Monday, February 7, 2011

House Considers TAA Reauth, Cut to CCCTGP

Tomorrow, the House will consider a bill to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program under a fast-tracked procedure known as “suspension of the rules.” The TAA program extends assistance to workers who lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade, and it is the law that governs the Community College Career Training Grant Program (CCCTGP). Most TAA programs are set to expire this Saturday, February 12.

The bill would extend authorization for the ‘TAA for Communities’ program and Sector Partnership Grants until June 30, 2011. Included in the budgetary offsets (pay-for’s) in the bill is a $238 million cut to the CCCTGP in FY 2014. Instead of receiving $500 million in FY 2014, CCCTGP would be allotted only $262 million. Despite the fact that this cut in funding would come several years down the road, the CCCTGP is a critical investment in the long-term competitiveness and innovative capacity of community colleges. Under “suspension of the rules,” the bill will require a 2/3 vote for passage. It is unclear how the Senate will proceed with the bill as written.

Finally, the House is still expected to act next week on a funding measure that makes $12.33 billion in combined cuts to the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (7.3% of current funding) through the end of FY 2011. Specific programmatic cuts are not yet known but should be announced this week.

The President’s budget request will be released on Monday, February 14.

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