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                                                 Union Calendar No. 890

115th Congress   }                                          {   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                 
2d Session       }                                          {   115-1123
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                 


                        REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES

                                 of the

                       COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND

                             THE WORKFORCE

                                for the

                             115TH CONGRESS

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS
                             
                             

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




January 2, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed
              
              
                        _________ 
                                  
           U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
           
33-972              WASHINGTON : 2018                    
              
              
              
           COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE

               VIRGINIA FOXX, North Carolina, Chairwoman
Republicans                          Democrats
JOE WILSON, South Carolina           ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, 
DAVID P. ROE, Tennessee                  Virginia
GLENN ``GT'' THOMPSON, Pennsylvania    Ranking Member
TIM WALBERG, Michigan                SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
BRETT GUTHRIE, Kentucky              RAUL M. GRIJALVA, Arizona
TODD ROKITA, Indiana                 JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut
LOU BARLETTA, Pennsylvania           MARCIA L. FUDGE, Ohio
LUKE MESSER, Indiana                 JARED POLIS, Colorado
BRADLEY BYRNE, Alabama               GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN, 
DAVID BRAT, Virginia                     Northern Mariana Islands
GLENN GROTHMAN, Wisconsin            FREDERICA S. WILSON, Florida
ELISE STEFANIK, New York             SUZANNE BONAMICI, Oregon
RICK W. ALLEN, Georgia               MARK TAKANO, California
JASON LEWIS, Minnesota               ALMA S. ADAMS, North Carolina
FRANCIS ROONEY, Florida              MARK DeSAULNIER, California
TOM GARRETT, Jr., Virginia           DONALD NORCROSS, New Jersey
LLOYD K. SMUCKER, Pennsylvania       LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER, Delaware
A. DREW FERGUSON, IV, Georgia        RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, Illinois
RON ESTES, Kansas                    CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire
KAREN HANDEL, Georgia                ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, New York
JIM BANKS, Indiana

----------
Under Rule X, clause (e) of the Rules of House, the jurisdiction of the 
Committee on Education and the Workforce is as follows: education and 
labor generally; food programs for children in schools; labor standards 
and statistics; mediation and arbitration of labor disputes; child 
labor; regulation or prevention of importation of foreign laborers 
under contract; workers' compensation; wages and hours of labor; 
welfare of miners; work incentive programs; convict labor and the entry 
of goods made by convicts into interstate commerce; vocational 
rehabilitation; Gallaudet University; and Howard University and 
Hospital.

February 16, 2017--Rep. Bishop, Michigan, resigned from the Committee.
February 16, 2017--Rep. Russell, Oklahoma, was elected to the 
Committee.
May 2, 2017--Rep. Estes, Kansas, was elected to the Committee.
May 2, 2017--Rep. Russell, Oklahoma, resigned from the Committee.
April 24, 2018--Rep. Mitchell, Michigan, resigned from the Committee.
May 16, 2018--Rep. Banks, Indiana, was elected to the Committee.
August 23, 2018--Rep. Hunter, California, resigned from the Committee.
  SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, ELEMENTARY, AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

                     TODD ROKITA, Indiana, Chairman
DAVID P. ROE, Tennessee              JARED POLIS, Colorado
GLENN ``GT'' THOMPSON, Pennsylvania    Ranking Member
LUKE MESSER, Indiana                 RAUL M. GRIJALVA, Arizona
DAVID BRAT, Virginia                 MARCIA L. FUDGE, Ohio
TOM GARRETT, Jr., Virginia           SUZANNE BONAMICI, Oregon
KAREN HANDEL, Georgia                SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
                                     FREDERICA S. WILSON, Florida

----------
The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary 
Education has jurisdiction over education from early learning through 
the high school level, including but not limited to elementary and 
secondary education, special education, homeless education, and migrant 
education; overseas dependent schools; career and technical education; 
school safety and alcohol and drug abuse prevention; school lunch and 
child nutrition programs; educational research and improvement 
including the Institute of Education Sciences; environmental education; 
pre-service and in-service teacher professional development including 
Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Title II of 
the Higher Education Act; early care and education programs, including 
the Head Start Act and the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act; 
adolescent development programs, including but not limited to those 
providing for the care and treatment of certain at-risk youth including 
the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and the Runaway and 
Homeless Youth Act; and all matters dealing with child abuse and 
domestic violence, including the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment 
Act and child adoption.

        SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, LABOR, AND PENSIONS

                    TIM WALBERG, Michigan, Chairman
JOE WILSON, South Carolina           GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN,
DAVID P. ROE, Tennessee                Northern Mariana Islands
TODD ROKITA, Indiana                     Ranking Member
LOU BARLETTA, Pennsylvania           FREDERICA S. WILSON, Florida
RICK W. ALLEN, Georgia               DONALD NORCROSS, New Jersey
JASON LEWIS, Minnesota               LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER, Delaware
FRANCIS ROONEY, Florida              CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire
LLOYD K. SMUCKER, Pennsylvania       ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, New York
A. DREW FERGUSON, IV, Georgia        JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut
RON ESTES, Kansas                    MARCIA L. FUDGE, Ohio
JIM BANKS, Indiana                   SUZANNE BONAMICI, Oregon

----------
The Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions has 
jurisdiction over all matters dealing with relationships between 
employers and employees including but not limited to the National Labor 
Relations Act, the Labor-Management Relations Act, and the Labor-
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act; the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics; and employment-related health and retirement security, 
including pension, health, and other employee benefits and the Employee 
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
       SUBCOMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

                   BRETT GUTHRIE, Kentucky, Chairman
GLENN ``GT'' THOMPSON, Pennsylvania  SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
LOU BARLETTA, Pennsylvania             Ranking Member
LUKE MESSER, Indiana                 JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut
BRADLEY BYRNE, Alabama               ALMA S. ADAMS, North Carolina
GLENN GROTHMAN, Wisconsin            MARK DeSAULNIER, California
ELISE STEFANIK, New York             RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, Illinois
RICK W. ALLEN, Georgia               JARED POLIS, Colorado
JASON LEWIS, Minnesota               GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN,
TOM GARRETT, Jr., Virginia             Northern Mariana Islands
LLOYD K. SMUCKER, Pennsylvania       MARK TAKANO, California
RON ESTES, Kansas                    LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER, Delaware
JIM BANKS, Indiana                   ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, New York

----------
The Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development has 
jurisdiction over education and workforce development beyond the high 
school level including but not limited to higher education generally, 
postsecondary student assistance and employment services, and the 
Higher Education Act; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; all 
domestic volunteer programs; all programs related to the arts and 
humanities, museum and library services, and arts and artifacts 
indemnity; postsecondary career and technical education, apprenticeship 
programs, and workforce development, including the Workforce Innovation 
and Opportunity Act, vocational rehabilitation, and workforce 
development programs from immigration funding; science and technology 
programs; adult basic education (family literacy); all welfare reform 
programs, including work incentive programs and welfare-to-work 
requirements; poverty programs, including the Community Services Block 
Grant Act and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); 
the Native American Programs Act; the Institute of Peace; and all 
matters dealing with programs and services for the elderly, including 
nutrition programs and the Older Americans Act.

                 SUBCOMMITTEE ON WORKFORCE PROTECTIONS

                    BRADLEY BYRNE, Alabama, Chairman
JOE WILSON, South Carolina           MARK TAKANO, California,
DAVID BRAT, Virginia                   Ranking Member
GLENN GROTHMAN, Wisconsin            RAUL M. GRIJALVA, Arizona
ELISE STEFANIK, New York             ALMA S. ADAMS, North Carolina
FRANCIS ROONEY, Florida              MARK DeSAULNIER, California
A. DREW FERGUSON, IV, Georgia        DONALD NORCROSS, New Jersey
KAREN HANDEL, Georgia                RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, Illinois
                                     CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire

----------
The Subcommittee on Workforce Protections has jurisdiction over wages 
and hours of workers, including but not limited to the Davis-Bacon Act, 
the Walsh-Healey Act, the Service Contract Act, and the Fair Labor 
Standards Act; workers' compensation, including the Federal Employees' 
Compensation Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 
and the Black Lung Benefits Act; the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural 
Worker Protection Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Worker 
Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act; the Employee Polygraph 
Protection Act of 1988; trade and immigration issues as they affect 
employers and workers; workers' safety and health, including but not 
limited to occupational safety and health, mine safety and health, and 
migrant and agricultural worker safety and health; and all matters 
related to equal employment opportunity and civil rights in employment.
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

          Committee on Education and the Workforce,
                                  House of Representatives,
                                   Washington, DC, January 2, 2019.
Hon. Karen L. Haas,
Clerk of the House,
The Capitol, Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Haas: Pursuant to Rule XI, clause 1, paragraph (d) 
of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, I hereby 
transmit the Report on the Activities of the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce for the 115th Congress. This report 
summarizes the activities of the Committee during the 115th 
Congress with respect to its legislative and oversight 
responsibilities. I circulated this report to all members on 
December 21, 2018, and received minority views, which are 
included in this report.
            Sincerely,

                                             Virginia Foxx,
                                                        Chairwoman.
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
Letter of Transmittal............................................     V
Introduction.....................................................     1
Full Committee...................................................     2
    Hearings.....................................................     2
    Markups......................................................     6
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary 
  Education--Hearings............................................     8
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions--Hearings    10
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development--
  Hearings.......................................................    14
Subcommittee on Workforce Protections--Hearings..................    16
Legislation Referred to Committee With House Passage.............    19
Legislation Referred to Committee Enacted Into Law...............    20
Legislation Within Committee Jurisdiction Enacted Into Law.......    21
Oversight Plan Summary and Correspondence........................    22
Committee Activity Statistics--115th Congress....................    28
Minority Views...................................................    30






                                                  Union Calendar No. 890
                                                 
115th Congress   }                                           {     Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                           {   115-1123

======================================================================



 
    REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE 
                    WORKFORCE FOR THE 115TH CONGRESS

                                _______
                                

January 2, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

      Ms. Foxx, from the Committee on Education and the Workforce,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                              INTRODUCTION

    At the beginning of the 115th Congress, the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics reported 5.6 million job openings in the American 
economy. By the end of the 115th Congress, that number had 
soared to more than 7 million. The Education and Workforce 
Committee began this Congress with a clear-eyed goal of 
unleashing economic growth and empowering individual Americans, 
and the record shows this effort proved enormously effective.
    The Committee began its work to restore opportunity to 
American students and workers by reporting five resolutions 
under the Congressional Review Act, reversing the damage 
leveled by the heavy hand of the Obama administration's 
regulatory agenda.
    The Committee quickly followed these efforts by marking up 
and favorably reporting the Small Business Health Fairness Act, 
which loosened the suffocating grip of Obamacare on the 
employers of millions of American workers by allowing small 
businesses to band together to bargain for better health care 
options. The House passed the bill and the Trump administration 
directed federal agencies to remove barriers to allow for the 
formation of association health plans. As of December 2018, 
millions of American workers have options they did not 
previously have.
    While working to restore freedom and encourage more 
innovation and growth in American workplaces, the Committee 
focused additional efforts on workforce development. The vast 
and growing number of job openings in the economy puts American 
job seekers at an advantage not seen in decades, and workers 
and employers alike are putting increasing demand on skills 
education. This focus helped propel the Strengthening Career 
and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to President 
Trump's desk for signature. The legislation directly addressed 
the growing skills gap by empowering state and local leaders to 
tailor career and technical education efforts to community 
needs.
    The Committee also made history with its work on H.R. 4508, 
Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through 
Education Reform Act. This first major reform of the Higher 
Education Act in a generation addressed, for the first time in 
postsecondary education law, the potential role of 
apprenticeships in a well-rounded, career-focused higher 
education landscape.
    With Americans carrying more than $1.5 trillion in student 
loan debt, the legislation offered a bold new structure for 
federal student aid that pares down the current cumbersome and 
ensnaring student loan system into options that best serve 
student borrowers in the long term. The Committee favorably 
reported this landmark legislation at the end of the First 
Session.
    The Education and Workforce Committee also played an 
important role in another historic effort, this one a House-
wide endeavor to fight the devastating impact of opioid abuse 
in communities across America. Holding a series of hearings 
entitled ``Close to Home,'' the Committee heard firsthand 
accounts from witnesses who described how opioid addiction 
devastates individuals and affects families, children, schools, 
and workplaces. These hearings laid the foundation for the 
Committee's contributions to H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients 
and Communities Act.
    The complete report on the activities of the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce reflects the Committee's creative, 
diverse, and active membership. Under the leadership of 
Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, Committee Members were empowered to 
explore issues and topics important to their constituents. 
Reauthorizations were seized as reform opportunities, as 
evidenced by the Committee's early work on behalf of missing 
and exploited children and those in the juvenile justice 
system. Most importantly, Committee Members kept their focus on 
encouraging current and future individual opportunities for 
Americans of every age and from every walk of life.

                             FULL COMMITTEE


                                HEARINGS

    In the 115th Congress, 17 full committee hearings were 
held.

February 1, 2017--``Rescuing Americans from the Failed Health Care Law 
        and Advancing Patient-Centered Solutions''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the failures and 
consequences of the 2010 health care law and to discuss 
patient-centered solutions toward better, more affordable 
health care.
    Witnesses: Mr. Scott Bollenbacher, CPA, Managing Partner, 
Bollenbacher & Associates, LLC, Portland, Indiana (testifying 
on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business); 
Mr. Joe Eddy, President & Chief Executive Officer, Eagle 
Manufacturing Company, Wellsburg, West Virginia (testifying on 
behalf of the National Association of Manufacturer); Ms. Angela 
Schlaack, St. Joseph, Michigan (testifying on own behalf); Dr. 
Tevi Troy, Chief Executive Officer, American Health Policy 
Institute, Washington, DC.

February 7, 2017--``Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the opportunities 
and challenges facing America's higher education system, as 
well as discuss possible reforms to improve the Higher 
Education Act.
    Witnesses: Dr. Beth Akers Senior Fellow Manhattan Institute 
New York, New York; Dr. William E. Kirwan, Co-Chair, Task Force 
on Federal Regulation of Higher Education, Rockville, Maryland; 
Dr. Jose Luis Cruz, President, Lehman College of the City 
University of New York, Bronx, New York; Mr. Kevin Gilligan, 
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Capella Education 
Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

March 1, 2017--``Legislative Proposals to Improve Health Care Coverage 
        and Provide Lower Costs for Families''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine legislative 
proposals to improve health care coverage and lower costs for 
working families.
    Witnesses: Mr. Jon B. Hurst, President, Retailers 
Association of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts (testifying 
on Behalf of the National Retail Federation); Ms. Allison R. 
Klausner, Principal, Government Relations Leader, Conduent, 
Secaucus, New Jersey (testifying on behalf of the American 
Benefits Council); Ms. Lydia Mitts, Associate Director of 
Affordability Initiatives; Families USA, Washington, DC; Mr. 
Jay Ritchie, Executive Vice President, Tokio Marine HHC, 
Kennesaw, Georgia (testifying on Behalf of the Self-Insurance 
Institute of America).

March 16, 2017--``Honoring Our Commitment to Recover and Protect 
        Missing and Exploited Children''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the work of the 
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and 
ways to improve the organization's efforts to recover and 
protect vulnerable children nationwide.
    Witness: Mr. John F. Clark, President and Chief Executive 
Officer, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 
Alexandria, Virginia.

April 27, 2017--``Strengthening Accreditation to Better Protect 
        Students and Taxpayers''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the accreditation 
system and identify ways to improve accountability in higher 
education.
    Witnesses: Dr. Mary Ellen Petrisko, President, WASC Senior 
College and University Commission, Alameda, California; Dr. 
George A. Pruitt, President, Thomas Edison State University, 
Trenton, New Jersey; Mr. Ben Miller, Senior Director for 
Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress, 
Washington, DC; Dr. Michale S. McComis, Executive Director, 
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, 
Arlington, Virginia.

June 22, 2017--``Student Safety in the Job Corps Program''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the systemic 
lapses in security and safety surrounding the Job Corps 
program.
    Witnesses: Ms. Cindy Brown Barnes, Director of Education 
Workforce and Income Security, Government Accountability 
Office, Washington, DC; Mr. Jeffrey Barton, Center Director, 
Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy, Morganfield, Kentucky; Mr. 
Larry Turner, Deputy Inspector General, Office of Inspector 
General, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC.

July 12, 2017--``Redefining Joint Employer Standards: Barriers to Job 
        Creation and Entrepreneurship''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the growing 
threat to job creation, entrepreneurship, and small businesses 
posed by the expanded definition of joint employer under 
federal labor laws.
    Witnesses: Mr. Michael Harper, Professor, Boston University 
School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts; Mr. Richard Heiser, Vice 
President, FedEx Ground, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mr. Roger 
King, Senior Labor and Employment Counsel; HR Policy 
Association, Washington, DC; Mr. Jerry Reese, II, Director of 
Franchise Development, DD Franchise, LLC, New Orleans, 
Louisiana (testifying on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local 
Businesses); Ms. Catherine Ruckelshaus, General Counsel and 
Program Director, National Employment Law Project, New York, 
New York; Ms. Mary Kennedy Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, 
Dwyer Group, Waco, Texas (testifying on behalf of the 
International Franchise Association).

July 18, 2017--``ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform 
        Efforts''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the progress of 
state implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
    Witnesses: Ms. Jacqueline Nowicki, Director, K-12 
Education, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, 
DC; Dr. Gail Pletnick, Superintendent, Dysart Unified School 
District, Surprise, Arizona; Mr. Phillip Lovell, Vice President 
of Policy Development and Government Relations, Alliance for 
Excellent Education, Washington, DC; Dr. Carey Wright, State 
Superintendent, Mississippi Department of Education, Jackson, 
Mississippi.

September 6, 2017--`The Sharing Economy: Creating Opportunities for 
        Innovation and Flexibility''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the sharing 
economy and consider how it relates to our nation's workforce 
policies.
    Witnesses: Mr. Michael Beckerman, President & CEO, Internet 
Association, Washington, DC; Ms. Sharon Block, Executive 
Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts; Mr. Jonathan Johnson, Founder, 
SnapSeat, LLC, Hartford, Connecticut (testifying on behalf of 
Thumbtack); Dr. Arun Sundararajan, Leonard N. Stern, School of 
Business, Kaufman Management Center, New York, New York.

November 15, 2017--``Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. 
        Department of Labor''

    The purpose of the hearing was to review the Department of 
Labor's policies and priorities.
    Witness: The Honorable R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Washington, DC.

January 30, 2018--``Protecting Privacy, Promoting Policy: Evidence-
        Based Policymaking and the Future of Education''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore how evidence-
based policymaking can foster better educational programs, 
while ensuring the protection of student privacy.
    Witnesses: Mr. Paul Ohm, Professor, Georgetown University 
Law Center, Washington, DC; Ms. Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow, 
American Principles Project Foundation, Washington, DC; Dr. 
Carey Wright, State Superintendent, Mississippi Department of 
Education, Jackson, Mississippi; Dr. Neal Finkelstein, Program 
Director, Innovation Studies, WestEd, San Francisco, 
California.

April 17, 2018--``Fraud, Mismanagement, Non-Compliance, and Safety: The 
        History of Failures of the Corporation for National and 
        Community Service''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore the inability of 
the Corporation for National and Community Service to monitor 
grants and safeguard taxpayer resources.
    Witness: Ms. Barbara Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, 
Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC.

May 17, 2018--``Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring 
        How Schools and States Keep Data Safe''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss student privacy 
and the importance of protecting students' personally 
identifiable information and data.
    Witnesses: Mr. David Couch, K-12 CIO and Associate 
Commissioner, Kentucky Office of Education Technology, 
Frankfort, Kentucky; Ms. Amelia Vance, Director of Education 
Privacy and Policy Counsel, Future of Privacy Forum, 
Washington, DC; Ms. Catherine Lhamon, J.D., Attorney and Former 
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of 
Education, Takoma Park, Maryland; Dr. Gary Lilly, 
Superintendent, Bristol Tennessee City Schools, Bristol, 
Tennessee.

May 22, 2018--``Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. 
        Department of Education''

    The purpose of the hearing was to review the U.S. 
Department of Education's work and outline the Department's 
upcoming policies and agendas.
    Witness: The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, U.S. 
Department of Education, Washington, DC.

June 6, 2018--``Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. 
        Department of Health and Human Services''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the achievements 
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and outline 
the Department's upcoming priorities and agenda.
    Witness: The Honorable Alex M. Azar, II, Secretary, U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

June 13, 2018--``The Power of Charter Schools: Promoting Opportunity 
        for America's Students''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the value of 
charter schools.
    Witnesses: Mrs. Nina Rees, President and CEO, National 
Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Washington, DC; Mr. Greg 
Richmond, President and CEO, National Association of Charter 
School Authorizers, Chicago, Illinois; Mr. Jonathan Clark, 
Parent and Community Advocate, Detroit, Michigan; Dr. Martin 
West, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School 
of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

September 26, 2018--``Examining First Amendment Rights on Campus''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine First Amendment 
rights on college campuses and ensure students' freedoms and 
individual liberties on campus are upheld.
    Witnesses: Mr. Zachary R. Wood, Author, ``Uncensored'', New 
York, New York; Mr. Joseph Cohn, Legislative and Policy 
Director, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ms. Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive 
Officer, PEN America, New York, New York; Mr. Ken Paulson, 
President, First Amendment Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

                                MARKUPS

    In the 115th Congress, the Full Committee held 18 markups, 
and one business meeting. The Full Committee filed 14 
legislative reports. No Subcommittee markups were held.

January 24, 2017--Full Committee Organizational Meeting to Adopt the 
        Committee Rules and Oversight Plan for the 115th Congress.

    Committee Rules and Oversight Plan were adopted by voice 
vote.

March 8, 2017--H.R. 1304, Self-Insurance Protection Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. David P. Roe)
    H.R. 1304 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by voice vote on March 8, 2017. The committee report 
was filed on March 8, 2017 (House Report 115-53, Part 1).

March 8, 2017--H.R. 1101, Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017

    (Sponsor: Rep. Sam Johnson)
    H.R. 1101 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 17 nays on March 8, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on March 8, 2017 (House Report 115-
43).

March 8, 2017--H.R. 1313, Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx)
    H.R. 1313 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 17 nays on March 8, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on March 8, 2017 (House Report 115-
459, Part I).

April 4, 2017--H.R. 1808, Improving Support for Missing and Exploited 
        Children Act of 2017

    (Sponsor: Rep. Brett Guthrie)
    H.R. 1808 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by voice vote on April 4, 2017. The committee report 
was filed on April 4, 2017 (House Report 115-110).

April 4, 2017--H.R. 1809, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017

    (Sponsor: Rep. Jason Lewis)
    H.R. 1809 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by voice vote on April 4, 2017. The committee report 
was filed on April 4, 2017 (House Report 115-111).

April 26, 2017--H.R. 1180, Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017

    (Sponsor: Rep. Martha Roby)
    H.R. 1180 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 16 nays on April 26, 2017. 
The committee report was filed on April 26, 2017 (House Report 
115-01).

May 17, 2017--H.R. 2353, Strengthening Career and Technical Education 
        for the 21st Century Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson)
    H.R. 1180 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by voice vote on May 17, 2017. The committee report 
was filed on May 17, 2017 (House Report 115-224).

June 29, 2017--H.R. 986, Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017

    (Sponsor: Rep. Todd Rokita)
    H.R. 986 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 16 nays on June 29, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on June 29, 2017 (House Report 115-
324).

June 29, 2017--H.R. 2776, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Tim Walberg)
    H.R 2776 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 16 nays on June 29, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on June 29, 2017 (House Report 115-
326).

June 29, 2017--H.R. 2775, Employee Privacy Protection Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Joe Wilson)
    H.R 2775 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 22 yeas and 16 nays on June 29, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on June 29, 2017 (House Report 115-
325).

July 19, 2017--H.R. 2823, Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. David P. Roe)
    H.R. 2823 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 23 yeas and 17 nays on July 19, 2017. The 
committee report was filed on July 19, 2017 (House Report 115-
371, Part 1).

October 4, 2017--H.R. 3441, Save Local Business Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Byrne)
    H.R. 3441 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 23 yeas and 17 nays on October 4, 2017. 
The committee report was filed on October 4, 2017 (House Report 
115-339).

December 12, 2017--H.R. 4508, Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and 
        Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act

    (Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx)
    H.R. 3441 was ordered favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, by a vote of 23 yeas and 17 nays on December 12, 2017. 
The committee report was filed on December 12, 2017 (House 
Report 115-550).

  Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education


                                HEARINGS

    In the 115th Congress, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, 
Elementary, and Secondary Education held nine hearings.

February 2, 2017--``Helping Students Succeed Through the Power of 
        School Choice''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the power of 
school choice and explore opportunities to extend more 
educational opportunities to students across the country.
    Witnesses: Mr. Michael L. Williams, Former Commissioner of 
Education, Texas Education Agency, Arlington, Texas; Ms. Almo 
J. Carter, Parent, Washington, DC; Mr. Kevin Kubacki, Executive 
Director, The Neighborhood Charter Network, Indianapolis, 
Indiana; Mrs. Nina Cherry, Parent, Dover, Florida.

February 15, 2017--``Providing Vulnerable Youth the Hope of a Brighter 
        Future Through Juvenile Justice Reform''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss reforming the 
country's juvenile justice system to promote safe communities 
and set at-risk youth on the pathway to success.
    Witnesses: Ms. Meg Williams, MPA, Manager, Office of Adult 
and Juvenile Justice Assistance, Division of Criminal Justice, 
Colorado Department of Public Safety, Denver, Colorado; Chief 
Patrick J. Flannelly, Chief of Police, Lafayette Police 
Department, Lafayette, Indiana; The Honorable Denise Navarre 
Cubbon, Judge, Lucas County Juvenile Division, Lucas County, 
Ohio; Mr. Matt Reed, Executive Director, Safe Place Services, 
YMCA of Greater Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

February 28, 2017--``Providing More Students a Pathway to Success by 
        Strengthening Career and Technical Education''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the state of 
career and technical education (CTE) in America, as well as 
changes that can be made to strengthen CTE and better prepare 
students for the workforce.
    Witnesses: Mr. Glenn Johnson, Manufacturing Workforce 
Development Leader, BASF Corporation, Houston, Texas; Mrs. 
Janet Goble, Director of Career and Technical Education, 
Canyons School District, Sandy, Utah; Ms. Mimi Lufkin, Chief 
Executive Officer, National Alliance for Partnerships in 
Equity, Gap, Pennsylvania; Mr. Mike Rowe, Chief Executive 
Officer, mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Santa Monica, California.

June 28, 2017--``Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Education 
        Research While Protecting Student Privacy''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the effectiveness 
of the current laws governing education research and student 
privacy protection.
    Witnesses: Ms. Rachael Stickland, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, 
Parent Coalition for Student Privacy Littleton, Colorado; Dr. 
Nathaniel Schwartz, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, 
Tennessee Department of Education, Nashville, Tennessee; Dr. 
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Director, The Hamilton Project, 
The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; Dr. Grover J. 
``Russ'' Whitehurst, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Center 
on Children and Families, The Brookings Institution, 
Washington, DC.

July 13, 2017--``Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood 
        Programs''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the effectiveness 
of federal early childhood programs, and how states are making 
increased investments in their own programs.
    Witnesses: Ms. Cindy Brown Barnes, Director of Education 
Workforce and Income Security, Government Accountability 
Office, Washington, DC; Dr. Katharine Stevens, Resident 
Scholar, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise 
Institute, Washington, DC; Dr. Pamela Harris, President and 
CEO, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, Denver, 
Colorado; Ms. Ericca Maas, Executive Director, Close Gaps by 5, 
Minneapolis, Minnesota.

November 8, 2017--``Close to Home: How Opioids are Impacting 
        Communities''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to discuss the opioid 
health emergency and its impact on American families, 
communities, and the economy as a whole.
    Witnesses: Mr. Tim Robinson, Founder and CEO, Addiction 
Recovery Care, Louisa, Kentucky; Ms. Toni Miner, Family Support 
Partner, Jefferson County, Colorado; Dr. Leana Wen, 
Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, 
Maryland; Dr. David Cox, Superintendent, Allegany County, 
Maryland.

February 14, 2018--``Examining the Government's Management of Native 
        American Schools''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore opportunities for 
the Bureau of Indian Education to focus on school improvement.
    Witness: Mr. Tony Dearman, Director, Bureau of Indian 
Education, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

March 6, 2018--``Strengthening Welfare to Work With Child Care''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore the role child 
care plays in the welfare system so that more families may 
break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.
    Witnesses: Ms. Helene Stebbins, Deputy Director Alliance 
for Early Success, Arlington, Virginia; Ms. Brigitte Nieland, 
Director, Education and Workforce Development, Louisiana 
Association of Business and Industry, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; 
Ms. Tammy Mann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Campagna 
Center, Alexandria, Virginia; Dr. Laurie Smith, Education and 
Workforce Development, Policy Advisor, Governor Phil Bryant, 
Jackson, Mississippi.

July 17, 2018--``Examining the Summer Food Service Program''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the Summer Food 
Service Program (SFSP), discuss its importance, and address 
known challenges within the program.
    Witnesses: Ms. Kathryn Larin, Director of Education, 
Workforce, and Income Security, Government Accountability 
Office, Washington, DC; Mr. Gil Harden, Assistant Inspector 
General for Audit, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, Washington, DC; Ms. Adele LaTourette, Director, 
New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, Englewood, New Jersey; Mrs. 
Denise Ogilvie, Vice President of Outreach and Grants 
Management, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Overland 
Park, Kansas.

        Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions


                                HEARINGS

    In the 115th Congress, the Subcommittee on Health, 
Employment, Labor, and Pensions held 13 hearings.

February 14, 2017--``Restoring Balance and Fairness to the National 
        Labor Relations Board''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the decisions 
made by the Democrat-controlled National Labor Relations Board 
(NLRB) and to discuss how Congress and the Trump administration 
can remedy them.
    Witnesses: Ms. Reem Aloul, BrightStar Care of Arlington, 
Arlington, Virginia (testifying on behalf of the Coalition to 
Save Local Business); Ms. Susan Davis LLP, Partner, Cohen, 
Weiss and Simon New York, New York; Mr. Raymond J. LaJeunesse, 
Jr., Vice President, National Right to Work Legal Defense and 
Education Foundation, Springfield, Virginia; Mr. Kurt G. 
Larkin, Partner Hunton & Williams LLP, Richmond, Virginia.

March 29, 2017--H.R. 986, ``Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the Tribal Labor 
Sovereignty Act of 2017, which would protect Native American 
sovereignty by preventing the National Labor Relations Board 
(NLRB) from asserting jurisdiction over tribal businesses 
operated on tribal land.
    Witnesses: The Honorable Brian Cladoosby, President, 
National Congress of American Indians, Washington, DC; The 
Honorable Nathaniel Brown, Delegate, 23rd Navajo Nation 
Council, Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona; Mr. John Gribbon, 
California Political Director, UNITE HERE International Union, 
AFL-CIO, San Francisco, California; The Honorable Robert J. 
Welch, Jr., Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, Alpine, 
California.

May 18, 2017--``Regulatory Barriers Facing Workers and Families Saving 
        for Retirement''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine regulatory 
barriers facing workers and families saving for retirement.
    Witnesses: The Honorable Bradford P. Campbell, Esq., 
Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath, Washington, DC; Dr. Jason 
Furman, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for 
International Economics, Washington, DC; Mr. James Kais, Senior 
Vice President and Managing Director, Retirement Practice 
Leader, Transamerica, Saint Petersburg, Florida; Mr. Erik 
Sossa, Vice President, Global Benefits and Wellness, PepsiCo, 
Inc., Purchase, New York.

June 14, 2017--``Legislative Reforms to the National Labor Relations 
        Act: H.R. 2776, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act; H.R. 
        2775, Employee Privacy Protection Act; and H.R. 2723, Employee 
        Rights Act''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss proposals to 
restore balance to federal labor policies.
    Witnesses: Mr. Seth H. Borden, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP, 
New York, New York; Mr. Guerino J. Calemine, III, General 
Counsel, Communications Workers of America, Washington, DC; Ms. 
Karen Cox, Dixon, Illinois; Ms. Nancy McKeague, Senior Vice 
President and Chief of Staff, Michigan Health and Hospital 
Association, Okemos, Michigan (testifying on behalf of the 
Society for Human Resource Management).

September 13, 2017--H.R. 3441, Save Local Business Act

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to examine amendments 
to the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor 
Standards Act to clarify the definition of joint employer.
    Witnesses: Mr. Zachary D. Fasman, Partner, Proskauer Rose 
LLP, New York, New York; Ms. Tamra Kennedy, President, Twin 
City T.J.'s, Inc., Roseville, Minnesota (testifying on behalf 
of the International Franchise Association), Mr. Granger 
MacDonald, CEO, MacDonald Companies, Kerrville, Texas 
(testifying on behalf of the National Association of Home 
Builders); Mr. Michael Rubin, Partner, Altshuler Berzon LLP, 
San Francisco, California.

November 29, 2017--``Financial Challenges Facing the Pension Benefit 
        Guaranty Corporation: Implications for Pension Plans, Workers, 
        and Retirees''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the financial 
situation facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 
(PBGC).
    Witness: The Honorable W. Thomas Reeder, Jr., Director, 
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), Washington, DC.

December 6, 2017--``Workplace Leave Policies: Opportunities and 
        Challenges for Employers and Working Families''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the evolving 
topic of paid leave and flexible work policies.
    Witnesses: Ms. Barbara Brickmeier, Vice President for Human 
Resources and Business Development, IBM Corporation, Armonk, 
New York (testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce); Ms. Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women's 
Forum, Washington, DC; Mr. Hans Riemer, President, Montgomery 
County Council, Rockville, Maryland; Ms. Angela Schaefer, Vice 
President of Human Resources, Safety National, St. Louis, 
Missouri (testifying on behalf of the Society for Human 
Resource Management).

