Legislative Update: House Passes Second Bill in Series To Reauthorize ESEA, Debt Limit Deal Talks, Bills Introduced
Posted by Kara Herbertson on 06/24/2011
House Passes Second Bill in Series To Reauthorize ESEA
Yesterday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the second in a series of bills intended to reauthorize ESEA. Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) introduced the bill, H.R. 2218, the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, that would increase access to quality education opportunities and would modernize federal law to improve and expand high-quality charter schools. The Committee approved the bill by a vote of 34-5.
View H.R. 2218 at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2218ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr2218ih.pdf
Debt Limit Deal: Biden’s Group Loses 2 Members, Senate Dems Call for Job Creation
Vice President Biden’s group met several times this week to strategize on plans to lift the federal debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline set by the U.S. Treasury Department. Few details on the talks have been released, but the group appears to be falling apart as two Republican members left the group this week.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) announced that he is pulling out of the talks because Democrats insist on increasing taxes as part of the deal, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ) has also left the group. Cantor stated that “Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats united to put job creation at the forefront of the debt limit deal.
House Speaker John Boehner (OH) said he expects to hear from President Obama about the departures of Cantor and Kyl from the group, a sign that the federal debt ceiling talks could shift to a direct negotiation between Boehner and Obama.
Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2011
Yesterday, Rep. Buck McKeon (CA) introduced H.R. 2295, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2011, a bill that would strengthen job training opportunities for workers and job seekers. The legislation would renew workforce development programs under the Workforce Development Act (WIA). The bill would eliminate duplication in WIA, enhance the role of employers, strengthen coordinating infrastructure, improve accountability, and increase state and local flexibility to serve the needs of workers.
To read McKeon’s press release, visit: http://mckeon.house.gov/singlepage.aspx?NewsID=1976
AMERICA Works Act
Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) introduced S.1243, the American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement (AMERICA) Works Act. The bill would require that certain federal job training and career education programs give priority to programs that provide an industry recognized and nationally-portable credential. Hagan stated that “Job creation is my number one priority, and the AMERICA Works Act will connect people looking for work to employment opportunities.”
Adult Education and Economic Growth Act of 2011
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX) introduced H.R. 2226, the Adult Education and Economic Growth Act of 2011, that would support career pathways for adult learners. Some of the changes that would be made to adult education and training would include: providing a tax credit for employers who invest in their employees’ education, supporting career pathways for adult learners, and providing incentives for institutions providing technology training.
Hinojosa stated that “This bill is vital when it comes to future growth in our economy. It will reform and increase investment in job training, adult education, and other programs needed to build a 21st century workforce.”
View H.R. 2226 at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2226ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr2226ih.pdf
Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act
Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA) reintroduced H.R. 2207, the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, which would help create a workforce ready for a green economy. The bill allocates $100 million in competitive grant funding for clean energy career and technical training programs through postsecondary institutions, local education agencies, CTE schools, and community partners.
McNerney, a former clean energy engineer, said that “By providing grants to develop job training programs, we’ll help ensure that our country’s workers are building clean energy projects right here in America.”
View H.R. 2207 at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2207ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr2207ih.pdf
STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring Act
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM) introduced H.R. 2228, the STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring Act (or the “STEM2 Act”), to strengthen the capacity of elementary, middle and high schools to prepare students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The bill would require identification of STEM skills needed by businesses and industry and support curricula and teacher training and mentoring to improve student learning in STEM.
View H.R. 2228 at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2228ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr2228ih.pdf