September 05, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Urges House Appropriations Committee to Act on Member-Led Amendments

The Amendments, led by the Future of Work and National Security Task Force Co-Chairs, passed the House of Representatives in July

Washington, DC – This week, New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Future of Work Task Force and National Security Task Force Co-Chairs sent letters urging House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger to retain the House-passed amendments proposed by NDC Task Forces as provisions when the House and Senate go to conference on the FY2020 appropriations package.

During floor consideration in July, the House of Representatives passed New Democrat Coalition-led amendments in H.R. 2740, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2020.

The Future of Work Task Force Co-Chairs, led by Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11) and co-sponsored by Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Chris Pappas (NH-01), and Haley Stevens (MI-11), offered an amendment to modernize how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures and forecasts labor trends and conducts the contingent worker survey, which measure people in non-traditional work arrangements.

“As advances in technology and artificial intelligence continue to impact our economy and the nature of work, it is vital we have access to the most accurate data on how these trends are affecting American workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the gold-standard for tracking workforce trends and providing policymakers with reliable projections, but it is not properly equipped to incorporate the effects of rapid technological change. This amendment is an important first step in making sure we effectively account for these changes so that we can pursue policies aimed at building an economy that works for everyone,” said Future of Work Task Force Co-Chair Bill Foster (IL-11).

The National Security Task Force Co-Chairs, led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and co-sponsored by Reps. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Anthony Brown (MD-04), and Brendan Boyle (PA-02), offered an amendment urging action on and expansion of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the impact of personnel vacancies at the Department of State on our country’s national security and foreign policy objects. 

“Persistent vacancies at the Department of State, U.S. embassies and consulates around the world undermine the effectiveness of U.S. diplomatic efforts and can jeopardize our national security priorities. By failing to fill these critical positions, particularly among senior political appointees, we are significantly reducing our ability to respond to emerging crises and reducing U.S. leadership and engagement with key allies and partners,” said National Security Task Force Co-Chair Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “We must demonstrate our support for Foreign Service and civil service personnel as they advance our interests abroad—and I’m proud to stand alongside my co-chairs on the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force as we encourage the State Department to act upon the GAO report, and urge the GAO to further its assessment of critical vacancies at the State Department. By filling vacancies, we can better protect American lives, further promote American values overseas, and continue to address the factors that fuel instability and violence around the world. As a former CIA case officer, I recognize the invaluable contributions of these dedicated public servants—and I’ll keep fighting to reassert the need for principled U.S. global leadership.”

Read the letter from the Future of Work Task Force Co-Chairs and the letter from the National Security Task Force Co-Chairs.