On February 7, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and thirteen other Senators sent a joint letter to the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), urging the Administration to ensure that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget request includes adequate investments in Pell Grants and job training and adult education programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
In addition to Senator Blumenthal, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Rockefeller (D-WV), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) signed on to the letter.
The President will submit his FY 2013 budget recommendations to Congress on Monday, February 13. While the President’s budget is not binding on Congress, it plays a critical role in the annual appropriations cycle, establishing a starting point for debates over federal spending levels and signaling the administration’s priorities for the coming year. Given the more than $1 billion in cuts to federal workforce programs in FY 2011 and 2012, and recent changes in Pell Grant eligibility that will reduce or eliminate access for hundreds of thousands of low-income college students, it is more important than ever that the President’s budget includes a strong vision for investing in the skills of the U.S. workforce.
To that end, the letter calls on the Administration to deliver a budget that will:
National Skills Coalition thanks these Senators for their leadership and support on this vital issue. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to restore federal funding for workforce development programs and ensure that all workers and business have the skills to compete in today’s economy.