As Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, John Kline (R-MN-02) responded to May Jobs Report with a press release :
“News that the unemployment rate ticked back up to 8.2 percent is nothing short of devastating for millions of Americans desperate for jobs. The economy is losing steam and much of the blame lies in the Obama administration’s dismal policies. Week after week, employers struggle with threats of tax hikes and more red tape. Fear and anxiety about what’s coming down the pike next has made it virtually impossible for job creators to invest in their businesses and hire new workers.
“To help give our nation’s employers the relief they need, House Republicans crafted a Plan for America’s Job Creators to remove barriers to growth and help foster an environment conducive to hiring. Republican leaders on the House Education and the Workforce Committee are also committed to fighting on behalf of the nearly 13 million Americans who are searching for work – advancing commonsense reforms that will provide new opportunities for workers to gain the training and education they need to fill high-demand jobs.
“The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will help the nation close the skills gap, streamline federal workforce development services, and eliminate arbitrary roadblocks that prevent workers from learning the skills employers need. The fiscally responsible reforms included in our proposal are long overdue and urgently needed. I call on my colleagues to join our efforts to move this proposal swiftly through the legislative process and to the president’s desk.”
Gosh, does that sound familiar ?
After the employment data for April was released, Chairman Kline‘s press release :
“The recent slowdown in hiring signals a need for renewed efforts in Washington to advance policies that promote economic certainty and opportunity. Toward that end, House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are moving forward with legislation that will help more Americans get back to work.
“Business owners across the country report they are ready to hire, but cannot find workers with the necessary skills. The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will revamp the nation’s workforce development system to provide workers with the education and support they need to fill local job openings. Preparing today’s workforce for in-demand jobs is a key component in the fight to rebuild our economy, and I urge my Democrat colleagues to lend their support to this commonsense proposal.”
After fourteen months of being in charge, Chairman Kline is promoting the H.R. 4297 The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 … a bill introduced on March 29, 2012 … There was a subcommittee hearing on April 17 but Chairman Kline has not scheduled the full Committee to vote on the matter.
Chairman Kline, could you define “swiftly” and elaborate on your “efforts to move this proposal swiftly through the legislative process and to the president’s desk” ?
Well, at least in the latest press release there is a little sharing of the blame — much of the blame lies in the Obama administration’s dismal policies — so if the Obama administration deserves “much of the blame”, how much should be accepted by the Chairman of the Committee that has failed to act on the legislation that will improve our economy ?
Let us remember that Chairman Kline issued a press release announcing the HR 4297 in March with this statement :
Chairman Kline. “President Obama has accurately recognized the need for a better system, but the time to talk about reform is over. The legislation introduced today reflects the reforms our nation needs and the priorities the president outlined earlier this year. I hope the administration and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will work with us to advance this legislation quickly and provide workers and employers the streamlined workforce investment system they need.”
So, what does the Education and Workforce Committee have on its agenda this week ?
NOTHING … no hearings are scheduled this week.
The House Education and Workforce Committee has a budget of $16,158,348 (and that’s just the Committee staff … that does not include each Member or his/her staff) … and for all that money, Chairman Kline has failed to hold floor votes on reforming Education (No Child Left Behind) or advance the piece of legislation that he promotes as the key to addressing the jobs skill imbalance.
For all those that consider themselves to be TaxEnoughAlready, should Chairman Kline be replaced ?
If Chairman Kline is going to ignore his responsibilities as Chairman, the least he can do is co-sponsor Tim Walz (D-MN-01) HR 4155 – Veteran Skills to Jobs Act.