The fiscal and political challenges facing our nation make it more important than ever to educate policymakers about the importance of training and education in supporting economic recovery and growth. The Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce frequently weighs in with Congress and the Administration to ensure that policymakers are prioritizing investments in federal job training and education programs to ensure U.S. workers and businesses have the skills they need to compete in today’s economy. Scroll down to see CIAW’s letters on a range of issues, including the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 appropriations processes and other issues that impact federal spending on workforce development.
CIAW, urges OMB Director to Propose Adequate Investments in Job Training
On December 16, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW) sent a letter to Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget urging him and his colleagues to ensure that the Administration proposes adequate investments in job training and adult education programs as they’re developing Fiscal Year 2017 budget requests for the US. Departments of Labor and Education. This is vital to ensure that our programs have the capacity to meet the Administration’s employability and education goals. Read the full letter.
CIAW, CEF and CHF Share Views on Labor-H Funding with Senate Appropriations Committee
On May 22, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), and the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) sent a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee offering support for the discretionary allocation of $156.773 billion for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill, given it maintains funding for these critical programs and is an improvement over the House’s allocation, and simultaneously expressed concern that such levels are insufficient to meet our nation’s needs, The groups urge Congress to work together to end sequestration and raise the discretionary spending caps in FY 2016 and beyond. Read the full letter.
CIAW Opposes Proposed House FY 2015 Labor-H Allocation
Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce delivered a letter expressing disappointment in the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2015 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations (Labor-H) bill. The group representing more than 45 national organizations cannot support the proposed allocation because, while non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding overall had a small increase, the proposed Labor-H allocation represents yet another funding cut for critical employment, occupational training, and adult basic education programs. Read the full letter to learn more.
CIAW, CEF, CHF Express Disappointment in FY 2015 Labor-H Allocation
Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), and the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) sent a joint letter to the House Appropriations Committee on behalf of more than 1050 education, health and workforce training organizations to express their disappointment in the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2015 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations (Labor-H) bill. While non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding overall had a small increase, the proposed Labor-H allocation represents yet another funding cut for critical education, health, and employment and training programs. Read the full letter to learn more.
CIAW, 1,000+ Organizations Urge Labor-H Appropriations Committees to Restore Funding
Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce delivered a letter signed by 1,065 national, state and local organizations representing all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Committees urging them to restore funding in fiscal year (FY) 2015 for programs under their jurisdiction to the FY 2010 level of $163.6 billion and to end sequestration.
Read the full letter to learn more.
CIAW Shares Views on FY 2014 Omnibus Bill
On January 15, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW) sent a letter to members of the House and Senate to share their views on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, or the “omnibus bill.”
After years of fiscal austerity, the FY 2014 omnibus bill stops broad disinvestments in critical federal nondefense discretionary programs, and restores funding for most discretionary programs above FY 2013 post-sequester levels.Funding for most workforce development programs—including the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Wagner-Peyser Employment Services, Department of Labor national programs, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Adult Basic Education (ABE)—is restored above FY 2013 post-sequester levels.
However, funding for almost all workforce development programs in the omnibus bill is below FY 2013 pre-sequester levels. In addition, this bill provides only a temporary reprieve as the caps and cuts established under the Budget Control Act remain in effect through the balance of this decade.
Read the full letter to learn more.
CIAW, CEF, CHF Urge Highest Possible Labor-H Allocations
On December 12, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), and the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) sent a joint letter urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide the largest possible fiscal year (FY) 2014 302(b) allocation to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee allowed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
The groups also expressed their support for the passage of a Labor-HHS bill, which represents the largest of the nondefense discretionary 302(b) allocations, rather than relying on another continuing resolution to fund the critical activities of these agencies. Read the full letter.
