WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 30, 2016
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) today issued the following joint statement regarding the Departments of Education and Labor’s final regulatory policies to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was an important bipartisan achievement that will put more Americans back to work. Through a number of commonsense reforms, the law will help workers compete in today’s workforce, close the skills gap, and provide greater accountability. We are pleased that workers, employers, and taxpayers will finally have the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of a modern workforce development system. However, it’s a shame that it has taken this long for the administration to do its job and implement these critical reforms. The American people deserved better. We will carefully review these final regulatory policies to ensure they adhere to the letter and intent of the law, and we will continue to hold the administration accountable to all the men and women who stand to benefit from this important, bipartisan law.
BACKGROUND: Signed into law in July 2014, the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) improves and streamlines the country’s workforce development system. The bill was the product of years of work by committee members to fix America’s broken job training system. Responsible for implementing the law, the Department of Labor has missed key statutory deadlines throughout the implementation process in issuing critical guidance for state and local leaders. According to the Government Accountability Office, these delays made it difficult to carry out many of the law’s strategic priorities, including measures to:
- Streamline a confusing maze of programs and burdensome federal mandates;
- Promote skills training for in-demand jobs;
- Reduce administrative costs and unnecessary bureaucracy;
- Provide support to people with disabilities to enter and remain in the workforce; and
- Deliver strong accountability over the use of taxpayer dollars.
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