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Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director for Government Relations
|Department of Education's New Work-Study Program
Last week the ASA Advocacy team attended Opportunity America’s Jobs and Career Coalition meeting. This is a coalition that ASA Advocacy participates in to help focus on job training and workforce development. This is important to ASA members, because there has been a decline in students entering the PHCP-PVP industry workforce. So, as the current skilled workforce reaches retirement age there is not enough skilled workers to fill that gap.
There is an exciting federal work-study initiative coming out of the Department of Education. The meeting kicked off with Diane Jones, Principal Deputy under Secretary of the Department of Education and Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the Department of Education briefing us on the federal work-study imitative. The program came about while trying to answer the question, “how do we work together to get resources distributed evenly and use those resources to encourage students and engage with stake holders of post-secondary educations- such as CTE?” From that discussion came a federal work-study imitative.
The Department of Education does not have extra funding like the Department of Labor does, however, they do have Federal Student Aid. So, to get around this they expanded the Pell Grants to skilled trade programs and then topping it off with a work-study program, where the student would actually be off campus learning real skills they would need for that position once they graduated.
Federal work-study programs are usually thought of as Federal Aide, but 90% of the jobs are spent on campus jobs that have nothing to do with the student’s degree program. The idea for the new initiative is that the federal work-study program should not just be a Federal Aide tool, but should pair schools and employers together to get the student in the same workforce they will be looking at when they graduate.
In a regular work-study 70% of the student’s pay check would come from the employer and 30% from the school, which puts their portion to the tuition for the student. This new program would change that to be an even 50/50 split, which is a better balance for employers. This would change the discussion from schools asking for donations from employers to letting the employer know that they have a student/employee ready for them. This would also change the current 10 hour a week cap for students to work to no cap on the hours.
There is also a toolkit that will be available, which will include, career services and materials to help grow the school and employers relationship. Hopefully, there will also be an association toolkit! If you would like to get engaged in this program please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry at email@example.com.
- Several top staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee left their jobs amid lawmakers' dissatisfaction with the lack of diversity in the party's House campaign apparatus, which is headed by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). Jacqui Newman, the DCCC's chief operating officer, will serve as interim executive director after the exit of several officials, including the DCCC's executive director, communications director, political director and director of diversity. (Politico)
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation that would require presidential candidates - such as President Donald Trump - to release their tax returns in order to be eligible for the state's primary ballots. Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow indicated a suit challenging the law was likely forthcoming, saying "the State of California's attempt to circumvent the Constitution will be answered in court." (Politico)
- Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, the longest-serving member of Utah's congressional delegation, confirmed he will not seek a ninth term, keeping a self-imposed retirement pledge he made in 2012. Bishop, who has said he is considering running for governor of Utah next year, said he was undecided about his future campaign. (The Deseret News)
- Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas) each announced that they will not seek re-election year, joining Rep. Pete Olson as Texas Republicans who plan to retire after the current Congress.
- Rep. Kenny Marchant is set to announce he will not seek re-election next year, becoming the fourth Texas Republican who will leave Congress after the 2020 elections. Like some of the other Texas seats held by Republicans heading for the exits, Marchant's district is viewed as competitive for Democrats hoping to pad their House majority, due in part to changing demographics. (The New York Times)
- Several top staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee left their jobs amid lawmakers' dissatisfaction with the lack of diversity in the party's House campaign apparatus, which is headed by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). Jacqui Newman, the DCCC's chief operating officer, will serve as interim executive director after the exit of several officials, including the DCCC's executive director, communications director, political director and director of diversity.
- Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said he supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) current resistance to opening a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, after two prominent Democrats - Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, and Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) - voiced their support for starting House impeachment proceedings. (The Hill)
- Congress has just passed a two-year budget deal that would be significant under any circumstances and may be seen as remarkable in Washington since this city is widely regarded as being incapable of getting anything done. The agreement, negotiated primarily and notably by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump Administration, lifts federal spending caps for two years and suspends through July 2021, the statutory limit on the amount of debt the federal government can incur. As a result of the lifting of the spending caps, spending cuts that would have automatically occurred will now not occur, resulting in a several-hundred-billion-dollar increase in federal spending and a resultant estimated increase of about $1.7 trillion in the national debt. The agreement also prohibits the offering of “poison pill” amendments – amendments that are designed to either defeat the underlying bill, or simply to force members of the other political party to cast difficult political votes that quickly turn into 30-second campaign ads – to subsequent spending/debt limit measures. The agreement is a rare-in-Washington compromise: pro-defense legislators got a long-desired increase in defense spending and social welfare advocates got an increase in non-defense domestic spending. And for the next two years, the country’s financial markets will not have to worry about Washington playing politics with our credit worthiness by threatening not to extend the federal debt ceiling. Moreover, as a result of this agreement, Congress will – hopefully – return to the practice of dealing with federal spending by passing a dozen agency-specific appropriations bills, rather than passing huge “omnibus appropriations” bills or “continuing resolutions” to fund most-or-all of the government in a single measure. It has been decades since Congress passed all the individual appropriations bills by the statutory deadline of September 30th – the last time they did so was 1996 – and it will be a welcome return to “regular order” if they do so now. Like all compromises, this one left no one completely satisfied. Conservatives loudly condemned the repeal of the “sequester” – the automatic spending cuts – and the resultant increases in spending and the national debt. Many Democrats objected to the “poison pill” provisions. And some progressives objected to the increase in defense spending. Conservative/Republican objections to the agreement were intense, and Democratic unity stronger. The measure passed the House by a comfortable 284-149 vote, but only 65 of the 197 GOP members voted for it, and only 16 of the 235 Democrats voted against it. The Senate passed the bill a few days after the House, and support there was similarly lopsided. While it passed by a wide 67 to 28 margin, 23 of the 28 “no” votes were Republicans; only 5 Democrats voted “no.”