February 15, 2018--``The Opioids Epidemic: Implication for America's 
        Workplaces''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to explore how the 
opioid epidemic affects workplaces, communities, and the lives 
of working Americans across the country.
    Witnesses: President & CEO, Ziegenfelder Company,Wheeling, 
West Virginia (testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce); Dr. Christina M. Andrews, PhD, Assistant Professor, 
University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina; Mr. 
Corwin Rhyan, MPP, Senior Health Care Analyst, Altarum 
Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Ms. Kathryn J. Russo, 
Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C., Melville, New York.

March 20, 2018--``Expanding Affordable Health Care Options: Examining 
        the Department of Labor's Proposed Rule on Association Health 
        Plans''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore the Department of 
Labor's proposed rule to expand access to association health 
plans.
    Witnesses: Mr. John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO, Small 
Business Majority Tiburon, California; Mr. Christopher E. 
Condeluci, Principal and Sole Shareholder, CC Law & Policy 
PLLC, Washington, DC; Mr. Michael McGrew, CEO, McGrew Real 
Estate, Lawrence, Kansas (testifying on behalf of the National 
Association of REALTORS); Ms. Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS 
International, Inc.; Carrollton, Texas (testifying on behalf of 
the International Franchise Association).

April 26, 2018--``Worker-Management Relations: Examining the Need to 
        Modernize Federal Labor Law''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the current state 
of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and the need to 
update the law to better accommodate employees and employers in 
today's workforce.
    Witnesses: Mr. Terry Bowman, Autoworker, Ypsilanti, 
Michigan; Mr. Tommy Jackson, Long Haul Auto-Transport Driver, 
Hermiston, Oregon; Dr. Anne M. Lofaso, Arthur B. Hodges 
Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, 
Morgantown, West Virginia; Mr. Stefan J. Marculewicz, 
Shareholder, Littler Mendelson P.C., Washington, DC.

May 16, 2018--``Enhancing Retirement Security: Examining Proposals to 
        Simplify and Modernize Retirement Plan Administration''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine four bipartisan 
proposals to simplify and modernize retirement plan 
administration for businesses large and small, as well as the 
employees who benefit from the retirement plans offered.
    Witnesses: Ms. Krista D'Aloia, Vice President and Associate 
General Counsel Fidelity Investments, Boston, Massachusetts 
(testifying on behalf of the American Benefits Council); Mr. J. 
Mark Iwry Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, 
Washington, DC; Mr. Paul Schott Stevens, President and CEO, 
Investment Company Institute, Washington, DC; Mr. Tim Walsh, 
Senior Managing Director, Institutional Investment Solutions 
Distribution, TIAA, Waltham, Massachusetts.

June 21, 2018--``Growth, Opportunity, and Change in the U.S. Labor 
        Market and the American Workforce: A Review of Current 
        Developments, Trends, and Statistics''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine current positive 
trends in the U.S. labor market, and the U.S. Department of 
Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' labor market economic 
information and methodologies.
    Witnesses: Dr. Michael Farren, Research Fellow, Study of 
American Capitalism, Mercatus Center at George Mason 
University, Arlington, Virginia; Mr. Jared Meyer, Senior 
Fellow, Foundation for Government Accountability, Washington, 
DC; Mr. Stephen Moore, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project 
for Economic Growth, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC; 
Dr. William Spriggs, Professor of Economics, Howard University 
(testifying on behalf of the AFL-CIO), Washington, DC.

July 24, 2018--``H.R. 4219, Workflex in the 21st Century Act''

    The purpose of the hearing would allow employers to offer 
employees paid leave and a flexible work arrangement on a 
voluntary basis.
    Witnesses: Mr. Jon W. Breyfogle, Principal, Groom Law 
Group, Washington, DC; Ms. Loreen Gilbert, President, 
WealthWise Financial Services, Irvine, California; The 
Honorable Gayle L. Goldin, Senator, State of Rhode Island 
General Assembly, Providence, Rhode Island; Mr. Johnny C. 
Taylor, Jr., President and CEO, Society for Human Resource 
Management, Alexandria, Virginia.

       Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development


                                HEARINGS

    In the 115th Congress, the Subcommittee on Higher Education 
and Workforce Development held 11 hearings.

March 21, 2017--``Improving Federal Student Aid to Better Meet the 
        Needs of Students''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss reauthorization 
of the Higher Education Act, focusing on ways to streamline and 
simplify federal student aid.
    Witnesses: Ms. JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of 
Financial Aid, Houston Community College System, Houston, 
Texas; Ms. Kristin Conklin, Partner, HCM Strategists, 
Washington, DC; Mrs. Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice-Provost of 
Enrollment Management, University of California, Los Angeles, 
Los Angeles, California; Dr. Matt Chingos, Senior Fellow, Urban 
Institute, Washington, DC.

March 28, 2017--``Examining the Corporation for National and Community 
        Service and Its Failed Oversight of Taxpayer Dollars''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss failures and 
inefficiencies that have led to the mishandling of taxpayer 
dollars by grantees funded by the Center for National and 
Community Service (CNCS).
    Witnesses: Ms. Allison Bawden, Acting Director of 
Education, Workforce, and Income Security, Government 
Accountability Office, Washington, DC; Ms. Lori Giblin, Chief 
Risk Officer, Corporation for National and Community Service, 
Washington, DC; Ms. Elizabeth Darling, CEO and President, 
OneStar Foundation and National Service Commission, Austin, 
Texas; The Honorable Deborah Jeffrey, Inspector General, 
Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC.

May 24, 2017--``Empowering Students and Families to Make Informed 
        Decisions on Higher Education''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the importance of 
balancing the need for transparency and accountability while 
protecting student privacy.
    Witnesses: Dr. Mark Schneider, Vice President, American 
Institutes for Research, Washington, DC; Mr. Jason Delisle, 
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC; 
Ms. Mamie Voight, Vice President of Policy Research, Institute 
for Higher Education Policy, Washington, DC; Mr. Andrew K. 
Benton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pepperdine 
University, Malibu, California.

June 15, 2017--``Helping Americans Get Back to Work: Implementation of 
        the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the 
implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
    Witnesses: Ms. Michelle Paczynski, Deputy Assistant 
Executive Director for Workforce and Economic Development, 
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, 
Columbia, South Carolina; Mr. Heath Berlin, Information 
Assurance Manager, Naval Health Clinic, Annapolis, Maryland; 
Mr. Ron Painter, President, National Association of Workforce 
Boards, Washington, DC; Mr. Louis Dubin, Board Chair, Workforce 
Development Board for the State of Maryland, Baltimore, 
Maryland.

July 26, 2017--``Expanding Options for Employers and Workers Through 
        Earn-and-Learn Opportunities''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore earn-and-learn 
opportunities for workers through apprenticeship programs.
    Witnesses: Mr. Mike Bennett, Vice President, Cianbro, 
Pittsfield, Maine; Mr. Robert Peglow, Student, Kentucky 
Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KYFAME), 
Franklin, Kentucky; Mr. Rob Hogan, Vice President of 
Manufacturing and Material Distribution, Newport News 
Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia; Ms. Stacey Johnson 
Hughes, State Chair, Kentucky Federation for Advanced 
Manufacturing Education (KYFAME), Russellville, Kentucky.

October 24, 2017--``Public-Private Solutions to Educating a Cyber 
        Workforce''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to examine best 
practices for cybersecurity workforce development to narrow the 
gap of qualified cybersecurity professionals.
    Witnesses: The Honorable Stephen Cambone, Associate Vice 
Chancellor, Texas A&M University System; Mr. Douglas Rapp, 
President, Rofori Corporation-DEFCON Cyber (testifying on 
behalf of the Cyber Leadership Alliance); Mr. David Jarvis, 
Security and CIO Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value, Dr. R. 
Scott Ralls, President, Northern Virginia Community College.

November 8, 2017--``Close to Home: How Opioids are Impacting 
        Communities''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to discuss the opioid 
health emergency and its effects on American families, 
communities, and the economy as a whole.
    Witnesses: Mr. Tim Robinson, Founder and CEO, Addiction 
Recovery Care, Louisa, Kentucky; Ms. Toni Miner, Family Support 
Partner, Jefferson County, Colorado; Dr. Leana Wen, 
Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, 
Maryland; Dr. David Cox, Superintendent, Allegany County, 
Maryland.

March 15, 2018--``Strengthening Access and Accountability to Work in 
        Welfare Programs''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore pathways from 
federal assistance to employment.
    Witnesses: Mr. Adam Meier, Deputy Chief of Staff for 
Policy, Office of the Governor, Frankfort, Kentucky; Mr. Robert 
Doar, Resident Fellow and Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies, 
American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC; Dr. Heather 
Hahn, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute, Washington, DC; Mrs. Liz 
Carver, Workforce Development Program and Policy Division 
Director and TANF Administrator, Utah Department of Workforce 
Services, Salt Lake City, Utah.

May 9, 2018--``Closing the Skills Gap: Private sector solutions for 
        America's workforce''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine ways to address 
the nation's skills gap through helping job seekers learn the 
skills they need for a good-paying job.
    Witnesses: Mr. Steven Partridge, Vice President of 
Workforce and Economic Development, Northern Virginia Community 
College, Springfield, Virginia; Ms. Tamar Jacoby, President and 
CEO, Opportunity America, Washington, DC; Ms. Traci Tapani, 
President and Owner, Wyoming Machine, Stacy, Minnesota; Mr. 
Ryan Costella, Director of Strategic Partnerships Click Bond, 
Carson City, Nevada.

June 20, 2018--``Occupational Licensing: Reducing Barriers to Economic 
        Mobility and Growth''

    The purpose of the hearing was to explore the prevalence of 
occupational licensing, its effects on economic growth and 
upward mobility, and what is being done to address the issue 
within states and across state lines.
    Witnesses: Mr. Bryan Schneider, Secretary, Illinois 
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Chicago, 
Illinois; Mr. Albert Downs, Employment, Labor & Retirement 
Policy Specialist National Conference of State Legislatures, 
Denver, Colorado; Ms. Rebecca Vallas, Vice President, Poverty 
to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress, 
Washington, DC; Mr. Robert McNamara, Senior Attorney, Institute 
for Justice, Arlington, Virginia.

September 5, 2018--``On-the-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce through 
        Apprenticeships''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine how the Workforce 
Innovation and Opportunity Act supports work-based learning, 
including on-the-job education and apprenticeships.
    Witnesses: Dr. Sharon Johnson, CEO, Shenandoah Valley 
Workforce Development Board, Inc., Harrisonburg, Virginia; Ms. 
Carol Reynolds Chief Executive Officer, United Industrial 
Services, LLC, Louisville, Kentucky; Mr. Mark Kessenich, 
President, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin; Mr. B.J. Dernbach, Assistant Deputy Secretary, 
Department of Workforce Development, Madison, Wisconsin.

                 Subcommittee on Workforce Protections


                                HEARINGS

    In the 115th Congress, the Subcommittee on Workforce 
Protections held nine hearings.

February 16, 2017--``Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the Twenty-First 
        Century Economy''

    The purpose of the hearing was to review federal rules 
implementing wage and hour protections and how they apply to 
today's workforce.
    Witnesses: Mr. Andy Brantley, President and CEO, College 
and University Professional Association for Human Resources, 
Knoxville, Tennessee; Ms. Rhea Lana Riner, President, Rhea 
Lana's Franchise Systems, Inc., Conway, Arkansas (testifying on 
behalf of the International Franchise Association); Mr. Andrew 
Stettner, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, Washington, 
DC; Ms. Christine Walters, Sole Proprietor, FiveL Company, 
Westminster, Maryland (testifying on behalf of the Society for 
Human Resource Management).

April 5, 2017--``H.R. 1180, Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017''

    The purpose of the hearing would allow private-sector 
employers to offer workers the choice of paid time off or cash 
wages for overtime hours.
    Witnesses: Ms. Leslie-Jo Boyd Christ, Chief Resource 
Officer, WellStone Behavioral Health, Huntsville, Alabama; Mr. 
Leonard Court, Director, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma (testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce); Ms. Crystal Frey, Vice President of Human Resources, 
Continental Realty Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland (testifying 
on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)); 
Ms. Vicki Shabo, Vice President, National Partnership for Women 
& Families, Washington, DC.

May 23, 2017--``The Need for More Responsible Regulatory and 
        Enforcement Policies at the EEOC''

    The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the need for more 
responsible regulatory and enforcement policies at the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission.
    Witnesses: Mr. Todd A. Cox, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal 
Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Washington, DC; Ms. Camille 
A. Olson, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, Illinois 
(testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce); Ms. 
Lisa Ponder, Vice President and Global HR Director, MWH 
Constructors, Inc., Broomfield, Colorado (testifying on behalf 
of the Society for Human Resource Management); Ms. Rae T. Vann, 
Vice President and General Counsel, Equal Employment Advisory 
Council, Washington, DC.

September 13, 2017--``H.R. 3441, Save Local Business Act''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to examine amendments 
to the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor 
Standards Act to clarify the definition of joint employer.
    Witnesses: Mr. Zachary D. Fasman, Partner, Proskauer Rose 
LLP, New York, New York; Ms. Tamra Kennedy, President, Twin 
City T.J.'s, Inc., Roseville, Minnesota (testifying on behalf 
of the International Franchise Association); Mr. Granger 
MacDonald, CEO, MacDonald Companies, Kerrville, Texas 
(testifying on behalf of the National Association of Home 
Builders); Mr. Michael Rubin, Partner, Altshuler Berzon LLP, 
San Francisco, California.

February 6, 2018--``Reviewing the Policies and Priorities of the Mine 
        Safety and Health Administration''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the current state 
of workplace safety within the mining industry, and how MSHA 
can strengthen American mining and ensure worker safety.
    Witness: The Honorable David G. Zatezalo, Assistant 
Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Washington, DC.

February 15, 2018--``The Opioids Epidemic: Implication for America's 
        Workplaces''

    The purpose of the joint hearing was to explore how the 
opioid epidemic affects workplaces, communities, and the lives 
of working Americans across the country.
    Witnesses: Ms. Lisa Allen, President & CEO, Ziegenfelder 
Company, Wheeling, West Virginia (testifying on behalf of the 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce); Dr. Christina M. Andrews, PhD, 
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 
South Carolina; Mr. Corwin Rhyan, MPP, Senior Health Care 
Analyst, Altarum Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Ms. Kathryn J. 
Russo, Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C., Melville, New York.

February 27, 2018--``A More Effective and Collaborative OSHA: A View 
        from Stakeholders''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine how OSHA works 
with stakeholders to strengthen workplace safety.
    Witnesses: Mr. Peter Gerstenberger, Senior Advisor for 
Safety, Standards and Compliance Tree Care Industry 
Association, Londonderry, New Hampshire; Mr. J. Gary Hill, 
President, J. Gary Hill LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina 
(testifying on behalf of the National Association of Home 
Builders); Mr. Eric Hobbs, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins, 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce); Dr. David Michaels, Professor, Milken Institute 
School of Public Health, The George Washington University, 
Washington, DC.

May 8, 2018--``The Opioid Epidemic: Implications for the Federal 
        Employees' Compensation Act''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine the implications 
of the opioid epidemic for the Department of Labor's (DOL) 
workers' compensation program for federal employees under the 
Federal Employees' Compensation Act.
    Witnesses: The Honorable Scott S. Dahl, Inspector General, 
Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, 
Washington, DC; Mr. Joe Paduda, President, CompPharma, LLC, 
Maggie Valley, North Carolina; Dr. Scott D. Szymendera, Acting 
Section Research Manager, Congressional Research Service, 
Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Ms. Ramona P. Tanabe, 
Executive Vice President and Counsel, Workers Compensation 
Research Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

May 23, 2018--``Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Economic Opportunity for 
        Workers and Employers''

    The purpose of the hearing was to examine ongoing 
Congressional and administration efforts to deliver regulatory 
reform and promote economic growth.
    Witnesses: Ms. Karen Harned, Executive Director, National 
Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, 
Washington, DC; Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American 
Action Forum, Washington, DC; Mr. Ryan K. Odendahl, President, 
Kwest Group, Perrysburg, Ohio (testifying on behalf of 
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.); Dr. Heidi 
Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic 
Policy Institute, Washington, DC.

          Legislation Referred to Committee With House Passage

H.R. 10, Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Rep. Jeb 
        Hensarling), June 8, 2017.
H.R. 338, To promote a 21st century energy and manufacturing 
        workforce. (Sponsor: Rep. Bobby L. Rush), June 12, 
        2017.
H.R. 1101, Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Sam Johnson), March 22, 2017.
H.R. 1180, Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Martha Roby), May 2, 2017.
H.R. 1304, Self-Insurance Protection Act (Sponsor: Rep. David 
        P. Roe), April 5, 2017.
H.R. 1635, Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial 
        Counseling Act (Sponsor: Rep. Brett Guthrie), September 
        5, 2018.
H.R. 1808, Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children 
        Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Rep. Brett Guthrie, Brett), May 
        23, 2017.
H.R. 1809, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Rep. 
        Jason Lewis), May 23, 2017.
H.R. 1973, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 
        2017 (Sponsor: Rep. Susan W. Brooks), May 25, 2017.
H.R. 2200, Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention 
        and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018. (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Christopher H. Smith), July 12, 2017.
H.R. 2259, Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 
        2018 (Sponsor: Rep. Ted Poe), July 10, 2018.
H.R. 2353, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 
        21st Century Act (Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson), July 
        23, 2018.
H.R. 2473, Put Trafficking Victims First Act of 2017 (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Ann Wagner), May 23, 2017.
H.R. 2664, Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Tim Walberg), July 12, 2017.
H.R. 2936, Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Rep. 
        Bruce Westerman), November 1, 2017.
H.R. 3441, Save Local Business Act (Sponsor: Rep. Bradley 
        Byrne), November 7, 2018.
H.R. 3759, RAISE Family Caregivers Act (Sponsor: Rep. Gregg 
        Harper), December 18, 2018.
H.R. 4760, Securing America's Future Act of 2018 (Sponsor: Rep. 
        Bob Goodlatte), December 18, 2017.
H.R. 5242, School Resource Officer Assessment Act of 2018 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Clay Higgins), May 15, 2018.
H.R. 5889, Recognizing Early Childhood Trauma Related to 
        Substance Abuse Act of 2018 (Sponsor: Rep. David Brat), 
        June 13, 2018.
H.R. 5890, Assisting States' Implementation of Plans of Safe 
        Care Act (Sponsor: Rep. Thomas A. Garrett, Jr.), June 
        13, 2018.
H.R. 5891, Improving the Federal Response to Families Impacted 
        by Substance Use Disorder Act (Sponsor: Rep. Glenn 
        Grothman), June 13, 2018.
H.R. 5892, To establish an Advisory Committee on Opioids and 
        the Workplace to advise the Secretary of Labor on 
        actions the Department of Labor can take to address the 
        impact of opioid abuse on the workplace. (Sponsor: Rep. 
        Jason Lewis), June 13, 2018.
H.R. 6014, To reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and 
        Services Act (Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson), September 
        28, 2018.
H.R. 6757, Family Savings Act of 2018 (Sponsor: Rep. Mike 
        Kelly), September 27, 2018.
H.J. Res. 57, Providing for congressional disapproval under 
        chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule 
        submitted by the Department of Education relating to 
        accountability and State plans under the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965. (Sponsor: Rep. Todd 
        Rokita), February 7, 2017.
H.J. Res. 58, Providing for congressional disapproval under 
        chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule 
        submitted by the Department of Education relating to 
        teacher preparation issues. (Sponsor: Rep. Brett 
        Guthrie), February 7, 2017.
H.J. Res. 66, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department 
        of Labor relating to savings arrangements established 
        by States for non-governmental employees. (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Tim Walberg), February 15, 2017.
H.J. Res. 67, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department 
        of Labor relating to savings arrangements established 
        by qualified State political subdivisions for non-
        governmental employees. (Sponsor: Rep. Francis Rooney), 
        February 15, 2017.
H.J. Res. 83, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department 
        of Labor relating to ``Clarification of Employer's 
        Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate 
        Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness''. 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Byrne) , March 1, 2017.
H. Con. Res. 33, Designating the George C. Marshall Museum and 
        George C. Marshall Research Library in Lexington, 
        Virginia, as the National George C. Marshall Museum and 
        Library. (Sponsor: Rep. Bob Goodlatte), June 7, 2017.
H. Con. Res. 95, Expressing support for the use of public-
        private partnerships to bring computer science 
        education to more K-12 classrooms. (Sponsor: Rep. Scott 
        Taylor), December 18, 2017.
H. Res. 35, Expressing the sense of the House of 
        Representatives relating to automated external 
        defibrillator (AED) education in the Nation's schools. 
        (Sponsor: Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.), December 12, 2018.
S. 943, Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program 
        Modernization Act (Sponsor: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp), 
        December 11, 2018.
S. 1091, Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act 
        (Sponsor: Sen. Susan M. Collins), June 13, 2018.
S. 1312, Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 (Sponsor: 
        Sen. Chuck Grassley), September 28, 2018.

           Legislation Referred to Committee Enacted Into Law

P.L. 115-13, H.J. Res. 57, Providing for congressional 
        disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States 
        Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of 
        Education relating to accountability and State plans 
        under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965 (Sponsor: Rep. Todd Rokita) March 27, 2017.
P.L. 115-14, H.J. Res. 58, Providing for congressional 
        disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States 
        Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of 
        Education relating to teacher preparation issues 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Brett Guthrie) March 27, 2017.
P.L. 115-21, H.J. Res. 83, Disapproving the rule submitted by 
        the Department of Labor relating to ``Clarification of 
        Employer's Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain 
        an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and 
        Illness'' (Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Bryne) April 3, 2017.
P.L. 115-24, H.J. Res. 67, Disapproving the rule submitted by 
        the Department of Labor relating to savings 
        arrangements established by qualified State political 
        subdivisions for non-governmental employees (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Francis Rooney) April 13, 2017.
P.L. 115-35, H.J. Res. 66, Disapproving the rule submitted by 
        the Department of Labor relating to savings 
        arrangements established by qualified State political 
        subdivisions for non-governmental employees (Sponsor: 
        Tim Walberg) May 17, 2017.
P.L. 115-119, H.R. 3759, RAISE Family Caregivers Act (Sponsor: 
        Rep. Greg Harper) January 22, 2018.
P.L. 115-196, S. 1091, Supporting Grandparents Raising 
        Grandchildren Act (Sponsor: Sen. Susan Collins) July 7, 
        2018.
P.L. 115-224, H.R. 2353, Strengthening Career and Technical 
        Education for the 21st Century Act (Sponsor: Rep. Glenn 
        Thompson) July 31, 2018.
P.L. 115-256, H.R. 2259, Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps 
        Reform Act of 2018 (Sponsor: Rep. Ted Poe) October 9, 
        2018.
P.L. 115-, H.R. 6964, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Jason Lewis) December 21, 2018.
P.L. 115-, S. 1312, Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 
        (Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley), September 28, 2018.
P.L. 115-, S. 943, Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian 
        Education Program Modernization Act (Sponsor: Sen. 
        Heidi Heitkamp), December 31, 2018.

       Legislation Within Committee Jurisdiction Enacted Into Law

P.L. 115-64, S. 1866, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria 
        Education Relief Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Sen. Lamar 
        Alexander) September 29, 2017.
P.L. 115-91, H.R. 2810, National Defense Authorization Act for 
        Fiscal Year 2018 (Sponsor: Rep. Mac Thornberry) 
        December 12, 2017.
P.L. 115-93, H.R. 228, Indian Employment, Training and Related 
        Services Consolidation Act of 2017 (Sponsor: Rep. Don 
        Young) December 18, 2017.
P.L. 115-232, H.R. 5515, John S. McCain National Defense 
        Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Sponsor: Rep. 
        Mac Thornberry) August 13, 2018
P.L. 115-267, S. 3354, Missing Children's Assistance Act of 
        2018 (Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley) October 11, 2018.
P.L. 115-334, H.R. 2, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 
        (Sponsor: Rep. Michael Conaway) December 20, 2018.

               Oversight Plan Summary and Correspondence

    On January 24, 2017, the Committee adopted an oversight 
plan for the 115th Congress. In fulfilling is obligation to 
ensure effective federal policies and programs, the Committee 
works to thoroughly monitor and investigate the various 
agencies, departments, and programs within its jurisdiction. 
The Committee's oversight plan ensures this work is well-
informed and Congress meets its responsibility for evaluating 
the effectiveness and administration of federal laws. Diligent 
oversight of federal programs helps ensure policies promote 
economic growth, support a stronger workforce, and improve 
education in America.
    Conducting oversight is an established responsibility of 
the Congress. The power to gather information and investigate 
is essential and inherent to the legislative process. It is 
Congress' obligation to monitor proposed federal rules to 
ensure laws are implemented as Congress intends. Likewise, 
Congress has the power to obtain information and conduct 
investigations to improve agency implementation of existing 
laws and inform the development of any needed legislation. 
Congress also exercises this power when examining situations 
involving waste, fraud, and abuse. In the end, taxpayers 
benefit from a robust examination of current policies, 
programs, and practices.
    The Committee identified the following areas in particular 
for oversight and investigation in the 115th Congress:
           Administration of the regulatory process to 
        ensure stakeholders have sufficient time to review and 
        provide public comment on regulatory actions;
           Administration of programs to ensure the 
        expenditure of taxpayers' money leads to high-quality 
        outcomes;
           Administration of programs to reign in the 
        executive actions implemented by the previous 
        administration;
           Implementation of elementary and secondary 
        education programs and policies, including the 
        significant changes made to the Preschool Development 
        Grants;
           Administration of federal student loans, 
        grants, and work-study funds;
           Implementation of postsecondary education 
        program regulations and reporting requirements to 
        prevent interference with academic freedom, 
        infringement on authority of states, limitations on 
        student choice, and unfair targeting of particular 
        sectors of higher education;
           Implementation of the nation's workforce 
        development system under the Workforce Innovation and 
        Opportunity Act to help workers attain skills for 21st 
        century jobs, provide greater accountability to 
        taxpayers, and help put Americans back to work;
           Implementation of the Patient Protection and 
        Affordable Care Act and how the law affects employers' 
        ability to provide quality, affordable health care to 
        employees;
           Administration of the National Labor 
        Relations Act to ensure employee and employer rights 
        are protected and applied consistently and without 
        bias, giving particular scrutiny to the National Labor 
        Relations Board's changes to union election rules and 
        decisions affecting long-standing joint-employer 
        standards;
           Administration of the U.S. Department of 
        Labor's activities to ensure rules or regulations 
        benefit the long-term financial security of working 
        families and do not impede the ability of individuals 
        to save for retirement;
           Implementation of the Multiemployer Pension 
        Reform Act and additional needed pension reforms that 
        will both protect taxpayers and encourage employer 
        participation; and
           Administration of regulations to ensure laws 
        operate as written by Congress in an open and 
        transparent manner and do not overstep the authority of 
        Congress.
    Along with gathering information through hearings, the 
Committee conducts oversight of federal programs under its 
jurisdiction through general information gathering. To evaluate 
the effectiveness and administration of federal laws, the 
Committee initiated the following oversight correspondence:

January 10, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information to determine whether Employment and Training 
    Administration effectively provides students and staff with 
    a safe learning environment at Job Corps centers.
January 16, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting an 
    examination of the requirements of the GSAXcess program.
January 30, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting review 
    of current Income-Driven Repayment programs eligibility 
    verification policies and recommendations to prevent waste, 
    fraud, and abuse within the programs.
February 1, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information about state support of early childhood care and 
    education programs, including their reach, effectiveness, 
    and interaction with similar federal programs.
February 14, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    Chairwoman Foxx be added as requester to four in-progress 
    Government Accountability Office studies.
February 16, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Thomas Price, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
    regarding oversight efforts and requesting an introductory 
    meeting.
February 16, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, regarding 
    oversight efforts and requesting an introductory meeting.
March 9, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director, 
    Office of Management and Budget, requesting OMB reconsider 
    its approval of revisions to the annual Employer 
    Information Report to include collection of pay data.
March 16, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, requesting information on the 
    Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool.
March 16, 2017--Letter to the Honorable John Koskinen, 
    Commissioner Internal Revenue Service, requesting a 
    briefing, documents, and other information on the Internal 
    Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool.
March 17, 2017--Letter to Mr. Edward C. Hugler, Acting 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, supporting the 
    proposed rule to delay the Obama administration's 
    regulation amending the definition of fiduciary under the 
    Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
March 23, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, requesting a briefing, 
    documents, and other information on the Student Aid 
    Enforcement Unit.
March 31, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Tom Price, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, requesting 
    the Secretary revisit regulations regarding background 
    check requirements for child care providers not 
    participating in the Child Care and Development Block Grant 
    program.
April 4, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, requesting responses to 
    questions regarding the Presidential Management Fellows 
    program.
April 4, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, continuing the Committee's 
    request for information concerning the employment status 
    conversion.
April 10, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting a 
    review of the Department of Education's growth and 
    structural changes, and recommendations for streamlining 
    and improving the agency's operations.
April 17, 2017--Letter to Mr. Edward C. Hugler, Acting 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, expressing strong 
    concerns regarding the Obama administration's fiduciary 
    regulation.
April 26, 2017--Letter to Ms. Patricia W. Silvery, Deputy 
    Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health 
    Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, and Mr. Nicholas 
    C. Geale, Acting Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of 
    Labor, urging delay of the implementation of the 
    ``Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal 
    Mines'' regulation and its re-examination.
April 27, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Sonny Perdue, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, regarding 
    oversight efforts.
April 28, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Sonny Perdue, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, requesting USDA 
    take immediate action to address problems created by 
    regulations around meal standards and competitive foods, 
    and notify schools about intent to remedy these problems.
May 17, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, urging a delay of 
    implementation of ``Occupational Exposure to Beryllium'' 
    regulation.
May 17, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, regarding oversight 
    efforts.
May 22, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Philip A. Miscimarra, 
    Chairman, National Labor Relations Board, regarding 
    oversight efforts.
May 23, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, requesting responses to 
    questions regarding the role of the Council of Chief State 
    School Officers in the development of consolidated state 
    plans.
May 23, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Victoria A. Lipnic, 
    Acting Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 
    regarding oversight efforts.
May 30, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, expressing concerns regarding 
    borrower defense regulations.
May 30, 2017--Letter to the President urging him to nominate 
    two qualified candidates to the National Labor Relations 
    Board.
June 5, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary U.S. Department of Labor, requesting to be 
    informed on all of the steps the Department is taking to 
    address concerns about Job Corps student safety and 
    security and broader oversight and management.
June 6, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting an examination of 
    the extent to which the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances 
    and Worker Health has reviewed the scientific soundness of 
    the Site Exposure Matrix, any findings and recommendations 
    the Board has made, and the Department of Labor's response 
    to such recommendations.
June 6, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting an examination of 
    the number of Part E claims reopened as a result of 
    additional links between toxins and occupational illness 
    under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness 
    Compensation Program Act and the extent to which re-
    adjudicating these claims has resulted in any changes to 
    the final decision to accept or deny the claim.
June 9, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, regarding leadership at the 
    Office of Federal Student Aid.
August 7, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, expressing concerns 
    and requesting answers to questions regarding Job Corps.
August 7, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    investigative oversight and audit work regarding Head Start 
    and the Child Care Development Block Grant.
August 9, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, requesting a meeting 
    regarding Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 
    competitive funds distribution process.
August 11, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, expressing support for 
    the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management 
    Standards' proposed rule entitled ``Rescission of Rule 
    Interpreting `Advice' Exemption in Section 203(C) of the 
    Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act'' (Persuader 
    Rule).
September 12, 2017--Letter to Job Corps' contractors and the 
    Honorable Tony Tooke, Chief, U.S. Forest Service, 
    requesting information regarding safety performance, 
    protocols, and procedures in the Job Corps program.
September 15, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting review 
    of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National School 
    Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
September 25, 2017--Letter to the Honorable R. Alexander 
    Acosta, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, submitting 
    information in response to the Department of Labor's Wage 
    and Hour Division's Request for Information regarding 
    regulations defining and delimiting exemptions for the Fair 
    Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime 
    requirements for certain executive, administrative, 
    professional, outside sales, and computer employees 
    (Overtime Rule).
September 26, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Tom Price, M.D., 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
    requesting information regarding implementation of the 
    ``plans of safe care'' provision in the Child Abuse 
    Prevention and Treatment Act, as amended by the 
    Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.
October 23, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information regarding educational achievement and options 
    for American Indian and Alaska Native students.
December 4, 2017--Letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of 
    the United States, expanding the scope of a requested 
    examination of the Job Corps program.
December 11, 2017--Letter to Job Corps contractors and the 
    Honorable Tony Tooke, Chief, U.S. Forest Service, 
    reiterating the need for a timely response to the letter 
    sent September 12, 2017.
December 18, 2017--Letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General 
    of the United States, requesting a review of the 
    implementation of the Community Service Block Grant 
    program.
January 8, 2018--Letter to Administration for Children and 
    Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and 
    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of 
    Management and Budget providing feedback on the FY 2019-
    2021 Child Care and Development Fund Plan Preprint.
January 18, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, requesting information 
    regarding actions taken to ensure union ``worker centers'' 
    are providing public transparency and complying with all 
    relevant statutes.
February 1, 2017--Letter to the Honorable Alex Azar II, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
    and the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, U.S. Department 
    of Education, sharing congressional intent about the 
    Preschool Development Grant Program.
February 7, 2018--Letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human 
    Services, Office of Head Start, Division of Planning, 
    Oversight and Policy, responding to a request for feedback 
    on the re-evaluation of the Designation Renewal System in 
    the Head Start Program, including the use of classroom 
    observation tools, increasing competition, and improving 
    grant management.
February 13, 2018--Letter to Ms. Edna Jackson, President and 
    CEO, Jackson Pierce Public Affairs, Inc., requesting 
    information regarding safety performance, protocols, and 
    procedures in the Job Corps program.
March 5, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, offering comments on 
    the Department's proposed rule to revise the definition of 
    ``employer'' under Section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement 
    Income Security Act of 1974.
April 18, 2018--Letter to the Honorable John Ring, Chairman, 
    National Labor Relations Board, submitting comments on the 
    Board's Request for Information concerning its 2014 
    representation election rule.
April 27, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting a 
    review of the impact of the U.S. Department of Labor's 
    October 1, 2013, final rule (Home Care Rule) involving the 
    ``companionship services'' exemption under the Fair Labor 
    Standards Act.
May 10, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting information on how 
    various consumer price indices can be used to more 
    accurately reflect the cost of living of today's seniors.
June 14, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alex Azar II, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, requesting a 
    briefing about the agency's actions to ensure federal Child 
    Care and Development Block Grant funds are being used 
    properly, in light of fraud allegations out of Minnesota.
June 14, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, urging existing Job 
    Corps centers be dedicated to serving the needs of youth 
    recovering from addiction to opioids and to preparing young 
    adults to enter professions that will help their 
    communities defeat the opioid epidemic.
June 26, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, 
    U.S. Department of Education, requesting information 
    regarding the steps the Department takes to ensure 
    employees and grantees receiving federal education funds 
    are aware of and follow rules regarding fraud reporting and 
    prevention.
June 28, 2018--Letter the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, regarding the 
    Department's March 6, 2018, letter in response to 
    Chairwoman Foxx and Chairman Walberg's January 18, 2018 
    letter about union ``worker centers'' and their regulation 
    by the Office of Labor-Management Standards under the 
    Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.
July 18, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, underscoring the need 
    for improvements in the Job Corps program to ensure student 
    safety, requesting a full review of the Department's Policy 
    and Requirements Handbook (PRH) to ensure it clearly 
    communicates contractor responsibilities and the priorities 
    of the current administration, and requesting regular 
    briefings between the Department and staff on the Education 
    and the Workforce Committee to address these concerns.
July 19, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting information 
    regarding how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
    is enforcing non-discrimination laws and working to prevent 
    discrimination through outreach, education, and technical 
    assistance.
July 19, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting a study of the 
    backlog of discrimination charges at the Equal Employment 
    Opportunity Commission.
July 23, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller 
    General of the United States, requesting an examination of 
    the award notifications sent to students that explain their 
    financial aid package.
August 22, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting a 
    review the Johnson-O'Malley program.
August 27, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information on the availability of school choice options, 
    including public charter schools, magnet schools, and 
    private schools, to school-age dependents of active duty 
    service members.
September 6, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting an 
    examination of the technical assistance practices at the 
    Department of Education, Department of Health and Human 
    Services Administration for Families and Children, and the 
    Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.
September 13, 2018--Letter to Ms. Ashley Higgins, U.S. 
    Department of Education, expressing appreciation for the 
    Department's August 14, 2018, notice of proposed rulemaking 
    to rescind the current gainful employment regulation.
September 18, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information on charter school access to public buildings.
September 19, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, expressing 
    appreciation for the Department's borrower defense 
    regulations.
October 1, 2018--Letter to the Honorable John Ring, Chairman, 
    National Labor Relations Board, applauding the progress 
    made by the Trump administration National Labor Relations 
    Board (NLRB) over the past year in restoring a reasonable 
    application of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and 
    sharing priorities for the NLRB as it moves forward in 
    protecting the workplace rights of employees and employers.
October 12, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, 
    Comptroller General of the United States, requesting 
    information on how schools, school districts, and states 
    are protecting students' personally identifiable 
    information as they use more technology in the classroom 
    and to help improve student performance.
October 25, 2018--Letter to the Honorable Alexander Acosta, 
    Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, urging the Department 
    to permit all industries and economic sectors to 
    participate in Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.

