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Department of Labor's Estimated Impact of Sequestration
The Department of Labor was required to provide the Senate Appropriations Committee with an estimated impact of sequestration. Download the letter - it is now public.
Fiscal Bill Passes Senate then House
- The bill focused on tax provisions and has delayed sequestration for two months. Individual taxpayers income with incomes over $400,000 (and families over $450,000) will now see their tax rates return to Clinton era levels on the income that exceeds these levels. There is a reduction in some deductions based on income levels.
- The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, only eight Senators (including HELP and Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA)) voted against the bill. The House, after a back/forth day of deliberation has likewise passed the Senate bill and sent the measure to the President for his signature.
- The bill delays the enactment of sequestration by two months to allow time to find an alternative to $1.2 trillion in across the board cuts. To allow for this extension, there was agreement to reduce the overall fiscal 2013 and 2014 discretionary spending caps in the 2011 debt limit law by $12 billion. The spending cuts would be evenly divided between defense and non-defense spending.
- This two month delay of sequestration means that Congress will be returning its focus quickly to how to reduce federal spending, debating targeted spending cuts to avoid sequestration, and also needing to find an agreement on how to extend the nation's debt limit. These developments mean funding for WIA and other discretionary programs will once again be vulnerable.
The provision below is of specific interest to us;
1) An extension of funding for the Reemployment Services and Reemployment Eligibility Assessment Activities retroactive to last year's extension of unemployment benefits (in February 2012). This means recipients of extended benefits (back to February 2012 and going forward through the rest of this year) must now report in-person at their designated One-Stop Career Center for reemployment and eligibility assessment services. Required reemployment activities for recipients include skills assessments, orientation to services provided at local One-Stop Career Centers, and etc.
We think the debate will intensify when the new Congress is seated and begins to discuss budget priorities. Certainly, not all issues are resolved, but this action avoids some immediate issues & concerns. We will send more as we develop a better understanding of the legislation.