During a meeting for H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) urged conferees to address disastrous provisions that will harm job creators and put students in danger.
Republican Leader Foxx delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery) at today’s COMPETES conference meeting:
“In its current form, the House-passed COMPETES Act does more to hamstring our economy than to help America compete with China.
“For example, this legislation is littered with language that empowers Big Labor at the expense of workers and job creators. These provisions strip America’s economic engines of the right to manage their own businesses. Further, mandating card check opens workers up to harassment by union bosses. Secret ballots allow workers to vote as they see fit, without fear of reprisal or harassment.
“COMPETES would also expand prevailing wage requirements, which artificially inflate labor costs by more than 20 percent. This puts an even greater financial burden on taxpayers and could hinder America’s economic growth.
“In the education space, this bill infringes on the privacy of every American college student by creating a federal database to track students throughout their lives without their consent. This sounds like an idea from theNational People's Congress, not the U.S. Congress. It’s hard to believe we are talking about this, given reports this month about the Education Department providing Facebook with the private, personal information of students and families without their knowledge.
“Sadly, this bill FAILS to strengthen our workforce development system. It blocks pathways to successful careers and increases the control of Washington bureaucrats over the workforce. These outdated, swamp-first ideas won’t ensure our workforce is ready to compete successfully in the 21st century.
“Moreover, this legislation DISCRIMINATES against career-focused and innovative online programs. How does excluding an entire sector of postsecondary education, the same sector that produces a majority of the short-term program graduates, help America?
“Unless these troubling provisions are addressed, America will be CONCEDING TO not competing with China.”