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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - May 13, 2024

Su Testifies Before Senate Committee; Appropriations Work Underway


Washington Update


Appropriations

House Appropriations Chair Tom Cole (OK) has said he hopes to divide the FY25 levels among the 12 federal funding bills by late this week, noting that appropriators will likely recalibrate the 302(b) allocations once the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases data on federal receipts on May 22. Cole is hoping to start marking up bills later this month or early June, with the goal of approving all 12 out of committee before the August break. He believes congressional leaders will be fine with the FY25 budget caps set under the debt limit deal but the ‘side deals’ will be up for negotiation. Cole has also been clear about his desire to revive earmarks in the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, wanting to keep the debate going in the upcoming months, despite GOP leadership forgoing them again for FY25. House GOP leaders decided to bar earmarks to nonprofits this year mainly to avoid drama and save time.


Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act

On Tuesday, May 7, Senators Patty Murray (WA) and Mike Braun (IN) reintroduced the bipartisan legislation the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, which has a companion bill in the House being led by Representatives Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA) and Erin Houchin (IN). The legislation would require colleges and universities to plan for and assist homeless and foster youth with on-campus housing during the holidays. Additionally, it would require institutions to give these students in-state tuition rates and prioritize homeless and foster students for Federal Work-Study. The U.S. Department of Education would also have the responsibility of issuing updated guidance on serving students who are homeless, unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, self-supporting or in foster care.

Click here to access a press release and learn more about the legislation.


Senate Hearing

On Thursday, May 9, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Acting Secretary Julie Su testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on President Biden’s budget request for FY25. During the hearing, Acting Secretary Su responded to criticism from Republicans about her Agency’s recent overtime and fiduciary rules. Senator Joe Manchin (WV) also pressed her on Biden’s decision to veto a congressional resolution that would have nullified the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) joint-employer rule, expressing concerns about the future of the franchise model for fast-food restaurants. Su once again emphasized the board’s structure as an independent agency. Senator Katie Britt (AL) asked Su about her status leading a U.S. agency without being confirmed. 

Click here to access video of the hearing.


Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending May 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 231,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 208,000 to 209,000. The 4-week moving average was 215,000, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 210,000 to 210,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending April 27, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the full report.

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