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Advancing Reforms for Students, Vulnerable Youth, and Working Families

With difficult challenges facing the country, the Education and the Workforce Committee is advancing bold reforms that will help improve the lives of students, vulnerable youth, and working families. With Congress set to adjourn for the August district work period, now is a good time to take a look back at what’s been accomplished this year. Below are some of the things the committee has been working on in 2014.
  • Protecting employee privacy. The Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is advancing a radical proposal that would jeopardize employee privacy by forcing employers to give union organizers a list of employees’ names, home addresses, emails, work shifts, and other personal information. As the H.R. Policy Association notes, this would all be done without employees’ consent. The committee advanced legislation championed by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) that empowers workers – not union bosses – to take control of their personal information.
  • Improving America’s higher education system. Many Americans are struggling to realize the dream of a postsecondary education. As Chairman Kline recently said, “The current system is too costly, too bureaucratic, and outdated.” In June, the committee released a white paper outlining key principles that will guide reform of the Higher Education Act, and the House has already taken action to turn these principles into concrete solutions. A series of bipartisan reforms passed by the House will spur innovation, strengthen transparency, and improve financial counseling. These are the first steps in a broader effort to help more students pursue a college degree.
  • Reforming the multiemployer pension system. The current multiemployer pension system is on an unsustainable path that threatens to destroy jobs and the retirement security of countless families. In recent years, the committee has held half a dozen hearings and engaged key stakeholders to develop a set of reforms. As Chairman Kline noted in May, the committee is actively working “to find common ground and unite behind a responsible legislative solution.”
In the coming months, expect the committee to continue fighting for commonsense solutions on behalf of workers, job creators, students, and retirees.

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