Acosta Must Answer Questions on Devastating Labor Cuts

 As Secretary Acosta prepares to testify on Trump’s Labor Department budget in front of the House Appropriations Committee today, here is a look at some of the many devastating cuts to workers that he will have to defend:


Trump wanted to slash the Labor Department’s budget by $2.4 billion – or roughly 20 percent – and targeted more than half of the cuts at job training programs.


Bloomberg: “The White House asked to reduce Labor Department spending by $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2018, a roughly 20 percent decrease that would largely be accomplished by slashing the nation’s workforce training programs.”


Wall Street Journal: “Reduced spending on training accounts for more than half of total reduction to the Labor Department’s budget.”


Trump’s budget would cut job training programs by almost 40 percent.


Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump May 23 requested a $1.3 billion cut in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants for adult, youth, and dislocated worker training programs that have previously garnered bipartisan support. That would represent a 39 percent reduction.”


Trump proposed eliminating job training programs for older Americans and disadvantaged youths.


Wall Street Journal: “The budget proposes to eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides part-time work to unemployed, low-income people 55 and older. The program intends to transition those workers to unsubsidized employment. Cutting the program would save the Labor Department $434 million, according to the White House budget released Tuesday.”


Washington Post: “The administration would also shrink Job Corps, a program that provides workplace training for disadvantaged youth, by closing centers that ‘do a poor job educating and preparing students’ for the labor force.”


Trump proposed eliminating a job training program for farm workers.


Wall Street Journal: “Also cut would be an $82 million program aimed at training migrant and seasonal farm workers. In both cases, the administration said those workers would be eligible for similar services through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, a separate Labor Department division.”


Trump wanted to eliminate funding for grants to train workers in dangerous jobs.


Huffington Post: “The proposal would cut what are known as Harwood grants, which are doled out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The grants fund non-profits to train workers in dangerous jobs. Backers say the grants help save money by reducing costly on-the-job injuries and deaths.”


Trump’s budget would disband a Labor Department office that polices discrimination among federal contractors.


Washington Post: “The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights. As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.”


Trump’s budget provides funding to reinstate a Bush-era office designed to audit large international unions while imposing severe cuts to a division that helps ensure workers around the world are treated fairly.


Bloomberg: “The Office of Labor-Management Standards, which oversees union disclosure requirements, would get a 22 percent boost to $46.6 million in FY 2018. About $1.7 million of the program increases would be dedicated to the restoration of an office from the George W. Bush administration that was designed to audit large international unions. The Obama administration disbanded the office, which has been criticized by Democrats for harassing unions rather than improving transparency for members.”


Bloomberg: “The White House also proposed taking a 77 percent hack at the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), to $19 million from $86 million. That comes despite the urging of the business and labor communities to maintain ILAB funding to ensure U.S. workers are competing on a level playing field abroad.”