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H.R. 2842, Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act

Floor Situation

On Friday, June 23, 2017, the House will consider H.R. 2842, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act, under a structured rule. H.R. 2842 was introduced on June 8, 2017 by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, on June 15, 2017.


Summary

H.R. 2842 connects low-income Americans looking for work with employers looking to fill job openings, including through apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training.  Specifically, the legislation provides funding for states to subsidize employment for a limited time for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to provide work experience in exchange for benefits. The bill reserves $100 million from the FY18 TANF Contingency Fund to test whether states subsidizing the wage of TANF recipients can be an effective means of helping them enter and remain in the workforce.  States may subsidize up to 50 percent of the recipients wage, with the remainder covered by the employer. 

Each state must describe how wage subsidies will be provided and how they expect each individual to maintain employment when the subsidies end.  A state shall ensure that no one is laid off from the same or a substantially similar job to create positions for such participants.

Finally, a state has to submit a report that specifies the number of individuals whose employment is subsidized, the structure of state activities, the percentage of recipients who received a subsidy who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after the subsidies ended, and the median earning of recipients after the subsidies end.


Background

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 6 million job openings, the highest levels since the government started tracking this data in 2000.[1]

The TANF program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive block grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program.

The four purposes of the TANF program are to (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes; (2) reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.[2]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “While the economy has improved, many Americans are still struggling to find work, and we should be doing everything we can to help these individuals get ahead. The Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act will help job seekers succeed and provide for their families in an increasingly dynamic job market.”[3]


Amendments

  1. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) – This amendment encourages better coordination with state workforce development efforts and adds to the reporting requirements in Section 5 to describe efforts by the State to ensure nondisplacement and establish grievance procedures.
  2. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) – This amendment ensures that states include in their applications how they will use the funds to help individuals who have been displaced or relocated from a public housing authority to an alternative public housing facility or placed on rental assistance.
  3. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) – This amendment requires states to coordinate the subsidized employment program authorized in the bill with other federal workforce development programs, including the Federal Work Study Program.
  4. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) – This amendment requires states to report on the number of individuals who are in a career that matches their training.
  5. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) – This amendment directs the states to include in their end of the fiscal year report the number of recipients who received additional federal or state means-tested benefits during their subsidized employment.
  6. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) – This amendment directs HHS to measure the effect of training and credentialing in its evaluation to the public and recommendations to Congress.
  7. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) – This amendment requires the Secretary to address the employment-related challenges in rural areas and among members of federally recognized Indian tribes in the recommendations provided to Congress. 

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the bill has no cost. It reserves funds from the FY2018 TANF Continegency Fund, which was authorized and appropriatied in P.L. 115-31.


Staff Contact

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.

 


 

[1] See Ways and Means Press Release, June 15, 2017

[3] See Rep. Curbelo’s Press release, June 12, 2017

115th Congress