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    March Madness on Capitol Hill

    It’s that time of year when work productivity allegedly drops as college basketball fans try to keep track of scores and brackets. (Three of my final four are still alive – so I have a chance!) This month, Capitol Hill is partaking in its own style of March Madness.

    The first round started with the release of President Trump’s FY18 proposed budget outline. Given the number of cuts, it appears that defense is the clear winner over domestic spending within the proposal. However, Congress is the referee and could ultimately rule in favor of programs of concern to local Goodwill organizations and the people we serve, including those that provide workforce development and job-training programs.

    The health care debate is making up the second round, with the House expected to vote on reforms this week. At the time of this writing, health care reform is still a jump ball, as it remains unclear whether there are enough GOP votes to get the measure passed, despite last-minute amendments.

    The final four is made of those nominees who were receiving confirmation hearings this week – okay, so it’s actually the final three. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A long-awaited hearing for the Department of Labor Secretary nominee is being held in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Alexander Acosta was named after Andrew Puzder’s nomination was withdrawn. Finally, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA) for Secretary of Agriculture.

    The NCAA’s March Madness will end with the championship game on April 3. Goodwill® advocates will be hitting the Hill that week as part of Goodwill’s annual advocacy event. Fortunately, unlike the NCAA tournament, you have the chance to get in the game by signing up for Goodwill’s Legislative Action Center and receive information regarding our Virtual Advocacy Day!

    Laura Walling
    Senior Director of Government Affairs
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