December 9, 2003 - Issue: Vol. 149, No. 176 — Daily Edition108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - 1st Session
A BILL TO EXPAND THE WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT
(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E2504-E2505] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] A BILL TO EXPAND THE WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT ______ HON. AMO HOUGHTON of new york in the house of representatives Monday, December 8, 2003 Mr. HOUGHTON. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a bill to add Trade Adjustment Assistance Recipients as a targeted group for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, thereby permitting employers to receive a tax credit when hiring these individuals. Most importantly, this bill would help address the loss of our manufacturing and other jobs to foreign competitors. The bill I'm introducing is a companion to a bill offered in the Senate by my good friend, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine. [[Page E2505]] The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program provides a credit of up to $2,400 based on wages paid in the first year to a new employee for employers that hire workers from one of the targeted groups (welfare recipients, ex-felons, high-risk youths, qualified food stamp recipients, etc.). The WOTC program has been a major factor in moving the unemployed from the welfare rolls into the workforce, serving as a vital component of the welfare reform legislation. The proposal in the bill is a very targeted approach. A Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) recipient is an individual who is unemployed and has been certified to receive benefits under the TAA program. TAA benefits include extended unemployment compensation and worker training. The latter program provides benefits to individuals who have been laid off by an employer who has been disadvantaged by foreign imports or has shifted production, and jobs, to a country that has a free trade agreement with the United States or is a beneficiary country under certain other trade agreements. Thus, the proposal deals directly with the loss of jobs to countries abroad. The TAA targeted group would be somewhat different than the other groups. The TAA group has been disadvantaged by foreign trade and competition. Even though the individuals may be skilled, they are unlikely to find jobs in their former industries because the jobs have moved offshore. Accordingly, the TAA recipient may need retraining. Qualifying as a WOTC/TAA recipient would help the person obtain a job, and the credit would contribute to the retraining costs incurred by the new employer. The TAA recipient hired by an employer would no longer receive TAA benefits, thus reducing the cost of that program. The proposal is not the complete answer to unemployment. Nevertheless, I believe it is a step in the right direction, because it targets those workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade and competition. I encourage my colleagues to cosponsor this proposed legislation. ____________________