One national group is unhappy with Congress, in particular one Illinois Congressman, for not ensuring a provision was in the recently passed $1.7 trillion budget appropriations bill.
The bill did not contain the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA). The federal program was established in 1974 to provide aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports. The TAA offered a variety of benefits and reemployment services to help unemployed workers who have had their jobs shipped overseas to find suitable employment. Displaced workers received critical services like training, job search and relocation allowances, income support, a health coverage tax credit, and more. Groups of 3 or more workers from the same company or manufacturer could file for TAA or through a union or their duly authorized representative.
The BlueGreen Alliance says that Congress left workers out to dry by not ensuring the provision was in the recent omnibus budget bill. Specifically, the alliance took aim at Congressman Darin LaHood. According to the alliance in a press release, there are 11 certified active TAA cases in LaHood’s district impacting just under 2,300 workers. The alliance says that over 5,500 workers in Illinois are impacted by the lack of action on the provision.
BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh said in a press release that due to LaHood’s membership on the House Ways & Means Committee, he could have led a bipartisan deal to save the TAA. Walsh says he’s going to continue to push LaHood and others in Congress in the new year to get the TAA reauthorized.