Isakson, above, and Murray floated an outline of their draft of a job-training bill to stakeholders, including the National Governors Association, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, indicating they have a solid framework for the reauthorization.
Although Isakson’s labor policy staffer noted that the two offices are in the process of finalizing an agreement on the workforce board membership, the issue will likely remain a sticking point through the committee markup, especially if the Senate measure ever gets to the point of a conference with the House bill.
In fact, the House GOP proposal leaves much to be desired for Democrats, chief of which is the proposal to consolidate 35 employment and training programs into a Workforce Investment Fund to serve as a single source of support for employers and job seekers. Funding for those programs would be merged into a block grant to the states.
Democrats argue that consolidating programs into a block grant would shift money away from underserved populations that some of the training efforts were set up to help.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.