CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, December 7, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 329, the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Coordination Act of 2015, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 329 was introduced on January 13, 2015, by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, on March 16, 2016 by unanimous consent.
H.R. 329 amends the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992 to facilitate the ability of Indian Tribes to integrate the employment, training, and related services from diverse federal sources. Primarily, the bill makes permanent the authority of tribes to integrate the federal resources they receive for employment and training purposes under a single plan and budget. The bill clarifies the plan approval process and timelines, the roles of various federal agencies involved, the transfer of funds mechanism, and the reporting and audit requirements the tribes must fulfill.
The Federal government has a wide range of programs to assist state, local, and tribal governments in developing the workforce of their communities. Specifically, the Departments of the Interior, Health and Human Services (“HHS”), and Labor have employment, training, and related service programs that provide grant funding to tribes. Tribes use that funding to provide services such as education and workforce training, resume building, on-the-job training, and childcare services to individuals attempting to enter the workforce.
The Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act was passed in 1992 with the intent to enable tribes to integrate the federal resources they received from multiple executive agencies under comprehensive plans. The integration of service was meant to reduce administrative burdens and/or costs by allowing tribes to report and audit multiple programs (up to ten) under a single plan and budget.
The ten eligible programs are: the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ General Assistance program, Division of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Job Placement and Training Program, Higher Education and Adult Basic Education programs, and the Johnson-O’Malley programs; the DOL’s Workforce Investment Act Section 166 Comprehensive Services Program and Supplemental Youth Services Program; and DHHS’s Native Employment Works (NEW), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) programs.
In FY 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs estimated that there were more than 250 participating Tribes that benefited by approximately $90 million. A majority of those funds have come from the TANF, Child Care Development Fund, and Native Employment Works programs at HHS. Funds from HHS and the Department of Labor are transferred to the Department of the Interior, which then transfers all employment, training, and related services funding to the tribes once the tribes’ “477 plans” are approved.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates enacting H.R. 329 would have no significant effect on the federal budget. The Bureau of Indian Affairs estimated that any increased federal costs to oversee and administer tribal plans under the bill would be subject to appropriation and would not exceed $500,000 in any given year.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1828.