Week of May 5, 2003

» Please view the "Weekly Whip" outlining the Floor Schedule for the week of May 5, 2003. 

Floor items that you may want to do press on:

H.R. 1261 - Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

H.R. ___ - The President's Economic Growth and Jobs Package


Attached are documents to help you do press on (1) H.R. 1261 - Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), (2) H.R. ___ - The President's Economic Growth and Jobs Package.

H.R. 1261 - Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The House is expected to consider legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) next week.  This bill presents an excellent opportunity to highlight the Republicans' failure to act on behalf of the growing ranks of unemployed workers.

WIA authorizes and funds employment, training, literacy, and vocational rehabilitation programs for adults and dislocated workers, as well as activities for low income youth, such as tutoring and study skills training, alternative high school services, and summer youth job opportunities.

Rather than responding to the needs of the unemployed by extending unemployment benefits or including a jobs creation package, H.R. 1261 repeals dedicated funding for vulnerable workers, such as dislocated workers, as the nation's unemployment rate rises to 6 percent.

Under this bill, funding for services to adults, dislocated workers, and Employment Services would be consolidated into a block grant.  At the same time, President Bush has called for more than $700 million in cuts to our job training programs for FY2003 and 2004 in addition to a $300 million FY 2002 WIA funding rescission.  More than 2 million jobs have been lost in two years - and more than half a million in the last three months.  This bill would severely hamper efforts to ensure that WIA has sufficient funding, and jeopardize the quality of training provided to workers.

H.R. 1261 also allows Governors to divert funds from critical adult education, disability, and veteran's services.  Under this bill, Governors are permitted to take an unlimited amount of funds from adult education, vocational rehabilitation, and veteran's services to use for infrastructure and administrative costs.  These programs have already been slashed because of state budgets; the unlimited authority to take funds could further jeopardize services.

Attached are documents to help you do press on WIA.

A summary of the Republican WIA bill

A CRS summary of the 1998 WIA bill

Letters from the Paralyzed Veterans of America to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee in opposition to H.R. 1261

H.R.  - The President's Economic Growth and Jobs Package

The FY 2004 Republican Budget Conference Report adopted on April 10th resorted to unparalleled levels of gimmickry in providing two different targets for the House and Senate for their initial reconciliation instructions.  The number for the House is $550 billion through 2013, but because of divisions within their party over the size of the tax cut, Republicans in the Senate will be working on a $350 billion tax package.  After several tries, the Senate Parliamentarian agreed that the $550 billion figure would be protected from a filibuster and 60-vote points of order in the Senate when it considers the later tax cut conference agreement. 

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to markup the Republican tax bill next week.  It is anticipated that the bill reported to the floor will contain at least $550 billion in tax cuts.  This is during a time of record deficits (slow revenue receipts and higher spending will likely create years of future deficits of hundreds of billions), uncertainty over the costs of continued operations in Iraq and the War on Terrorism, the worst fiscal crisis for state and local governments in a half-century, and national job losses nearing 2.5 million over the past two years and mounting at a rate of almost 75,000 per month.

The Republican plan ignores the need for immediate stimulus and job creation, and ignores the needs of middle income and working Americans. Instead it disproportionately favors the richest 5 percent of taxpayers at the expense of middle income and working American families.  It reduces the tax rate on capital gains and dividends, accelerates the income tax cut reductions enacted in 2001, increasing the child credit from $600 to $1,000 in 2003, 2004, 2005, accelerates some of the marriage penalty relief and an increase for small business expensing from $25,000 to $75,000. 

Attached are documents to help you do press on the Republican tax plan.

  • Statement from Congressman Hoyer on the GOP tax plan
  • Summary of the GOP tax plan from the Republican House Waysand Means Committee Staff
  • Statement from Ranking Democrat on the House Waysand Means Committee Charlie Rangel on the GOP tax plan
  • Talking points on the GOP tax plan provided by the Office of the House Democratic Leader

   View Attachments Bundled Together in a PDF File