Senate Keeping Labor Funding
US Senate holding firm against Trump's 20% Labor Department Cuts
In Trump’s first budget, a massive, 20% funding cut to the Department of Labor (DOL) was proposed, including cuts to mine safety, job retraining, and Job Corps. All of these programs were aimed at helping many of the same people who helped him win states across the Mid-West. On Thursday, Senators came back to work and began approving a number of budget bills, including a bill to fund the Labor Department, without a massive cut in funding.
The proposed appropriation would give DOL a $12 billion budget, which is a small 1.6% decrease from last year. It also cuts funding to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), keeping their funding at the same level as last year. Programs like funding for apprenticeship grants, and the Wage and Hour Division will no longer face cuts, while Veterans' Employment and Training Services will even get a slight increase.
While these important funding increases were approved, not all garnered bi-partisan support. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) proposed an amendment to fund $1 billion in paid leave grants and to increase funding for worker training programs. Paid leave has been a pet project of First Daughter Ivanka Trump recently, but Republican Senators refused to support new moms and sick workers. That vote failed on a party line vote. Like her father, Ivanka was ineffective.
The Senate funding measure will now go to a full vote of the Senate before it is merged with a House spending proposal. The House proposal, which was debated on Thursday, includes an 11% decrease in DOL funding and a number of “policy riders” that include undoing the Obama era joint employer rule. Both bills will need to be reconciled and voted on before they head to idiot’s desk.