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This morning, National Skills Coalition joined with more than 30 other national organizations as part of the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW) to send a letter to Congressional appropriators urging them to maintain or increase funding for key education and workforce programs as part of any final Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill.
Most federal programs are currently being funded under a “continuing resolution” (CR) that was passed by Congress in December, and which temporarily extends funding at FY 2016 levels through the end of April. The CR was necessary because Congress was unable to complete work on most of the twelve regular appropriations bills before the December deadline, and because the incoming Trump administration had requested a delay on final spending decisions until spring to allow the White House to weigh in on funding priorities.
Both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees did pass Labor-HHS-Education bills last year, with the Senate committee approving its version in June and the House approving its slightly different version in July. However, neither bill was approved by the full House or Senate. The CIAW letter urges appropriators to work from the proposed levels in the committee-approved bills, adopting the higher of the House or Senate funding proposals where the two bills differ.
National Skills Coalition will continue to work with the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce and with our state and local partners to urge lawmakers to support critical investments in the skills of workers and businesses. With the return of strict budget caps and the threat of further funding cuts in coming years, it is more important than ever to ensure that lawmakers understand the value of federal workforce and education programs.