The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 15, 2013

Congress: How they voted: Minimum wages, welfare, job programs



George Miller, D-Calif., said: "Let's reward work for people who go to work every day in very difficult jobs, sometimes very dirty jobs, sometimes very demeaning jobs....and at the end of the year they end up poor."

John Kline, R-Minn., said: "We need jobs out there. The best approach right now is to get federal spending under control and government out of the way of the nation's job creators."

A yes vote was to raise the minimum wage.

Voting yes: Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Nolan 

Voting no: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann, Peterson


Voting 192 for and 227 against, the House on March 15 defeated a Democratic alternative to HR 803 (above) that sought to retain but reform the existing Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Democrats proposed reviewing, pruning and consolidating the dozens of grant programs for specific populations.

The Democratic plan also struck language in the GOP bill that would increase the business community's representation on state workforce boards at the expense of seats held by non-business stakeholders such as unions and community colleges.

Jared Polis, D-Colo., called the GOP bill "essentially a slush fund for state the expense of groups that traditionally have high unemployment, including veterans who so capably served our country...."

Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the Democratic plan "adds to the confusion of the dizzying maze of existing programs. We should be streamlining our nation's workforce-development system, not making it more complicated for workers and job seekers."

A yes vote backed the Democratic plan.

Voting yes: Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Peterson, Nolan 

Voting no: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann 


Voting 246-181, the House on March 13 passed a Republican bill (HR 890) to block a Department of Health and Human Services policy concerning work requirements in the 1996 welfare-reform law.

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