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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - March 20th, 2023

Su Nomination Meets Resistance; House Democrats Introduce Short-Term Pell


Washington Update


Labor Secretary

On Wednesday, March 15, Congressman Kevin Kiley (CA), and other California state Assembly Republicans held a press conference in opposition to acting Labor Secretary Julie Su’s nomination for U.S. Department of Labor Secretary. At the press conference, speakers criticized her record on worker classification and oversight of unemployment insurance - an issue also frequently raised by Senator Bill Cassidy (LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Jobs to Compete Act

On Friday, March 10, House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA) released the Jobs to Compete Act, which would make short-term training programs more affordable for adult learners and help businesses recruit highly-qualified candidates. The proposal would allow some for-profit college programs to be eligible, potentially clearing a long-standing obstacle for the so-called ‘Workforce Pell’ but it would prohibit fully online programs from being eligible. Scott released a fact sheet on the legislation that outlined several quality-assurance guardrails in the bill, including requirements that completers earn more than a high school graduate in their state and see a pay bump of at least 20%. Programs would also need to spend at least half their tuition revenue on instruction. The bill might see pushback from some Progressives regarding the eligibility of select for-profit college programs.

Click here to read the full press release.

Click here to see the fact sheet on the bill.

House Committee on the Budget Hearing

On Thursday, March 23, the House Committee on the Budget will hold the hearing “The President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request” at 10:00 a.m. in the Cannon House Office Building to examine President Biden’s recently released FY24 budget request. Shalanda D. Young, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the witness at the hearing.

Click here to learn more about the hearing.

House Appropriations Committee Hearing

On Thursday, March 23, the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing called “Public Witness Day - Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.” Several witnesses are scheduled for the hearing to provide testimony on different funding priorities.

Click here to access more information on the hearing.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing

On Thursday, March 23, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold the hearing “Breaking the System: Examining the Implications of Biden’s Student Loan Policies for Students and Taxpayers.” The Subcommittee is Chaired by Congressman Burgess Owens (UT).

Click here to learn more about the hearing.

Requests for Information Open for EDA’s Tech Hubs and Recompete Pilot Programs

EDA has issued two Requests for Information (RFIs) seeking input on critical initiatives to bolster American innovation and grow good jobs where they are needed most. EDA is asking for the public’s input on the design, structure, and evaluation of the upcoming Tech Hubs and Recompete Pilot programs. The Tech Hubs program will help U.S. regions build and evolve into centers of innovation and seeks to support key technologies and industries of the future, strengthen U.S. economic and national security, and ensure that industries of the future start, grow, and remain in the United States. The RFI for this program closes March 16, 2023. The Recompete Pilot Program is an economic development initiative that will provide grant funding to distressed communities across the country to create, and connect workers to, good jobs and support long-term comprehensive economic development. The RFI for this program closes March 27, 2023. Click here to access the RFI in the Federal Register.

Click here for more information on Tech Hubs and for instructions on how to submit your input. Click here to access the RFI in the Federal Register. Click here to learn more about the Recompete Pilot Program.

USDA SNAP E&T Report

On Wednesday, March 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the report “Survey of the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Program Case Management. The study’s purpose is to help FNS better understand how States are implementing SNAP E&T case management requirements. The report highlights promising practices and lessons learned that FNS can use to support States as they provide services. One key finding in the report is that in response to the requirement for case management in the 2018 Farm Bill, two-thirds of States invested in staff training, and more than half added new E&T providers. The report also found that States offer a variety of participant reimbursements to E&T participants, including transportation assistance, work clothing or work equipment, and fees associated with tests, licensing, or credentialing.

Click here to read the summary of the report.

Click here to read the full final report.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending March 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 192,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 211,000 to 212,000. The 4-week moving average was 196,500, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 197,000 to 197,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending March 4, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the report.

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