             Committee Activity Statistics--115th Congress

Total Number of Hearings--59
    Total Number of Full Committee Hearings--17
    Total Number of Subcommittee Hearings--42 (including joint 
hearings)
Total Number of Bills and Other Committee Materials Considered 
    in Markup Session--14
Total Number of Filed Legislative Reports--13
Total Number of House Bills Referred--913
Total Number of Bills Referred to the Committee with House 
    Passage--36
Total Number of Bills Referred to the Committee Enacted into 
    Law--12
Total Number of Bills within Committee Jurisdiction Enacted 
    into Law--6
Total Number of Initiated Oversight Correspondence--69

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                              Introduction

    Committee Democrats in the 115th Congress advanced a 
legislative and oversight agenda focused on improving equity in 
education, protecting and expanding access to affordable health 
care, and ensuring the right to a safe workplace where workers 
can earn a decent wage, free from discrimination. These policy 
goals reflect our values and commitment that America is a place 
where everyone can succeed, not just the wealthy few.

                       Early Childhood Education

    Research is clear on both the short- and long-term positive 
outcomes of quality preschool programs, including reduction of 
achievement gaps in elementary and secondary education and 
significant returns on investment through reduced criminal 
activity and reliance on federal benefits. State and local 
elected officials, and business, school, law enforcement, 
military, and economic leaders, have all expressed broad 
agreement that increased investments in quality early childhood 
education are critical to our country's economic growth and 
military readiness. Democratic members of the House Committee 
on Education and the Workforce (Committee Democrats) continued 
their commitment to improving access to early childhood 
education during the 115th Congress.
    On March 16, 2017, House Committee on Education and the 
Workforce (Committee) Ranking Member Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott 
(D-VA) (Ranking Member Scott), in partnership with House 
Committee on Ways and Means' Subcommittee on Human Resources 
Ranking Member Danny K. Davis (D-IL) (Ranking Member Danny 
Davis), sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) requesting it examine the benefits of the Child 
Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for middle class 
families whose incomes are too high to qualify for the program. 
GAO is expected to finalize its report during the first half of 
2019.
    On July 13, 2017, the Committee's Subcommittee on Early 
Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (ECESE 
Subcommittee) held a hearing titled Opportunities for State 
Leadership of Early Childhood Programs. The hearing provided an 
overview of federal investments in early learning, detailed 
efforts by states to complement federal funding, and 
highlighted the need for increasing access to high-quality 
early learning opportunities. Committee Democrats invited 
expert testimony from Dr. Pamela Harris, President and CEO of 
Mile High Early Learning in Denver, Colorado, who discussed the 
importance of federal partnership in supporting state efforts 
to improve access and quality.
    On September 14, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 
3773, the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would 
address the high cost of child care by ensuring that no family 
making under 150 percent of the state median income pays more 
than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill 
would also support universal access to high-quality preschool 
programs for all 3- and 4-year olds. Finally, the bill would 
significantly improve compensation and training for the child 
care workforce to ensure that our nation's teachers and 
caregivers, as well as the children they are caring for, have 
the support necessary to thrive. Despite co-sponsorship by 137 
members of Congress, the Committee has taken no action on the 
bill.
    On January 18, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and House 
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and 
Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) 
Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) (Ranking Member DeLauro) 
sent an oversight letter to the U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (HHS) requesting HHS' reasoning for closing the 
Office of Early Childhood Development. On March 20, 2018, HHS 
sent a response letter saying that while the Office of Early 
Childhood Development closed, its responsibilities to 
administer Preschool Development Grants (PDGs) and coordinate a 
unified vision of early learning are still a responsibility of 
HHS and have been incorporated into other aspects of the 
Administration of Children and Families (ACF).
    Committee Democrats worked with their Republican and Senate 
colleagues to ensure that HHS, in consultation with the U.S. 
Department of Education (ED), faithfully implements PDGs 
authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On 
February 1, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with Committee 
Chairwoman Virginia A. Foxx (R-NC) (Chairwoman Foxx) and Senate 
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (Senate HELP) Committee 
Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (Senator Alexander) and Ranking 
Member Patty Murray (D-WA) (Senator Murray), sent an oversight 
letter to HHS and ED clarifying the intent of the law and 
expectations for faithful implementation of the grant's first 
year. On March 28, 2018, ED provided a written response 
describing agency efforts to transition the grant to HHS while 
still maintaining ED's role in administering the grant. HHS met 
with bipartisan Committee staff on at least two occasions to 
brief and consult with staff about the grant's Funding 
Opportunity Announcement.
    On March 6, 2018, the ECESE Subcommittee held a hearing 
titled Strengthening Welfare to Work with Child Care, which 
focused on how investments in child care, including CCDBG, 
support working parents, alleviate generational poverty, and 
boost the economy. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony 
from Dr. Tammy Mann, President and CEO of the Campagna Center 
in Alexandria, Virginia, and President of the National 
Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), who 
discussed the lack of access to affordable, high-quality child 
care and the need to pass H.R. 3773, the Child Care for Working 
Families Act, in order to address access and quality 
shortfalls.

                             K-12 Education

            IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT

    Committee Democrats led a Democratic Caucus effort to 
oppose the Republican Majority's use of a Congressional Review 
Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to repeal all Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) accompanying regulations 
clarifying state and school district flexibilities and 
responsibilities relating to accountability, data and 
reporting, and state plan requirements under ESSA. Under a CRA 
resolution of disapproval, the disapproved rule cannot take 
effect, and such a rule cannot be reissued in substantially the 
same form unless authorized by Congress. In the face of unified 
Democratic opposition, H.J. Res. 57 passed the U.S. House of 
Representatives (House) on February 9, 2017, by a party-line 
vote of 234-190. H.J. Res. 57 went on to pass the U.S. Senate 
(Senate) by a vote of 50-49 on March 9, 2017. The measure was 
signed into law on March 27, 2017, leaving ESSA's core equity 
provisions unregulated.
    On March 10, 2017, Committee Democrats and Senate HELP 
Committee Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of 
Education Betsy DeVos (Secretary DeVos) seeking clarification 
on ED's updated consolidated state plan template, issued in the 
wake of enactment of H.J. Res. 57. The letter asked Secretary 
DeVos for additional information concerning ED's oversight of 
state compliance with statutory requirements. A response was 
received from Assistant Secretary Jason Botel on May 26, 2017, 
acknowledging receipt of the March 10th letter but failing to 
provide the information requested. At the time the response was 
received, the first round of ESSA state plans had already been 
submitted to ED.
    The Committee held a hearing titled ESSA Implementation: 
Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts on July 18, 2017. 
Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Mr. Phillip 
Lovell, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations for 
the Alliance for Excellent Education. Mr. Lovell's testimony 
and subsequent answers to questions focused on the need for (1) 
strong oversight from Congress, and (2) equity to meet the 
requirements of the law and statutory intent, particularly 
given ED's failure to faithfully implement the law's statutory 
requirements. Committee Democrats spoke about: (1) the 
necessity of balancing the law's flexibilities with strong 
oversight and enforcement of ESSA protections for historically 
underserved students; (2) the wide variance in quality among, 
and statutory violations contained in, consolidated state plans 
under ED's review; and (3) the need for Congress to support 
ESSA implementation through increased funding for ESEA 
programs.
    By September 2017, ED had approved fourteen ESSA 
consolidated state plans. Committee Democrats asserted that 
inconsistent ED feedback and lack of technical assistance had 
resulted in numerous submitted and approved state plans 
containing proposals that violated both the plain reading and 
bipartisan intent of the law. On September 18, 2017, Ranking 
Member Scott and Senator Murray sent an oversight letter to 
Secretary DeVos articulating the core requirements of Title I-
A's state plan compliance, many of which were in question in 
the approved plans. A response from Secretary DeVos was 
received on October 24, 2017, stating her intent and commitment 
to implement and enforce ESSA statutory requirements, but 
lacking information to clarify how ED would assist states where 
necessary to amend consolidated plans to uphold the 
requirements and intent of the law.
    On March 7, 2018, ten Committee Democrats joined leaders 
and members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus 
(CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional 
Hispanic Caucus (CHC)--jointly known as the Congressional Tri-
Caucus--in sending a letter to Secretary DeVos expressing 
concerns with ED's approval of consolidated state plans that 
violated both the letter and spirit of ESSA. The letter focused 
on two of the law's provisions governing the development of 
statewide accountability systems, as required under Title I-A: 
lack of state education agencies' (SEA) attention to subgroup 
performance and conflated categories of identification for 
schools in need of school improvement. Both provisions were top 
priorities for the Congressional Tri-Caucus during the 2015 
ESSA negotiations and critical to securing vocal caucus support 
for final passage of ESSA. Secretary DeVos responded to the 
letter on June 22, 2018, asserting that all approved 
consolidated state plans are compliant with the law's minimum 
requirements.
    On May 16, 2018, Ranking Member Scott joined Senator Murray 
in sending an oversight letter to Secretary DeVos regarding her 
misuse of the law's transition authority to waive core ESEA 
requirements upon request. ED had denied a request by the North 
Dakota SEA to waive core ESEA assessment requirements, citing 
the proposal's lack of statutory compliance and justification 
for the waiver. ED subsequently approved the state to move 
forward with its waiver proposal--uncorrected to account for 
its previous denial--but using Secretary DeVos's transition 
authority. No response was received.
    On May 22, 2018, Secretary DeVos appeared before the 
Committee to testify in defense of the Administration's 
proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget. This hearing was the first 
appearance of Secretary DeVos before the Committee. Committee 
Democrats pressed Secretary DeVos on ESSA implementation, 
questioning her approval of state plans that violate statutory 
requirements, including plans that ignore the performance of 
subgroups of students. Committee Democrats also questioned 
Secretary DeVos on systems of annual meaningful 
differentiation, school improvement efforts, and the lack of ED 
oversight efforts to ensure faithful implementation of the law.
    On July 12, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Senator Murray 
sent an oversight letter to Secretary DeVos urging ED to reject 
the Utah SEA's request that ED misuse transition authority to 
grant the state a one-year reprieve from the law's 95 percent 
testing participation rate requirement. Secretary DeVos 
subsequently denied Utah's request to use transition authority 
to waive the 95 percent testing participation rate requirement, 
and a response from Secretary DeVos was received on September 
17, 2018.

                      PUBLIC SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE

    On May 17, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 2475, 
the Rebuild America's Schools Act, to create a $70 billion 
grant program and $30 billion tax credit bond program for high-
poverty schools with facilities that pose health and safety 
risks to students and staff. Additionally, the bill would 
leverage federal, state, and local resources for an overall 
investment of $107 billion, creating over 1.9 million jobs 
based on an Economic Policy Institute analysis that each $1 
billion spent on construction creates 17,785 jobs. The bill was 
introduced with 28 original cosponsors.
    On June 8, 2017, Committee Democrats convened a briefing on 
the physical and digital infrastructure of public schools.
    On January 17, 2018, Committee Democrats led a Democratic 
Caucus letter to President Trump about the introduced Rebuild 
America's Schools Act in response to the President's comments 
to rebuild the Nation's infrastructure, including schools. The 
authors of the letter invited the President to work toward 
passing the Rebuild America's Schools Act to meet that goal. 
The letter was signed by 154 members of Congress. No response 
was received.
    On October 23, 2018, Ranking Member Scott wrote Chairwoman 
Foxx to request a hearing on the Rebuild America's Schools Act 
before the close of the 115th Congress. No response was 
received, and no hearing was convened.

                     SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY

    On December 6, 2017, Committee Democrats supported 
Representatives A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Sean P. Maloney 
(D-NY) in holding a briefing titled The Over-Identification and 
Discipline in Special Education: Protecting Minority Students 
with Disabilities. The briefing highlighted the importance of 
the 2016 Equity in IDEA regulation on significant 
disproportionality and the need for ongoing oversight on over-
identification, inappropriate placement, and misuse of 
discipline of students of color with disabilities. The panel 
included expert testimony from Ms. Diane Smith Howard, Senior 
Staff Attorney with the National Disability Rights Network; Mr. 
Michael Yudin, former Assistant Secretary for the Office of 
Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at ED; Mr. Daniel 
Losen, Director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the 
Civil Rights Project at UCLA; and Ms. Selene Almazan, Legal 
Director for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.
    Secretary DeVos announced ED's intent to delay the Equity 
in IDEA regulation in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on 
February 27, 2018. Committee Democrats joined with Senate HELP 
Committee Democrats to submit a formal comment in opposition to 
the proposed delay on May 14, 2018. The formal comment 
explained the legal requirements of significant 
disproportionality, the need for a standard methodology due to 
years of inconsistent implementation, the need for 
standardization for enforcement, the lengthy comment period 
already provided from the original regulation, and the harm the 
delay would cause children. Despite more than 80 percent of the 
comments received by ED opposing the delay and with no 
evidence-based rationale for such delay, ED finalized the two-
year delay of the Equity in IDEA regulation on June 29, 2018.

                             SCHOOL CHOICE

    On February 2, 2017, the Committee held a hearing titled 
School Choice and Equitable Access to a Quality Education. 
Committee Democrats invited testimony from Ms. Almo Carter, who 
spoke about her experience navigating public and private school 
choice options in the District of Columbia in pursuit of a 
quality education for her son, Jacob, who is a student with 
disabilities. Ms. Carter's testimony emphasized the need for 
educational choice policies that support all parents to make 
informed choices among high-quality, accountable public school 
choice options that serve all students. Committee Democrats 
emphasized, and focused their questions on, the inequitable 
opportunities for students with disabilities and lack of civil 
rights protections in private school voucher programs.
    On Wednesday June 13, 2018, the Committee held a hearing 
entitled The Power of Charter Schools: Promoting Opportunity 
for America's Students. Committee Democrats invited testimony 
from Mr. Jonathan Clark, a parent and community activist from 
Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Clark spoke about the need for 
equitable, high-quality public school options for all children 
in Detroit. He also addressed the state of Michigan's 
underfunding of traditional public schools and the lack of 
oversight over Detroit's low-quality and chaotic charter school 
system. Committee Democrats engaged with Mr. Clark and other 
witnesses to discuss (1) the role of public school choice in 
achieving a strong public education system and quality public 
education for every child, and (2) how Michigan's rapid 
expansion of low-quality and for-profit charter schools has 
undermined the state's public education system and negatively 
impacted student learning.

                             SCHOOL CLIMATE

    Ranking Member Scott requested a GAO report on alternative 
schools that serve public elementary and secondary students on 
May 3, 2017. The request asked GAO to examine types of 
alternative schools, school climate, compliance with federal 
and civil rights requirements, and educational impact for 
enrolled students.
    On July 26, 2017, Committee Democrats led an oversight 
letter addressed to Secretary DeVos concerning SEA compliance 
with ESEA statutory requirements to address school conditions 
and exclusionary discipline procedures and practices. The 
letter outlined the federal requirements for reduction of 
exclusionary discipline and urged Secretary DeVos to support 
states and school districts in the implementation of evidence-
based practices to reduce exclusionary and aversive discipline. 
Sixty-two House Democrats signed the letter. Secretary DeVos 
responded to the letter on October 2, 2017, outlining various 
grant programs ED administers on school climate, but failing to 
address the concerns regarding lack of compliance with ESEA 
requirements.
    Ranking Member Scott submitted public comments on January 
16, 2018, in response to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' 
public briefing titled The School-to-Prison Pipeline: The 
Intersections of Students of Color with Disabilities. The 
public comments outlined the ongoing work by Committee 
Democrats to ensure that legal protections for students of 
color with disabilities are upheld by both ED and the U.S. 
Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Trump Administration.
    On March 15, 2018, Ranking Member Scott sent a letter to 
Secretary DeVos reiterating congressional Democrats' request to 
maintain the 2014 ED-DOJ School Discipline Guidance Package. 
This request was first articulated by Ranking Member Scott to 
Secretary DeVos during an in-person meeting on January 11, 
2018. The letter was sent following ED's review of a GAO report 
finding that exclusionary discipline is disproportionately used 
on black students, boys, and students with disabilities. The 
letter urged Secretary DeVos to maintain the guidance package 
and ensure full civil rights protections for students. No 
response was received.
    On April 4, 2018, Committee Democrats and Democrats from 
the House Committee on the Judiciary (Judiciary Committee 
Democrats) released a GAO Report titled Discipline Disparities 
for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities. The 
report found that the pattern of disproportionate discipline 
persists regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level 
of school poverty, or type of school attended.
    On October 24, 2018, H.R. 6, the Substance Use Disorder 
Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for 
Patients and Communities Act or the SUPPORT for Patients and 
Communities Act, became law. Committee Democrats successfully 
fought for the inclusion of a new grant program to support 
school districts in expanding access to evidence-based student 
support services to mitigate the negative impact of childhood 
trauma. This $50 million program sets an important precedent 
for federal K-12 education law in its recognition of both the 
impact of childhood trauma on student outcomes and the need to 
improve trauma-informed services and social and emotional 
learning to increase student outcomes.
    On November 14, 2018, Committee Democrats joined 
Representative Don S. Beyer (D-VA) and 34 additional original 
Democratic cosponsors to introduce H.R. 7214, the Keeping All 
Students Safe Act. The Act prohibits student seclusion and 
limits the use of physical restraint on students in any school 
receiving federal funds, and it authorizes a competitive grant 
program to support the use of evidence-based preventative 
training strategies for educators and other school personnel. 
The bill sets federal minimum safety standards in schools, 
requires states to monitor compliance with such standards, and 
increases transparency and oversight to prevent future abuse of 
students. Previous versions of the bill have been introduced 
each congress since 2009, and the House passed the bill during 
the 111th Congress (H.R. 4247) on March 3, 2010, by a vote of 
262-153.

                             SCHOOL SAFETY

    On February 16, 2018, Committee Democrats sent Chairwoman 
Foxx a formal request to conduct hearings on school shootings 
and school safety. The request was sent in the wake of the mass 
shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, 
Florida, on February 14, 2018. No response was received, and no 
hearing was convened.
    While awaiting a response from Chairwoman Foxx, Committee 
Democrats convened a forum entitled Preventing School 
Shootings: A Comprehensive Approach on March 20, 2018. The 
forum focused on evidence-based solutions to school safety, 
including violence prevention and improving school climate, and 
the importance of maintaining student civil rights protections 
for all students. Committee Democrats heard from and engaged in 
dialogue with a panel of expert practitioners, educators, and a 
student, including: Dr. Akil Ross, a school principal from 
South Carolina; Ms. Stacey Lippel, a teacher from Parkland, 
Florida; Dr. Dewey Cornell, a clinical psychologist and 
researcher from the University of Virginia; Mr. Coldayne 
Hayden, a student from New York, New York; Mr. Joaquin Tamayo, 
a former Obama Administration official; and Dr. Dianna 
Wentzell, Connecticut Commissioner of Education. Invitations to 
participate in the forum were extended to Secretary DeVos and 
to Committee Republicans through Chairwoman Foxx on March 13, 
2018. Neither Secretary DeVos nor Committee Republicans 
attended the forum.
    On May 23, 2018, Committee Democrats joined Representative 
Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL) and other congressional Democrats at 
a Gun Violence Prevention Forum with students from Marjory 
Stoneman Douglas High School, Miami Northwestern Senior High 
School, and other schools around the nation. The forum focused 
on the educational impact of gun violence on schools and 
communities. Committee Democrats in attendance at the forum 
discussed police presence in schools, evidence-based solutions 
to improve school safety, and civil rights protections.
    On July 19, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and House Judiciary 
Committee Ranking Member Jerrold L. Nadler (D-NY) (Ranking 
Member Nadler) requested that GAO examine school safety and the 
impact of school safety programming. The request asked GAO to 
address funding and programming, characteristics of schools 
experiencing safety incidents, and discipline reform 
initiatives.
    In response to Secretary DeVos's testimony before the 
Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-ED, 
Committee Democrats sent a letter to Secretary DeVos regarding 
the Federal Commission on School Safety on June 8, 2018. The 
letter requested that Secretary DeVos provide a written 
response to the question of whether the Commission would study 
gun violence prevention. No response was received.
    On August 28, 2018, Committee Democrats led a letter to 
Secretary DeVos expressing strong opposition to any action by 
ED to allow funds authorized under Title IV-A of ESEA, as 
amended by ESSA, to be used for the purchase of firearms or 
firearms training. The letter called upon Secretary DeVos to 
uphold Administration precedent, and the spirit and intent of 
ESEA, and issue Title IV-A subregulatory guidance to clarify 
that no such purchases are allowed. The letter was signed by 
173 House Democrats. On August 31, 2018, Secretary DeVos 
responded, claiming statutory ambiguity and a lack of Executive 
discretion to issue any such clarification, despite broad 
authorizing statutory language and the issuance of similarly-
situated subregulatory guidance concerning allowable uses of 
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant funding that 
excludes firearms purchases.
    In the wake of Secretary DeVos's failure to faithfully 
implement Title IV-A, on September 7, 2018, Committee Democrats 
sent a letter to congressional leaders and appropriators in the 
House and Senate urging the adoption of language in the final 
Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS-ED funding measure to prohibit funds 
authorized under Title IV-A of ESEA, as amended by ESSA, from 
being used for the purchase of firearms or firearms training. 
No such language was adopted.
    On December 18, 2018, Committee Democrats responded to the 
Federal Commission on School Safety's (Commission) final 
report, which made policy recommendations to improve school 
safety that ignored the research consensus, undermined 
students' civil rights, and failed to address the role of gun 
violence in school shootings. The 177-page report consisted of 
three sections: (1) Prevent; (2) Protect and Mitigate; and (3) 
Respond and Recover. Nearly a third of the report focused on 
what to do once the shooter was in the parking lot or after the 
shooting occurred. The bulk of claims made in the report lacked 
peer-reviewed citations or an evidence-base. The Commission 
recommended a rescission of the 2014 ED-DOJ Discipline Guidance 
Package, suggesting, without substantiating evidence, that the 
guidance created unsafe schools. The Commission further 
suggested that use of disparate impact analysis to enforce 
title VI of the Civil Rights Act is an inappropriate mechanism 
to determine whether policies and practices have a 
discriminatory effect. Most notably, the report indicated that, 
moving forward, ED will enforce title VI of the Civil Rights 
Act only when violations result from intentional discrimination 
in discipline, in contravention of the statute and accompanying 
regulations that remain in effect.
    On December 21, 2018, the Trump Administration rescinded 
the 2014 ED-DOJ Discipline Guidance Package. The decision to 
rescind the guidance came after the release of the Commission's 
final report suggesting, without substantiated evidence, that 
the guidance contributed to unsafe schools that ultimately 
resulted in school shootings. The guidance rescission follows 
the Spring 2018 release of a GAO audit finding that Black 
students, boys, and students with disabilities receive harsher 
punishments than their classmates for similar or lesser 
offenses. Ranking Member Scott released a statement to the 
press decrying the rescission and noting that school districts 
are still obligated to comply with title VI of the Civil Rights 
Act and accompanying regulation, which expressly prohibits 
policies and programs that disproportionately impact students 
of color, regardless of intent.

            EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT

    Committee Democrats led a Democratic Caucus effort to 
oppose the Republican Majority's use of a CRA resolution of 
disapproval to repeal Higher Education Act of 1965 accompanying 
regulations to improve teacher preparation program quality. In 
the face of strong Democratic opposition, H.J. Res. 58 passed 
the House of Representatives on February 9, 2017, by a vote of 
240-181. H.J. Res. 58 went on to pass the Senate by a vote of 
59-40 on March 8, 2017. The measure was signed into law on 
March 27, 2017, eliminating data transparency to support 
student achievement and quality instruction.
    In response to a public comment period from ED relating to 
the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), Committee Democrats 
joined Senate HELP Committee Democrats to submit a comment on 
February 28, 2017. The comment articulated strong support for 
the CRDC and current data elements and urged Secretary DeVos to 
maintain the CRDC without amendment.
    Marking the anniversary of the 1954 Brown v. Board of 
Education Supreme Court decision, Committee Democrats and 
Judiciary Committee Democrats reintroduced H.R. 2486, the 
Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA), on May 17, 2017. 
The EIEA restores a private right of action to disparate impact 
claims brought under title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 
(Civil Rights Act), and it requires school districts and 
institutions of higher education to employ Title VI 
coordinators to ensure compliance. The EIEA has 19 cosponsors.
    On May 22, 2017, Committee Democrats requested that GAO 
examine how students with disabilities and English learners are 
included in the National Assessment of Educational Progress 
(NAEP).
    On May 22, 2017, Committee Democrats requested that GAO 
examine how states are carrying out the ``child find'' 
requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (IDEA) and whether ED's oversight mechanisms are sufficient 
to ensure eligible students are identified for services under 
IDEA.
    Secretary DeVos appeared before the House Labor-HHS-ED 
Appropriations Subcommittee on May 24, 2017, during which she 
discussed the education of children with disabilities. In 
response to her comments, Committee Democrats led an oversight 
letter on June 29, 2017, requesting two key assurances 
regarding the legal requirements of educating students with 
disabilities.
    Secretary DeVos sent a response on October 5, 2017; it did 
not directly respond to the assurances but did clarify that ED 
expects all states receiving funds under IDEA to follow the 
requirements of the law.
    On August 28, 2017, Committee Democrats sent a letter to 
Chairwoman Foxx requesting a hearing to examine how 
institutions of higher education are meeting their 
responsibilities under title VI of the Civil Rights Act. While 
awaiting a response from Chairwoman Foxx, Committee Democrats, 
together with Judiciary Committee Democrats, convened a forum 
on September 8, 2017, entitled Affirmative Action, Inclusion, 
and Racial Climate on America's Campuses. Committee Democrats 
heard from and engaged with a panel of student officers, 
representatives from institutions of higher education, and key 
legal experts to discuss the role of title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act in ensuring that students are welcomed to a safe 
learning environment. The panelists included: Mr. Payton Head, 
Former Student Body President, University of Missouri; Mr. 
Weston Gobar, President, Black Student Alliance, University of 
Virginia; Ms. Taylor Dumpson, Student President, American 
University; Ms. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-
Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Mr. Richard 
Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center; Dr. Benjamin 
Reese, Vice President of the Office for Institutional Equity, 
Duke University; Dr. Theresa Sullivan, President, University of 
Virginia; and Dr. Roger Worthington, Chief Diversity Officer, 
University of Maryland.
    On October 18, 2017, Committee Democrats requested that GAO 
investigate inequities in parents' abilities to exercise their 
special education due process rights based on race, ethnicity, 
and socioeconomic status.
    On November 13, 2017, Committee Democrats submitted a 
public comment to the Notice of Proposed Priorities (NPP) 
released by Secretary DeVos. The NPP outlined proposed 
priorities for use in discretionary grant programs at ED. 
Committee Democrats expressed serious concerns with priorities 
one, two, three, and ten. The concerns focused on the promotion 
of privatization of public education, efficiency above 
effectiveness, low-cost and low-quality programs, and school 
climate practices that lack evidence and foster a climate of 
exclusion. On March 2, 2018, ED released the Final Supplemental 
Priorities. The only change made was broadening language around 
students to ``children or students'' to clarify several of the 
priorities may be used for children within the 0-5 age range.
    On April 19, 2018, Committee Democrats and other 
congressional Democrats requested that GAO investigate public 
schools' compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 
1990 (ADA). The request specifically asked GAO to investigate: 
ADA compliance rate, compliance data available at the local 
level, and plans in place to ensure removal of barriers 
necessary to provide equal access.
    To honor National Teacher Day on May 8, 2018, Committee 
Democrats joined other congressional Democrats to introduce H. 
Res. 876, Supporting the goal of increasing public school 
teacher pay and public education funding. The resolution 
affirms support for teacher pay that is comparable to other 
college graduates with years in the workforce in the state in 
which they are employed and increases state and federal 
investment in quality instruction, classroom materials, and 
student services and supports in public schools. The resolution 
garnered 114 cosponsors, but no legislative action was taken.
    On May 17, 2018, the Committee held a hearing titled 
Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How 
Schools and States Keep Data Safe. Committee Democrats, in 
recognition of May 17th as the 64th anniversary of the Supreme 
Court's landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, and 
considering the Committee Republicans' lack of oversight of the 
Trump Administration's attacks on student civil rights, used 
the hearing to emphasize the need for careful examination of 
the Administration's actions in the area of student civil 
rights. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Ms. 
Catherine Lhamon, attorney and former Assistant Secretary for 
Civil Rights at ED. Committee Democrats engaged Ms. Lhamon in 
discussion on: (1) the need to combat persistent educational 
inequity with strong enforcement of federal education and civil 
rights law; (2) efforts to undermine key statutory protections 
for underserved students in the era of President Trump and 
Secretary DeVos, including process and staffing changes in ED's 
Office for Civil Rights, deregulation to leave core equity 
protections unenforced, and threats to existing enforcement 
efforts; and (3) the lack of Committee oversight of ED 
activities. Committee Democrats emphasized the timeline of 
attacks on civil rights during the previous 17 months of 
Secretary DeVos's tenure. At the time of this hearing, neither 
Secretary DeVos nor any ED official had yet testified before 
the Committee during the 115th Congress.
    Also on May 17, 2018, and in honor of the 64th anniversary 
of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of 
Education, Committee Democrats joined the Democratic Caucus, 
Congressional Tri-Caucus, and Judiciary Committee Democrats in 
introducing H. Res. 902, Expressing the sense of the House of 
Representatives regarding the obligation of the Office for 
Civil Rights at ED and the Civil Rights Division of the 
Department of Justice to enforce title VI of the Civil Rights 
Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations, and for other 
purposes. The resolution reaffirms Congress' commitment to 
ensuring that education systems prepare all students for 
success after high school and recognizes that the Offices for 
Civil Rights at ED and DOJ have an obligation to enforce title 
VI of the Civil Rights Act, including implementation of title 
VI regulations and particularly in light of evidence of 
persistent racial discrimination in education. The resolution 
also calls on the House to hold oversight hearings to ensure 
enforcement of title VI of the Civil Rights Act and to consider 
EIEA, to restore the Title VI right to individual civil actions 
involving disparate impact.
    On May 17, 2018, Committee Democrats joined Judiciary 
Committee Democrats and Democratic Caucus leadership in hosting 
a forum to examine current enforcement of the Civil Rights Act 
in U.S. schools. The panel opened with an expert from GAO, who 
discussed the release of a recent report titled Discipline 
Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with 
Disabilities. The GAO expert explained the methodology of the 
report, the findings, and how the investigation and report 
answered the questions initially posed by the members. 
Following the discussion with GAO, the panel continued with 
expert testimony from: Mr. Todd Cox, Director of Policy at the 
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Mr. Daniel Losen, 
Director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil 
Rights Project at UCLA; and Ms. Khulia Pringle, a parent 
organizer with Students for Education Reform-Minnesota. The 
panelists discussed state and school district actions that 
undermine civil rights protections and hinder equity of 
educational opportunity. They also highlighted the need for 
strong enforcement of title VI, including the importance of 
disparate impact analysis in such enforcement and civil rights 
laws generally.
    On September 6, 2018, Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) 
and other Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 6722, the 
Strength in Diversity Act of 2018. In response to ED's 
rescission of the diversity in higher education and elementary 
and secondary education admissions guidance on July 3, 2018, 
the bill recognizes the importance of improving diversity in 
public schools. Through a competitive grant program, local 
educational agencies or consortium of such agencies would be 
awarded federal funds to implement comprehensive plans to 
increase socioeconomic diversity and reduce racial isolation of 
their schools.
    On October 17, 2018, Committee Democrats released a GAO 
report titled Public High Schools with More Students in Poverty 
and Smaller Schools Provide Fewer Academic Offerings to Prepare 
for College. The report found that students in relatively poor 
and small schools had less access to high school courses that 
would help them prepare for college.