As Co-Chair of NDD United, CIAW Thanks Members of Congress Who Voted to End Government Shutdown
On October 21, as co-chair of NDD United, the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce weighed in to thank members of Congress who voted in favor of H.R. 2775, legislation to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. Yet as costly and harmful as the shutdown was, the even more critical issue of fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels and the need to replace sequestration remains unresolved. On behalf of NDD United, CIAW urged these members to continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to end the devastating effects of sequestration and find a comprehensive and balanced alternative to reduce the deficit. Read the full letter.
As Co-Chair of NDD United, CIAW Urges Budget Conferees to Replace Sequestration
On October 17, as co-chair of NDD United—an alliance of more than 3,200 national, state and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions—the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce urged budget conferees to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities, and their funding as a share of our economy has been cut to the lowest level in 50 year. Sequestration will lock in these cuts for the next nine years if Congress fails to act. Read the full letter.
CIAW, CEF, CHF to House Appropriations Committee: Convene Labor-HHS Markup
On July 29, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), and the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) sent a joint letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging them to convene the subcommittee markup of the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Labor-HHS). The Labor-HHS bill represents the largest of the nondefense discretionary 302(b) allocations, and its programs and services impact every American. Taxpayers deserve to see how the Committee plans to spend their hard-earned dollars on programs that prepare workers for jobs, educate our youth, and safeguard the health and safety of all Americans.
Letters Supporting Senate FY’14 Labor-H Bill
On July 10, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), and the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) sent a joint letter to Senators Tom Harkin and Jerry Moran expressing their strong support for the subcommittee-passed Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations bill. CIAW also sent a letter to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to support the the bill.
Letter Supporting Senate FY ’14 Appropriations Bill
On June 20, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), Coalition for Health Funding (CHF), and Committee for Education Funding (CEF) sent a letter to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Tom Harkin in support of the Senate Appropriation Committee’s discretionary allocation of $1.058 trillion for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills. A particular emphasis was placed on support for the adoption of a $164.33 billion allocation for the Labor-H Appropriations bill.
The programs and services under the jurisdiction of the Labor-H subcommittee serve a broad range of constituencies and needs, but they all share a common, fundamental goal of strengthening this nation by improving Americans’ lives. Despite their profound impact on American health, educational and skills attainment, and productivity, these programs and services have been deeply cut since FY 2010. CIAW, CHF and CEF strongly support the efforts being made to protect these programs from further cuts. Download letter.
Letter Opposing House FY 14 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill
On May 20, CIAW sent a letter to members of the House Appropriations Committee expressing strong objections to the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2014 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill. The proposed allocation is 18.6 percent below the final FY 2013 sequester level and 22.2 percent below the FY 13 pre-sequester Continuing Resolution level. This will result in absolutely devastating cuts to programs that protect American’s health, prepare workers for jobs, and educate our nation’s students. Cuts of this magnitude will cause real and irreparable harm to tens of millions of Americans. Download letter.
Letter Supporting 2014 Senate Budget
Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce sent a letter urging Congress to support the FY 2014 Senate budget resolution offered by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA). Senator Murray’s budget resolution adopts a balanced approach to deficit reduction that cancels the damaging sequester for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, as opposed to the House budget resolution that would burden NDD programs with an additional $1.1 trillion in cuts. In addition, the Murray budget resolution includes $10 billion in new funding for federal job training programs. Workers and employers alike rely on the federally-supported workforce development system to meet their skilled workforce needs and it is vitally important that Congress continue to invest in and improve this system. Download letter.
Letter Opposing 2014 House Budget
Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce sent a letter to Congress in opposition of the 2014 budget proposal passed by the House Budget Committee. The resolution reduces federal investments in non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs by $1.1 trillion below the current Budget Control Act spending caps over the next 10 years. It fails to replace the current NDD sequester—although it would replace the defense sequester—and instead would seek to cut NDD programs by an additional $700 billion below post-sequester levels. In addition, the resolution would put postsecondary education out of reach for millions of low-income individuals by slashing funding for the Pell grant program. Download letter.
