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Head of Federal Worker Safety Agency Refuses to Say Whether COVID-19 Is a Grave Danger to American Workers

05.29.20   WASHINGTON - During yesterday's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing, Chairwoman Alma Adams (NC-12) asked Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt if the COVID-19 pandemic "presents a grave danger to workers." Ms. Sweatt, who leads the federal agency responsible for the safety of U.S. workers, refused to answer. COVID-19 has caused more deaths among workers in a shorter period of time than any other health emergency sin… Continue Reading


Rep. Bonamici Asks OSHA Director Why Agency Has Issued Only One COVID-19 Related Safety Citation

05.28.20   WASHINGTON - During today's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) asked Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt to explain why the agency has issued only one COVID-19 workplace safety citation during the worst worker safety crisis in recent history. The sole citation was for recordkeeping. Though OSHA is not tracking nationwide workplace infections, incomplete data show that tens of thousa… Continue Reading


Rep. Andy Levin Challenges OSHA To Do Its Job and Protect Workers from COVID-19

05.28.20   WASHINGTON - During today's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing, Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09) challenged Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt over the agency's refusal to proactively issue an emergency standard amid the worst worker safety crisis in OSHA's 50-year history. "If your agency inspects workplaces only after a worker has died, you are not preventing workplace infections." To date, federal OSHA has received rou… Continue Reading


OSHA Director Admits the Agency Is Not Tracking COVID-19 Infections in Workplaces

05.28.20   WASHINGTON - In an exchange with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) during today's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing, the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt, conceded that the agency tasked with protecting our nation's workers is not tracking COVID-19 infections in workplaces. In fact, on April 10, OSHA relaxed employers' obligation to record work-related COVID-19 cases, with the exception of "the healthca… Continue Reading


Chairwoman Adams Opening Statement at Workforce Protections Subcommittee Hearing on Protecting Workers from COVID-19

05.28.20   WASHINGTON - Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairwoman Alma Adams (NC-12) delivered the following opening statement at today's hearing entitled, "Examining the Federal Government's Actions to Protect Workers from COVID-19." "I will now recognize myself for the purposes of an opening statement. "Today's Subcommittee hearing will explore the performance of the federal government in protecting worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Swea… Continue Reading


Committee Holds Virtual Briefing on Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Child Care System

05.26.20   WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on Education and Labor held a virtual Member briefing to examine the challenges facing the child care sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Over half of child care providers have temporarily closed their doors and those that continue to operate are doing so with significant financial challenges. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, as many as 4.5 million child care slots could be lost permanently without adequate public support-disrupting p… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Criticizes Trump Admin for Botched Coronavirus Response in Indian Country, Calls for Immediate Release of Tribal Education Funding Passed in CARES Act

05.22.20   WASHINGTON - Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement calling on the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior to release the education funding for the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) that was included in H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and signed into law on March 27, 2020. "Every day, children and families in Indian Country are suffering at the hands of the Trump administration's bo… Continue Reading


House, Senate Education Leaders Call on DeVos to Abandon Guidance Robbing Public Schools of COVID-19 Relief Funding

05.20.20   WASHINGTON - Today, in a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, House and Senate education leaders called on the Education Department to rescind its "equitable service" guidance, which would redirect COVID-19 relief funding away from students in public schools to fund services for students in private schools, regardless of their wealth or residence. In the letter, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Senate L… Continue Reading


Scott, Murray Call on Secretary Azar to Help Displaced College Students Maintain Health Insurance During Pandemic

05.20.20   WASHINGTON - Today, in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) called on the Department to take proactive steps to help more than 14 million displaced college students maintain access to health care coverage. In the letter, the Members note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students who rely on health insu… Continue Reading


Chairman Scott to Secretary DeVos: Stop Illegally Garnishing Wages on Student Loan Borrowers

05.20.20   WASHINGTON - In a letter to Department of Education Secretary DeVos, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) demanded an explanation for the Department illegally garnishing the wages on student loan borrowers amid the COVID-19-a direct violation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27. In the letter, Chairman Scott notes that as recently as May 6, employers indicated that they could not stop garnishing wag… Continue Reading


