This past week my parents came into town to celebrate the Fourth of July. We watched the fireworks from the west steps of the Capitol, which was a spectacular experience.
The Air and Space museum was very magnificent, impressive, and educational as always; shout out to President David Maxwell for suggesting that I spend a day there. Speaking of Drake, one of our alumnus Darci Vetter got confirmed today as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Chief Agriculture Negotiator. I was so proud to be in the gallery as a fellow Bulldog was being confirmed to such a high position within the Department of Agriculture.
Life on the Hill has been quite hectic recently. Just a few days before the Fourth of July recess the Senate passed the Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act (WIOA) which provides vocational and rehabilitation services for students who want to either enter into the workforce or attend college. The final Senate vote was 95 – 3.
Today marked the end of what was years in the making; the passage of a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which was renamed WIOA during this reauthorization. After working tirelessly for months the House of Representatives passed WIOA 415 – 6. In all, from first mark up to passage from the entire Congress; the process took under a year, although this was the third time that the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee had tried to reauthorize the WIA. My entire office was elated after the vote; everyone had huge grins on their faces when leaving the gallery. Of specific significance to the passage of this bill was that now the United States will (hopefully, if signed by the President) one step closer from doing away with sheltered workshops which put people with disabilities at a disadvantage in their ability to be included into society.