The House Appropriations Committee released its proposed Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) funding bill, which would bolster workforce development initiatives. Securing robust funding for the Department of Labor’s workforce programs to help address the recreational boating industry’s shortfall of qualified workers is a top NMMA priority, and the association applauded the committee for taking direct aim at the issue.
The proposed bill would allocate $13.3 billion for the Labor Department, including $10.6 billion for the Employment Training Administration (ETA). The ETA provides workforce assistance through grants, apprenticeship programs, and other job training initiatives. The bill includes $250 million for apprenticeship programs—a 56 percent increase above current levels—and $3 billion for workforce training grants. The House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee approved the funding bill on Tuesday—sending it to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will continue introducing their respective FY20 spending bills in the coming weeks. Given the legislative gridlock that often grips both chambers of Congress, the annual appropriations process consistently remains one of the few legislative vehicles that crosses the finish line in Congress and a prime opportunity to improve programs that are important to marine manufacturers and the entire recreational boating community.
NMMA will continue to monitor the appropriations process—including the progress of this funding bill—as it unfolds on Capitol Hill and advocate for the industry’s priorities with lawmakers and key staff.