114th Congress off to Fast Start

Maybe it’s their abysmal approval ratings, or that the last Congress was rated the least productive ever, or perhaps it was the election results.  No matter the reason, this Congress is pushing ahead at a brisk pace, for Congress anyway.

This week saw the Senate Health, Education, Pensions, and Labor (HELP) Committee unanimously approve the Older Americans Act reauthorization legislation. S. 192.  The bill will enable the continuation of key programs for America’s seniors including nutrition, transportation, elder abuse prevention and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for the next three years.   Each year the Goodwill agencies participating in the SCSEP program help thousands of seniors gain new skills and find work.  For more information on participating Goodwill agencies, go to /find-jobs-and-services/find-a-job/ and scroll down to the Older Workers section.   The next step for S. 192 is the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate.

In addition, there have been a slew of hearings on tech issues.  Yesterday was Data Privacy Day so it was quite appropriate that from cybersecurity and protecting consumer information and businesses from cyberattacks to Net Neutrality and internet access, the two parties in the House and Senate are making an effort to develop bipartisan legislation on both issues.   In addition the administration set forth a proposal in cybersecurity that you can see here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/cybersecurity

Finally, this year marks the 40th anniversary of enactment of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To mark the occasion, Goodwill is joining CFED and Tax Credits for Working Families to host an event on EITC Awareness Day, January 30, which will bring together leading researchers, policymakers, advocates and taxpayers to share their knowledge and first-hand experience with the EITC to answer important questions, such as: How do American workers actually use the EITC? What role does Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) play in creating communities of opportunity? What are the political prospects for these federal policies?  For more information on the EITC and financial wellness visit this page.