Press Releases

DelBene Introduces Legislation to Help American Families Prepare for the Future of Work

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Washington, D.C., July 25, 2019 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced the Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act and the Lifelong Learning and Training Account Act – two bills intended to help Americans prepare for the future of work.

“With our economy changing at such a rapid pace, workers must have access to the opportunities of tomorrow while still being able to support their families. These two bills are a blueprint for how we give people the chance to learn new skills while ensuring they receive financial stability in this new economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation which is critical to the financial futures of so many hardworking Americans,” said Congresswoman DelBene.

Roughly one-third of U.S. workers are currently involved in temporary, contract or on-demand work, and there is a growing need for the U.S. to give these workers access to the benefits that will provide them and their families with the necessary stability. The Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act would create a $20 million grant fund within the U.S. Department of Labor to incentivize states, localities and nonprofit organizations to experiment with portable benefits models for the independent workforce. These pilot programs would be independently evaluated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL), Jim Himes (D-CT), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Scott Peters (D-CA) are original cosponsors of the bill.

Studies show that workers will have to learn new skills throughout their careers in order to remain competitive. The Lifelong Learning and Training Account Act would give workers a portable, government-matched savings account for lifelong learning so they can continue to work and provide for their families. This would assist low and moderate-income workers seeking to retrain or enhance their skills over the course of their careers. The bill is co-led by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).

“In our changing, global economy, it is critical that we continue to invest in our nation’s number one asset – our people,” said Rep. Sewell. “The Lifelong Learning and Training Account Act will help working Alabamians save for the retraining and continuing education they need to get and retain competitive jobs. It will also help provide working Americans with opportunities to learn new skills that could help lead to higher pay and a brighter future.”

DelBene serves on the Ways and Means Committee and sits on the Select Revenue Measures subcommittee. She is Vice-Chair of Policy for the New Democrat Coalition.
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