                            INDIAN EDUCATION

    The Federal Government has a trust responsibility to Indian 
tribes. In exchange for millions of acres of tribal lands, the 
Federal Government recognized tribes as distinct, independent 
political communities that possess certain powers of self-
government, while also agreeing to provide for the health, 
safety, and welfare of tribal nations. This relationship means 
the Federal Government is required to provide benefits and 
services to tribes and their members, including public 
education. American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children 
can receive a public education through either public schools 
directly funded by the Federal Government or public schools 
that receive federal assistance. Schools that receive federal 
assistance are part of the state's public education system and 
are operated and funded in the same manner as all other public 
schools. Schools directly funded by the Federal Government 
(currently 183 such schools nationwide) are under the 
jurisdiction of, and receive funding from, the Bureau of Indian 
Education (BIE), which is located in the U.S. Department of the 
Interior (DOI).
    On February 14, 2018, the ECESE Subcommittee held an 
oversight hearing titled Examining the Government's Management 
of Native American Schools. Mr. Tony Dearman, the Director of 
BIE, was the sole witness. Committee Democrats expressed deep 
concerns about the lack of a quality education afforded to 
Native students, President Trump's proposal to cut BIE funding 
by $144 million (16 percent), the inability of the Federal 
Government to meet statutory and treaty obligations for Native 
students, and the need for a comprehensive federal approach to 
solve deep educational inequities.
    On December 11, 2018, the House of Representatives passed 
S. 943, the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education 
Program Modernization Act, under suspension of the rules, after 
it passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The House made small 
changes to the Senate bill, which the Senate approved by 
unanimous consent on December 19, 2018. The bill is with the 
President for signature at the time of this writing. The 
Johnson O'Malley program is administered by DOI and provides 
funds to tribes and tribal organizations to supplement the 
education of Native students. S. 943 requires DOI to annually 
count the number of native students and distribute Johnson 
O'Malley funds based on that count.

  EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS OF IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AND CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANT 
                                PARENTS

    On April 3, 2017, Committee Democrats led other 
congressional Democrats in sending a letter to U.S. Attorney 
General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (Attorney General 
Sessions), Secretary DeVos, and DHS Secretary John Francis 
Kelly. The letter expressed concern regarding recent changes in 
immigration enforcement policies and urged the Trump 
Administration to reaffirm its commitment to upholding the 
requirements of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision 
that held it is unconstitutional to deny any child, including 
an undocumented child, access to public education. The letter 
requested that DHS issue a statement making clear that schools 
are sensitive locations and students are entitled to be 
educated in an environment safe from fear of immigration 
enforcement actions. DHS issued a response to the letter on May 
16, 2017. The response indicated only that the letter was 
received and would be responded to accordingly. Committee 
Democrats then received a joint ED-DOJ response on November 11, 
2017, stating that effective agency guidance issued in 2014 
serves as the Administration's position on the legal 
obligations of local educational agencies to provide 
educational services for all children, regardless of immigrant 
status.
    On May 22, 2018, during Secretary DeVos's only appearance 
before the Committee during the 115th Congress, she made 
several concerning and false statements regarding the provision 
of educational services for undocumented children. Most 
troubling was Secretary DeVos's statement that local 
educational agencies (LEAs) have discretion to determine 
whether to report the presence of parents who may be 
undocumented to federal authorities for deportation, in 
violation of the precedent set by Plyler v. Doe. In response, 
Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) led members of Congress 
in sending an oversight letter on June 4, 2018, to Secretary 
DeVos asking for a swift, decisive, and widely disseminated 
correction to her testimony to clarify state and school 
district obligations to serve all children regardless of 
immigration status. Secretary DeVos issued a statement that did 
not fully correct the record nor characterize her testimony as 
a misstatement, and it was not widely disseminated.

                CONGRESSIONAL AWARD ACT REAUTHORIZATION

    On September 28, 2018, the Congressional Award Act was 
reauthorized by unanimous consent when the House agreed to S. 
3509, the Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 
2018. The Congressional Award recognizes young Americans who 
achieve goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, 
personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/
exploration. Participants can earn bronze, silver, and gold 
certificates as well as bronze, silver, and gold medals.

                     Career and Technical Education

    On February 28, 2017, the ECESE Subcommittee held a hearing 
titled Providing More Students a Pathway to Success by 
Strengthening Career and Technical Education. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Ms. Mimi Lufkin, CEO of 
the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, who discussed 
the importance of equal access to quality career and technical 
education (CTE) programs, program accountability, and the need 
to measure student outcomes. Following the hearing, Committee 
Democrats worked to enshrine the principles discussed at the 
hearing in legislation and improve federal supports for CTE in 
an effort to ensure that all students have access to high 
quality CTE programs that prepare them with the academic and 
technical skills to excel in postsecondary education and 
workforce training. On May 4, 2017, Representatives Raja 
Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Glenn W. Thompson (R-PA) introduced 
H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for 
the 21st Century Act, to reauthorize and make needed 
improvements to modernize the Carl D. Perkins Career and 
Technical Education Act. The bill was marked up by the 
Committee on May 17, 2017, receiving unanimous support. The 
bill passed the House on June 22, 2017, by a voice vote under 
suspension of the rules. Following House passage, the Senate 
amended the bill slightly, then passed H.R. 2353 unanimously on 
July 23, 2018. H.R. 2353, as amended, was signed by the 
President on July 31, 2018.

                            Higher Education

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee held five partisan hearings on higher 
education in the 115th Congress--three in the (full) Committee 
and two in the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce 
Development (HEWD Subcommittee).
    On February 7, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. Jose Luis Cruz, 
President of the City University of New York, who emphasized 
the need for equity by ensuring access, affordability, and 
completion for all students, particularly individuals who are 
underrepresented in college.
    On March 21, 2017, the HEWD Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Improving Federal Student Aid to Better Meet the Needs 
of Students. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from 
Mrs. Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice President for Enrollment 
Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, who 
highlighted the need to strengthen the Pell Grant program, 
simplify student loan repayment, and invest in campus-based aid 
programs.
    On April 27, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Strengthening Accreditation to Better Protect Students and 
Taxpayers. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from 
Mr. Ben Miller, Senior Director of Postsecondary Education at 
the Center for American Progress, who stressed the importance 
of strengthening the role of accreditors to better serve as 
true arbiters of quality and improve responsivity of the sector 
to student outcomes and institutional actions.
    On May 24, 2017, the HEWD Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Empowering Students and Families to Make Informed 
Decisions on Higher Education. Committee Democrats emphasized 
the need for accurate data necessary for students to make 
informed decisions, institutions to make campus-wide 
improvements, and policymakers to understand how students are 
faring in the higher education system. Committee Democrats 
invited expert testimony from Ms. Mamie Voight, Vice President 
of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, who stressed the 
importance of improving the availability of comprehensive 
postsecondary education data to uncover and address gaps in 
equity of educational opportunity.
    On September 26, 2018, the Committee held a hearing 
entitled Examining First Amendment Rights on Campus. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Ms. Suzanne Nossel, 
Chief Executive Officer of PEN America, who highlighted how the 
Trump Administration's one-sided approach to free speech 
protections is politicizing and undermining the practice of 
free expression. Committee Democrats discussed how a partisan 
defense of free speech ignores the Federal Government's 
responsibility to support colleges and universities in 
protecting the civil rights of an increasingly diverse student 
body.

                                MARKUPS

    On December 12, 2017, the Committee held a markup of H.R. 
4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity 
through Education Reform Act (PROSPER Act) introduced by 
Chairwoman Foxx and HEWD Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie 
(R-KY) (Chairman Guthrie). H.R. 4508 amends the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to reauthorize programs and make 
college more expensive for low-income students, restrict access 
to federal student aid for graduate students, and allow 
unregulated for-profit interests to access federal dollars 
without federal oversight and necessary consumer protections. 
H.R. 4508 passed out of Committee by a party line vote. 
Committee Democrats proffered 40 amendments to improve the 
bill. Most notably, Democratic amendments would have expanded 
the purchasing power of the Pell Grant and reformed the federal 
student loan and campus-based aid programs to better serve 
students and institutions. Additional Democratic amendments 
sought to ensure fiscal and programmatic accountability for 
for-profit institutions, allow for student-level data to 
improve higher education outcomes and policies, and restore the 
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Democrats also 
offered proposals to simplify and improve the Free Application 
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), improve competency-based 
education programs, restore funding for teacher preparation 
programs and prospective teachers, and invest in community 
colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 
other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), foster students, 
homeless students, and students with disabilities. Committee 
Republicans rejected 38 of the 40 Democratic amendments that 
were considered.

                              LEGISLATION

    On February 16, 2017, Representative Alma S. Adams (D-NC) 
introduced H.R. 1123, the HBCU Capital Financing Improvement 
Act. This bill improves HBCU access to low-cost private loans 
for capital needs such as infrastructure repairs, maintenance, 
and construction by authorizing institutional financial 
counseling and replacing statutory references to ``escrow 
account'' with ``bond insurance fund.'' The bill also revises 
reporting requirements.
    In May 2017, Committee Democrats launched a legislative 
campaign entitled Aim Higher, focused on improving access, 
affordability, and completion in higher education. Throughout 
the first session of the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats 
introduced 12 measures to amend discrete portions of HEA as 
part of the legislative campaign. There were no Committee 
hearings to examine Committee Democrats' proposals to improve 
college access, affordability, and completion.
    On May 16, 2017, HEWD Subcommittee Ranking Member Susan A. 
Davis (D-CA) (Ranking Member Davis) and other Committee 
Democrats introduced H.R. 2451, the Pell Grant Preservation and 
Expansion Act. This bill strengthens and modernizes the Pell 
Grant program, the cornerstone of Federal Student Aid for low-
income students. The bill increases the maximum Pell Grant 
award by $500 to give students more money to pay for college, 
extends Pell eligibility to 14 semesters, and permanently 
indexes the Pell award to inflation to maintain the purchasing 
power of the grant. In addition, to ensure program stability, 
it makes the majority of Pell Grant funding mandatory. The bill 
also allows students to exhaust full Pell eligibility on 
graduate studies following completion of a bachelor's degree 
and allows quality short-term programs to access Pell in order 
to strengthen the workforce.
    On May 17, 2017, Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) and 
other Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 2477, the Bank on 
Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. This bill allows 
borrowers to take advantage of lower interest rates by creating 
a refinance program through which borrowers can refinance their 
old debt at the same rates offered to new borrowers. Under the 
bill, borrowers with federal and private student loans are 
permitted to refinance using this program.
    On June 8, 2017, Representative Espaillat and other 
Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 2845, the Jumpstart on 
College Act. This bill creates a matching grant program for 
institutions to establish partnerships with K-12 school 
districts to support the development of dual enrollment and 
early college high schools. The bill also provides states with 
funding to increase student access to early credit pathways, 
including dual enrollment, early college high schools, and 
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. 
The bill authorizes Congress to appropriate $250 million to 
support the expansion of dual enrollment programs in the first 
year.
    On June 8, 2017, Representative Jared S. Polis (D-CO) and 
other Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 2859, the Advancing 
Competency-Based Education Act of 2017. This bill establishes a 
demonstration project that allows participating competency-
based education (CBE) programs to request flexibility from some 
current statutory and regulatory requirements seen as barriers 
to implementation. The bill also requires annual, transparent 
evaluations of participating programs that allow policymakers 
to examine program quality and requires an institution's 
accrediting agency to set standards specific to CBE.
    On June 20, 2017, Representative Donald W. Norcross (D-NJ) 
and other Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 2961, the 
Remedial Education Improvement Act. This bill provides grants 
to institutions of higher education to implement evidence-based 
remedial education reform strategies that better serve students 
and reduce dropout rates. It also requires evaluation of 
program effectiveness in order to determine the best systems of 
support that lead to college degree completion.
    On June 20, 2017, Committee Democrats joined Democratic 
members of the New York congressional delegation and 
Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) in introducing H.R. 2960, the 
Community College Student Success Act. This bill provides 
funding to public two-year colleges across the country, with 
priority given to under-resourced institutions with high 
percentages of low-income and minority students. Funding would 
help institutions develop and implement evidence-based programs 
that boost degree completion through academic and financial 
advising and other student supports. Programs would be 
monitored and required to measure academic progress toward 
clearly articulated program goals while simultaneously provided 
with flexibility to meet the unique needs of students, such as 
providing financial assistance to alleviate the cost of 
textbooks, living expenses, childcare, or other distinct 
supports that might assist with degree completion.
    On July 12, 2017, Representative Mark J. DeSaulnier (D-CA) 
and other Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 3199, the 
Improving Access to Higher Education Act of 2017. This bill 
includes grants to train faculty to deliver accessible, 
inclusive instruction for students with disabilities; 
establishes an office of accessibility in every institution to 
facilitate access; provides grants to expand and implement 
universal design for learning campus-wide; increases access to 
accessible instructional materials and technologies; expands 
opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities; and 
improves data collection efforts to gain a better understanding 
of the success of students with disabilities in higher 
education.
    On September 7, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 
3709, the America's College Promise Act of 2017. This bill 
provides states with grant aid to leverage reforms and rewards 
states that make tuition at state colleges and universities 
more affordable. In return, states must promise to maintain 
their investment in higher education, including their 
investment in state four-year institutions, and make an 
associate's degree at the state's public two-year colleges free 
for every student. The bill also provides grant aid directly to 
low-income students who transfer from a community college to a 
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) for the remainder of their 
degree.
    On September 12, 2017, Committee Democrats joined 
Representative Katherine M. Clark (D-MA) in introducing H.R. 
3740, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and 
Foster Youth Act. This bill authorizes a new grant program at 
$150 million per year to help states, tribes, and territories 
establish or expand initiatives that help foster and homeless 
youth successfully transition to college, including wrap-around 
services for these students. The grant program also requires 
states to award funding to institutions to improve financial 
aid for homeless and foster youth.
    On September 12, 2017, Committee Democrats joined Ranking 
Member Danny Davis in introducing H.R. 3742, the Fostering 
Success in Higher Education Act of 2017. This bill improves 
outreach, resources, and policies for foster and homeless 
youth. It requires institutions to provide housing options 
between terms, designate a single point of contact to assist 
foster and homeless youth, and work with ED, when necessary, to 
streamline the financial aid process. The bill also encourages 
states to grant in-state tuition rates for foster and homeless 
students who have not had stable residency.
    On November 16, 2017, Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester 
(D-DE) and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP), along with 
Committee Democrats, introduced H.R. 4416, the Simple FAFSA Act 
of 2017. This bill reduces the number of questions on the FAFSA 
by placing the applicant into one of three pathways based on 
the complexity of a student's finances. Those with the lowest 
income and who received a means-tested Federal benefit in the 
previous two years would automatically receive a full Pell 
Grant without having to answer additional questions. The bill 
also requires dependent Pell Grant students to file the FAFSA 
only one time. The legislation also increases support for 
working students and provides the FAFSA in multiple languages, 
among other improvements.
    On November 30, 2017, Representative David E. Price (D-NC) 
and Ranking Member Davis introduced H.R. 4491, the Advancing 
International and Foreign Language Education Act. This bill 
increases the authorization levels for HEA title VI programs 
that support students in obtaining expertise in language, 
cultural, and regional education from $65 million to $125 
million. Further, it extends the authorization period of six 
currently funded programs that assist undergraduates, post 
baccalaureate students, and professionals in area study and 
language mastery. It also modernizes five other programs by 
consolidating them into two new programs that address the 21st 
century needs of educational opportunities that promote 
language, cultural, business, and other professional 
competencies for students, teachers, and employers. Finally, it 
codifies a grant process that allows the Secretary of Education 
to give priority to qualified MSIs or institutions that propose 
significant and sustained collaboration with a MSI.
    Legislative efforts of Committee Democrats to improve HEA 
during the first session of the 115th Congress, including bills 
introduced as part of the Aim Higher legislative campaign and 
amendments offered during the markup of H.R. 4508, culminated 
in the July 26, 2018, introduction of H.R. 6543, the Aim Higher 
Act. With the Aim Higher Act, Committee Democrats introduced a 
comprehensive reauthorization of HEA designed to give every 
student the opportunity to earn a debt-free degree or 
credential that leads to a rewarding career. The bill makes 
higher education more accessible by: creating targeted programs 
that allow traditionally underrepresented students to enroll in 
and complete college; strengthening existing access to programs 
and supports for under-resourced institutions including 
community colleges, HBCUs, and other MSIs; simplifying the 
financial aid application; and supporting institutions to 
improve program quality. The Aim Higher Act also makes college 
more affordable today through increased grant and institutional 
aid, and it addresses the rising cost of college to reduce the 
burden on students in the future. Recognizing that the best 
measure of success is completing college, the bill invests in 
programs and services--such as career counseling and campus-
based child care--that help students graduate and puts them on 
a path to success.
    On September 5, 2018, the House passed H.R. 1635, the 
Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, 
a bipartisan bill introduced by Chairman Guthrie and 
Representative Suzanne M. Bonamici (D-OR). The bill makes key 
improvements to the timing and content of counseling that all 
federal student loan borrowers must receive. These changes 
include ensuring students receive information about their 
borrowing options and obligations every year, requiring 
consumer testing of ED's online loan counseling tool, and 
explicitly advising students to exhaust their federal student 
loan eligibility prior to considering riskier private loans. 
The legislation is identical to legislation that was passed 
during the 113th and 114th Congresses, and it passed the House 
in the 115th Congress by a vote of 406-4 on September 5, 2018.
    Committee Democrats successfully secured new higher 
education-related authorizing language and funding through the 
annual appropriations process in H.R. 1625, the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2018 and H.R. 6157, the Department of 
Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education 
Appropriations Act, 2019, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 
2019. Notably, Committee Democrats championed the following 
provisions: (1) in Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019, the 
requirement that Secretary DeVos modify the existing HBCU 
Capital Financing loans for private HBCUs in financial 
distress, and commensurate funding; (2) in Fiscal Year 2018 and 
Fiscal Year 2019, funding for the Temporary Expanded Public 
Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program (first created in 
Fiscal Year 2018) for borrowers erroneously denied PSLF 
eligibility; (3) in Fiscal Year 2019, the requirement that the 
Federal Student Aid (FSA) office at ED hold subcontractors 
accountable for better supporting student loan borrowers in 
distress; and (4) in Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019, the 
creation of an Open Textbook Pilot program to support 
institutions of higher education expand access to lower the 
cost of attending college.

                           OVERSIGHT--LETTERS

    Throughout the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats 
submitted 29 oversight letters to ED on higher education-
related issues of importance to students and taxpayers.
    On March 7, 2017, Representative Bonamici led a bipartisan 
letter to Secretary DeVos and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury 
Steven Terner Mnuchin, urging them to implement a multi-year 
consent system to allow the sharing of tax data over multiple 
years to automatically recertify student loan borrowers' income 
information for income-driven repayment plans. No response was 
received. Although ED has begun conversations with the U.S. 
Department of the Treasury (Treasury), borrowers are still 
unable to consent to multi-year tax sharing.
    In March 2017, ED announced that the Internal Revenue 
Service's Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) used by students and 
families to complete the FAFSA would be unavailable. Ranking 
Member Scott sent four bipartisan letters to ED and the IRS to 
request briefings and additional information about the cause 
and scope of the outage (three letters sent on March 16, 2017) 
and to urge ED's immediate action to alleviate problems for 
students impacted by the outage of the tool (letter sent on 
March 24, 2017). The first letter was sent to Secretary DeVos 
on March 16, 2017, with Chairwoman Foxx and Senators Alexander 
and Murray. The second and third letters were sent on March 16, 
2017, to Secretary DeVos and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, 
respectively, with Chairwoman Foxx, House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) 
and Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) (Ranking Member 
Cummings), and other Members of Congress. The fourth letter was 
sent to Secretary DeVos on March 24, 2017, with Chairwoman 
Foxx, Senators Alexander and Murray, and other members of 
Congress. Mr. James Runcie, then-Chief Operating Officer at the 
FSA office, responded to these bipartisan requests and provided 
a bipartisan briefing to Committee staff. FSA also followed the 
recommended action steps.
    On April 24, 2017, Ranking Member Davis and Representative 
Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) led a letter to Secretary DeVos, signed 
by 75 members of Congress, urging review of the PSLF employment 
certification process and providing specific recommendations to 
improve ED's transparency in its operation and implementation 
of the PSLF program. A response from Mr. James Manning, Acting 
Under Secretary of Education, was received on August 2, 2017, 
outlining the process for certifying employment for purposes of 
PSLF and defending the amount of information available to 
borrowers.
    On April 26, 2017, Committee Democrats, along with Senate 
HELP Committee Democrats, led a letter to Secretary DeVos 
signed by more than 130 members of Congress to urge reversal of 
ED's decision to rescind Obama Administration policy directives 
to establish uniform loan servicing standards to improve the 
quality of federal student loan servicing, yielding better 
outcomes for both borrowers and the Federal Government. The 
letter also requested information explaining how, upon 
rescission of the directives, ED plans to procure a new 
contract for federal student loan servicing. No response was 
received.
    On May 2, 2017, Representatives Espaillat and 
Krishnamoorthi joined a group of 30 bipartisan members of 
Congress in a letter to Secretary DeVos requesting 
reconsideration of the denied Upward Bound TRIO applications 
based on technical issues. On June 8, 2017, Ms. Kathleen Smith, 
then-Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, 
responded that, due to the funding and flexibility provided in 
the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus spending bill, Secretary DeVos 
would read and score applications that had originally been 
deemed ineligible due to technical formatting.
    On June 12, 2017, Committee Democrats and Senate HELP 
Committee Democrats led a letter to Secretary DeVos with more 
than 150 members of Congress highlighting concerns with ED's 
decision to make changes to the student loan servicing contract 
procurement process to remove key student loan borrower 
protections. The letter also cited concerns with Secretary 
DeVos's decision to award all $880 million in annual federal 
student loan servicing contract funding to a single company, a 
move that could create an unresponsive and ``too big to fail'' 
federal student loan system and negatively impact both 
borrowers and taxpayers. A response was received from Mr. 
Manning, dated October 26, 2017, stating that the new servicing 
solicitation would allow for the same outcomes that the 
rescinded Obama Administration policy directives had 
established. However, no evidence was provided, and ED has yet 
to create the new processing and servicing environment, leaving 
the current servicers without uniform standards. Further, Mr. 
Manning's response did not address concerns related to having 
one single contract servicer.
    On July 13, 2017, Representative Bonamici and Senator 
Kamala Devi Harris (D-CA) (Senator Harris) led a letter to 
Secretary DeVos outlining concerns with ED's breakdown in the 
contracting process with private collection agencies and 
requesting information on how ED is assisting borrowers in 
default. No response was received.
    On June 29, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and Senator Murray 
led a letter to Secretary DeVos opposing a delay to the 
borrower defense (BD) rule and specifying legal concerns with 
the justifications for the rule used by ED. No response was 
received. On September 12, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge 
Randolph D. Moss, of the U.S. District Court for the District 
of Columbia, ruled that Secretary DeVos had illegally delayed 
the rule.
    On July 26, 2017, Ranking Member DeLauro, Committee 
Democrats, and Senate HELP Committee Democrats sent a letter to 
Secretary DeVos urging ED to reverse its decision to delay 
implementation of the Gainful Employment (GE) requirements for 
the disclosure of potential employment information to 
prospective students by career education programs and for-
profit institutions. The letter also reminded ED of its 
obligation to implement and enforce current regulations while 
any new rulemaking process takes place. An insufficient 
response was received from Mr. Manning, dated October 16, 2017, 
stating that ED intends to re-regulate GE, but it did not 
address the concerns outlined in the letter.
    On August 1, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and Representative 
David Young (R-IA) sent a letter to Secretary DeVos expressing 
concern with ED's move to contract one single loan servicer and 
reduce the servicing standards required under the contract. No 
response was received.
    On August 18, 2017, Committee Democrats joined Judiciary 
Committee Democrats in sending a letter to Secretary DeVos and 
Attorney General Sessions to request information about how ED 
and DOJ intend to approach cases and matters involving systemic 
civil rights abuses and racial diversity in college and 
university admissions. A response was received on October 24, 
2017, from Mr. Antonio Guzman, Human Resources Officer and 
Security Program Manager in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ. 
The response stated that media reports on the posting for a 
detail opportunity in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ were 
inaccurate. A response was not received from ED.
    On September 14, 2017, Committee Democrats joined House 
Financial Services Committee Democrats to lead a letter to 
Secretary DeVos following ED's revocation of two agreements 
with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to share 
information about borrowers mistreated by student loan 
servicing companies. The letter outlined inaccuracies in ED's 
letter to CFPB announcing the termination of the agreements and 
requested documentation relating to the decision. A response 
was received from Mr. Manning, dated November 13, 2017, 
inaccurately stating CFPB's authority over federal student loan 
oversight.
    On November 14, 2017, Committee Democrats and Senate HELP 
Committee Democrats led a letter to Secretary DeVos to express 
concerns regarding reports of ED's intent to limit the amount 
of student loan debt relief awarded to defrauded students and 
to request additional information on ED's proposal. No response 
was received.
    On February 5, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, Ranking Member 
Davis, and Representative Bonamici, along with Senators Murray, 
Harris, and Elizabeth A. Warren (D-MA) (Senator Warren), sent a 
letter to ED's Inspector General Kathleen Tighe requesting a 
review of ED's contracts with private collection agencies to 
determine if there is any current or potential waste or misuse 
of taxpayer dollars. Additionally, the letter requested a 
review of the implementation status of corrective actions 
previously released by ED's Office of the Inspector General 
(ED-OIG). Staff of the signees had a subsequent call with the 
ED-OIG to provide more guidance on the request under 
consideration. The request remains pending.
    On May 8, 2018, Representative Adams and Ranking Member 
Scott, along with Representative Ted P. Budd (R-NC), sent a 
letter to Secretary DeVos urging deferment of and modifications 
to HBCU capital financing loans that meet the eligibility 
criteria established by Congress in the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2018. Additionally, the letter asked ED to 
recognize unique situations that may arise in deferring or 
modifying the loans and recommended deferment and modification 
terms to avoid negative consequences for the institutions. A 
response was received from Ms. Diane Auer Jones, Principal 
Deputy Under Secretary, dated September 10, 2018, confirming 
that ED would implement the recommendations.
    On May 17, 2018, Representatives Mark A. Takano (D-CA) and 
Bonamici, along with other Committee Democrats, sent a letter 
to ED's General Counsel Edward Muniz, requesting information on 
the ethics and standards of conduct within the FSA Office. A 
response was received from Ms. Marcella Goodridge-Keiller, 
Assistant General Counsel and Designated Agency Ethics 
Official, dated July 10, 2018, stating that she was unable to 
conclude whether the involvement of specific individuals 
mentioned in the letter would constitute a violation of 
statutory or regulatory provisions related to impartiality.
    On July 30, 2018, Ranking Member Davis, along with Chairman 
Guthrie, led a bipartisan letter to Secretary DeVos seeking 
clarification and information on the proposed Payment Card 
Program Pilot that would disburse financial aid for non-tuition 
expenses through a payment card. The letter expressed concern 
with student data privacy, pilot evaluation, and the goals of 
the pilot based on remarks made by ED officials. The letter 
also requested information prior to the release of any pilot 
solicitation. No response was received.
    On October 16, 2018, Committee Democrats, along with Senate 
HELP Committee Democrats, led a letter with more than 150 
signatories seeking additional information about the 
implementation of the PSLF program, a copy of ED's corrective 
action plan and a timeline for implementing those actions, and 
further details on ED's plan to use appropriated outreach funds 
to reach all Direct Loan borrowers about PSLF. No response was 
received.
    On October 17, 2018, Representative Bonamici and Committee 
Democrats, along with Senators Murray and Warren, led a letter 
to Secretary DeVos requesting the full set of documents used as 
the basis for ED's staff recommendation to restore the federal 
recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges 
and Schools (ACICS). This request came after new information 
indicated that the Senior Designated Official, Ms. Auer Jones, 
significantly misrepresented the endorsements of multiple 
accrediting agencies. No response was received.
    On October 29, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, House Committee 
on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA), 
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Tim J. Walz 
(D-MN), and Representative Takano sent a letter to Secretary 
DeVos expressing concern and requesting additional information 
regarding changes to ED's College Scorecard. No response was 
received.
    On October 31, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Senator 
Murray sent a letter to Secretary DeVos outlining concerns with 
negotiated rulemaking that sought to modify regulations and 
student protections in the FSA programs. The letter outlined 
five major concerns with the negotiated rulemaking process, 
including that it is lacking in transparency, prohibitive of 
diverse viewpoints, and void of public participation. No 
response was received.
    On December 10, 2018, Representative Takano and Senator 
Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a letter to Secretary DeVos urging ED to 
publish the amount and percentage of revenue received by for-
profit colleges from all federal educational programs instead 
of only accounting for HEA title IV dollars. No response was 
received.
    On December 11, 2018, Representative Bonamici and Senator 
Warren led a letter to Secretary DeVos urging ED to rescind the 
decision to reinstate the Accrediting Council of Independent 
Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting body. The letter 
provided new evidence that ED has consistently misstated the 
acceptance of ACICS by other accreditors and calls into 
question the legitimacy of the decision. No response was 
received.
    On December 17, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Senator 
Murray sent a letter to Ms. Sandra Bruce, Acting Inspector 
General at ED, requesting an audit of Secretary DeVos's 
decision to grant re-recognition of the Accrediting Council of 
Independent Colleges (ACICS). This decision was made only two 
weeks before the Education Corporation for America (ECA), a 
school accredited by ACICS, abruptly closed leaving 
approximately 20,000 students scrambling to determine next 
steps. ED-OIG announced its intent to complete the audit, as 
requested, on December 18, 2018.
    On December 21, 2018, Representative Bonamici, Ranking 
Member Cummings, and Senator Warren sent a letter to the 
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools 
(ACICS) requesting information on its decision to accredit the 
recently collapsed for-profit company, Education Corporation of 
America. The letter provided a timeline of various events that 
should have triggered action from ACICS years ago. No response 
was received.
    On December 21, 2018, Representative Bonamici, Ranking 
Member Cummings, and Senator Warren sent a letter to the 
President and Receiver of the Education Corporation of America 
to obtain information regarding its abrupt closure. The letter 
included 13 questions to the company in an attempt to better 
understand the company's actions to warn students and 
regulators about its financial standing. No response was 
received.

