March Madness on Capitol Hill

Every March, I put my hopes and dreams in the hands of college basketball players. My bracket is complete and I’m excited to see which teams make it to the final four (shout out to Rutgers’ women for making it to the dance!). It’s not just March Madness in the sports world, but it’s also March Madness on Capitol Hill. Various cabinet members are being called before Congressional committees to answer questions about the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, which includes drastic cuts of concern to local Goodwill® organizations and the people they serve, including a 9.7% spending cut to Department of Labor funding and a 12% cut to the Department of Education.

A number of hearings in the House and Senate have been held this month on infrastructure, technology, minimum wage and higher education, among others. Some of these areas, minimum wage increases for example, may have momentum in the Democrat-controlled House, but will not be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate. Other issues, like infrastructure for example, may have bipartisan support across both chambers, but no agreement on how to finance the critical infrastructure needs of our country. Goodwill Industries International will continue to engage in these discussions as they relate to our public policy agenda.

Planning for our annual Goodwill on the Hill event is in full swing and adding to the madness. Stay tuned for details on our Virtual Advocacy Day, April 11th. Goodwill advocates will be meeting with lawmakers and staff to discuss funding for workforce development and job-training programs, the impact of tax reform on the nonprofit sector, and the need to provide back pay for federal contractors still recovering from the government shutdown.

The actual NCAA tournament culminates with the championship game on April 8th. The window has closed for you to fill out your own March Madness bracket for basketball, but fortunately, you have the chance to get in the game on Capitol Hill by signing up for GII’s Legislative Action Center and receive updates and information on ways in which you can support local Goodwill organizations.