The House is scheduled to consider a bill today that would reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program under “suspension of the rules,” which requires a 2/3 vote for passage. Without reauthorization, most TAA programs will expire February 12, 2011. The House bill would extend authorization for the TAA for Communities program and Sector Partnership Grants until June 30, 2011.
The primary purpose of the TAA program is to provide assistance to workers who lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade, but it also includes the Community College Career Training Grant Program (CCCTGP). The bill includes a $238 million cut to CCCTGP in FY 2014 as a budgetary offset. Therefore, if the bill becomes law, community colleges would receive only $262 million in FY 2014, rather than the $500 million currently allocated.
Even if the bill passes the House, it will still have to clear the Senate and be signed by the President, who pushed very hard for these community college grants to be funded. Be sure to call your Member of Congress today to make sure they know how vital community college programs are for retraining workers and getting our economy back on track!