Committee Holds Virtual Briefing on Impact of COVID-19 for Seniors, Individuals with Disabilities

05.18.20   WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on Education and Labor held a virtual Member briefing to examine the challenges facing seniors and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefing, entitled "Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities," focused on how the aging and disability populations are particularly vulnerable to both COVID-19 and to collateral consequences arising from social distancing measures. According to the CDC, individuals ag… Continue Reading


Heroes Act: What People Are Saying

05.15.20   WASHINGTON - The Heroes Act, introduced on May 12, is Congress' fifth COVID-19 pandemic response package aimed at protecting students' access to education, supporting workers and their families, and ensuring access to affordable health care. Here's what the nation's leading organizations are saying about the bill. American Council on Education (ACE): "This bill contains significant new funding for higher education institutions that will help alleviate the crippling financial impact posed by th… Continue Reading


Chairman Scott Demands Education Department Abandon Plan to Use COVID-19 Relief Money to Fund Private School Voucher Scheme

05.15.20   WASHINGTON - In a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) called on the Education Department to abandon its plan to divert emergency education funding, which was intended to provide COVID-19 relief for public schools, toward private school vouchers. The letter comes after the Department announced its intention to use a vast majority of the $300 million it received for discretionary grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, a… Continue Reading


Chairman Scott Calls for the Passage of the Heroes Act

05.13.20   WASHINGTON - Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott issued the following statement after House Democrats introduced a fifth legislative package-the Heroes Act-in response to the COVID-19 crisis. "As result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students and schools are facing unprecedented educational and financial challenges, our workers are experiencing unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression, and our public health care system is straining to meet the demand for testing and treatment of this … Continue Reading


House Health Chairs Highlight Key Health Provisions in The Heroes Act

05.12.20   WASHINGTON - Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) applauded the introduction of H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, in the House of Representatives today. The Chairmen of the three Committees worked together to draft the health care provisions in the bill, which continue the House's work of providing the necessary resources and support to respond to the ongoing coronavirus… Continue Reading


Scott, Fudge Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Food Assistance for Displaced College Students

05.08.20   WASHINGTON - Today, Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) introduced the End Pandemic Hunger for College Students Act to ensure low-income college students can access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits during school closures due to COVID-19. The bill comes as widespread campus closures are exacerbating the financial challenges facing students across the country. A 2019 survey released by Temple University … Continue Reading


Committee Holds Virtual Member Briefing on Remote Learning, Educational Equity

05.07.20   WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on Education and Labor held a virtual Member briefing to examine the learning challenges schools are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefing, entitled "Remote Learning in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic," focused on the abrupt closure of schools due to COVID-19, and how these closures have exacerbated longstanding inequities in K-12 education and underscored disparities in school funding, curricular resources, school facilities, and teacher quality. … Continue Reading


House, Senate Democrats Warn DeVos Against Changing Distance Education Rules Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

05.04.20   WASHINGTON - Today, in a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Senate HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) called on the Department to delay changes to distance education rules as students and schools adapt to virtual classrooms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a public comment letter, the Democratic education leaders wrote that the history of fraud and abuse in distance education programs and the massive sh… Continue Reading


House Democrats to Labor Department: Protect Civil Rights in Federal Contracting

05.04.20   WASHINGTON - Today, House Democrats sent a letter to the Director of the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in strong opposition to the agency's recent guidance allowing new service, supply, and construction contracts related to coronavirus response to avoid federal affirmative action requirements. The letter was signed by Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Committee on Armed Services… Continue Reading


Chairman Scott Remarks at First Full Committee Virtual Forum on COVID-19 Response

05.01.20   WASHINGTON - Today, Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott delivered the following remarks at the first full Committee virtual forum on COVID-19. "Today, we're gathered to provide all Members the opportunity to share how the spread of COVID-19 is affecting their districts and discuss what the Committee can do to provide urgently needed relief. "The COVID-19 emergency is disrupting nearly every facet of our society. More than 30 million people have filed unemployment claims; students and families ar… Continue Reading

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