Senator Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training today released the following statement.
“Today President Bush rolled out a workforce training proposal that just doesn’t add up.
The President’s plan cuts $300 million from existing assistance for workforce training. These new cuts come on top of over $500 million in job training and employment service reductions since this President took office. This warmed-over announcement puts forward an initiative that was already unanimously rejected by the U.S. Senate last fall.
We know that:
- The General Accounting Office has found that this Administration has failed to provide retraining assistance on a timely basis to tens of thousands of laid off workers.
- And that thousands of Washington state workers are being denied training and re-employment opportunities because this Administration has not made job training a funding priority.
We also know that:
- Helping people train for good-paying jobs will have a ripple effect on our economy.
- It will help whole communities generate new economic activity and will provide real futures for young workers trying to decide where to live and raise their families.
That is why last fall I offered an amendment on the Senate floor to the Labor Appropriations bill to add back the job training dollars that have been cut over the last three years under this Administration – programs for dislocated workers, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Native Americans and our young people. Sadly, this common-sense approach was rejected.
We must all work harder to assure adequate federal funding to provide businesses with a skilled and trained labor pool to maintain our nation’s global economic competitive advantage. Job training has always been a bipartisan issue and, particularly in hard times, it is important that we continue to work together to do what is right for America’s workers.”