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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - January 3rd, 2022

Build Back Better on Senate Agenda

Washington Update

Build Back Better Back on the Horizon in Congress

President Biden and White House staff spent part of the holiday recess strategizing with Senate Democrats on how to revive negotiations on the Build Back Better Act (BBB) and get it passed in the Senate. The challenges of getting the package through the evenly divided chamber are as tough as they were the week before the holidays, when Senator Joe Manchin (WV) announced his opposition to the plan as proposed. Biden and Manchin did speak and both pledged to continue discussions after Manchin's announcement. Manchin's issues with the bill include opposition to an extension of the beefed-up child tax credit — which expired on New Year's Day since Congress did not act — and is included in the House version of the bill. He also opposes some climate provisions in the legislation. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) has also not committed to voting for Build Back Better and is another stumbling block for passage of the bill. One strategy discussed over the recess includes breaking BBB up into smaller pieces. The biggest concern with this strategy is that Senate rules limit the number of bills that can be passed via reconciliation, and so far no Republican senator has indicated their support for any elements of BBB. Democrats also decided against trying to pass a separate bill last month to extend the child tax credit before it expired. Also on the to-do list — lawmakers face a government funding deadline in mid-February and need to pass legislation before the stopgap bill expires on February 18; and Schumer told fellow Democrats they will try again on voting rights legislation despite major obstacles with their narrow majority. Finally, the House select committee investigating last year’s January 6 attack on the Capitol will continue its work and is facing pressure to reach a conclusion as the 2022 midterm elections draw closer.

USCM WDC 2022 Annual Winter Meeting

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Workforce Development Council (WDC) Annual Winter Meeting will be held on January 19-20, 2022, as part of The U.S. Conference of Mayors 90th Annual Winter Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Madison Washington D.C. (located two blocks from the Capital Hilton Hotel), 1177 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005.

USCM CEO and Executive Director has issued the following statement regarding health protocols for the meeting:

As for health protocols for our 90th Winter Meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has hired WithHealth, a most reputable national firm which specializes in workplace and entertainment safety protocols amidst ongoing health concerns. This Winter Meeting will be for vaccinated attendees. Further health protocols will be announced with the health and safety advice of WithHealth after January 3. We must and will have safety measures in place.

Click here to access the draft agenda for the WDC Board and Annual Winter Meeting.

Click here to register for the WDC Board and Annual Winter Meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Kevin Verge at 202-861-6724 or

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending December 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 198,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 205,000 to 206,000. The 4-week moving average was 199,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 25, 1969 when it was 199,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 206,250 to 206,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3 percent for the week ending December 18, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the full report.

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