                       OVERSIGHT--PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Throughout the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats 
submitted a number of public comments in response to Executive 
branch administrative and regulatory proposals to weaken HEA 
student and taxpayer protections.
    On November 13, 2017, Committee Democrats submitted a 
public comment to the NPP released by Secretary DeVos proposing 
priorities for use in discretionary grant programs at ED. The 
comment expressed serious concerns with Secretary DeVos's 
proposals to prioritize efficiency above efficacy and send 
federal resources to low-quality and for-profit programs. On 
March 2, 2018, ED released the Final Supplemental Priorities. 
No changes were made to accommodate the concerns articulated by 
Committee Democrats.
    On March 1, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Ranking Member 
Davis sent a comment letter to the Chairman of the National 
Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality opposing any effort 
to recognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges 
and Schools (ACICS) and outlining specific concerns.
    On April 5, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, Representatives 
Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY) and Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), Senator 
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), and other members of Congress 
sent a comment letter to Secretary DeVos outlining concerns 
with ED's proposed process for institutions to access disaster 
relief funds appropriated by Congress in the Bipartisan Budget 
Act of 2018.
    On June 11, 2018, Committee Democrats submitted a comment 
letter opposing ED's proposed two-year delay of the Program 
Integrity and Improvement regulations governing state 
authorization and other rules. The comment outlined the 
significant, negative implications the delay would have on 
students.
    On July 16, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, Ranking Member 
DeLauro, and Senator Murray submitted a comment letter 
reiterating objections to ED's continued actions to suspend 
full implementation of the GE rule, specifically the student 
disclosures.
    On August 30, 2018, Committee Democrats submitted a comment 
letter to express strong opposition to ED's proposed revisions 
to the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule. The letter explained 
seven major concerns with the proposed rule that would severely 
limit eligibility of defrauded borrowers to seek and ultimately 
receive relief and called on ED to abandon its proposal.
    In September 2018, individual Committee Democrats submitted 
comment letters opposing ED's proposed repeal of the GE rule. 
This important consumer protection rule established the 
standard for compliance with and enforcement of the HEA 
requirement that career programs and for-profit institutions 
result in ``gainful employment,'' cutting off federal aid to 
programs that produce graduates with unaffordable debt relative 
to earnings. The letter outlined the various unsubstantiated 
claims in the NPRM and urged ED to abandon the proposed 
rescission and restore the rule.
    On September 14, 2018, Committee Democrats and Senate HELP 
Committee Democrats, along with more than 90 other Democratic 
members of Congress, submitted a comment letter expressing 
concerns with ED's intent to regulate and reregulate provisions 
of HEA through a negotiated rulemaking committee.
    On December 26, 2018, Representative Takano submitted a 
public comment to RTI International recommending improvements 
to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 
Finance Survey. Specifically, the letter urged RTI 
International to require institutions to report spending on 
``marketing and recruitment'' separately from services that 
directly support student completion.

               OVERSIGHT--REQUESTS FOR GAO INVESTIGATIONS

    Throughout the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats 
requested GAO investigations of ED's administration of the PSLF 
program and the TEPSLF program, HBCU Capital Financing Program, 
student loan servicing, and cohort default rate.
    Upon the request of Ranking Member Scott and Ranking Member 
Davis, GAO assessed ED's management of the PSLF program. In a 
report entitled Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Education 
Needs to Provide Better Information for the Loan Servicer and 
Borrowers, released on September 27, 2018, GAO announced that 
more than 28,000 borrowers have applied for forgiveness but 
less than one percent have been approved. The report cites 
serious failures in implementation and faults ED for creating 
mass uncertainty and confusion for borrowers. Following this 
report, Committee Democrats requested a staff briefing from ED 
to learn about ED's plans to implement GAO's recommendations. 
Additionally, on October 25, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and 
Ranking Member Davis submitted a follow-up investigation 
request focused on the administration of TEPSLF.
    Upon the request of Ranking Member Scott, Representative 
G.K. Butterfield, Jr. (D-NC), Senator Murray, and Senator 
Robert P. Casey (D-PA) (Senator Casey), GAO examined the 
capital project needs at HBCUs and assessed the participation 
of HBCUs in ED's HBCU Capital Financing Program. In a report 
entitled Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Action 
Needed to Improve Participation in Education's HBCU Capital 
Financing Program, released on July 26, 2018, GAO stated that, 
on average, 46 percent of building space at HBCUs is in need of 
repair or replacement. GAO also found that despite this need, 
fewer than half of HBCUs have used the HBCU Capital Financing 
program, which was specifically designed to help HBCUs address 
capital project needs.
    Upon the request of Ranking Member Scott and 
Representatives Sanford D. Bishop (D-GA) and Emanuel Cleaver 
(D-MO), GAO reviewed ED's efforts to implement prior GAO 
recommendations for improving oversight of federal student loan 
servicers. In its July 27, 2018, audit entitled Federal Student 
Loans: Further Actions Needed to Implement Recommendations on 
Oversight of Loan Servicers, GAO found that ED has only 
implemented two out of six recommendations made in 2015.
    Upon the request of Representative Takano and Ranking 
Member DeLauro, GAO examined how institutions of higher 
education work with borrowers to manage cohort default rates 
and evaluate ED's oversight of the strategies used by 
institutions and the default management consultants hired by 
the institutions. In a report entitled Federal Student Loans: 
Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of Schools' Default Rates, 
released on April 26, 2018, GAO found that the default 
management companies were lying or providing incomplete 
information to borrowers about repayment options. GAO also 
found that 68 percent of borrowers who began repaying their 
loans had loans in forbearance at some point during the first 
three years.

                           Community Supports


                            JUVENILE JUSTICE

    On February 15, 2017, the ECESE Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Providing Vulnerable Youth the Hope of a Brighter 
Future Through Juvenile Justice Reform. The witnesses--
including a juvenile court judge, chief of police, state 
juvenile justice coordinator, and juvenile service provider--
all stressed the pressing need to reauthorize the Juvenile 
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA). The law 
was last fully authorized in 2002, and its authorizations of 
appropriations expired in 2007.
    On March 30, 2017, Representative Jason M. Lewis (R-MN), 
introduced H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, 
with Chairwoman Foxx, Ranking Member Scott, Ranking Member 
Davis, and Representatives Frederica Wilson and Todd E. Rokita 
(R-IN) as original co-sponsors. The bill codified best 
practices that have emerged in various states over the past 15 
years including: the use of evidence-based practices; the 
unique needs of girls in the juvenile justice system; the 
implementation of trauma-informed care; the preference for 
cost-effective alternatives to incarceration that do not harm 
public safety; and the efforts to end the ``School to Prison'' 
pipeline by aligning school discipline policies and juvenile 
justice systems. The bill was marked up by the Committee on 
April 4, 2017, and was ordered to be reported favorably to the 
House. H.R. 1809 was considered on the House floor under 
suspension of the rules on May 23, 2017, and it passed the 
House by voice vote. A JJDPA reauthorization bill also passed 
the House in the 114th Congress (H.R. 5963).
    Instead of taking up H.R. 1809, the Senate acted on S. 860, 
the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization 
Act of 2017, authored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). S. 860 
passed the Senate on August 1, 2017. While the House and Senate 
bills were remarkably similar, there was no clear procedural 
path to reconcile either bill to the satisfaction of both 
chambers.
    In hopes of advancing compromise language through the 
legislative process, Representative Jason Lewis introduced H.R. 
6964, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 in the House on 
September 28, 2018. This bill contains compromise language that 
reflects the priorities of the majority and minority caucuses 
of each chamber. Like H.R. 1809, the bill helps ensure the 
continuity of young people's education while incarcerated, 
provides clear direction to states and localities to reduce 
racial and ethnic disparities among incarcerated youth, and 
provides resources for communities to plan and implement 
evidence-based prevention and intervention programs 
specifically designed to reduce juvenile delinquency and gang 
involvement. With bipartisan support, it was introduced, 
discharged from committee consideration, and passed on the 
House floor without objection, all on the same day.
    The Senate, however, insisted upon modification of the 
bill. Three months later, on December 11, 2018, H.R. 6964, with 
amendments, passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Required to 
consider the bill yet again due to Senate amendment, the House 
received H.R. 6964, as amended by the Senate, and passed it by 
unanimous consent on December 13, 2018. The bill was signed 
into law on December 21, 2018.

                UNACCOMPANIED MINORS IN FEDERAL CUSTODY

    Following the increase in detained unaccompanied minors 
resulting from the Trump Administration's immigration 
enforcement actions, including forced family separation, 
Committee Democrats wrote to the Secretaries of Health and 
Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, and Justice on 
June 28, 2018, seeking information on the oversight mechanisms 
and processes to ensure the provision of educational, health, 
and other services to unaccompanied minors in federal custody, 
as required by federal law, Supreme Court precedent, and the 
1997 settlement agreement in Flores v. Sessions. In particular, 
the letter questioned the agencies regarding oversight at 
tender-age facilities, provision of trauma and health services, 
safety of unaccompanied minors at care provider facilities, 
provision of educational services to unaccompanied minors, 
services provided to unaccompanied minors with disabilities, 
and family reunification. No substantive responses were 
received from the relevant agencies as of the writing of this 
report.
    Also, on June 28, 2018, Committee Democrats sent a letter 
to Chairwoman Foxx requesting a hearing regarding the roles and 
responsibilities of HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) 
with regard to the custody of thousands of unaccompanied 
minors. No response was received, and no hearing was convened.
    On June 29, 2018, Ranking Member Scott joined Ranking 
Members Pallone and Nadler in sending a letter to the 
Inspectors General of DOJ, DHS, and HHS requesting an 
investigation into the Trump Administration's ``zero 
tolerance'' immigration policy and forced family separation at 
the border. The HHS Inspector General (HHS-IG) responded on 
July 16, 2018, reiterating an announcement of HHS' work 
reviewing ORR grantee facilities. The HHS-IG provided a 
commitment to update staff of the ongoing investigation.

                            DISASTER RELIEF

    The 2017 hurricane season saw multiple storms make landfall 
in the United States, impacting students, families, and 
schools. On August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 
Texas as a category four storm causing unprecedented flooding. 
Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a 
category five storm on September 8, 2017, before landing in 
Florida as a category three storm. On September 20, 2017, 
Hurricane Maria made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands and 
Puerto Rico as a category five hurricane that killed an 
estimated 2,980 people. Both Territories lost power and 
students were unable to return to school for months. Congress 
provided disaster relief for areas impacted by hurricanes in 
2017 through three supplemental appropriations bills in October 
2017, December 2017, and February 2018. Puerto Rico received 
$589 million and the U.S. Virgin Islands received $13.1 million 
to restart school operations.
    On October 16, 2017, Committee Democrats led a letter to 
Secretary DeVos signed by 56 members of Congress requesting 
that ED provide temporary administrative reprieve to students 
in the Territories who hold federal student loans. ED responded 
to the letter on January 23, 2018, outlining that it had 
provided guidance to affected students and had provided direct 
loan borrowers in the Territories a total of six months of 
administrative forbearance, however it declined to allow that 
forbearance to be interest-free as requested by Committee 
Democrats.
    On November 9, 2017, in recognition of the gravity of 
destruction in the Territories that hindered the ability to 
restart school operations and insufficient federal response in 
the immediate aftermath of the storms, Committee Democrats 
wrote Chairwoman Foxx to request a hearing on the state of 
education in the affected territories and needed recovery 
operations. No response was received, and no hearing was 
convened.
    Seven weeks after the February 2018 supplemental 
appropriation, ED established an emergency review of published 
documents that would have required institutions of higher 
education (IHEs) to complete multiple applications to receive 
institutional aid to restart operations. ED initially opened a 
48-hour comment period on those documents. Committee Democrats 
expressed concern with the truncated timeframe and ED extended 
the deadline for comment by an additional week. Committee 
Democrats then led a comment letter, signed by 47 members of 
Congress, on April 5, 2018, that expressed concerns with ED's 
proposed process, including: the lack of a congressional 
directive to require multiple applications for aid, which was 
not required of schools in prior disasters; the lack of forms 
in Spanish; the lack of recognition that the process may be 
hard to navigate in areas still recovering from the disaster; 
and the stringent criteria proposed to allocate funding, which 
could require information about insurance and federal recovery 
estimates that IHEs in these territories may not yet have.
    On September 20, 2018, the one-year anniversary of 
Hurricane Maria, Committee Democrats wrote Chairwoman Foxx 
again to request a hearing on the state of education in the 
Territories. No response was received, and no hearing was 
convened. On September 27, 2018, Committee Democrats and other 
congressional Democrats held a member forum to evaluate the 
progress the Territories had made toward restarting school 
operations. As of that date, ED confirmed that neither 
Territory had begun to draw down their allocated funding for 
developmental educational disaster recovery.

                              CHILD SAFETY

    The Missing Children's Assistance Act authorizes the 
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a 
public-private partnership that helps prevent, find, and 
reunite children and youth affected by child victimization, 
most often child sex trafficking. Committee Democrats, together 
with Committee Republicans, drafted legislation to both 
reauthorize and make improvements to the Missing Children's 
Assistance Act to better support NCMEC in its efforts. H.R. 
1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children 
Act of 2017, introduced by Representative Courtney and Chairman 
Guthrie, received 19 cosponsors and passed the House by a voice 
vote under suspension of the rules on May 23, 2017. The bill's 
provisions were included in S. 3354, the Missing Children's 
Assistance Act of 2018, which passed both the Senate and House 
by unanimous consent on September 28, 2018. S. 3354 was signed 
by the President on October 11, 2018.

                           FAMILY WELL-BEING

    The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is 
the Federal Government's main effort to assist victims of 
domestic violence and their children in accessing emergency 
shelter and related assistance. Committee Democrats worked 
together with Committee Republicans to draft a bill that would 
reauthorize FVPSA. H.R. 6014, To reauthorize the Family 
Violence Prevention and Services Act, introduced by 
Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Blunt 
Rochester, and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on June 6, 2018, received 
103 cosponsors and passed the House unanimously on September 
28, 2018.

                             CHILD WELFARE

    Committee Democrats continue to prioritize efforts to 
ensure states and local communities are both protecting 
children from maltreatment and supporting cognitive and 
emotional development by providing children with safe settings 
and supporting reunification with supportive caregivers. On 
September 26, 2017, Ranking Member Scott authored an oversight 
letter with Chairwoman Foxx requesting that HHS provide an 
update about how HHS is supporting states to fulfill 
requirements for development and implementation of plans of 
safe care for infants exposed to substance use, as required by 
the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
    On February 6, 2018, Committee Democrats hosted a member 
discussion with national advocates and nonprofit organizations 
working directly with families and children suffering from 
exposure to substance use disorder to inform efforts to 
reauthorize and improve CAPTA and the federal response to the 
opioid epidemic. Experts included Ms. Teresa Rafael and Mr. Jim 
McKay of the National Alliance of Children's Trust and 
Prevention Fund, Ms. Christine Calpin of Casey Family Programs, 
Ms. Toni Miner of the Jefferson County (Colorado) Child and 
Youth Leadership Commission, and Ms. Marylee Allen of the 
Children's Defense Fund.
    Committee Democrats, working with congressional Democrats 
and Republicans, helped develop and introduce three bills to 
assist families affected by substance use disorder. H.R. 5889, 
the Recognizing Early Childhood Trauma Related to Substance 
Abuse Act, was introduced by Representatives Tom O'Halleran (D-
AZ) and Dave A. Brat (R-VA). H.R. 5889 works to reduce 
childhood trauma by requiring HHS to provide information, 
resources, and assistance to early childhood professionals. The 
bill received 19 cosponsors and passed the House by a voice 
vote under suspension of the rules on June 13, 2018. H.R. 5890, 
the Assisting States' Implementation of Plans of Safe Care Act, 
was introduced by Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and 
Tom Garrett (R-VA). H.R. 5890 assists states in improving their 
support for infants, children, and families suffering from 
substance abuse. The bill received 16 cosponsors and passed the 
House by a vote of 406-3 on June 13, 2018. H.R. 5891, the 
Improving the Federal Response to Families Impacted by 
Substance Use Disorder Act, was introduced by Representatives 
Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Glen Grothman (R-WI). H.R. 5891 
establishes an interagency task force to identify, evaluate, 
and recommend ways in which federal agencies can better 
coordinate responses to the opioid epidemic and carry out their 
authorized duties. The bill received 18 cosponsors and passed 
the House on June 13, 2018, by a voice vote of 409-8. Committee 
Democrats worked successfully to ensure that these measures, 
along with program authorizations for child welfare activities, 
were included in H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and 
Communities Act, which was signed into law by the President on 
October 24, 2018.

                   COMMUNITY SERVICE AND VOLUNTEERISM

    Service and volunteer opportunities administered by the 
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) help 
build stronger communities and a stronger nation while 
simultaneously preparing workers for the 21st Century economy. 
During the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats defended 
national and community service from Trump Administration and 
Republican Majority attacks to defund and eliminate these 
popular programs.
    Committee Democrats opposed the narrative of a national 
service agency that wastes taxpayer dollars presented by 
Committee Republicans at the March 28, 2017, hearing, Examining 
the Corporation for National and Community Service and Its 
Failed Oversight of Taxpayer Dollars. In reality, CNCS is 
improving its monitoring system and continuing to strengthen 
its oversight of programs. Service grantees who engaged in 
potentially prohibited activity received proportional, 
deliberate action from CNCS. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Dr. Elizabeth Darling, President and CEO of 
OneStar Foundation, who testified about the benefits of 
national and community service as well as how states, not just 
the Federal Government, work to ensure proper oversight of 
grantees. On April 17, 2018, the Committee convened an 
oversight hearing entitled Fraud, Mismanagement, Non-
compliance, and Safety: The History of Failures of the 
Corporation for National and Community Service. Ms. Barbara 
Stewart, CEO of CNCS, was the sole witness and testified about 
how CNCS is incorporating its strategic plan to continue to 
provide grantees with improved service while also ensuring 
proper oversight and enforcement. During the hearing, Committee 
Democrats pushed for a bipartisan CNCS reauthorization to make 
program improvements.

                         MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES

    On September 28, 2018, Representative Grijalva introduced 
H.R. 6988, the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, which 
reauthorizes the Museum and Library Services Act. The bill 
provides federal support to museums and libraries as anchor 
institutions for local communities and enhances the Act's 
workforce recruitment programs. It also makes programmatic 
updates that include expanding grant purposes to enhancing 
library and museum digitization, digital literacy, and 
technology, and it allows libraries to become disaster-ready 
for their communities. After the Senate passed the identical 
companion bill on December 4, 2018, the House passed it under 
suspension of the rules on December 19, 2018. The President 
signed the bill into law on December 21, 2018.

                Expanding Opportunity for the Workforce


                   INVESTMENTS IN SKILLS AND TRAINING

    During the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats have 
supported strong investments in our nation's workforce 
development system. Committee Democrats know that the solution 
to building a workforce ready for the in-demand jobs of both 
today and tomorrow requires an investment in proven job 
training programs.
    The HEWD Subcommittee held three hearings on job training 
and building a highly skilled workforce. The first was a June 
15, 2017, hearing entitled Helping Americans Get Back to Work: 
Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 
The second was an October 24, 2017, joint hearing with the 
House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on 
Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security 
Technologies entitled Public-Private Solutions to Educating a 
Cyber Workforce. The third was a May 9, 2018, hearing entitled 
Closing the Skills Gap: Private Sector Solutions for America's 
Workforce. At each of these hearings, Committee Democrats 
reiterated support for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity 
Act (WIOA) as the cornerstone of federal efforts to put 
Americans back to work and prepare workers for in-demand 
careers. Witnesses invited by Committee Democrats to provide 
expert testimony highlighted the importance of federal 
investments in the nation's workforce development system and 
expressed concerns that cuts to WIOA programs would shift costs 
to states and localities, effectively denying workers needed 
training and supports.

                               JOB CORPS

    On June 22, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Student Safety in the Job Corps Program, which focused, in 
part, on DOL's Office of the Inspector General (DOL-OIG) audits 
of Job Corps' centers' enforcement of student disciplinary 
policies. Though not called to testify at the hearing, DOL 
indicated it had implemented solutions to address the DOL 
Inspector General's (DOL-IG) concerns regarding student safety 
and was committed to working with the DOL-OIG on ways to 
improve the Job Corps program. Committee Democrats invited 
expert testimony from Mr. Jeff Barton, Academy Director of the 
Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy in Morganfield, Kentucky. 
While acknowledging the program must improve safety, Mr. Barton 
highlighted how Job Corps, the nation's largest residential 
education and vocational training program for youth ages 16 to 
24, provided much-needed opportunities for disadvantaged youth. 
Committee Democrats noted that the national mortality rate for 
young people ages 16 to 24 is 15 times greater than the rate 
for Job Corps students. Committee Democrats also reiterated 
opposition to eliminating or consolidating Job Corps.

                            APPRENTICESHIPS

    The HEWD Subcommittee held two hearings on ``earn-and-
learn'' and on-the-job training programs: the July 26, 2017, 
hearing entitled Expanding Options for Employers and Workers 
Through Earn-and-Learn Opportunities and the September 5, 2018, 
hearing entitled On-The-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce Through 
Apprenticeships. Committee Democrats used these opportunities 
to highlight Registered Apprenticeship programs as proven, on-
the-job training programs. With increased national recognition 
of the benefits of apprenticeship programs, Committee Democrats 
have consistently emphasized the need to maintain quality in 
apprenticeship programs. In June 2017, the White House issued 
Executive Order 13801 to ``Expand Apprenticeships in America.'' 
Executive Order 13801 initiated DOL's departure from the 
Registered Apprenticeship model as set forth in the National 
Apprenticeship Act. At the Committee's July 26, 2017, hearing, 
Committee Democrats expressed concern with the Executive Order 
and DOL's departure from the historically high-quality 
programming that Registered Apprenticeship programs have 
provided for both workers and employers. At both hearings, 
witnesses invited by Committee Democrats to provide expert 
testimony emphasized the need for quality in apprenticeships. 
They cited the Registered Apprenticeship model as the gold 
standard, noting that it provides critical quality control 
mechanisms that ensure that apprentices finish their training 
with a stackable, nationally- and industry-recognized 
credential.
    On November 15, 2017, Committee Democrats hosted a 
roundtable entitled Expanding Apprenticeships into New Sectors. 
Committee Democrats heard from industry leaders in the 
technology, health care, and construction industries on how the 
Registered Apprenticeship model is successfully expanding to 
new sectors. Committee Democrats reiterated their commitment to 
expanding high-quality, Registered Apprenticeship programs to 
new industry sectors through H.R. 2933, the Leveraging 
Effective Apprenticeships to Rebuild National Skills (LEARNs) 
Act. This bill would promote the growth of Registered 
Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships nationally and 
establish a stable source of funding for these programs.
    On March 13, 2018, Committee Democrats led a Committee 
delegation to visit local apprenticeship programs, including a 
program run jointly by the Local Union 26 International 
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Washington, 
D.C. Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association 
(NECA). Delegation members were able to experience first-hand 
the success of programs where labor and management work 
together to build innovative training programs.
    On March 15, 2018, Ranking Member Scott joined a GAO 
assessment of the General Services Administration excess 
property disposition program, including DOL's disposition of 
excess property for apprenticeship programs.

             WORK REQUIREMENTS IN FEDERAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS

    On March 7, 2018, Committee Democrats held a roundtable on 
work requirements in federal support programs. Participants 
included: Dr. Donna Pavetti, Vice President for Family Income 
Support Policy at the Center on Budget Policy Priorities; Mr. 
Leo Cuello, Director of Health Policy at the National Health 
Law Program; Ms. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Director of Income and 
Work Supports at the Center for Law and Social Policy; and Ms. 
Rebecca Vallas, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity 
Program at the Center for American Progress. These experts 
described current work requirements in the Temporary Assistance 
for Needy Families (TANF) program, Supplemental Nutrition 
Assistance Program (SNAP), and proposed work requirements in 
Medicaid, and reviewed the intersection of these programs with 
WIOA. They presented evidence that work requirements had little 
impact on a program participants' earnings and did not improve 
access to training and educational opportunities. They also 
presented evidence that most individuals enrolled in programs 
such as TANF and SNAP are already working and therefore it is 
misleading to assert that they are not.
    On March 15, 2018, the HEWD Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Strengthening Access and Accountability to Work in 
Welfare Programs. During the hearing, Committee Democrats 
challenged the notion that individuals receiving work supports, 
including TANF benefits, SNAP benefits, and Medicaid, were not 
already working or did not want to work. Committee Democrats 
highlighted evidence that shows that TANF and Medicaid provide 
critical work supports for increasingly unstable, low wage 
work--enabling many people to continue to work despite earning 
poverty level wages. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Dr. Heather Hahn, Senior Fellow at the Urban 
Institute, who outlined how expanding work requirements for 
SNAP and Medicaid runs the risk of undermining the employment 
and skill-development goals of the workforce development system 
while denying basic health care and food to adults and children 
who need it.

                         OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING

    On June 20, 2018, the HEWD Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Occupational Licensing: Reducing Barriers to Economic 
Mobility and Growth. Rather than discuss occupational licensing 
requirements, which are largely determined by the states, 
Committee Democrats focused on regulatory barriers to 
employment that Congress can remove through proposed 
legislation. Such legislation includes H.R. 1905, the Fair 
Chance Act; H.R. 6145, the Fairness and Accuracy in Employment 
Background Checks Act; H.R. 6677, the Clean Slate Act of 2018; 
H.R. 2417, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act; H.R. 1869, the 
Paycheck Fairness Act; H.R. 3773, the Childcare for Working 
Families Act; H.R. 947, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance 
(FAMILY) Act; and H.R. 2942, the Schedules that Work Act. 
Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Ms. Rebecca 
Vallas, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at 
the Center for American Progress. Ms. Vallas testified that 
although there is a bipartisan movement at the state and 
federal levels to remove barriers to work for workers with 
criminal backgrounds, policymakers must not make the mistake of 
blaming licensing restrictions for barriers to employment, 
particularly those that strengthen wages and safety.

              INCREASING EMPLOYMENT FOR OPPORTUNITY YOUTH

    In the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats continued their 
commitment to improving employment opportunities for young 
Americans. An estimated 4.6 million young people between the 
ages of 16 and 24 are disconnected from both school and work. 
Disconnection during this critical period can leave young 
people without the entry-level work experience and 
postsecondary credentials they need to succeed in the 
workforce. Disconnection also imposes significant costs on 
affected young people, their communities, and the overall 
economy. Instead of marginalizing this population, Committee 
Democrats strive to create opportunities to re-engage young 
people in ways that will benefit themselves, their communities, 
and local employers. In fact, disconnected young people are 
commonly referred to as ``opportunity youth'' because of their 
potential to contribute to our nation, and Committee Democrats 
seek to provide a stronger foundation for that potential. 
Committee Democrats introduced and supported H.R. 1748, the 
Opening Doors for Youth Act of 2017. This legislation expands 
opportunities for our nation's at-risk and opportunity youth 
through increased federal funding for summer- and year-round 
employment opportunities and community efforts to keep youth 
connected to school and training.
    On March 28, 2017, Committee Democrats held a briefing 
entitled Opening Doors for Youth: Investments in Employment 
Opportunities for Opportunity Youth are Investments in Our 
Communities and Our Nation. During this briefing, members heard 
from local leaders, researchers, and former opportunity youth 
on the federal investments needed to assist local communities 
in providing employment opportunities for youth. On July 18, 
2017, the Committee held a bipartisan panel discussion entitled 
Investing in Our Next Workforce: The Business Case for Hiring 
Opportunity Youth. Members heard from business leaders, a 
researcher, and a former opportunity youth on the barriers to 
hiring youth, the return on investing in opportunity youth, and 
employer-led solutions to youth unemployment.

                         DIRECT CARE WORKFORCE

    On September 15, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and Ranking 
Member Davis introduced H.R. 3778, the Direct Creation, 
Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity 
Act, which would provide funding to entities that provide 
training and advancement opportunities for direct care workers. 
A direct care worker includes home health aides, psychiatric 
aides, nursing assistants, and personal care aides who assist 
seniors and persons with disabilities in their homes. The bill 
would invest in strategies to enhance the direct care workforce 
pipeline and respond to the needs of older Americans, people 
with disabilities, and others who require direct care services 
to remain in their communities.

                        Revitalizing Wage Growth


                              WAGE GROWTH

    On June 21, 2018, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Growth, Opportunity, and Change in the U.S. Labor Market and 
the American Workforce: A Review of Current Developments, 
Trends, and Statistics. During the hearing, Committee Democrats 
highlighted how wages remain stubbornly stagnant, and for the 
typical worker, the link between rising productivity and 
increases in pay is broken.\1\ Committee Democrats invited 
expert testimony from Dr. William Spriggs, Chief Economist at 
the AFL-CIO, who testified that the biggest challenge facing 
the labor market is wage growth. He noted that the purchasing 
power of the minimum wage has declined, and if it is not 
increased by June 2019, it will break the record for the 
longest period of time the minimum wage has gone unchanged 
since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\From 1973 to 2016, the typical worker saw a real (inflation-
adjusted) hourly wage increase of just 12.5 percent despite overall 
productivity growth of 73.7 percent. The Productivity-Pay Gap, Economic 
Policy Institute (Nov. 27, 2018), http://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-
gap/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              MINIMUM WAGE

    On May 25, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 15, 
the Raise the Wage Act of 2017. H.R. 15 would gradually raise 
the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The bill would also 
phase out subminimum wages for tipped workers, workers with 
disabilities, and youth workers. This legislation has 171 
cosponsors, including all Committee Democrats. The value of the 
federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has declined 
significantly in real terms since it was last increased in 
2009.\2\ The value of today's minimum wage is lower than the 
minimum wage in 1968 on an inflation-adjusted basis, when the 
federal minimum wage peaked at $11.77 an hour (using 2018 
inflation adjusted dollars). On July 24th, 2017, Committee 
Democrats sent a letter to Chairwoman Foxx requesting a hearing 
on H.R. 15. No response was received, and no hearing was 
convened.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\David Cooper, Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 would lift 
wages for 41 million American workers, Economic Policy Institute (April 
26, 2017), https://www.epi.org/publication/15-by-2024-would-lift-wages-
for-41-million/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            LEGISLATION TO WEAKEN THE RIGHT TO OVERTIME PAY

    On April 5, 2017, the Committee's Subcommittee on Workforce 
Protections (Workforce Protections Subcommittee) held a 
legislative hearing on H.R. 1180, the Working Families 
Flexibility Act of 2017. This legislation amends the FLSA to 
permit private sector employers to enter into a voluntary 
agreement with their hourly employees to ``compensate'' them 
for hours worked beyond 40 in a week with one-and-one-half 
hours of compensatory time off (``comp time'') at some point in 
the future in lieu of providing overtime (time-and-a-half) pay 
in an employee's next scheduled paycheck. Although promoted as 
expanding a workplace flexibility option that is available to 
public sector workers to private sector workers, in actuality, 
the bill offers the workers the opportunity to forfeit their 
hard-earned overtime pay in exchange for paid time-off to be 
used solely at the employer's discretion. Committee Democrats 
invited expert testimony from Ms. Vicki Shabo, Vice President 
for the National Partnership for Women & Families, who 
testified that nothing in the FLSA prohibited employers from 
providing their employees flexibility without compromising the 
employee's overtime pay. The Committee marked up H.R. 1180 on 
April 26, 2017, with all Committee Democrats opposing the 
motion to favorably report the bill to the House. Committee 
Democrats offered six amendments exposing weaknesses in this 
legislation--none of which were accepted. On May 2, 2017, the 
House passed H.R. 1180 by a vote of 229-197 with six 
Republicans voting against the bill.

                   OVERTIME PAY FOR SALARIED WORKERS

    On May 23, 2016, the Obama Administration's DOL issued a 
final rule (2016 Overtime Final Rule) raising the salary level 
(the level under which most full-time, salaried workers are 
eligible for overtime pay) to the 40th percentile of earnings 
of full-time, salaried workers in the lowest wage census 
region--or $47,476 per year or $913 per week in 2016 (up from 
$23,660 per year set in 2004)--with automatic adjustments every 
three years. A Texas court permanently enjoined DOL from 
enforcing the 2016 Overtime Final Rule on a nationwide basis on 
August 31, 2017. Instead of defending the higher salary 
threshold in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
Fifth Circuit, the Trump Administration asked the court to hold 
off on any decision while the Trump Administration worked on 
its own overtime rule. In the first stage of that effort, DOL 
issued a Request for Information (RFI) on July 26, 2017, 
seeking information on whether the salary level set in the 2016 
Overtime Final Rule was reasonable or whether a lower level 
should be set.
    On June 29, 2017, Committee Democrats led the introduction 
of H. Con. Res. 68, Expressing the sense of Congress that the 
overtime rule published in the Federal Register by the 
Secretary of Labor on May 23, 2016, would provide millions of 
workers with greater economic security and was a legally valid 
exercise of the authority of the Secretary under the Fair Labor 
Standards Act of 1938. On September 25, 2017, Committee 
Democrats led a comment letter urging the Trump Administration 
to maintain the salary level established in the 2016 Overtime 
Final Rule. On November 30, 2017, Committee Democrats also 
introduced H.R. 4505, the Restoring Overtime Pay Act, which 
would codify in statute the 2016 Overtime Final Rule.
    On February 16, 2017, the Workforce Protections 
Subcommittee held a hearing entitled Federal Wage and Hour 
Policies in the Twenty-First Century Economy. Committee 
Democrats highlighted the need to update our nation's wage and 
hour laws to ensure that the economy works for everyone, not 
just those at the top. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Mr. Andrew Stettner, Senior Fellow at The 
Century Foundation, who discussed the changing nature of the 
economy and key policy changes that could increase the 
effectiveness of the FLSA. These include raising the federal 
minimum wage, protecting workers in non-traditional work 
arrangements, and fair scheduling laws.

