Secretary Solis Shares DOL Priorities on Hill
March 23, 2012
On Wednesday, March 21, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on the Administration’s budget request. This followed her earlier testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee last week and hit on many of the same themes.
The Secretary outlined the current state of the economic recovery and recent growth, but emphasized that 12.8 million Americans are still unemployed, with 43% of those long-term unemployed. She reiterated the President’s blueprint for growth to address this issue (first laid out in the State of the Union), including “strengthening American manufacturing, American energy, education, and skills training for workers in a way that is consistent with American values.” She called on Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, and emphasized the need for more training programs, particularly highlighting the role of community colleges.
Secretary Solis was asked about the Ryan budget, which was being marked up by the Budget Committee the same day. She said it would have “devastating effects” on the workforce development system, particularly on populations most in need of support, such as veterans and youth.
Like in the prior hearing, much of the focus was actually on current regulatory issues rather than the budget itself. Members of Congress asked about the Department’s proposals to amend rules related to agriculture and child labor, an issue ACTE has been following, as well as proposals related to wage and hour rules for in-home care services and the advice exemption in labor management reporting, which are not related to CTE.