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Advocacy & Policy Update - November 2, 2020



Congress is in recess.

There is a CR until December 11.

21st Century Jobs Package

On Tuesday, October 27, Congressman Ro Khanna (CA) and eight Democratic co-sponsors introduced the 21st Century Jobs Package. The bill would establish the Federal Institute of Technology (FIT), a federal agency responsible for workforce training, which would have up to 30 locations around the country. Companies that hire graduates of FIT training programs could receive tax incentives. The bill would also allocate $900 billion over 10 years for research and development around emerging technologies.  

Click here to learn more about the legislation.

Stimulus Negotiations

On Thursday, October 29, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that outlined all the unresolved issues in negotiations over a final coronavirus stimulus package. State and local aid, reopening schools, child care, tax credits, unemployment insurance and liability protections are some of the major issues both sides are still far apart on. On Sunday, October 25, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) had given him a commitment to put the bill on the floor and get it passed. McConnell has indicated willingness to bring a bill up for consideration but has not publicly said it will get passed. Many Senate Republicans oppose the size of the current bill Pelosi and Mnuchin are negotiating. 

Click here to read the letter. House Leadership Elections Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH), who is running for Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, outlined her vision for appropriations next Congress in a newspaper-style document that was distributed to the Democratic caucus. In the document, Kaptur said she will restore earmark spending with increased transparency, improve collaboration between committees and institute more member education about the appropriations process. She also plans to focus more on diversity and give greater attention to the country’s long-term fiscal health. 

Kaptur is the most senior woman on the Committee and longest-serving woman in Congress. She is running against Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) to replace retiring Chair Nita Lowey (NY). Both DeLauro and Wasserman Schultz have already released reform plans that also called for restoring earmarks, a great focus on diversity, better education for members about spending bills and more. The House Democratic Caucus plans to hold leadership elections on November 18th and 19th. The Democratic Steering and Policy Committee will then likely meet the week of November 30 to nominate committee chairs, including the next leader of the House Appropriations Committee.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) scheduled the House GOP’s internal leadership elections for Tuesday, November 17, just one day after the House is scheduled to return from recess. Some Republicans had been pushing to delay their leadership races until December, in order to give them more time to process the election results, but McCarthy, who is working to lock down support to remain GOP leader, does not appear interested in delaying the races. 

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending October 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 751,000, a decrease of 40,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 4,000 from 787,000 to 791,000. The 4-week moving average was 787,750, a decrease of 24,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,000 from 811,250 to 812,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for the week ending October 17, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the entire November 2 weekly legislative update.

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