               PAID SICK LEAVE AND FAMILY LEAVE POLICIES

    On December 6, 2017, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Workplace Leave Policies: Opportunities and Challenges 
for Employers and Working Families. Committee Democrats 
expressed their commitment to policies that provide American 
workers with paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and 
predictable schedules. Committee Democrats also expressed 
support for H.R. 1516, the Healthy Families Act; H.R. 947, the 
FAMILY Act; and H.R. 2942, the Schedules That Work Act. 
Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Mr. Hans 
Reimer, the Montgomery County (Maryland) Council President, who 
strongly cautioned against legislation that would allow 
employers to circumvent local laws, including sick leave and 
scheduling laws. He called on the Committee to pass paid leave 
laws that will provide a strong federal floor that local 
policymakers can build upon.
    February 5, 2018, marked the 25th anniversary of the Family 
and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). The FMLA allows employees 
to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care 
for a new child, a seriously ill or injured loved one, their 
own serious health condition, or to address military family 
care needs. To commemorate this hallmark legislation, Committee 
Democrats held a roundtable entitled Building on the Successes 
of the FMLA. Committee Democrats heard from an employer, a 
self-employed individual, an economist, and worker advocates on 
the need for a comprehensive, national paid family and medical 
leave program that provides at least twelve weeks of paid time 
off. Committee Democrats also discussed the economic benefits 
of paid family and medical leave and the need to establish a 
national paid family and medical leave program.
    On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, the HELP Subcommittee held a 
hearing on H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act. 
H.R. 4219 would allow employers to create a new type of 
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) employee 
benefit plan (qualified flexible workplace arrangement plan) 
that would allow employers to pre-empt state and local paid 
sick days, scheduling, and overtime laws, if the employer 
adopts a specified minimum leave allowance and a ``workflex 
option.'' H.R. 4219 does not guarantee all workers access to 
any type of paid leave or increase workplace flexibility; 
rather, the bill would allow its qualified flexible workplace 
arrangement plans to be offered to certain groups of employees 
but not others. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony 
from Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin, who opposes H.R. 
4219 because it would provide a pathway for employers to 
circumvent state and local laws such as Rhode Island's earned 
sick and safe time law. Senator Goldin urged the Committee to 
reject H.R. 4219 and instead consider H.R. 1516, the Healthy 
Families Act; H.R. 947, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance 
Act, and H.R. 2942, the Schedules that Work Act.

                 FUTURE OF WORK AND THE SHARING ECONOMY

    On September 6, 2017, the Committee convened a hearing 
entitled The Sharing Economy: Creating Opportunities for 
Innovation and Flexibility. Committee Democrats explored when 
it is fair, appropriate, and legal for sharing economy 
companies to classify workers as independent contractors 
instead of employees. Committee Democrats also considered 
whether the independent contractor paradigm prevailing in the 
sharing economy and other industries reflects what the future 
of work will look like in the United States. Committee 
Democrats reasoned that Americans' need for important 
protections, such as unemployment insurance and workers' 
compensation, does not evaporate when they are dispatched using 
new technologies. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony 
from Ms. Sharon Block, who served as the Principal Deputy 
Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOL during the Obama 
Administration. Ms. Block testified that Congress should 
support and encourage economic growth without undermining labor 
and employment laws that ensure a basic level of economic 
security for American workers.

                   AUTOMATION AND THE FUTURE OF WORK

    Innovation is changing America, from self-checkout lanes in 
grocery stores to driverless cars. Automation and AI 
technologies will transform the future of work, disrupting 
labor markets and displacing large numbers of workers. One 
widely cited Oxford University study from 2013 estimates that 
47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of being automated by 2033.\3\ 
Automation could fall hardest on low-income workers.\4\ The 
Obama White House produced a report that found that 83 percent 
of jobs making less than $20 per hour would come under pressure 
from automation, compared to only four percent of jobs making 
above $40 per hour.\5\ A 2017 issue brief by the Joint Center 
for Political & Economic Studies found that automation will 
have a disproportionate effect on African American and Latino 
workers and will likely produce an almost two million net job 
deficit that disproportionately impacts workers of color.\6\ 
Following these findings by the Joint Center, Committee 
Democrats held three roundtable discussions with academic 
experts, businesses, and workers on the likely impacts of 
automation on American workers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, The Future of 
Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization?, Oxford Martin 
Programme on Technology and Employment (September 2013), https://
www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/1314.
    \4\Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, Executive 
Office of the President 
(December 20, 2016), https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/
files/images/EMBARGOED%20AI%20Economy%20Report.pdf.
    \5\Id.
    \6\Kristen Broady, Race and Jobs at High Risk to Automation, Joint 
Center for Political and Economic Studies (December 18, 2017), https://
jointcenter.org/blog/race-jobs-high-risk-automation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 11, 2018, Committee Democrats held a roundtable 
entitled Automation and its Impact on Workers of Color: 
Transportation and Autonomous Vehicles. Participants included 
Mr. Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for 
Political & Economic Studies; Dr. Susan Helper, Professor at 
Case Western Reserve University and former Commerce Department 
Chief Economist; Mr. Robert Chiappetta, Director of Government 
Affairs, Toyota Motor North America; and Mr. Samuel Loesche, 
Legislative Representative, International Brotherhood of 
Teamsters. The roundtable examined how the emergence of 
autonomous vehicles could place nearly 3.8 million jobs at 
risk.
    On May 8, 2018, Committee Democrats held a roundtable 
entitled Retail Automation and its Impact on Women and Workers 
of Color. Participants included Mr. Spencer Overton, President 
of the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies; Ms. Jana 
Barresi, Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs, 
Walmart; Dr. Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist, 
Progressive Policy Institute; and Ms. Ademola Oyefeso, 
International Vice President, United Food and Commercial 
Workers International Union. Participants discussed how 
cashiers and retail salespersons are two of the occupations 
most at-risk from automation. Combined, they employ more than 
6.5 million workers accounting for more than four percent (one-
in-twenty-five) of all jobs.\7\ Participants discussed the ways 
in which automation will eliminate jobs due to the emergence of 
e-commerce. Participants also found that there is the 
possibility that automation may create jobs as well due to the 
changing needs of companies and consumers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 18, 2018, Committee Democrats held a roundtable 
entitled Automation and the Future of Work: Federal Policy 
Solutions. Participants included Mr. Spencer Overton, President 
of the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies; Dr. 
Thomas Kochan, Professor of Management, Sloan School of 
Management, MIT; Dr. Tom Mitchell, Professor of Computer 
Science, Carnegie Mellon University; and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, 
President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions. Participants 
discussed that while technology is already transforming work, 
there remains a great deal of uncertainty and disagreement 
about how fast automation, artificial intelligence, and robots 
will be adopted and how they will impact jobs and the labor 
market. While there has always been technological change in the 
marketplace, participants suggested that job displacement from 
these new technologies will be qualitatively different than in 
the past. Participants considered policy decisions that have 
eroded labor market institutions and social supports necessary 
to reduce the impacts to losers from economic transformation.

      PROPOSED TIP REGULATIONS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT

    On December 5, 2017, DOL published a proposed rule to 
rescind parts of a 2011 rule that clarified that tips are the 
property of the employee, regardless of whether the employer 
takes a tip credit. The proposed rule provides that tips are 
the property of employees only if the employer takes a tip 
credit. In issuing the proposed rule, DOL failed to include any 
quantitative analysis of the proposal's benefits or costs, as 
expressly required under Section 1(c) of Executive Order 13563. 
On December 11, 2017, Committee Democrats wrote a letter 
requesting that DOL extend the initial 30-day public comment 
period for the proposed rule by a minimum of 30 days to allow 
for a complete economic analysis of its impact. Subsequently, 
DOL granted the request, extending the public comment period 30 
days, from January 4, 2018 to February 5, 2018. Due to strong 
public interest in the proposal and the lack of a quantitative 
analysis that demonstrates its benefits justify its costs, 
Committee Democrats sent a letter on January 22, 2018, urging 
DOL to hold public hearings to provide an additional 
opportunity for DOL to hear from economists on the costs of the 
proposed rule--including employees' loss of income from the 
transfer of tips from workers to employers--in light of the 
lack of quantitative economic analysis. No response was 
received, and no public hearings were held.
    On February 1, 2018, Bloomberg BNA reported that DOL had 
prepared and intentionally withheld an economic analysis that 
showed workers would lose billions of dollars under the 
proposal;\8\ in proposing the rule, DOL stated it did not 
conduct any such quantitative analysis.\9\ Pursuant to 
oversight responsibilities, Committee Democrats sent a letter 
to DOL on February 2, 2018, requesting any draft, interim, 
proposed, or completed quantitative or economic analysis for 
the proposal, as well as any communications related to the 
decision to withhold the analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Ben Penn, Labor Dept. Ditches Data on Worker Tips Retained by 
Businesses, BLOOMBERG BNA (February 1, 2018), bnanews.bna.com/daily-
labor-report/labor-dept-ditches-data-on-worker-tips-retained-by-
businesses.
    \9\Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 82 
Fed. Reg. 57395, 57404 (proposed December 5, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 15, 2018, Committee Democrats hosted a member 
forum entitled Exploring the Policy and Process Behind the 
Labor Department's Proposal to Allow Employers to Pocket Their 
Employees' Tips. During the forum, members heard from a former 
Chief Economist for DOL on the agency's capacity to conduct a 
quantitative economic analysis and from a regulatory expert on 
the implication of DOL's divergence from rulemaking standards. 
Although invited, DOL did not participate in the forum. While 
DOL has indicated it will withdraw the proposal following 
amendments made to FLSA in March 2018, it has yet to provide 
the Committee with the requested documents relating to the 
withheld economic analysis as well as a rationale for the 
departure from rulemaking standards. A February 20, 2018, 
response letter from DOL failed to directly respond to any of 
the Committee Democrats' requests for information and 
documents.

                   ENFORCEMENT OF WAGE AND HOUR LAWS

    In addition to stagnant wages, wage theft remains a serious 
issue for our nation's workers. A 2017 study from the Economic 
Policy Institute found that in the ten most populous states, 
workers lost $8 billion annually to minimum wage 
violations.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\David Cooper and Teresa Kroeger, Employers steal billions from 
workers' paychecks each year, Economic Policy Institute (May 10, 2017), 
http://www.epi.org/publication/employers-steal-billions-from-workers-
paychecks-each-year-survey-data-show-millions-of-workers-are-paid-less-
than-the-minimum-wage-at-significant-cost-to-taxpayers-and-state-
economies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 6, 2018, Committee Democrats asked GAO to evaluate 
and audit the enforcement practices of DOL's Wage and Hour 
Division. On October 16, 2018, Committee Democrats asked GAO to 
review DOL's enforcement of the Service Contract Act of 1965 
(SCA), including whether DOL is making use of debarment 
procedures under SCA for willful and repeat violations, and 
whether contracting agencies are reviewing prospective 
contractors' history of SCA and wage and hour violations in 
awarding contracts.

                              CHILD LABOR

    On July 14, 2018, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) began reviewing a DOL NPRM entitled Expanding Employment, 
Training, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-
Olds in Health Care Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards 
Act, which would modify Hazardous Occupation Orders (HOs) 
regarding health care establishments. On August 1, 2018, 
Committee Democrats wrote to DOL and OMB urging DOL to request 
that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH) perform a comprehensive literature review to inform any 
proposed rulemaking on this subject. Although to date no formal 
review has been published by NIOSH, on September 27, 2018, DOL 
published a proposed rule that would revise DOL's Hazardous 
Occupations Order 7. Under the proposal, the HO would no longer 
prohibit 16- and 17-year-olds from operating or assisting in 
the operation of power-driven patient lifts. This NPRM would 
allow these young workers to use this equipment independently 
and with no training. This proposal stands in contrast to DOL's 
2011 non-enforcement policy that only allows 16- and 17-year-
old trained workers to assist trained workers 18 years of age 
or older in the operation of this equipment. The 2011 non-
enforcement policy is consistent with a 2011 NIOSH review of 
available data and scientific literature and biomechanical 
analysis that concluded these workers cannot safely perform 
this work by themselves. On October 30, 2018, Committee 
Democrats sent DOL a letter requesting that DOL publicly 
disclose a 2012 survey it relied upon, in part, to assert an 
adverse impact on training opportunities, rather than safety. 
Committee Democrats also requested that DOL extend the public 
comment period to give stakeholders adequate time to examine 
the information. In response, DOL extended the comment period 
but failed to include the 2012 survey in the proposed rule's 
docket. On December 11, 2018, Committee Democrats submitted 
comments to the proposed rule underscoring the risk to patient 
and worker safety as a result of the proposed change and urging 
DOL to withdraw the proposed rule.

                   GUESTWORKER VISAS AND IMMIGRATION

    Committee Democrats conducted oversight relating to 
upholding and strengthening labor standards for temporary, 
nonimmigrant worker visa programs. On May 17, 2017, Committee 
Democrats sent DOL a letter raising concerns over expansion of 
the H-2B program, given potential wage suppression and 
displacement of U.S. workers and a history of abuse of foreign 
workers under the program. The letter urged DOL to employ 
meaningful labor market tests when making recommendations to 
DHS for determining whether to increase the number of H-2B 
visas available for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017. 
Committee Democrats also sent an oversight letter to DOL on 
September 13, 2018, requesting information on the legal basis 
upon which DOL determined that it is unable to prevent 
employers from laying off similarly employed U.S. workers and 
replacing them with nonimmigrant guestworkers under the H-2B 
program. Committee Democrats received a letter from DOL on 
December 11, 2018, asserting that DOL ``can--and does--enforce 
employers' non-displacement obligations'' but remains unable to 
enforce corresponding employment provisions due to an 
appropriations rider.
    On October 3, 2017, Committee Democrats wrote a letter to 
Chairwoman Foxx requesting that the Committee seek sequential 
referral of H.R. 4092, the Agricultural Guestworker Act, a bill 
that would replace the existing H-2A nonimmigrant, temporary 
agricultural work visa program with a new H-2C program that 
weakens or eliminates existing labor protections. This 
legislation presents concerns regarding the wages and working 
conditions for temporary and U.S. farmworkers. Despite the 
request, no hearings or markups of the bill were conducted in 
the Committee. On November 17, 2017, Committee Democrats sent a 
letter to the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, State, and 
Homeland Security urging the Departments to maintain strong 
labor protections under the H-2A visa program and requesting 
information on the scope, goals, and plans for stakeholder 
feedback for the Interagency Working Group established to 
consider changes to the program. DOL acknowledged receipt in a 
December 21, 2017, letter but failed to provide the information 
requested or any substantive response. A December 27, 2017, 
response from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
acknowledged that it spearheaded the Interagency Working Group 
but failed to provide the information requested about the 
working group. A December 18, 2017, letter from the U.S. 
Department of State outlined its role in administering the H-2A 
program through its consulates but failed to acknowledge the 
Interagency Working Group or to provide the information 
requested.

                       WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES

    On October 23, 2018, Ranking Member Scott partnered with 
Senator Casey to request that GAO examine the demographics of 
individuals with disabilities employed pursuant to Section 
14(c) certificates under FLSA, which authorizes employers to 
pay such employees less than the minimum wage. Specifically, 
the request asked GAO to review: trends in employment under 
section 14(c) certificates; the characteristics of individuals 
employed under 14(c) certificates; counseling and support 
provided to individuals employed under 14(c) to move employees 
to competitive, integrated settings; and oversight and 
management of 14(c) certificates by DOL.

                        UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

    On February 3, 2017, Committee Democrats wrote to President 
Trump to inquire whether he and his Administration will 
continue the longstanding and bipartisan tradition of standing 
behind DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly 
employment situation report. Committee Democrats believe their 
inquiry was warranted due to the skepticism and distrust of the 
nation's unemployment rate expressed by President Trump and his 
White House staff during the 2016 presidential election 
campaign. No reply was received.

             Deregulatory Policy and Its Impact on Workers


    COMPLIANCE WITH LABOR, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND SAFETY LAWS BY FEDERAL 
                              CONTRACTORS

    On February 2, 2017, Committee Democrats joined Oversight 
and Government Reform Committee Democrats in opposing H.J. Res. 
37, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of 
Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation. H.J. Res. 37 was a CRA resolution of 
disapproval, which nullified a Federal Acquisition Regulation 
implementing President Obama's Executive Order 13673, Fair Pay 
and Safe Workplaces. The regulation, which was issued in August 
2016, ensures that contractors entrusted with taxpayer dollars 
treat their workers fairly and that those who willfully, 
repeatedly, and pervasively violate workplace laws do not get a 
competitive advantage over contractors that follow the law. 
H.J. Res. 37 passed the House by a vote of 236-187 and nearly 
unanimous opposition from House Democrats. It passed the Senate 
by a vote of 49-48 and was signed by the President on March 27, 
2017.

          OVERSIGHT OF DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DEREGULATORY PLANS

    During his first week in office, President Trump issued 
Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs, which required agencies to identify two 
existing regulations for elimination for every new regulation 
proposed (the ``Two-for-One Rule'') in Fiscal Year 2017. Issued 
a month later, Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory 
Reform Agenda, requires each agency to appoint new regulatory 
reform officers and form a regulatory reform task force to 
evaluate and make recommendations for repealing, replacing, or 
modifying existing regulations, including identifying 
regulations that ``eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation.'' 
On November 9, 2017, prior to DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta's 
(Secretary Acosta) appearance before the Committee, Committee 
Democrats requested information and documents from DOL relating 
to the implementation of these Executive Orders. Specifically, 
the letter requested an unredacted version of a May 23, 2017, 
memo sent by senior DOL officials to Secretary Acosta that 
referenced the number of regulations targeted for deregulatory 
action for each DOL sub-agency and discussed setting up a 
``bank'' of regulations targeted for future deregulatory 
actions. On December 8, 2017, DOL responded, but it refused to 
provide any of the requested information asserting it was 
``non-public and deliberative material.''
    On May 23, 2018, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee 
held a hearing entitled Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Economic 
Opportunity for Workers and Employers. The hearing provided an 
overview of the Trump Administration's efforts to delay or roll 
back workforce protections. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Dr. Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and 
Director of Policy for the Economic Policy Institute, who 
reviewed how the Trump Administration's deregulatory efforts 
and questionable regulatory processes will reduce overtime pay, 
limit opportunities for retirement savings, expose workers to 
preventable workplace illnesses and injuries, and enable 
continued discrimination in the workplace.

               Labor Law and Collective Bargaining Rights


                                OVERVIEW

    A key to revitalizing wage growth and rebuilding the middle 
class is restoring workers' rights to collectively bargain. 
During the past eight years, there have been concerted efforts 
to use the Committee's authority to undermine unions and weaken 
the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This is evidenced by 
the fact that the Committee has held 38 hearings and markups 
aimed at weakening the protections afforded under the NLRA, 
which is more legislative activity than on any other topic, 
including higher education (29), job training (32), K-12 
education (30), or health care (25).

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD--2014 UNION REPRESENTATION ELECTION RULE

    In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) 
streamlined its procedures governing union representation 
elections, reducing unnecessary delays between the time a union 
filed for an election and the date of the election (2014 
Election Rule). On February 10, 2017, the Committee held a 
hearing titled Restoring Balance and Fairness to the National 
Labor Relations Board, during which Committee Democrats 
defended the merits of this rule. Committee Democrats invited 
expert testimony from Ms. Susan Davis, a lawyer representing 
unions and workers, who explained that the 2014 Election Rule 
accomplished its goal of reducing unnecessary delays.
    On December 12, 2017, three Republican members of the NLRB 
voted to issue a RFI seeking input on whether to rescind or 
modify the 2014 Election Rule. On December 21, 2017, Committee 
Democrats requested data from the NLRB on the implementation of 
the 2014 Election Rule. On January 16, 2018, Committee 
Democrats requested that the NLRB extend the RFI deadline for 
comments because the NLRB had not yet produced the requested 
information. The NLRB's response on February 15, 2018, left 12 
of the 23 queries completely or partially unanswered, and 
Committee Democrats replied on March 28, 2018, requesting that 
the NLRB produce responses to the outstanding requests. The 
NLRB, on April 13, 2018, produced partial responses to four of 
the outstanding 12 requests, but did not address the remaining 
eight outstanding requests. On April 18, 2018, Committee 
Democrats submitted comments demonstrating the effectiveness of 
the 2014 Election Rule, using the data provided by the NLRB.

   EXEMPTING TRIBAL ENTERPRISES FROM THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT

    On March 29, 2017, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing on 
H.R. 986, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. This bill would 
exempt tribal enterprises on tribal lands--such as casinos, 
hotels, and sawmills--from the definition of ``employer'' under 
the NLRA. Although couched as protecting tribal sovereignty, 
the bill's purpose is to strip workers of their rights under 
federal labor law to organize and collectively bargain at any 
enterprise owned and operated by a recognized Indian tribe on 
tribal land. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from 
Mr. Jack Gribbon, the California Political Director for UNITE 
HERE, who testified that the NLRB had carefully balanced the 
sovereign rights of tribes in matters of local self-government 
with workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively in 
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino. The Committee marked-up 
H.R. 986 on June 29, 2017, with all Committee Democrats 
opposing the motion to favorably report the bill to the House. 
In the Rules Committee, the text of H.R. 986 was added to S. 
140, A bill to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water 
Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts 
in the WMAT Settlement Fund, which included two non-
controversial bills involving tribal land and water rights. The 
House passed S. 140, as amended, by a recorded vote of 239-173 
on January 10, 2018. The bill, as amended by the House, failed 
to pass the Senate.

           UNION ORGANIZING AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE 
                             PRIVATE SECTOR

    On June 14, 2017, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Legislative Reforms to the National Labor Relations 
Act: H.R. 2776, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act; H.R. 
2775, Employee Privacy Protection Act; and H.R. 2723, Employee 
Rights Act. All three bills are designed to make it more 
difficult for workers to form labor unions. H.R. 2776 would 
mandate waiting periods in union representation elections and 
enable employers to gerrymander employees into the bargaining 
unit prior to the election as a means to dilute the voting 
strength of supporters. H.R. 2775 would reduce the amount of 
information to be included in the list of voters' contact 
information employers must provide to unions prior to an 
election. H.R. 2723 would modify voting procedures for union 
representation elections by counting all non-voting employees 
as votes against the union and require delays in the 
representation election process. Subcommittee Democrats 
objected to these bills because they undermine workers' rights 
to join unions. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony 
from Mr. Jody Calemine, General Counsel for the Communications 
Workers of America, who explained how the bills would undermine 
the ability of workers to vote in union representation. The 
Committee marked up H.R. 2775 and H.R. 2776 on June 29, 2017, 
with all Committee Democrats opposing the motions to favorably 
report the bills to the House. The Committee did not take up 
H.R. 2723.
    On December 6, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 
4548, the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy Act (WAGE 
Act). This bill would strengthen the NLRA by putting teeth into 
its enforcement provisions, authorizing civil penalties for 
employers who commit serious violations, increasing remedies 
for workers who have been unlawfully discharged, and 
establishing a private right of action so workers could 
directly seek relief in federal district court.
    On June 13, 2018, Committee Democrats, in conjunction with 
House and Senate Democratic leadership, introduced H.R. 6080, 
the Workers' Freedom to Negotiate Act. This bill builds on 
protections under the WAGE Act (H.R. 4548) by prohibiting 
employers from permanently replacing employees who exercise the 
right to strike or requiring employees to participate in anti-
union captive audience meetings as a condition of employment. 
It also amends the NLRA to authorize unions and employers to 
agree in a labor contract that the payment of ``fair share'' 
fees shall be a condition of employment following initial 
hiring.
    On April 26, 2018, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Worker-Management Relations: Examining the Need to Modernize 
Federal Labor Law. This hearing focused on whether DOL should 
regulate worker centers in the same manner as unions for 
purposes of reporting under the Labor Management Reporting and 
Disclosure Act (LMRDA). Worker centers are community-based 
nonprofit organizations that advocate for and organize on 
behalf of low-wage workers. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Professor Anne Marie Lofaso, Professor of Law at 
West Virginia University College of Law. Professor Lofaso 
explained that the LMRDA should not apply to worker centers 
because it was designed to ensure that unions are accountable 
to their members, while worker centers are distinct from unions 
because they do not engage in collective bargaining as the 
exclusive representative of workers.

        COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS OF PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES

    On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court held in Janus v. AFSCME 
Council 31 that the First Amendment prohibits state and local 
governments from requiring non-member employees who benefit 
from union representation to pay ``fair share'' fees to the 
union to cover the costs of those services. In anticipation of 
that decision, Committee Democrats joined other House Democrats 
in a Special Order on the House floor on January 29, 2018, to 
explore how the Supreme Court's expected decision will have an 
adverse impact on workers. One day after the Supreme Court's 
decision, Representative Matthew A. Cartwright (D-PA), in 
conjunction with Committee Democrats, introduced H.R. 6238, the 
Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, to establish the 
principle in federal law that state and local government 
workers--such as firefighters, police, and teachers--have a 
right to organize a union and collectively bargain. This bill 
authorizes the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to make 
determinations on whether a state, territory, or locality meets 
minimum federal standards in allowing public employees to join 
unions and collectively bargain. If such standards are not 
adopted, the FLRA is given authority to conduct union elections 
for such public employees, and to require the state or local 
government agency to recognize and bargain if a labor 
organization is selected by the employees.

       EROSION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS

    On March 9, 2018, ED informed the union representing its 
employees, the American Federation of Government Employees 
(AFGE), that it would cease negotiating a new collective 
bargaining agreement and instead unilaterally implement terms. 
On June 26, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Ranking Member 
Cummings wrote ED requesting that it return to the bargaining 
table with AFGE and that it produce information documenting its 
decision to cease bargaining with AFGE. On August 10, 2018, ED 
responded, but it did not produce requested documents regarding 
the basis for its refusal to bargain with the union or 
communications on that topic between the White House and ED.
    HHS declared an impasse with its employees, represented by 
the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), on August 13, 
2018, after one day of bargaining. HHS has since refused to 
return to the bargaining table. On October 11, 2018, Committee 
Democrats wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar (Secretary Azar), 
urging HHS to resume bargaining with NTEU and to do so in good 
faith.

                        JOINT EMPLOYER STANDARDS

    Labor and employment laws have long held that when more 
than one employer controls terms and conditions of employment, 
an employee may have multiple employers, also known as ``joint 
employers.'' The standard for joint employment determinations 
under the NLRA was articulated in the 2015 decision Browning-
Ferris Industries. On February 10, 2017, the Committee held a 
hearing titled Restoring Balance and Fairness to the National 
Labor Relations Board during which Committee Republicans 
attacked the joint employer standard in Browning-Ferris along 
with a critique of the NLRB's 2014 union election rule and a 
decision allowing graduate research assistants to form unions. 
Committee Democrats once again invited expert testimony from 
Ms. Susan Davis, who represents workers and unions in legal 
matters, who explained how the Browning-Ferris decision was 
modestly crafted to comport to the standards for determining an 
employer-employee relationship under the common law of agency. 
Committee Democrats stressed that the Browning-Ferris decision 
ensures that workers are able to collectively bargain with all 
of the employers that actually control the terms and conditions 
of employment, and not merely the payroll employer.
    On July 12, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Redefining Joint Employer Standards: Barriers to Job Creation 
and Entrepreneurship that explored joint employer standards 
under the NLRA and the FLSA. Committee Democrats emphasized 
that current standards ensure that employers who violate the 
law are accountable to their employees. Committee Democrats 
invited expert testimony from Ms. Catherine K. Ruckelshaus, 
General Counsel for the National Employment Law Project, who 
described how wage theft and other labor violations persist in 
workplaces where outsourcing is prevalent and workers are not 
sure who their employer is. Committee Democrats also invited 
expert testimony from Professor Michael C. Harper, Professor of 
Law at Boston University Law School and Reporter for the 
Restatement of Employment Law, who testified that the Browning-
Ferris decision conformed to common law standards. He also 
observed that legislation to overturn Browning-Ferris could 
lead to a contraction of franchisees' independence.
    On September 13, 2017, the Workforce Protections and HELP 
Subcommittees held a joint hearing on H.R. 3441, the Save Local 
Business Act. This bill would narrow the standard for whether 
an employer is liable as a joint employer under the NLRA and 
FLSA. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Mr. 
Michael Rubin, an attorney who litigates cases involving joint 
employers, who detailed how the bill, as drafted, effectively 
eliminates joint employer liability. Committee Democrats 
emphasized that the bill would permit entities to control 
working conditions while escaping liability, even creating 
situations where an employee could be found to have no employer 
liable for labor law violations. The Committee marked up the 
bill on October 4, 2017. Committee Democrats offered a series 
of amendments highlighting inequities to workers and 
franchisees. The House passed the bill on November 7, 2017, by 
a recorded vote of 242-181.
    On March 12, 2018, Committee Democrats sent a letter to 
NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb requesting information about a 
settlement with McDonald's USA, LLC, in its litigation before 
the NLRB on whether it is a joint employer and thus jointly 
liable for unfair labor practices committed against its 
franchisees' employees. The letter requested the record of the 
consolidated litigation against McDonald's before the NLRB. The 
NLRB provided most of the transcripts from the litigation on 
March 30 and May 3, 2018, but did not provide any other 
requested documents.
    On September 14, 2018, the NLRB issued a NPRM to overturn 
the current joint employer standard articulated in Browning-
Ferris. The proposed rule would only find an entity to be a 
joint employer if it exercised control over terms and 
conditions of employment directly and immediately. As such, it 
would not find an entity to be a joint employer if the putative 
joint employer exercised control indirectly, through an 
intermediary, or if it reserved control in its contract. On 
October 10, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Senator Murray 
requested data from the NLRB regarding its handling of cases 
alleging a joint employer relationship. That letter also 
inquired whether the NLRB issued the proposed rule prior to the 
completion of the ethics and recusal review (see below). The 
NLRB responded on October 23, 2018, with lists of cases that 
included the phrase ``joint employer,'' but it did not produce 
information responsive to the request.

  OVERSIGHT OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS 
                                 BOARD

    Committee Democrats have conducted oversight on conflicts 
of interest involving NLRB members who were previously employed 
by law firms that represent clients litigating before the NLRB. 
The most prominent area of these conflicts centers on the joint 
employment standard.
    On December 14, 2017, the NLRB overturned Browning-Ferris--
the decision annunciating the standard governing when employees 
have joint employers under the NLRA--in Hy-Brand Industrial 
Contractors. One Board member, William Emanuel (Member 
Emanuel), participated in the decision to overturn Browning-
Ferris even though his former law firm represents a party in 
that case. Member Emanuel participated in a second vote 
directing the NLRB General Counsel to seek a remand of 
Browning-Ferris from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. On 
December 21, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and Senator Murray 
requested information regarding Member Emanuel's decision to 
participate in Hy-Brand and the remand vote for Browning-Ferris 
despite the apparent conflict of interest. Member Emanuel 
responded on January 26, 2018, stating that he did not know his 
former firm represented a party in Browning-Ferris. However, 
after Member Emanuel's July 13, 2017, confirmation hearing, he 
answered written questions demonstrating his awareness of his 
former firm's involvement in the case. After knowledge of this 
discrepancy became public, Member Emanuel issued a second 
letter on February 1, 2018, stating that he would issue a 
``further response, clarification or correction.'' Ranking 
Member Scott and Senator Murray followed up with Member Emanuel 
on February 6, 2018, to inquire about this discrepancy and his 
participation in the vote to pursue remand of Browning-Ferris. 
Member Emanuel issued his clarification or correction on 
February 12, 2018, claiming that he had forgotten about his 
former firm's involvement at the time he participated in Hy-
Brand. However, he did not respond to any of the requests for 
information in the February 6th letter.
    On February 15, 2018, the NLRB transmitted to Congress a 
report from the NLRB Inspector General (NLRB-IG) documenting a 
``serious and flagrant problem and/or deficiency in the Board's 
administration of its deliberative process and the National 
Labor Relations Act with respect to the deliberation of a 
particular matter.'' The NLRB-IG concluded that Member Emanuel 
should have recused himself from the deliberations in Hy-Brand, 
as they constituted the same particular matter involving 
specific parties as Browning-Ferris. On February 23, 2018, 
Committee Democrats requested a hearing on the NLRB-IG's report 
in a letter to Chairwoman Foxx. No response was received. On 
February 26, 2018, the NLRB vacated Hy-Brand, citing a 
memorandum from the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) 
agreeing with the NLRB-IG that Member Emanuel should have 
recused himself. On March 22, 2018, the NLRB-IG completed a 
report concluding that Member Emanuel violated the ethics 
pledge found in Executive Order 13770, Ethics Commitments by 
Executive Branch Appointees.
    On May 9, 2018, the NLRB announced that it was considering 
rulemaking to overturn Browning-Ferris. It also announced on 
June 8, 2018, that it initiated a comprehensive review of its 
policies and procedures governing ethics and recusal 
requirements for Board members. When announcing its review, 
NLRB Chairman John Ring (Chairman Ring) stated, ``[r]ecent 
events have raised questions about when Board Members are to be 
recused from particular cases and the appropriate process for 
securing such recusals.''\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Office of Public Affairs, NLRB to Undertake Comprehensive 
Internal Ethics and Recusal Review (June 8, 2018), https://
www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-undertake-comprehensive-
internal-ethics-and-recusal-review.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As noted above, the NLRB issued its proposed rule to 
overturn Browning-Ferris on September 14, 2018, and Ranking 
Member Scott and Senator Murray submitted a letter on October 
10, 2018, inquiring as to whether the NLRB completed its 
internal ethics and recusal review prior to the issuance of its 
proposed rule. Chairman Ring responded on October 23, 2018, 
that ``[t]here is no connection between the Board's joint-
employer NPRM and our internal ethics review.''

    DISCLOSURE OF EMPLOYER ``PERSUADER'' ACTIVITIES UNDER THE LABOR 
                MANAGEMENT REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE ACT

    On June 12, 2017, DOL published a NPRM to rescind the 
Persuader Rule, a 2016 rule that required employers and labor-
management consultants to disclose the identity of and amounts 
paid to outside consultants who persuade employees on union 
organizing campaigns. Committee Democrats submitted a comment 
on August 10, 2017, urging DOL against rescinding the rule. 
This comment asserted that the Persuader Rule closed a loophole 
created by DOL's longstanding misinterpretation of the Labor 
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, and that the Persuader 
Rule fostered transparency by informing employees of how 
employers spend money in response to union campaigns. DOL 
rescinded the rule on July 18, 2018.

