not optimistic’ about reaching a deal and thinks Pelosi will hold out until the end of September so she can tie the stimulus package to the government funding bill to avert a shutdown before the election. Pelosi has said Democrats are willing to drop their price tag by $1 trillion as long as Republicans agree to raise their package by $1 trillion. 

The government funding deadline is September 30, just around the corner, and Congress must act to keep the government running. It appears that Republicans favor a short-term stopgap measure, while Democrats may try to get a longer-term bill passed. 

Click here to read Pelosi’s ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.

Congressional Leadership

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (NM) is leaving the House to run for Senate, leaving the assistant speaker position - the fourth-ranking position in House Democractic leadership- as the only open spot in leadership right now. The race to fill the position already seems to be heating up. Former Providence Mayor and USCM Trustee Representative David Cicilline (RI) is vying for the spot, along with Representatives Tony Cardena (CA) and Katherine Clark (MA). The leadership races won’t take place until after the November elections.

Webinar Series

On Thursday, September 17 and Thursday, September 24, the Workforce Data Quality Initiative and the LEAD Center will host a two-part webinar series entitled Using Data to DRIVE System Improvements for Individuals with Disabilities to showcase leading practices in WIOA disability-related reporting. This two-part webinar series will feature Wisconsin’s workforce system practices and highlight how effective reporting and analysis can enhance services and help mitigate job losses for individuals with disabilities. The sessions will explore existing reporting on individuals with disabilities through a new online interactive data visualization tool and learn how to improve your own disability-related reporting.

Click here to register for Part 1 on September 17th.

Click here to register for Part 2 on September 24th.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending August 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,006,000, a decrease of 98,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 2,000 from 1,106,000 to 1,104,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,068,000, a decrease of 107,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 500 from 1,175,750 to 1,175,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 9.9 percent for the week ending August 15, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. 

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the entire August 31 weekly legislative update.

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