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Congressman Tierney to Offer Democratic Alternative to GOP Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization Bill

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

During today's House Committee on Education and the Workforce mark-up of the Republican version of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4297), Congressman Tierney will offer his bill (H.R. 4227) as an alternative. Citing serious flaws and concerns with the Republican bill, Congressman Tierney urged his colleagues to adopt the Democratic bill instead.

"The Republican bill's top priority is to repeal and consolidate as many federal job training programs as possible. This drastic approach will likely result in a reduction of services to low-income adults, dislocated workers, youth, women, older unemployed workers, the disabled, and others with a barrier to employment," Congressman Tierney said.

The Republican bill repeals or consolidates more than two dozen programs and creates one "Workforce Investment Fund" to be allocated to states and local areas. This deeply flawed approach would not ensure that workers get the training or other services they need or help businesses hire qualified employees. In contrast, the Tierney alternative modernizes and strengthens the existing system by expanding access to employment, education, training and support services, emphasizing employer engagement, strengthening accountability, and promoting innovation.

"Now is precisely the wrong time to radically alter the workforce system in a way that will result in fewer people being served and likely less money to serve them. During the April hearing on the Republican bill, every witness -- including those that were invited by the Republicans -- said that the GOP bill could be strengthened in some way by my bill. Yet, since that hearing, there has been no constructive Member-level discussions about their bill, no meaningful changes to their bill, and no interest in making this a bipartisan process. Instead, the Republicans seem content to advance their deeply flawed and unnecessarily partisan bill. That is really unfortunate for the millions of workers looking for jobs and the millions of employers searching for qualified candidates," Tierney continued.

Notably, more than 53 substantial national organization and stakeholders ranging from the AARP, community college associations, adult education and literacy groups, labor, career and technical education associations, civil and human rights advocates, youth collaborations and the Secretaries of Labor and Education support Tierney's bill.


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