CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1129 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on February 23, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which took no official action.
H.R. 1129 would direct the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to provide an annual grant to programs that offer iron working training to members of federally recognized Indian tribes. Training programs receiving funding under this legislation must: 1) provide specialized training in iron working skills to adult members of federally recognized Indian tribes; 2) provide classroom and on-the-job training; and 3) facilitate job placement for participants upon successful completion of the requirements of the program.
To be eligible for funding under H.R. 1129, a program must have proven experience in providing successful iron working training programs to Native American populations and have the facilities necessary to carry out such a program with a grant provided through this bill.
The National Ironworkers Training Program for American Indians provides an eleven-week iron working training program to Native Americans. After completion of training, program participants are provided with direct entry into a Union Ironworker Apprenticeship Program, as well as insurance and pension benefits. Applicants to the program must be a member of a federally recognized tribe and at least 18 years old. Applicants must possess either a high school degree or a General Equivalency Development and be able to begin working within six months. Identical legislation was passed in the 110th Congress by a vote of 302-72. Some Members expressed concerns that the bill would establish a new federal iron working training program that is only available to members of federally recognized Indian tribes. Members also expressed concern that those receiving training with the federal funds would be directly entered into a Union Ironworker Apprenticeship Program.
A CBO score for H.R. 1129 was not yet available. However, the legislation would authorize a new grant program to provide federal funds for the National Ironworkers Training Program for American Indians.