Thursday, June 25, 2015

Isn't that nice of them

In a sop to all the workers that have been and will be thrown out of work by various "trade" bills and treaties, the House passed the trade adjustment assistance program that is supposed to increase and improve benefits for those workers.
The trade adjustment assistance program was approved overwhelmingly, 286-138, as part of a broader trade bill assembled by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the majority leader, to ensure that Mr. Obama has enhanced powers to complete major trade accords with Asia and Europe.

Beyond health care, education and retraining assistance to dislocated workers, the newly approved measure extends a popular trade agreement with much of sub-Saharan Africa and expands the government’s ability to confront trade partners that “dump” steel and other products in the United States at artificially low prices to drive American companies into bankruptcy...

Trade adjustment assistance programs have existed since the Kennedy administration, but pro-trade Democrats demanded a significant expansion as a price for their support for so-called trade promotion authority. The bill extends assistance through June 2022, with an expansion of the program through June 2021. That includes $2.7 billion for worker retraining and education, while making workers in service industries eligible for a program once reserved for out-of-work manufacturing workers.

The bill extends and expands a tax credit for the purchase of health insurance, and it includes subsidies for the wages of workers age 50 or who are older forced to take lower-paid jobs than the ones they lost to international competition.
All very nice but we all know the Republicans just love to leave any programs that don't profit their corporate master either grossly underfunded or totally unfunded if they can get away with it. No one really expects any workers to receive any benefits from this.


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