Lame Duck Session Critical for Job Training, Education Programs

US Capitol Building during AutumnAre you suffering from election fatigue?  I’m a total policy wonk but living in a swing state with a heated Senate race means even I’m afraid to answer my phone, turn on the radio and television, or open my mailbox.

We’re still four weeks out from Election Day and believe it or not, legislators can still get things done during the lame duck session, which is why it’s important that Goodwill® advocates remain engaged. The lame duck session refers to the time after an election when lawmakers who may have lost or retired finish up the legislative session along with their last term.

Some issues seeking priority during this time frame include: tax credits and avoiding the fiscal cliff and sequestration; reauthorizing the Farm Bill which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps; a defense authorization bill; cybersecurity legislation; domestic abuse issues; reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act; and the Older Americans Act.

It’s impossible to know which of these issues will win the day as the actions of a lame duck Congress often reflect the outcome of the election.  However, the impact of what will happen should Congress not act is crystal clear.

For example, should sequestration (or mandatory spending cuts) go into effect next year, an estimated 3 million individuals Americans will lose access to workforce education and training, including people like Carolyn Wright who turned to Goodwill for a career change after being laid off from her job of 13 years.  (Hear Carolyn tell her story.)

In addition to taking action on Goodwill’s legislative alerts and sharing them with family and friends, the best way to lend your voice is to cut through all of the campaigns, study the issues that matter to you, research the candidates and VOTE!