January 25, 2013
Letter to Congress Urging Support of a Balanced Approach
The Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce disputes the claim that spending on NDD programs is “out of control.” In fact, these programs represent a small and shrinking share of the federal budget and of our overall economy. As Congress continued work to address the debt ceiling, complete the fiscal year (FY) 2013 spending bills, undo sequestration, and begin the FY 2014 budget process, CIAW urges all Members to support a balanced approach that does not include further cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs. Download letter.
Letter to House Members to Oppose Ryan Budget Resolution
Each year, the House and Senate Budget Committees pass a “budget resolution” that establishes the broad spending levels and priorities for Congress for that year. Much like last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget resolution that appears to nearly eliminate funding for federal job training programs and calls for deep cuts to Pell Grants for low-income students—cutting funding for education, training and social service programs by more than $16 billion, a 22 percent decrease from FY 2012. At a time when thirteen million Americans remain unemployed and employers struggle to fill job openings due to an inadequately skilled workforce, now is not the time to cut the programs that enable workers to gain the skills and education required to meet industry needs. CIAW urged House Members to oppose the Ryan budget resolution and instead ensure that we maintain meaningful investments in the skills of America’s workforce. Download letter.
Joint Letter with CEF and CHF on FY 2013 Funding Levels
Each year, the House and Senate appropriations committees establish “302(b) allocations” that set overall funding levels for each of the twelve regular appropriations bills. CIAW joined with the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and the Coalition on Health Funding (CHF) on this letter urging appropriators to adopt the highest possible 302(b) allocations for the FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. More than 900 national, state, and local organizations signed on to the letter. Download letter.
With FY 2011 appropriations completed, Congress immediately turned to the FY 2012 funding cycle. The House FY 2012 budget resolution, passed in April, maintained the downward pressure on federal spending, proposing an estimated $4.3 trillion in cuts to federal spending over the next decade, including $2.9 trillion in cuts to programs that assist low- and moderate-income individuals. In May, the House Appropriations committee announced what are known as “302(b) allocations,” which set the overall spending levels for each of the FY 2012 appropriations bills, including the bill providing funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS). Overall, the committee recommended cuts of about $63 billion for non-security spending compared to FY 2011 enacted levels, including nearly $25 billion in cuts to Labor-HHS programs.
Letter to House and Senate Key Committees on Proposed Pell Grant Eligibility Changes
The House FY 2012 draft Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill proposed numerous permanent eligibility changes and cuts to income eligibility limits that would have eliminated access to Pell Grants for more than half a million low- and moderate-income students in the first year alone. CIAW sent a letter to House and Senate authorizers and appropriators, urging them to reject these changes and instead focus on ensuring the broadest possible range of students could access Pell Grants to pursue skills and credentials with value in the labor market. Although the FY 2012 omnibus did adopt some of the provisions in the House draft, CIAW and other Pell advocates were successful in preventing some of the most damaging proposals from being included in the final bill. Download letter.
Letter to Senate Appropriators on FY 2012 Workforce Funding
The House of Representatives draft FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill proposed extremely deep cuts to workforce funding, cutting more than $2 billion from Department of Labor training programs and recommending eligibility changes to Pell Grants that would eliminate access to postsecondary education for millions of low-income students, particularly nontraditional students. In this letter to Senate appropriators, CIAW calls on the committee to adopt workforce and education funding levels in the Senate Labor-HHS bill, which largely maintain FY 2011 funding levels. Download letter.
Joint Letter with CEF and CHF on FY 2012 Funding Levels
In September, the Senate Appropriations committee approved an FY 2012 Labor-HHS bill with an overall spending allocation of just over $158 billion. In October, the House introduced a draft Labor-HHS bill that included overall spending capped at $153.4 billion. Once again, CIAW joined with CEF and CHF to urge appropriators to adopt the highest possible spending allocation for FY 2012, and ensure that investments in health, education, job training, children’s and social services programs were supported under any final bill. Download letter.