- The House Education and Labor subcommittee held a second hearing on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which as previously reported is a smorgasbord of pro-union legislation written to increase union membership at any cost. A representative of The Coalition for Workplace Democracy (CDW), the labor focused business coalition which NAW helps manage, testified at the hearing, where he reiterated that the legislation is “a bad proposal that will hurt American workers.”
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) released a proposal that would rate environmental rules or measures on their impact on low-income areas, using a scoring system similar to that used by the Congressional Budget Office. The Climate Equity Act would also create an independent Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability and install a senior adviser on climate justice at relevant federal agencies. (The New York Times)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released plans demonstrating how she would approach trade policy if elected president. Warren said she would require trade negotiators to release public drafts, include labor and environmental group representatives on advisory committees, and require the U.S. International Trade Commission to analyze how new trade agreements would impact each area of the country. (Bloomberg)
- One day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer finished trade talks with Chinese officials in Shanghai, Trump said the United States will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, starting Sept. 1. Trump said the new 10 percent tariff will be in conjunction with the 25 percent tariff already placed on $250 billion of Chinese goods - essentially taxing all products that the United States buys from China.
- US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA). US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and House Democrats have been meeting regularly to address Democrats' concerns over the USMCA. House Democrats want stricter enforcement, stronger labor and environmental protections and a shorter term exclusivity for biologic drugs. There was some hope that a deal would have passed by now, but that clearly has not happened. A vote on the USMCA, if there is one, will be closely watched by financial markets. Nearly 200,000 US companies are involved in trade among the three countries, more than the number of companies that are involved with US-China trade, which has received significantly more attention from the media and markets. The House is likely to vote on this agreement in October or November, but this could be delayed given the challenging relationship between the President and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who must schedule the vote. There are various substantive and political challenges facing this deal, and its passage is anything but certain. Watch for this issue to rise in prominence in the fall and eclipse the US-China dispute as the lead trade story out of Washington. (IAPMO Group Washington Update)
- Legionella Outbreak at the Sheraton Hotel. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH) are continuing their investigation into the Legionella outbreak at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. As of today, July 29, 2019, there are 11 lab-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 55 probable cases of Legionnaires’ disease related to this outbreak. There are no reported deaths due to Legionnaires’ disease among hotel guests. Probable cases are people who had illness consistent with Legionnaires’ disease, including pneumonia diagnosed by a clinician or chest X-ray, but without laboratory confirmation. The number of probable cases can change based on additional testing and lab results. Since the first cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed two weeks ago, epidemiologists from DPH and FCBOH have been reviewing hundreds of survey responses from individuals who stayed at or visited the Sheraton Atlanta between June 12 and July 15, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people with Legionnaires' disease grew by nearly 4 times from 2000–2014. About 6,100 cases of Legionnaires' disease were reported in the United States in 2016. In Georgia, 189 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in 2018, and 172 cases in 2017.
- People close to the administration say President Donald Trump may unveil a health care plan in September to counter Democrats' pushing for "Medicare for All," claiming that the plan will include elements such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions, provisions to expedite the sale of insurance plans across state lines, health transparency efforts and the expansion of health savings accounts. Details of the plan are still unclear and some administration officials worry it could leave the president vulnerable to attacks from Democrats, but two people present for the ongoing discussions said Kellyanne Conway has briefed House Republicans on progress so far and is set to meet with Senate Republicans after they return to session Sept. 9. (The Wall Street Journal)
- The House and Senate are both on recess. Both return to session on Sept. 9.
| || NEWS FROM STATE AND LOCAL |
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China is unlikely to target U.S. crude oil if it decides to impose retaliatory tariffs in response to Washington's latest announcement to put additional tariffs on Chinese goods, as any impediment to the sale of North American oil to Chinese refiners would not inflict much damage to the U.S. upstream companies. U.S. President Donald Trump said recently that the U.S. will impose 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese good starting September 1.
The Wall Street Journal
President Trump’s re-election campaign has a pitch for suburban women: Look past his rhetoric and focus on his record, including the strong economy. It may not work for women like Patricia Wigman, who lives outside Detroit, Michigan. “He shouldn’t be tweeting, and he shouldn’t be opening his mouth,” said Ms. Wigman, 66, of Berkley, Michigan.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to ease regulations for coal ash slated for recycling to encourage wider reuse of the waste material. The EPA is making changes to its coal ash disposal rules after environmental advocacy groups and electric utility representatives challenged the rules in court. The agency announced proposed changes July 30 that would remove a test ash owners needed to conduct for the ash to be considered recycling material. Coal ash contains metals such as arsenic, chromium and mercury. It can be recycled to make concrete and wallboard, or can be used as fill material.
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