Thursday, December 17, 2009

House Passes Jobs Bill

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the “Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010” by a 217-212 vote. The act provides $154 billion for a number of programs. Most importantly, $23 billion will be available to states as part of an Education Jobs Fund over the next two years. 95% of the funds will be allocated by states to school districts and public institutions of higher education to retain or create jobs that provide educational services and to modernize, renovate, and repair public education facilities.

The bill provides $750 million in competitive grants to train workers for jobs in high-growth fields. The bill also provides $300 million for the College Work Study program. The summary of the bill can be found here.

The bill can be found here.

The Senate will not take up the Jobs bill legislation before their holiday recess. Additionally, it is unclear whether the Senate bill will be similar to the House’s bill.

ACCT continues to work on gathering co-sponsors for H.R. 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act, sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX). Currently, the bill has 31 co-sponsors. Rep. Larson is still working to attach the bill as part of a larger legislative vehicle. Adding more co-sponsors will facilitate the process.

Meanwhile, Congress has passed its Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill. President Obama’s signed the bill into law yesterday. A summary can be viewed here. Read more!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

President Obama's Speech on Job Creation; Congress Finalizes Funding Bill

Yesterday, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the Brookings Institute outlining his goals for a prospective job creation bill. The speech outlined three key areas: 1) Helping small businesses expand investment, hire workers and access credit; 2) Investing in America’s roads, bridges and infrastructure; and 3) Creating jobs through energy efficiency and clean-energy investments.

The White House fact sheet on these goals can be found here:

President Obama’s speech can be viewed here:

Congress is beginning to work on a jobs package, but it is unclear whether Congress will be able to move a bill prior to adjourning for the holidays. House Democratic leaders have indicated that they have a strong desire to introduce a bill prior to adjournment. ACCT is working to gather co-sponsors for H.R. 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act, sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX). The bill currently has 12 additional co-sponsors.

In other news, House and Senate Appropriations leaders announced that they had agreed to a nearly $450 billion omnibus appropriations bill that will include 5 appropriations bills, including $163.6 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill. The bill provides for a $5,550 Pell Grant maximum. Additionally, other funding levels include: 1) $125 million for the Career Pathways Innovation Fund (formerly Community-Based Job Training Grant program); 2) $603 million for minority-serving institutions; and 3) $40 million for a green jobs program. A summary can be viewed at:

The passage of the omnibus appropriations bill will result in one remaining appropriations bill, for defense appropriations. Congress is working to pass these bills soon because the current continuing resolution, which is funding the federal government, expires on December 18th. Congress may use the defense appropriations bill as the vehicle to move any jobs bill. Read more!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Reps. Larson and Hinojosa Introduce H.R. 4196, Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act

Last Friday, Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) introduced H.R. 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act. The bill provides a one-time allocation of $700 million to states which in turn will provide grants to community colleges. H.R. 4196 provides critical funds to community colleges as they work to meet the wave of students entering community colleges. The bill’s sponsors are concerned about the perfect storm (higher enrollment and less funding) occurring on community college campuses. Therefore, bill provides critical funds to colleges to deal with staffing and faculty shortages to meet the rising enrollments. Colleges will be able to use funds to cover costs related to maintaining, or hiring additional faculty and staff, counselors or others. Additionally, the bill provides $50 million for a federal competitive grant program targeted to career and technical colleges.

Reps. Larson and Hinojosa are currently working to gather co-sponsors to their bill. The goal is to have the bill attached as part of any jobs package that Congress may move in the coming months. ACCT urges its members to reach out their Congressional members in support of H.R. 4196. The bill can be viewed at
Read more!