Letter to Senate Leaders on Job Creation
In September 2011, President Obama released the “American Jobs Act,” a $447 billion proposal designed to stimulate job creation, which included significant new investments in job training programs for unemployed workers, youth, and low-income individuals. While CIAW does not endorse specific legislation—and the President’s bill was ultimately broken up into smaller pieces by the Senate—the Campaign did weigh in with congressional leaders to urge them to pass job creation legislation that includes new investments in the skills of the U.S. workforce while maintaining funding for existing programs. Download letter.
Letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The Budget Control Act established a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (popularly referred to as the “Super Committee”), a twelve-member bipartisan, bicameral body charged with developing legislative recommendations to produce at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years. In this letter, CIAW urged the Super Committee to ensure that any final recommendations protect investments in job training and postsecondary education. Download letter.
Joint Letter with CEF and CHF on FY 2012 Funding Levels
Following passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011—the “debt ceiling” bill—congressional appropriators were required to establish new 302(b) allocations to align federal spending with the budget caps established under that measure. CIAW joined with the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and the Coalition on Health Funding (CHF) on this letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to recognize health, education, job training, children’s and social services programs as critical national priorities in setting 302(b) allocations for Labor-HHS. More than 500 organizations signed on to the letter. Download letter.
Letter to Congressional Leadership on Trade Adjustment Assistance
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program provides job training and other benefits to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. Throughout the spring and summer of 2011, the White House and Congress negotiated a bill to expand and reauthorize the program, which was linked to passage of free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. In this letter, CIAW calls on congressional leaders to ensure that the final bill maintains funding for the TAA Community College and Career Training grant program—which provides capacity-building grants to eligible institutions to serve trade-impacted workers—and restore funding for training to levels authorized under the 2009 Recovery Act. Download letter.
Letter to Senate HELP Committee on WIA Reauthorization
In June 2011, the Senate HELP Committee released a draft reauthorization bill to modernize the Workforce Investment Act, the nation’s primary federal job training program. In this letter, CIAW commends the authors of the draft bill—Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA)—for their bipartisan efforts to improve the nation’s workforce investment system and encourages the committee to continue their work on the bill, stressing the important connection between reauthorization and protecting the program’s funding. Download letter.
Letter to Members of Congress on FY 2012 Priorities
The House and Senate Appropriations committees asked Members of Congress to submit “member requests” indicating their priorities for FY 2012; CIAW sent letters to members of key House and Senate committees and leadership urging them to include workforce in their member request lists. Among other things, this effort helped inspire a “Dear Colleague” letter from 29 Senators recommending that the Senate Appropriations committee restore workforce funding to FY 2010 levels. Download letter.
Letter to President Obama on FY 2011 CR
As Congress continued to negotiate the FY 2011 CR, the White House took on an increasingly important role in seeking a solution to the nation’s fiscal stalemate. In the wake of the highly successful “Workforce Day of Action” on March 24, CIAW weighed in with the President asking him to ensure that any final FY 2011 appropriations bill included meaningful investments in workforce development. Download letter.
On April 14, Congress approved P.L. 112-10, the full year CR for the remainder of FY 2011. While workforce development programs did experience significant cuts— roughly $1 billion of the overall $38 billion in cuts were from job training programs under the Departments of Labor and Education—the deeper cuts under H.R. 1 were largely avoided thanks to the strong advocacy of state and local partners of CIAW organizations.
Letter to Senate Appropriators on H.R. 1
On February 19, 2011, the House passed H.R. 1, a “continuing resolution” for FY 2011 that would have cut more than $60 billion in federal funding compared to FY 2010 levels, including $4 billion in funding from federal employment and job training programs. In this letter, CIAW urges Senate appropriators to reject the cuts proposed under H.R. 1; the Senate ultimately refused to take up the House CR. Download letter.
Letter on FY 2011, FY 2012 Workforce Appropriations
The 112th Congress was sworn in on January 5th, 2011, and began work on the FY 2011 appropriations bills left unfinished in the 111th Congress. In this letter, CIAW members urge congressional leadership to prioritize investments in federal employment and training, adult education, and postsecondary education programs as they finished work on FY 2011 appropriations and look forward to FY 2012. Download letter.