U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement after his amendment regarding proposed changes to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) press lock-ups was included in the Committee-passed Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies fiscal year 2013 Appropriations bill:
"At a time when the economy struggles to recover and more discouraged Americans leave the workforce each month, the Labor Department's monthly jobs numbers tell the story and enable families and job creators to monitor our economy's progress. I'm glad we can work together to revise the Labor Department's overreaching policy so that we can maintain transparency and protect the American public's access to critical monthly employment information that really matters in this economic climate."
The bill directs the DOL "to issue a report to both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations no later than 30 days after enactment of this act outlining all the Department's considerations, processes, and decision points related to the Department's concerns about the prior policy and justification of the initial April 10, 2012 policy."
It also directs the DOL to work with the media "in developing a revised policy that responds to the reasonable concerns of both the Department and the news media."
Last month, Blunt sent a letter to the Labor Department urging the agency not to restrict the media and the public's access to critical monthly unemployment data.