The fight over Washington spending continues as the nation heads into the election with Labor Department programs to take center stage on whether they are appropriate, working and even where the government’s obligations to training and safety should end.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3 and the ranking mamber on the House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee, blasted the latest Republic budget for delivering further cuts to the Labor Department’s budget.
According to the Republican budget, while they are looking to further reduce spending, the proposal calls for reducing the number of agencies overseeing job training programs to try and reduce fraud and waste. Overall, Republicans are looking to trim about $5.3 trillion in spending over a decade.
Here’s a link to the actual document, which can be a bit ponderous:
In remarks released via her office, DeLauro said, “As a result of the Majority’s policies, Labor Department employment and training programs have already been cut $664 million since FY 2010. For those who imagine that federal programs just grow every year, these critical job training programs may provide a useful dose of reality, since the trend has been generally downward over the past decade. Appropriations for DOL job training and employment are now about $779 million less than eleven years ago, in FY 2001. That is in actual dollar terms, before adjustment for inflation, numbers of unemployed, or anything else.”
She also expressed concern about protecting workers that a reduction in funds would mean.
“Some say that there is too much emphasis on enforcing workplace standards and health and safety laws, and that instead we should be relying more on voluntary compliance. I disagree as protecting workers, ensuring that they safely get back home to their families at the end of each working day must be a priority. If anyone needs further evidence of this, they should look at the reports that have come out over the past several months from investigations into the tragic explosion two years ago at Massey Coal’s Upper Big Branch Mine. Those investigations concluded that the explosion was caused by serious violations of safety rules and procedures. As a result, 29 coal miners are dead. Or in my District, where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found workplace safety violations that lead to a terrible explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems power plant construction site in Middletown two years ago killing 6 and injuring 50 other workers. The State has since moved to put stronger safety standards in place.”