         HOME CARE WORKERS' UNION REPRESENTATION AND UNION DUES

    On July 12, 2018, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid 
Services (CMS) proposed to rescind a 2014 regulation affirming 
that states may make payments to third parties on behalf of an 
individual provider ``for benefits such as health insurance, 
skills training, and other benefits customary for employees.'' 
This proposed rulemaking stated that its intent was to limit 
the ability of home care workers to contribute their wages to 
support their unions. On August 13, 2018, Committee Democrats 
opposed the proposed rule in a comment letter on the grounds 
that it would undermine the quality of care provided by home 
care workers, which includes benefits such as job training that 
home care workers' unions had secured through collective 
bargaining. Committee Democrats also explained that the 
proposed rule would not have the intended legal effect because 
the 2014 regulation CMS is seeking to rescind governs payments 
from states to third parties while union dues are paid by 
employees to their unions.

  OVERSIGHT OF THE MANAGEMENT AND POLICIES OF THE NLRB GENERAL COUNSEL

    In January 2018, the NLRB General Counsel was reportedly 
considering a restructuring of the agency's regional offices, 
with a plan to demote the NLRB's Regional Directors as part of 
an effort to centralize political power over the decision-
making activities of career officials. The NLRB General Counsel 
also began amending the rules governing how the agency 
processes unfair labor practice cases. Committee Democrats 
submitted a request for information on October 15, 2017, 
regarding these practices. In a letter dated March 1, 2018, the 
NLRB General Counsel denied that he was considering a proposal 
to restructure the agency. In June 2018, the NLRB General 
Counsel informed the Committee that he was preparing to solicit 
employee applications for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority 
(VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP) to 
reduce the size of the agency. Committee Democrats requested 
additional information from the NLRB General Counsel on July 
18, 2018, and the NLRB General Counsel responded in letters 
dated August 1 and August 17, 2018.

BLOCKING WORKERS' RIGHTS TO ENGAGE IN COLLECTIVE ACTION VIA PRE-DISPUTE 
                         ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS

    In the NLRB's 2014 decision in Murphy Oil USA, Inc., it 
held that an employee may not waive the right to engage in 
joint, class, or collective litigation, without regard to a 
pre-dispute arbitration agreement signed between the employee 
and the employer. The NLRB, along with the U.S. Solicitor 
General, petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari 
on September 9, 2016, to resolve a split among the U.S. Courts 
of Appeals on whether to uphold the NLRB's reasoning in Murphy 
Oil. Under President Trump, the Acting Solicitor General 
switched sides and opposed the NLRB's position in the case. On 
July 6, 2017, Ranking Member Scott joined Judiciary Committee 
Democrats in a letter to Attorney General Sessions questioning 
the basis for DOJ's reversal of its position. In Epic Systems 
Corp. v. Lewis, the Supreme Court in 2018 ruled against the 
NLRB's position and held that notwithstanding the NLRA's 
protections for employees to engage in ``concerted protected 
activity for mutual aid and protection,'' the Federal 
Arbitration Act empowers employers to require employees to 
waive their right to engage in joint, class, and collective 
legal action.
    Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 6080, the Workers' 
Freedom to Negotiate Act on June 13, 2018, which, among its 
provisions, overturns the Supreme Court's decision in Epic 
Systems v. Lewis by amending the NLRA to explicitly protect 
workers' rights to engage in collective legal claims.
    On October 30, 2018, Committee Democrats joined Judiciary 
Committee Democrats in introducing H.R. 7109, the Restoring 
Justice for Workers Act, which amends the Federal Arbitration 
Act to prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements that require 
arbitration of employment disputes and further amends the NLRA 
to prohibit agreements and practices that interfere with 
employees' right to collectively litigate employment disputes. 
This bill provides a safe harbor for arbitration agreements 
that are included in collective bargaining agreements.

                      Workplace Safety and Health


                      OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH

    In 2017, 5,147 workers were killed on the job from work-
related injuries (14 deaths per day),\12\ and employers 
reported at least 3,475,000 recordable occupational injuries or 
illnesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.\13\ 
Despite the fact that disabling injuries cost the economy $250 
billion per year in both direct and indirect costs,\14\ the 
Trump Administration has launched a massive rollback of 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
protections. To protect and strengthen job safety, Committee 
Democrats have opposed these rollbacks, conducted oversight, 
and introduced four job safety bills.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2017, Bureau of 
Labor Statistics (December 18, 2017). https://www.bls.gov/news.release/
cfoi.nr0.htm
    \13\Industry Injury and Illness Data, Table 2, Bureau of Labor 
Statistics (2017), https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/
summ2_00_2017.htm
    \14\Leigh, J.P., Economic Burden of Occupational Injury and Illness 
in the United States, The Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 4 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 7, 2017, Representative Courtney and other 
Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 914, the Protecting 
America's Workers Act to update the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 by modernizing whistleblower protections, 
strengthening penalties for criminal violations, expanding 
coverage to 8.1 million state and local government workers, and 
ensuring timely abatement of hazards.
    On May 16, 2017, Representative Takano and other Committee 
Democrats introduced H.R. 2428, the Accurate Workplace Injury 
and Illness Records Restoration Act, which clarifies OSHA's 
authority to issue a citation when an employer's violation of 
the recordkeeping requirements continues for more than six 
months from the date the employer should have first recorded 
the injury. H.R. 2428 also overturns the CRA resolution of 
disapproval, H.J. Res 83, Disapproving the rule submitted by 
the Department of Labor relating to ``Clarification of 
Employer's Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an 
Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness. This 
bill enables OSHA to issue a rule that is substantially similar 
to the one that was nullified.
    On November 8, 2017, Representative DeSaulnier and other 
Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 4304, the Offshore Oil and 
Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which provides 
offshore oil workers protections from retaliation if they blow 
the whistle on unsafe work practices. This implements a key 
recommendation from the National Commission on the Deepwater 
Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and the Chemical Safety 
and Hazard Investigation Board. On June 11, 2018, Committee 
Democrats wrote Chairwoman Foxx requesting a hearing and markup 
of this bill. No response was received.
    On November 16, 2018, Representative Courtney and other 
Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 7141, the Workplace 
Violence Prevention in Health Care and Social Services Act of 
2018, which requires OSHA to develop a comprehensive workplace 
violence prevention standard to protect workers in America's 
health care and social service workplaces. On January 3, 2017--
shortly before the end of the Obama Administration--OSHA wrote 
to Committee Democrats stating that OSHA was initiating work on 
a rule to prevent violence against health care and social 
service workers. However, shortly after President Trump took 
office in 2017, OSHA stopped work on this rule as part of its 
deregulatory agenda. This bill is based on findings from the 
GAO report, Workplace Safety and Health: Additional Efforts 
Needed to Help Protect Health Care Workers from Workplace 
Violence, which documented that workplace violence is a serious 
concern for 15 million health care workers, as well as peer 
reviewed studies demonstrating that workplace violence 
prevention programs and state legislation are associated with 
reductions in workplace violence.
    The Republican Majority has taken no legislative action to 
improve workplace safety and health in the 115th Congress; 
rather, it has worked to weaken job safety through legislation 
and support for the Trump Administration's regulatory 
rollbacks. In contrast, Democrats have worked to defend worker 
safety standards.
    On March 1, 2017, House Democrats broadly opposed a CRA 
resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res. 83, discussed above) that 
nullified an OSHA rule issued in December 2016 clarifying that 
employers have a continuing obligation to record occupational 
injuries and illnesses on a log, and that such duty does not 
expire solely because the employer fails to create the 
necessary records when first required to do so. The resolution 
of disapproval passed the House by a vote of 231-191, and it 
passed the Senate three weeks later by a vote of 50-48. The 
President signed H.J. Res 83 on April 3, 2017. Invalidating 
this rule will exacerbate the serious problem of under-
recording of injuries. The consequence is that patterns and 
trends of injuries are masked from employers, employees, and 
OSHA. Without this information, needed corrective actions are 
not flagged to save a life or a limb.
    In Spring 2017, Committee Republicans, backed by marketers 
of beryllium-containing coal slag abrasives, pressed the Trump 
Administration to postpone and roll back new OSHA standards 
that protect shipyard and construction workers from exposure to 
ultra-toxic beryllium. In a letter to OMB Director Mick 
Mulvaney and Acting DOL Secretary Edward Hugler dated March 17, 
2017, Ranking Member Scott opposed postponement of the rule. In 
June 2017, the Trump Administration proposed the elimination of 
key protections for construction and maritime workers. On 
August 28, 2017, Committee Democrats, in conjunction with 
Senator Warren, opposed OSHA's rollback in a letter to 
Secretary Acosta. The letter pointed out that there are cost-
effective alternatives to coal slag abrasives that do not 
contain unsafe levels of beryllium, such as recycled glass, and 
urged DOL not to eviscerate worker health standards simply to 
protect the market share of vendors selling these toxic 
abrasives. On September 26, 2017, Ranking Member Scott wrote 
the Director of NIOSH seeking information on a NIOSH study that 
examined the beryllium content of various types of abrasives. 
On October 20, 2017, NIOSH responded with a detailed technical 
analysis.
    During 2017 and 2018, OSHA shut down many of its safety and 
health advisory committees covering construction, general 
industry, maritime, federal employees, and whistleblower 
protection. In both 2016 and 2017, Committee Republicans 
blocked the inclusion of a provision to codify OSHA's Maritime 
Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) 
as a permanent advisory committee in defense legislation, 
despite labor and industry support. Committee Republicans 
insisted that a letter would suffice to ensure MACOSH would 
continue. On October 4, 2017, Committee Democrats joined a 
bipartisan letter from the House Shipbuilders Caucus urging 
Secretary Acosta to continue MACOSH. On November 17, 2017, OSHA 
responded, stating that it was working to keep MACOSH operating 
past the date when its members' terms were set to expire on 
January 20, 2018. However, when the terms of the members 
expired in 2018, MACOSH ceased operations.
    Committee Democrats opposed a legislative and an 
administrative effort to eliminate OSHA's rule to Improve 
Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. That rule 
requires large establishments (250 or more employees) to 
electronically transmit injury and illness logs and individual 
reports of injury to OSHA (with personal information removed) 
on an annual basis. In a September 28, 2018, comment letter, 
Committee Democrats noted that detailed injury and illness 
information enables OSHA to more effectively target its scarce 
inspection resources by identifying patterns and trends of 
occupational injuries and illnesses at the most hazardous 
worksites, without requiring inspectors to travel to each 
worksite to review the paper logs. As documented at an 
oversight hearing (see below) on February 27, 2018, OSHA only 
has sufficient resources to inspect each workplace in its 
jurisdiction once every 158 years on average; thus, 
prioritization is essential to ensure the most dangerous 
workplaces receive timely inspections.
    Committee Democrats opposed a provision inserted in H.R. 2, 
the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which would weaken 
OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, a safety rule 
that helps prevent catastrophic chemical releases. Touted as a 
``retail exemption,'' this provision would exempt any facility 
from the PSM standard that handles any of 140 hazardous 
chemicals and generates more than 50% of its revenue from sales 
to an ``end user''. The facility would be exempted no matter 
how large the quantity of the covered chemical was 
manufactured, used, or stored. This loophole, which is touted 
as protecting mom-and-pop retail establishments, could, 
according to OSHA, ``permit a large chemical facility to claim 
retail exemption status because it sells directly to an end 
user of the chemical. This could effectively eliminate the 
entire chemical manufacturing sector from coverage under the 
PSM standard, jeopardizing the safety and health of chemical 
facility workers.''\15\ The Senate bill did not include this 
provision, and the final conference report signed into law on 
December 20, 2018, deleted this provision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Department of Labor comments on Section 9131 of the House-
enacted Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 7, 2017, Committee Democrats, working with 
Senate HELP Committee Democrats, released a GAO report, 
Workplace Safety and Health: Better Outreach, Collaboration, 
and Information Needed to Help Protect Workers at Meat and 
Poultry Plants. Among its findings, GAO reported that workers 
at many plants have trouble accessing the bathroom when they 
need it, going so far as to shun eating or drinking during 
their shifts to avoid reprimand from their supervisors for 
stepping off the production line. GAO also found that OSHA 
faces challenges identifying and addressing worker safety 
concerns in meat and poultry plants because workers fear 
employer retaliation for contacting OSHA. On February 2, 2018, 
Committee Democrats, in conjunction with Ranking Member DeLauro 
and Senator Murray, wrote Secretary Acosta seeking 
clarification on whether OSHA inspectors will follow GAO 
recommendations by asking workers about bathroom access and 
conducting offsite interviews as appropriate. Additionally, DOL 
was asked what steps it will take to better protect contracted 
sanitation workers who clean and disinfect meat and poultry 
plants and experience some of the highest amputation rates in 
the country. OSHA replied on March 19, 2018, agreeing to 
implement GAO's key recommendations.
    On December 13, 2017, Committee Democrats joined with the 
Congressional Black Caucus in a letter to U.S. Secretary of 
Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging USDA to reject a petition from 
the chicken processing industry that would exempt poultry 
plants from line speed limits set by Food Safety and Inspection 
Service rules. The letter noted that an increase from the 
current line speed limit of 140 birds per minute would 
exacerbate worker injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome 
and amputations.
    On February 27, 2018, the Workforce Protections 
Subcommittee held its only hearing on workplace safety and 
health in the 115th Congress, which was titled A More Effective 
and Collaborative OSHA: A View from Stakeholders. Prior to 
this, nearly two years passed since the Committee last held a 
hearing on workplace safety. During the hearing, Committee 
Republicans labeled OSHA's standards burdensome and called for 
more agency cooperation with employers and expanded compliance 
assistance. Committee Democrats noted that OSHA is under-
resourced and only has enough inspectors to visit each facility 
in its jurisdiction once every 158 years on average, which 
requires them to maintain public awareness on workplace safety. 
Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. David 
Michaels, who previously served as the Assistant Secretary of 
OSHA from 2009-2017. Dr. Michaels pointed out that ``compliance 
assistance is useful for those employers who voluntarily want 
to protect their employees,'' but it is ``no substitute for 
protective standards and strong, fair enforcement'' in 
preventing injuries. Dr. Michaels also called for the enactment 
of H.R. 2428, the Accurate Workplace Injury and Illness Records 
Restoration Act, which would restore OSHA's authority to cite 
employers who do not maintain accurate injury and illness logs.
    On June 28, 2018, Committee Democrats requested that GAO 
assess how OSHA is using the annual summaries of injury and 
illnesses data it collected in 2016 and 2017 to target its 
scarce inspection resources as well as whether OSHA is abiding 
by its commitment to make this facility-specific information 
available to the public on its website.

                         MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH

    Over the past eight years, Committee Democrats have called 
for a bipartisan effort to reform our nation's mine safety 
laws, particularly in light of the lessons learned from the 
April 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine disaster. That mine 
explosion, which took the lives of 29 miners on April 5, 2010, 
was the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years, and it revealed 
significant weaknesses in the Federal Mine Safety and Health 
Act of 1977 (Mine Act). These weaknesses include: the Mine 
Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) lack of subpoena 
authority for inspections and investigations; weak criminal 
sanctions for knowing violations of mandatory safety standards; 
and insufficient tools to collect overdue penalties, which 
allows scofflaws to readily escape paying delinquent civil 
fines.
    On April 5, 2017, Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 1903, 
the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2017, which, 
among its provisions, strengthens criminal sanctions under the 
Mine Act by making it a felony for an operator to knowingly 
violate mine safety standards and recklessly expose miners to 
risk of injury, illness, or death. Committee Republicans 
repeatedly stalled on legislation for the past eight years, 
stating that they wanted to wait for all of the UBB accident 
investigation reports to be completed. All six investigation 
reports were completed; the last report was released over six-
years ago, in February 2012.
    On February 6, 2018, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee 
held its sole hearing on mine safety in the 115th Congress. 
Entitled Reviewing the Policies and Priorities of the Mine 
Safety and Health Administration, this was the Committee's 
first hearing on mine safety in over two years and the only 
witness was Mr. David Zatezalo, the Assistant Secretary for 
Mine Safety and Health at DOL's MSHA. At this hearing, Mr. 
Zatezalo declined to answer what steps MSHA would take in light 
of recent NIOSH studies documenting a resurgence in the most 
severe forms of black lung disease. Democrats sought assurances 
that MSHA, as part of the Administration's deregulatory agenda, 
would not roll back any part of MSHA's 2014 respirable dust 
rule, which is aimed at helping end the scourge of black lung 
disease--a workplace illness that has already taken the lives 
of 70,000 coal miners. At this hearing, Committee Democrats 
probed a potential conflict of interest with Mr. Zatezalo: in 
his previous capacity as a coal mine executive, Mr. Zatezalo 
had served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky and Ohio 
Coal Associations, both of which had sued MSHA to invalidate 
the agency's Pattern of Violations rule and were now in 
negotiations with MSHA to settle the litigation.

                           BLACK LUNG DISEASE

    In the face of inaction by the Committee Majority regarding 
mine safety, Committee Democrats held four events (roundtables 
and briefings) to shine a spotlight on the resurgence of black 
lung disease and options to address the problem.
    On March 6, 2017, Committee Democrats held a roundtable 
with leaders of black lung clinics from across Kentucky, 
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia, along with leading 
researchers and physicians from Illinois and Virginia. The 
clinics' leaders shared that they are diagnosing rapidly 
increasing rates of progressive massive fibrosis (PMF)--the 
most lethal form of black lung disease--and they lack the 
capacity to keep up with the surge of miners seeking 
assistance. In response, Ranking Member Scott and 
Representative Morgan M. Griffith (R-VA) led a bipartisan House 
letter to President Trump urging him to increase funding for 
the black lung clinics program in his budget request for Fiscal 
Year 2018.
    On July 13, 2017, Committee Democrats hosted a briefing 
with NIOSH Director John Howard and his staff regarding their 
efforts to document the rise in the number of cases of PMF 
among coal miners in southwest Virginia. In light of the 
National Public Radio investigation that found that NIOSH had 
undercounted the number of PMF cases by at least tenfold, and a 
subsequent request from House and Senate Democrats asking NIOSH 
to quantify the total number of PMF cases, NIOSH outlined their 
recent efforts at the briefing. They confirmed a large cluster 
of PMF cases based on their review of lung x-rays from coal 
miners in southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
    On June 28, 2018, Committee Democrats hosted a bipartisan 
briefing with the National Academy of Sciences on the findings 
from a congressionally-mandated study that examined the 
monitoring of coal miners' exposure to respirable coal mine 
dust. The report found that monitoring and sampling of dust 
exposures needs to go beyond current regulatory requirements to 
be effective. The report underscored that increased silica 
exposure from thin seam mining is a likely cause in the surge 
of PMF. The report identified the advent of new NIOSH-developed 
silica monitoring technology and called for its adoption as a 
next logical step in addressing the problem.
    On September 24, 2018, Committee Democrats, spurred by the 
National Academy of Sciences report, hosted a bipartisan 
briefing for Jessica Kogel, Director of NIOSH's Office of Mine 
Safety and Health Research, and her staff featuring a 
demonstration of new field-based technology that would enable 
mine operators to monitor miners for silica exposure at the end 
of every shift. This low-cost technology could help reduce the 
incidence of black lung by allowing mine operators to know when 
miners are overexposed. Silica, which is ten to 20 times as 
toxic as coal dust, is seen as a likely culprit contributing to 
rising levels of PMF. NIOSH scientists at this briefing 
explained that silica exposure is increasing because as thicker 
coal seams have been mined out, operators are mining thinner 
coal seams that result in larger amounts of quartz-bearing rock 
being cut along with coal.

                        MINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT

    On August 28, 2018, MSHA terminated a Pattern of Violations 
(POV) sanction against a West Virginia coal mine where there 
had been two fatalities, despite a statutory requirement that 
the mine must fully rehabilitate its safety record before 
securing enforcement relief. On September 21, 2018, Committee 
Democrats requested documents and internal agency 
communications relating to this unprecedented decision. The 
oversight request questioned whether MSHA's decision to 
prematurely terminate the POV--the agency's most powerful 
administrative enforcement tool--exceeded its statutory 
authority. This same question had been raised in a dissent by a 
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commissioner in an August 
28, 2018 opinion opposing the arrangement that allowed MSHA to 
terminate the POV.\16\ In its October 1, 2018, reply, MSHA 
conceded that the mine had not fully rehabilitated itself, and 
it provided no legal basis for trampling the statutory mandate 
that only authorizes MSHA to terminate a POV sanction if no 
significant and serious violations have been cited during a 
complete mine inspection. MSHA also failed to provide internal 
agency communications which led to this decision. Instead, MSHA 
justified the decision based on improvements made at the mine 
since 2013 and vague references to ongoing litigation regarding 
a challenge to the POV rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\The Mine Safety and Health Administration et al v. Pocahontas 
Coal, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Order vacating 
Petition for Discretionary Review by Pocahontas Coal for cases WEVA 
2014-395-R, WEVA 2014-1028, WEVA 2015-854, Dissent of Commissioner 
Robert F. Cohen, Jr. (August 28, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Federal Workers' Compensation Programs


                        BLACK LUNG BENEFITS ACT

    The Committee held no hearings on the Black Lung Benefits 
Act (BLBA) in the 115th Congress. Such oversight would have 
been especially timely because: (1) a statutory 55% cut in the 
excise tax rate on coal that funds the Black Lung Disability 
Trust Fund (BLDTF), which covers over 25,000 beneficiaries, was 
scheduled to go into effect--and did in fact go into effect--on 
December 31, 2018; (2) DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs documented that the number of approved cases of black 
lung involving PMF grew at an average rate of 20% per year 
between 2012 and 2016, according to a February 24, 2017, letter 
from DOL to Ranking Member Scott; and (3) Trust Fund 
liabilities have been increasing due to DOL's apparent 
inability to place a lien on the assets of coal companies 
during bankruptcy proceedings to secure the future cost of 
black lung benefit claims.
    Due to a disparity in medical and legal resources between 
coal miners and coal companies or their insurers, the 
adversarial claims adjudication process has been tilted against 
claimants. On April 5, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and 
Representative Cartwright introduced H.R. 1912, the Black Lung 
Benefits Improvement Act of 2017, to help level the playing 
field, so that claimants who have meritorious claims can secure 
the benefits they are entitled to under the law. This bill 
addresses the difficulty black lung claimants have in securing 
legal representation due to a limited pool of black lung 
attorneys, which is a concern that was raised by GAO in 2009 
and by the DOL-IG in 2017.
    On September 27, 2017, the DOL-IG released the report 
entitled Effect of OALJ Staffing Levels on the Black Lung Case 
Backlog, which was requested by Committee Democrats. The report 
evaluated options to reduce a pendency of black lung cases 
within DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), which 
had grown to an average 46 months.
    On June 4, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and House Ways and 
Means Committee Ranking Member Richard E. Neal (D-MA) (Ranking 
Member Neal) released a GAO report, Black Lung Benefits 
Program: Options for Improving Trust Fund Finances. The report 
projected that Trust Fund debt will rise from its current level 
of approximately $5 billion to $15 billion in 2050 if the coal 
excise tax rate is allowed to sunset. Since Committee 
Republicans did not hold a hearing on DOL's Fiscal Year 2019 
budget request, there was no opportunity to probe Secretary 
Acosta on the Administration's plans to ensure the solvency of 
the Trust Fund.

                  FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT

    During the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats continued 
oversight from the 114th Congress on policies to stem the 
spiraling costs of compounded prescription drugs being 
prescribed to injured workers under the Federal Employees' 
Compensation Act (FECA). Programmatic weaknesses in detecting 
and stopping provider fraud allowed FECA's costs for compounded 
pharmaceuticals to skyrocket from an estimated $2.5 million to 
$263 million between 2011 and 2016, according to data provided 
by the DOL-IG. Substantial reforms were implemented following 
joint oversight by Committee Democrats in conjunction with 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats during the 
114th Congress, but new forms of provider fraud continue to 
challenge the program. On May 23, 2017, the DOL-IG made a 
series of legislative recommendations to reduce provider fraud 
from compounded drugs in an Interim Report on Audit of 
Pharmaceutical Management in DOL Benefit Programs: OWCP Needs 
Better Controls Over Compounded Prescription Drugs; however, 
the Committee Majority has failed to schedule hearings or a 
markup to consider these reforms.
    On May 8, 2018, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee held 
a hearing entitled The Opioid Epidemic: Implications for the 
Federal Employees' Compensation Act. DOL faces the challenge of 
the nationwide opioid drug epidemic through its federal 
workers' compensation program. Through the end of Fiscal Year 
2017, the FECA program was paying for approximately 19,000 new 
opioid prescriptions annually and had a legacy population of 
approximately 27,000 injured workers receiving opioid 
medications on an ongoing basis. Committee Democrats invited 
expert testimony from Mr. Joe Paduda, President of CompPharma, 
LLC. Although DOL implemented some limited prescribing reforms 
in August 2017, Mr. Paduda testified that DOL's policies 
regarding opioids are ``five or six years behind the rest of 
the workers' compensation industry.'' He noted that under FECA, 
``prescribers are allowed to prescribe two different opioids 
for up to 60 days without any letter of medical necessity, much 
less any pre-screen, drug testing, opioid agreement, or 
functionality impact evaluation . . . most guidelines allow no 
more than 7 days, and then only if prescribing meets stringent 
tests.'' While evidence-based, post-injury pain management is 
key to decreasing opioid abuse, Committee Democrats emphasized 
that eliminating or controlling workplace hazards to prevent 
workplace injuries should be the first line of attack. 
Committee Democrats noted that DOL did not appear as a witness 
at the hearing and requested that the Majority seek DOL's 
participation at a follow-up hearing.
    DOL's Fiscal Year 2019 budget request called for cutting 
benefit levels under FECA, including cutting benefit levels for 
disabled workers with dependents and reducing benefits for 
disabled workers at retirement age. On June 28, 2018, Committee 
Democrats requested that GAO update its previous economic 
analysis from 2012 that evaluated the adequacy of FECA 
benefits.

             LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT

    On October 10, 2017, Committee Democrats wrote Armed 
Services Committee conferees opposing a provision in the House 
version of H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act 
(NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, that would block the eligibility 
of injured shipyard workers who repair large recreational 
vessels--especially luxury yachts and other large boats over 
65, in length--to receive benefits under the Longshore and 
Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). LHWCA provides fairer 
and greater benefits to injured workers than most state 
workers' compensation laws. The provision was not included in 
the Senate NDAA and was dropped from the final conference 
report.

                          Retirement Security


                  DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S FIDUCIARY RULE

    In 2016, the Obama Administration issued a final rule 
updating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 
(ERISA). DOL's Conflict of Interest Rule, commonly known as the 
``fiduciary rule,'' ensures that financial advisors are held to 
a fiduciary standard when providing investment advice to their 
retirement clients. However, before the rule could be fully 
implemented, President Trump sought review of the rule. 
Committee Democrats opposed the Trump Administration's and 
Republican Majority's efforts to delay and repeal the fiduciary 
rule. On March 17, 2017, Committee Democrats joined with 
Financial Services Committee Democrats and wrote to DOL 
opposing its delay of the rule. On September 15, 2017, Ranking 
Member Scott, Ranking Member Waters, Senator Murray, Senate 
Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Senator 
Wyden), and Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
Affairs Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (Senator Brown) 
urged DOL not to move forward with an 18-month delay in the 
implementation of the fiduciary rule. Additionally, on May 2, 
2017, Ranking Member Scott wrote a letter to Chairwoman Foxx 
requesting that she not waive the Committee's jurisdiction over 
H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, that included 
provisions repealing the fiduciary rule. Chairwoman Foxx did 
not formally respond to the Ranking Member's letter and failed 
to assert the Committee's jurisdiction over the bill.
    On May 18, 2017, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Regulatory Barriers Facing Workers and Families Saving 
for Retirement. Committee Democrats emphasized their 
willingness to work on meaningful bipartisan solutions to help 
Americans achieve a secure and dignified retirement. 
Unfortunately, Republican Majority and Trump Administration 
policies--such as undermining the fiduciary rule--are harming 
working people's ability to save for retirement. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. Jason Furman, who 
served as President Obama's chair of the Council of Economic 
Advisers. Dr. Furman echoed Committee Democrats' support for 
the fiduciary rule. He also importantly connected the subject 
matter of the hearing with the repeated Republican Majority 
attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
Act (Affordable Care Act or ACA). Specifically, Dr. Furman 
noted that repealing the ACA would have a net effect of 
reducing Americans' after-tax incomes, thus increasing their 
financial insecurity and causing them to cut back on a wide 
range of activities--including saving for retirement.
    On July 19, 2017, the Committee marked-up H.R. 2823, the 
Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act. This bill repeals 
the fiduciary rule and replaces it with a substandard 
alternative filled with loopholes that will weaken consumer 
protections. Representative Adams offered a substitute 
amendment to codify DOL's fiduciary rule into law. The 
amendment failed by a voice vote. Committee Democrats 
unanimously opposed the motion to favorably report the bill to 
the House.

  CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW ACT RESOLUTIONS NULLIFYING DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 
                            RETIREMENT RULES

    During the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats opposed 
Republican Majority efforts to nullify two DOL retirement 
savings rules that would expand savings options for private 
sector workers who lack an employer-sponsored retirement plan. 
Several states have responded to the retirement security crisis 
by establishing state-based retirement savings programs. New 
York City and other municipalities have been considering doing 
the same. One of the concerns is uncertainty regarding the 
applicability of ERISA to state or local government-sponsored 
payroll deduction plans. DOL rules created a safe harbor to 
remove the uncertainty on whether ERISA would apply to 
employers, states, and certain municipalities. On February 15, 
2017, House Republicans--over the nearly unanimous objections 
of House Democrats--passed the following two CRA resolutions of 
disapproval: H.J. Res. 66, Disapproving the rule submitted by 
the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements 
established by States for non-governmental employees, and H.J. 
Res. 67, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of 
Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified 
State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees. 
These resolutions nullified the DOL rules and will prevent DOL 
from reissuing any substantially similar ones in the future. 
The Senate followed suit and the President signed the 
resolutions of disapproval into law on May 17, 2017 and April 
13, 2017, respectively.

         SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS LEGISLATION

    On May 16, 2018, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Enhancing Retirement Security: Examining Proposals to 
Simplify and Modernize Retirement Plan Administration. The 
hearing focused on four bipartisan retirement savings bills: 
H.R. 854, the Retirement Security for American Workers Act; 
H.R. 4158, the Retirement Plan Modernization Act; H.R. 4604, 
the Increasing Access to a Secure Retirement Act of 2017; and 
H.R. 4610, the Receiving Electronic Statements to Improve 
Retiree Earnings (RETIRE) Act. During the hearing, Committee 
Democrats expressed concern that too many Americans lack access 
to a retirement savings plan through their employer, and too 
few are saving enough on their own to enjoy a stable and 
dignified retirement. Committee Democrats urged Committee 
Republicans to mark-up the bills and pressed for further action 
to expand workers' access to retirement savings plans. 
Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. Mark 
Iwry, who served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the 
Treasury during the Obama Administration. Dr. Iwry praised the 
Subcommittee's bipartisan approach, raised several constructive 
points regarding how the bills could be strengthened and 
improved moving forward, and urged consideration of other 
legislative proposals--such as automatic enrollment into an 
IRA--to increase workers' access to retirement savings plans.

            MULTIEMPLOYER PENSIONS AND THE PENSION BENEFIT 
                          GUARANTY CORPORATION

    On November 29, 2017, the HELP Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled Financial Challenges Facing the Pension Benefit 
Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): Implications for Pension Plans, 
Workers, and Retirees. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 
(PBGC) operates two separate insurance programs: one for 
single-employer pension plans, and one for multiemployer 
pension plans (collectively bargained plans with more than one 
employer). The multiemployer pension program is currently 
projected to run out of money by the end of 2025, if not 
sooner. During the hearing, Committee Democrats pressed for 
bipartisan action to address the multiemployer pension 
program's looming insolvency. Mr. Tom Reeder, who serves as 
Director of the PBGC, was the only witness. Director Reeder 
reaffirmed the urgency for Congress to act. Specifically, 
Director Reeder made clear that the longer it takes to improve 
the solvency of the multiemployer program, the more disruptive 
and painful the changes will be for participants, plans, and 
employers.

 JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE SOLVENCY OF MULTIEMPLOYER PENSION PLANS

    The Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer 
Pension Plans (Joint Select Committee) was established as part 
of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Under that law, the Joint 
Select Committee was required to produce recommendations and 
legislative language by November 30, 2018, to significantly 
improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the 
PBGC. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Ranking 
Member Scott and another Committee Democrat, Representative 
Norcross, to serve on the Joint Select Committee.
    On March 14, 2018, the Joint Select Committee convened its 
first public meeting to formally organize and approve its 
rules. On April 18, 2018, the Joint Select Committee convened 
its first public hearing entitled The History and Structure of 
the Multiemployer Pension System. The hearing was intended to 
provide Joint Select Committee members with an overview of the 
multiemployer system and the crisis confronting it. On May 17, 
2018, the Joint Select Committee convened its second public 
hearing entitled The Structure and Financial Outlook of the 
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The hearing was intended 
to provide Joint Select Committee members with a better 
understanding of the PBGC and its financial outlook. On June 
13, 2018, the Joint Select Committee convened its third public 
hearing entitled Employer Perspectives on Multiemployer Pension 
Plans. The hearing was intended to provide Joint Select 
Committee members insight into how businesses of all sizes are 
at risk by the multiemployer pension crisis. On July 13, 2018, 
the Joint Select Committee convened its fourth public hearing 
entitled Understanding What's at Stake for Current Workers and 
Retirees. The hearing took place in Columbus, Ohio, and enabled 
Ohio-based workers, employers, and retirees to discuss how the 
multiemployer pension crisis impacts them directly. On July 25, 
2018, the Joint Select Committee convened its fifth public 
hearing entitled How the Multiemployer Pension System Affects 
Stakeholders. The hearing enabled stakeholders to discuss 
challenges with the current multiemployer pension system and 
suggest possible policy options for the Joint Select 
Committee's consideration.
    During the hearings, Ranking Member Scott consistently 
emphasized that the price tag of any bipartisan solution the 
Joint Select Committee might reach would be far less than the 
cost of doing nothing. If multiemployer pension plans fail and 
the PBGC goes insolvent, it will be catastrophic for workers, 
retirees, employers, and local communities, including reduced 
federal, state, and local tax revenues and increased social 
safety net spending on food stamps, Medicaid, and other 
assistance programs.

               DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S FEE DISCLOSURE RULES

    On August 21, 2018, Ranking Member Scott and Senator Murray 
requested that GAO review DOL's fee disclosure rules pertaining 
to 401(k) plan sponsors and plan participants in order to 
examine whether the rules have been effective or need to be 
improved. These rules require the disclosure of costs 
associated with 401(k) plans and are intended to help workers 
evaluate the reasonableness of fees and expenses. GAO responded 
that it accepted the request and is beginning its review.

    Civil Rights--Workforce Protection and Employment Discrimination

    Committee Democrats have emphasized the continued need for 
robust civil rights protections in the workplace and sound data 
to inform its enforcement of employment discrimination laws.

                EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

    On May 23, 2017, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee 
held a hearing entitled The Need for More Responsible 
Regulatory and Enforcement Policies at the EEOC. Committee 
Democrats highlighted the Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission's (EEOC) inadequate funding to address a backlog of 
discrimination charges. Committee Democrats also highlighted 
the importance of the EEOC's guidance documents, systemic and 
individual litigation as effective tools to prevent and remedy 
discrimination, and the EEOC's efficiencies in case handling 
through conciliation and mediation programs. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Mr. Todd Cox, Director 
of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, who 
emphasized discrimination's pervasive presence in the workplace 
today and reminded the Committee that the EEOC's work is far 
from over. He further testified that the EEOC must be able to 
develop new and innovative ways to combat unlawful 
discrimination.

             OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

    The Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for DOL proposed to 
merge DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs 
(OFCCP) into the EEOC. On September 13, 2017, Committee 
Democrats and Judiciary Committee Democrats amended the House 
Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill to prohibit the use of funds 
to prepare for or facilitate the transfer of OFCCP into EEOC.

                          PAY DATA COLLECTION

    On September 26, 2016, after months of public comments, 
EEOC released its revised EEO-1 form to collect pay data as it 
relates to sex, race, or ethnicity. Committee Democrats 
expressed support for the collection of this data because it 
would help EEOC and OFCCP better enforce the nation's pay 
discrimination laws. OMB approved the revised EEO-1 form in 
2016. However, on August 29, 2017, OMB's Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reversed its position and issued 
a stay of the EEO-1 form's updates. On October 22, 2018, 
Committee Democrats, along with Representative Beyer, sent a 
letter to OMB asking the agency to rescind the stay.

                       International Labor Rights


                  NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

    The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and 
Accountability Act of 2015, legislation to reauthorize Trade 
Promotion Authority (TPA), was signed into law on June 29, 
2015. TPA established the House Advisory Group on Negotiations 
(HAGON)--comprised of the chairman and ranking member (or their 
designees) of the Committees in the House of Representatives 
that have, under House Rules, jurisdiction over provisions of 
law affected by trade agreements; HAGON includes the Education 
and the Workforce Committee chair and ranking member. HAGON has 
been particularly focused on the Administration's efforts to 
renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 
along with the pursuit of other trade agreements.
    On June 12, 2017, Committee Democrats submitted comments 
regarding the NAFTA renegotiation and emphasized that any 
renegotiation of NAFTA must promote a fair-trade agenda that 
prioritizes and improves the lives of working families at home 
and abroad. The comment letter noted that priorities of a new 
NAFTA framework should include robust labor rights, worker 
protections, and enforceable rules that ensure compliance of 
labor standards across the continent. The letter underscored 
that without enforceable compliance of labor rights, a trade 
agreement could increase inequality and accelerate a global 
``race-to-the-bottom.''
    On July 14, 2017, House Democrats wrote to President Trump 
to explain their framework for a new NAFTA, entitled Worker's 
Bill of Rights. They outlined their priorities, including 
strong labor and environmental standards with effective 
enforcement; eliminating the Investor State Dispute Settlement 
(ISDS) provision; ending foreign tribunals that undermine U.S. 
trade enforcement laws; lowering the cost of prescription 
drugs; and protecting U.S. energy policy.
    On January 23, 2018, House Democrats wrote to United States 
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (USTR Lighthizer) to 
express concern with the current negotiations on NAFTA, 
specifically to emphasize that any new NAFTA text must have 
strong, clear, and binding provisions that address Mexico's 
labor conditions. The letter noted that Mexico has yet to make 
meaningful progress on the suppression of wages, the lack of 
independent unions, and the inability of workers to 
collectively bargain. The letter urged the Administration to 
fix the faults of the original NAFTA by holding Mexico 
accountable for its labor practices and to ensure strong labor 
standards for all workers.
    On April 20, 2018, House Democrats wrote to USTR Lighthizer 
to express their concern with the March 22, 2018, legislation 
introduced before the Mexican Senate that would maintain the 
corrupt system that prevents Mexican workers from exercising 
their freedom to organize and bargain for higher wages. The 
letter emphasized that the legislation would undermine ongoing 
efforts to create a fair playing field for U.S. workers and 
U.S. businesses through NAFTA renegotiation, specifically 
noting the unchanging wage disparity between the U.S. and 
Mexico in the 24 years NAFTA has been in effect.

                                COLOMBIA

    Committee Democrats took various steps to encourage 
oversight of existing trade agreements and to encourage 
governments to respect internationally recognized labor rights.
    On March 22, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and House Democrats 
wrote to USTR Lighthizer and Secretary Acosta to request that 
the Administration withhold support of the Government of 
Colombia's (GOC) accession to the Organization for Economic 
Cooperation and Development (OECD) until GOC addresses 
significant longstanding violations of fundamental labor 
rights. The DOL Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs 
responded in April 2017 outlining DOL's view that the GOC had 
made meaningful progress in the area of labor rights.
    On July 19, 2017, House Democrats who are members of the 
Congressional Monitoring Group on Labor Rights in Colombia 
wrote to USTR Lighthizer and Secretary Acosta to emphasize 
significant concern regarding the failure of the Colombian 
government to implement and effectively enforce provisions in 
the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and the Labor 
Action Plan. The letter cited the May 2016 petition filed by 
AFL-CIO and several Colombian labor unions alleging numerous 
labor obligation violations as required under the free trade 
agreement as well as the January 2017 International Labor 
Affair Bureau (ILAB) report that found significant concerns 
regarding GOC's progress in TPA compliance. The letter 
concluded by expressing concern over a lack of Trump 
Administration leadership regarding labor rights in Colombia, 
and to emphasize recent events in Colombia that resulted in the 
murder of ten Colombian union leaders. A response letter was 
received from DOL indicating that DOL's work to address the 
issues identified in the July 19th letter is ongoing.

                               BANGLADESH

    On February 23, 2017, Ranking Member Scott and House 
Democrats wrote to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to 
express concern over the arrest and detention of workers' 
rights leaders in the garment industry and to highlight 
Bangladesh's criminalization of the lawful exercise of labor 
rights. The letter noted the recent pattern of arrests, 
surveillance, and harassment of garment worker union members 
and leaders in Bangladesh and urged for the government to drop 
all unsubstantiated charges. No response was received.

             Department of Labor Budget and Administration


                    FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGET REQUEST

    On May 2, 2017, Ranking Member Scott asked Chairwoman Foxx 
to invite the secretaries of the cabinet agencies within the 
Committee's jurisdiction (Labor, Education, Health and Human 
Services, and Agriculture) to testify about their respective 
budget requests, particularly in light of preliminary Fiscal 
Year 2018 proposals to scale back ED by 13%, HHS by 17.9%, and 
DOL by 21%. On November 15, 2017, Secretary Acosta appeared 
before the Committee, six months after the Fiscal Year 2018 
budget request was submitted but before appropriations 
legislation had concluded. Committee Democrats pressed the 
Secretary on his agency's first ten months of activity, which 
included initiatives to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, 
undermine access to contraceptive care services, attack 
overtime pay and workplace safety, weaken apprenticeship 
standards, and delay protections for retirement savers.
    Secretary Acosta did not testify on DOL's Fiscal Year 2019 
budget request.

              BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS PATHWAYS PROGRAM

    On August 31, 2017, Ranking Member Scott wrote to Secretary 
Acosta to express concern regarding letters sent by DOL 
terminating nineteen of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) 
Pathways Program employees. The letter noted that the Pathways 
Program, which uses an apprenticeship model, is an effective 
method of recruiting, training, and retaining entry-level 
economists, and a plan to eliminate the Pathways Program 
demonstrates a failure to lead by example on apprenticeships. 
The letter requested documentation on the decision to eliminate 
the Pathways Program positions. DOL's October 17, 2017, 
response did not address many of the issues raised in the 
letter, nor did it provide the requested documentation.

  SECURITY DETAIL FOR THE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND OTHER DEPARTMENT OF 
                            LABOR OFFICIALS

    In 2017, Secretary Acosta requested that Congress authorize 
legislation to establish a permanent security detail to cover 
his security and that of his family, as well as the Deputy 
Secretary and any other DOL official standing in for the 
Secretary. This legislation was requested following a decision 
by the DOL-IG to phase out the provision of security services 
for the Secretary of Labor. Aware of the need for appropriate 
security arrangements for the Secretary of Labor, who is within 
the chain of succession, Committee Democrats agreed to 
temporary legislation; at the same time, aware of the 
documented abuse of security details by other Administration 
officials, oversight was conducted on spending levels, the 
number of full time equivalent employees carrying out the 
security function, the cost for such security on overseas 
travel, and the use of the security detail by the Deputy 
Secretary and other senior agency staff under this temporary 
authority.

                              Health Care


               ATTEMPTS TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

    The Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, 
was enacted to improve and expand access to health insurance 
for individuals across the nation. The ACA provided for more 
comprehensive health benefits in health coverage, with the goal 
of minimizing costs and improving quality. On January 13, 2017, 
the House Republican Majority approved a Senate-passed Fiscal 
Year 2017 budget resolution laying the groundwork for repealing 
large portions of the ACA through the budget reconciliation 
process. On January 11, 2017, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank J. 
Pallone (D-NJ) (Ranking Member Pallone) and Ranking Member 
Neal, wrote their respective Committee Chairs to ask for a 
transparent and public process for any legislation to repeal 
the ACA.
    On January 20, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 
13765, Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection 
and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal. The Executive Order 
directed executive branch departments and agencies to take 
steps to use their authority and discretion ``to the maximum 
extent permitted by law'' to waive, defer, grant exemptions 
from, or delay the implementation of certain provisions and 
requirements of the ACA. On February 8, 2017, Ranking Member 
Scott, along with Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, 
and House Budget Committee Ranking Member John A. Yarmuth (D-
KY), wrote to the Departments of Health and Human Services 
(HHS), Treasury, and Labor expressing concerns with 
implementation of the Executive Order. The letter specifically 
addressed the Executive Order's proposals to expand association 
health plans (AHPs) and expand the allowable duration of short-
term, limited duration insurance, undermining existing ACA 
protections. No response was received.
    On February 1, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
Rescuing Americans from the Failed Health Care Law and 
Advancing Patient-Centered Solutions, during which Committee 
Republicans reiterated their opposition to the ACA and laid the 
foundation for further discussion of ACA repeal and 
``replacement'' ideas. Committee Democrats invited Ms. Angela 
Schlaak of St. Joseph, Michigan, to share her personal story of 
how the ACA benefited her and her family. During the hearing, 
Committee Democrats highlighted the progress made since the 
ACA's enactment, including increased consumer protections for 
job-based coverage. They also highlighted the negative impacts 
of repeal. According to estimates, repeal would leave 30 
million Americans without health insurance and cost the economy 
2.6 million jobs nationwide.\17\ Committee Democrats also 
unveiled a report entitled Accessible, Affordable Health Care--
A Right, Not a Privilege: How Repeal of the Affordable Care Act 
Threatens the Health and Economic Security of Working Families. 
The report highlighted ten key ways in which the law benefits 
workers and their families and how ACA repeal would impact 
working people. On March 1, 2017, against the backdrop of 
developing repeal proposals, the Committee held a hearing on 
three unrelated legislative proposals entitled Legislative 
Proposals to Improve Health Care Coverage and Provide Lower 
Costs for Families. Committee Democrats focused on how the 
Republican Majority's repeal proposals would halt the progress 
of ACA coverage and result in less comprehensive health care 
coverage. Committee Democrats invited expert testimony from Ms. 
Lydia Mitts, the Associate Director of Affordability 
Initiatives at Families USA, who also underscored how the 
Republican Majority's proposals would result in higher costs 
for many working people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\The Commonwealth Fund, What Are the Potential Effects of the 
Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill? Past Estimates Provide Some 
Clues (September 20, 2017), https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2017/
what-are-potential-effects-graham-cassidy-aca-repeal-and-replace-bill-
past-estimates.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In March 2017, the Republican Majority introduced H.R. 
1628, the American Health Care Act, a bill to partially repeal 
the ACA through the budget reconciliation process. The 
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the bill would 
leave 24 million more individuals uninsured by 2026.\18\ On 
March 24, 2017, as Committee Democrats spoke in opposition to 
H.R. 1628 during floor debate in the House, the Republican 
Majority halted floor consideration of the bill. The Republican 
Majority subsequently passed an amended version of H.R. 1628--
without an updated Congressional Budget Office score--on May 4, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Congressional Budget Office, Cost Estimate, American Health 
Care Act Budget Reconciliation Recommendations of the House Committees 
on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, March 9, 2017 (March 13, 
2017), https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115-congress-2017-2018/
costestimate/americanhealthcareact.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After efforts to repeal the ACA ultimately failed in the 
Senate, Committee Democrats wrote Republican House leadership 
and the Chairs of the House Committees on Education and the 
Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Budget on 
July 28, 2017, reiterating interest in working together to make 
improvements to the ACA, such as lowering costs, promoting 
stability in the individual market, and expanding access to 
coverage. Committed to building on the progress of the ACA, 
Committee Democrats supported H.R. 5155, the Undo Sabotage and 
Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018. This 
legislation strengthens the ACA, makes coverage more 
affordable, and undoes harmful policies proposed and 
implemented by the Trump Administration. The bill includes 
provisions that ensure families who do not have an offer of 
affordable coverage from an employer can still qualify for 
subsidies in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) and 
stops efforts to proliferate association health plans and 
short-term, limited duration plans that offer limited benefits 
and little financial protection from high health care costs. 
The bill also invests in state efforts to conduct outreach to 
increase enrollment in the Marketplace, educate consumers of 
their rights, and help individuals navigate the health 
insurance system. On May 4, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along 
with Ranking Member Pallone and Ranking Member Neal, wrote to 
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul D. Ryan (R-
WI) to request that H.R. 5155 be brought to the House floor to 
counteract the Administration's and Republican Majority's 
efforts to sabotage the health care system through legislation, 
de-regulation, and Executive orders.

             THE ADMINISTRATION'S IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW

    The Trump Administration has failed or refused to implement 
various pieces of the Affordable Care Act--actions that have 
threatened and compromised Americans' access to health 
insurance. House Democrats conducted oversight on the 
Administration's implementation of the ACA, including many of 
these and other policy changes that undermine access to 
affordable, comprehensive coverage. Estimates show that 6.4 
million individuals will be left uninsured in 2019 as the 
result of the Administration terminating cost-sharing reduction 
(CSR) payments, cutting federal funding for advertising and 
outreach, reducing open enrollment periods, and loosening rules 
regarding short-term, limited duration plans along with 
Congress' zeroing out the individual mandate penalty.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Urban Institute, Updated: The Potential Impact of Short-Term 
Limited-Duration Policies on Insurance Coverage, Premiums. and Federal 
Spending (March 2018), https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/
publication/96781/2001727_updated_finalized.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 30, 2017, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
Ranking Member Pallone and Ranking Member Neal, sent a letter 
to HHS requesting information regarding the Administration's 
decision to halt advertising and outreach activities for 
Healthcare.gov and the Administration's plans to continue 
Marketplace activities for the remainder of 2017. The letter 
noted that the Administration's efforts to sabotage enrollment 
in the Marketplace will result in adverse risk selection, 
destabilize insurance markets, and increased premiums. No 
response was received.
    On October 17, 2017, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, Senator Murray, 
and Senator Wyden, sent a letter to HHS requesting information 
on the Administration's unilateral decision to terminate CSR 
payments, specifically to understand the legal justification to 
terminate these subsidies and any analyses conducted of the 
impact of this decision on health insurance access and costs in 
the individual market and federal spending. No response was 
received. On October 20, 2017, Ranking Member Scott joined 
House Democratic leadership and Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking 
Member Nadler, House Committee on Appropriations Ranking Member 
Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) (Ranking Member Lowey), House Committee on 
Rules Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) (Ranking Member 
Slaughter), and Ranking Member Neal in signing onto an amicus 
brief in a lawsuit involving the CSR payments, California v. 
Trump, supporting California and a group of states seeking 
injunctive relief.
    On December 6, 2017, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, and Senators 
Murray and Wyden, wrote the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid 
Services (CMS) expressing concern regarding provisions in the 
2019 Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters that 
undermine critical consumer protections in the individual and 
small group market, including essential health benefits, 
medical loss ratios, and CSRs. The letter urged CMS to withdraw 
the proposed changes and commit to faithful implementation of 
the law and polices that improve the quality and cost of health 
care coverage. No response was received.
    On February 21, 2018, HHS, DOL, and Treasury jointly 
published a proposed rule to extend the allowable duration of 
short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) from three 
months to up to 12 months. On May 31, 2018, Ranking Member 
Scott, along with Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, 
and Senators Murray and Wyden, wrote the Departments expressing 
concern with the flawed analysis provided in the Economic 
Impact and Paperwork Burden section of the proposed rule. The 
letter noted the wide differences in analysis prepared by HHS, 
Labor, and Treasury as compared to analyses prepared by 
nonpartisan sources that demonstrate the rule would cause 
serious harm to the health care system. Ranking Member Scott, 
along with Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, and 
Senators Murray and Wyden, also sent an April 12, 2018, comment 
letter noting that by expanding the use of STLDI, the 
availability of discriminatory, deceptive, and insufficient 
plans with fewer consumer protections will increase. The letter 
further notes that STLDI undermines the individual insurance 
market, increases premiums, exposes consumers to greater 
financial risk, and will lead to a greater number of uninsured 
Americans. No response was received.
    On September 13, 2018, House Democrats introduced H.J. Res. 
140, Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of 
title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the 
Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the 
Department of Health and Human Services relating to ``Short-
Term, Limited-Duration Insurance'', a CRA resolution of 
disapproval of the rule.
    On February 28, 2018, the Texas Attorney General and 20 
other state attorneys general filed a lawsuit, Texas v. United 
States, seeking to invalidate the entirety of the ACA by 
challenging the constitutionality of the law after the 
individual mandate penalty was reduced to $0 for 2019. On June 
7, 2018, the Trump Administration filed a court brief declining 
to defend the constitutionality of ACA provisions guaranteeing 
coverage regardless of health status (``guaranteed issue''), 
prohibiting insurers from charging higher premiums based on 
health status (``community rating''), and prohibiting pre-
existing condition exclusions. The Administration's position 
would allow insurance companies to charge people with a pre-
existing condition higher premiums or deny them coverage 
altogether as they were permitted to do prior to the ACA. DOJ's 
decision to not defend ACA provisions breaks with longstanding 
traditions of defending laws enacted by Congress and 
illustrates Administration attempts to sabotage the ACA, while 
damaging the ability of millions of Americans to afford health 
insurance. On June 13, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Neal, Ranking Member 
Cummings, and Ranking Member Nadler, wrote two letters to HHS 
and DOJ requesting information regarding HHS' and CMS' 
involvement in DOJ's decision to not defend these key consumer 
protections. One of the letters also requested documentation 
and information on analyses on the effects of the elimination 
of key patient protections in the ACA; the effects of legal 
uncertainty from Texas v. United States on premiums in the 
individual market; and communications between HHS, CMS, and DOJ 
officials on the DOJ decision to not defend key provisions in 
the ACA. CMS responded on August 20, 2018, with a letter 
declining to comment due to ongoing litigation. On December 7, 
2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with Ranking Member Pallone, 
Ranking Member Neal, and Ranking Member Nadler, sent a follow-
up letter to Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma 
reiterating their request for answers on the Administration's 
decision to decline to defend protections for individuals with 
preexisting conditions in the Texas v. United States lawsuit.
    On June 6, 2018, Secretary Azar testified at a Committee 
oversight hearing titled Examining the Policies and Priorities 
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This was 
the first appearance before the Committee of any HHS official 
during the 115th Congress. During the hearing, Committee 
Democrats questioned Secretary Azar on the Administration's 
actions to undermine the ACA as well as its proposals to cut 
Medicaid funding. Additionally, Committee Democrats raised the 
harmful policies implemented by the Administration to separate 
families at the border--leaving thousands of children 
unaccompanied--and the lack of oversight to ensure that 
children receive the health and supportive services to which 
they are legally entitled.
    On July 17, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with Ranking 
Members Pallone and Neal, and Senators Murray and Wyden, sent a 
letter to HHS with concerns about CMS' decision to suspend 
billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and 
collections. The letter noted that risk adjustment is a 
mechanism for maintaining market stability and is a critical 
component of how the ACA has expanded access to affordable 
coverage; the suspension may result in insurers leaving the 
market and an increase in premiums for consumers. On July 24, 
2018, CMS released a final rule to restart the program. CMS 
referred to this final rule in its September 5, 2018, response 
to the letter.
    Committee Democrats also noted the growing number of 
consumers who are hit with ``surprise bills''--higher than 
expected out-of-pocket costs from out-of-network providers. On 
October 1, 2018, Ranking Member Scott wrote DOL regarding 
surprise bills to seek clarity on whether DOL requires 
employer-sponsored plans to count out-of-network costs incurred 
in an in-network facility toward the ACA's annual out-of-pocket 
limits. No response was received.
    On October 22, 2018, CMS and Treasury issued guidance 
relaxing the guardrails of Section 1332 of the Affordable Care 
Act, a provision allowing states to waive some ACA requirements 
with the goal of improving coverage, affordability, and 
comprehensiveness of benefits. On November 16, 2018, Ranking 
Member Scott, along with Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member 
Neal, Senator Murray, Senator Wyden, and Senator Casey (Senate 
Special Committee on Aging Ranking Member), sent a letter to 
CMS urging the agency to rescind the newly issued guidance. The 
letter stated that the new guidance will allow the approval of 
1332 waivers that could result in less coverage, fewer consumer 
protections, and higher costs.
    On December 21, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with 
Ranking Member Pallone and Ranking Member Neal, sent a comment 
letter to HHS, Treasury, and DOL on the proposed rule regarding 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The letter expressed 
concern that the rule creates a perverse incentive for certain 
employers to shift sicker or older workers into the individual 
market, and it urged them to withdraw the proposal.

                        ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS

    The Committee considered legislation, H.R. 1101, the Small 
Business Health Fairness Act, to promote and expand association 
health plans (AHPs). AHPs have been studied at length, 
including in a 2000 Congressional Budget Office report, 
Increasing Small-Firm Health Insurance Coverage Through 
Association Health Plans and HealthMarts, which found that they 
would have almost no impact in increasing health coverage. 
Instead, they are likely to exacerbate adverse selection and 
shift costs to workers. Such adverse selection would result in 
higher premiums in non-AHP plans; ultimately, higher-cost 
(sicker or older) groups could find it more difficult to obtain 
coverage.\20\ The Committee marked up the bill on March 8, 
2017, at which time Committee Democrats offered various 
amendments to apply strong consumer protections for workers 
covered in AHPs under the legislation, including a failed 
amendment to ensure that AHPs cover needed health services for 
women, such as maternity care and direct access to obstetrics 
and gynecology (OB-GYN) services. At the conclusion of the 
markup, Committee Democrats opposed the motion to favorably 
report the bill to the House. On March 22, 2017, during floor 
consideration of the bill in the House, Representative Carol 
Shea-Porter (D-NH), a Committee Democrat, offered a motion to 
recommit (MTR) to ensure that substance use disorder treatment 
services are available in AHPs. The MTR failed, and the bill 
passed the House by a vote of 236-175.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\The American Academy of Actuaries, Issue Brief: Association 
Health Plans (February 2017), http://www.actuary.org/content/
association-health-plans-0.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During his November 15, 2017, appearance before the 
Committee, Secretary Acosta faced questions from Committee 
Democrats regarding the Department's plans to issue regulations 
to expand the use of AHPs. On January 5, 2018, the DOL proposed 
its AHP rule. Under the new regulatory structure in the 
proposed rule, associations can sell coverage to small 
businesses and self-employed individuals without meeting 
certain ACA standards that would otherwise apply to plans sold 
to these consumers, such as the requirement to cover essential 
health benefits, a prohibition against charging higher premiums 
based on factors such as gender or occupation, and a limit on 
charging higher premiums to older people.
    The Committee conducted robust oversight over the proposal. 
This included multiple questions posed to DOL on the impact of 
the rule on workers, particularly workers with pre-existing 
conditions. On March 6, 2018, Committee Democrats provided 
comments in response to the proposed rulemaking pointing out 
the history of fraud and insolvencies in AHPs and expressing 
concern for small business owners and workers that may be 
negatively impacted under the proposal. The HELP Subcommittee 
held a hearing to review DOL's proposed rule on March 20, 2018. 
Subcommittee Democrats invited expert testimony from Mr. John 
Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO of the Small Business Majority, who 
discussed the harm that the proposal may have on many small 
businesses and their workers. Notwithstanding the Democratic 
opposition and widespread opposition from consumer and patient 
groups, on June 19, 2018, DOL finalized the rule to promote 
enrollment in AHPs.
    On July 26, 2018, eleven states and the District of 
Columbia filed suit against DOL seeking to invalidate the final 
AHP regulations. On November 29, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, 
Democratic House leadership, Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking 
Member Nadler, and Ranking Member Neal filed an amicus brief in 
opposition to the final rule, arguing that the rule is contrary 
to the fundamental structure of the ACA.

                       ACCESS TO PREVENTIVE CARE

    On October 6, 2017, the Trump Administration announced 
rules to allow employers and institutions of higher education 
to opt out of covering contraception based on a moral or 
religious objection. Previous policy ensured that employees had 
access to contraception even if their employer had a religious 
objection, giving 62 million women access to birth control 
without co-payments.\21\ The change threatens women's access to 
essential contraceptive care. On December 5, 2017, Ranking 
Member Scott, along with Ranking Member Pallone and Ranking 
Member Neal, submitted comments on the Interim Final Rules 
(IFRs) regarding coverage of contraception for women. The 
comments noted that not only do the IFRs roll back the advances 
made to women's health under the guise of religious liberty, 
they also violate a number of constitutional and statutory 
provisions. Litigation on the rules is ongoing, and final rules 
are expected in the coming months. Committee Democrats continue 
to fight to ensure that women have access to the full range of 
preventive health services as required under the ACA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Planned Parenthood, Trump Administration Takes Direct Aim at 
Birth Control Coverage for 62 Million Women (October 6, 2017), https://
www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/trump-
administration-takes-direct-aim-at-birth-control-coverage-for-62-
million-women-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

             CIVIL RIGHTS--NONDISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE

    On March 27, 2018, Ranking Member Scott, along with Ranking 
Member Pallone, sent a letter to Secretary Azar in response to 
HHS' Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) proposed rule, Protecting 
Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of 
Authority, which would allow for greater discrimination in the 
health care system and in HHS-funded programs and services. The 
letter emphasized that the proposed rule directly contradicts 
the mission of OCR by exacerbating inequities in the health 
care system by allowing hospitals, doctors, and other 
individuals and institutions to deny care to patients based on 
religious beliefs. The letter concluded that discriminated 
individuals and groups such as women, minorities, and LGBTQ 
members would face further discrimination if this proposed rule 
were to take effect. On May 23, 2018, a similar letter was sent 
by a large group of House Democrats, including many Committee 
Democrats, expressing concern to OMB regarding the proposed 
rule entitled Nondiscrimination in Health Programs or 
Activities. The letter emphasized concern with the intention to 
roll back the first broad prohibition of sex discrimination in 
federal law.
    The Committee considered legislation, H.R. 1313, the 
Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, which would permit 
the circumvention of important civil rights laws and threaten 
the privacy of workers by allowing employer-provided wellness 
programs to evade requirements under the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information 
Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Committee Democrats repeatedly 
expressed concern with the fact that the legislation could be a 
proxy for discrimination. Committee Democrats offered a number 
of amendments that, if accepted, would have preserved some of 
the privacy and civil rights guardrails enacted through the ADA 
and GINA. Amendments to ensure that information obtained 
through a wellness program cannot be used in employment 
decisions, such as hiring or firing, or be sold, were also 
offered but failed. An amendment was also offered to remove the 
erroneous application of ADA's safe harbor provision to 
wellness programs; that amendment also failed.
    On November 20, 2018, Committee Democrats requested 
information based on a New York Times report that the 
Administration plans to redefine gender to specifically exclude 
transgender identity.\22\ The letter, sent to Secretary Azar, 
asked the Administration to clarify its plans to redefine 
gender and requested data or other resources used to inform its 
decision. The letter further noted that such a definition would 
ignore scientific data and legal precedence for treatment of 
transgender persons and would remove civil rights protections 
for 1.4 million vulnerable Americans.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\The New York Times, `Transgender' Could Be Defined Out of 
Existence Under Trump Administration (October 21, 2018), https://
www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-
administration-sex-definition.html.
    \23\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS

    Consumers incurring surprise medical bills may either face 
higher deductibles or coinsurance for out-of-network providers 
or balanced billing, where patients are asked to pay the 
portion of the out-of-network provider's charges for services 
left unreimbursed by their plan. The ACA includes a provision, 
section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, to limit 
annual consumer spending for out-of-pocket costs, such as 
deductibles, copays and coinsurance; this protection was also 
incorporated into ERISA. Regulations issued by CMS clarify that 
Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) that cover out-of-network 
services must count cost sharing for an out-of-network 
ancillary provider in an in-network setting toward annual cost-
sharing limits--providing some protection for consumers facing 
surprise bills. On October 1, 2018, Ranking Member Scott sent a 
letter to DOL asking whether these standards can also be 
applied to group plans that are subject to out-of-pocket 
limits. A response letter from DOL was received, however, the 
response left a number of the questions around DOL's authority 
unaddressed.

                     ADDRESSING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

    During the 115th Congress, Committee Democrats remained 
concerned about the impact that substance use disorder, 
particularly opioid use disorder, is having on communities 
across the country and continued their efforts from the 114th 
Congress to combat the issue. Three hearings were held focusing 
on the opioid epidemic. The first was a joint hearing on 
November 8, 2017, by the ECESE and HEWD Subcommittees entitled 
Close to Home: How Opioids are Impacting Communities. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. Leana S. Wen, 
Baltimore City Health Commissioner. Both Committee Democrats 
and Dr. Wen expressed the need for a holistic approach to 
combat the opioid crisis that provides wrap-around and 
supportive services for impacted communities, and they also 
discussed the importance of the ACA in this effort.
    On February 15, 2018, a joint hearing by the HELP and 
Workforce Protections Subcommittees was held entitled The 
Opioids Epidemic: Implications for America's Workplaces. 
Committee Democrats again stressed the importance of evidence-
based policies in the opioid epidemic response. Committee 
Democrats invited expert testimony from Dr. Christina M. 
Andrews, a Researcher at University of South Carolina, who 
discussed successful interventions and the importance of health 
insurance coverage.
    The Committee continued to conduct oversight on the 
intersection of opioid use disorder and workers' compensation. 
This was the focus of the May 8, 2018, hearing in the Workforce 
Protections Subcommittee entitled The Opioid Epidemic: 
Implications for the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, which 
demonstrated that even more oversight is needed. In 2011, more 
than 25 percent of workers' compensation prescription drug 
claim costs were for opioid pain medications.\24\ Recent 
studies show that more than half of injured workers off work 
for more than seven days with pain medications, but who did not 
have surgery, received an opioid prescription, and many of them 
received opioids on a longer-term basis.\25\ Committee 
Democrats remain concerned about how DOL will stem over-
prescribing under the FECA program, while ensuring that injured 
workers get appropriate care.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\National Safety Council, Prescription Pain Medications: A Fatal 
Cure for Injured Workers (2015), https://www.acoem.org/uploadedFiles/
Public_Affairs/Policies_And_Position_Statements/Guidelines/
Library_and_Reference_Material/Prescription%20Pain%20Medications%20A%20 
Fatal%20Cure%20for%20Injured%20Workers.pdf.
    \25\Workers Compensation Research Institute, Longer-Term Dispensing 
of Opioids: 4th Edition (August 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Committee Democrats worked on a bipartisan basis to advance 
legislation to help combat opioid use disorder. One such effort 
was bipartisan legislation to create an advisory council to 
address the impact that opioid use disorder is having on the 
workplace. The advisory council would be comprised of a variety 
of stakeholders, including unions, employers, workplace safety 
and health professionals, and substance use disorder treatment 
and recovery experts. The bill, H.R. 5892, To establish an 
Advisory Committee on Opioids and the Workplace to advise the 
Secretary of Labor on actions the Department of Labor can take 
to address the impact of opioid abuse on the workplace, passed 
the House on June 13, 2018. On July 25, 2018, Representative 
Shea-Porter introduced H.R. 6535, the Campus Prevention and 
Recovery Services for Students Act, which would require 
colleges and universities to offer evidence-based substance use 
disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery support services 
to students. The Committee played an active role in drafting 
H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was 
signed into law on October 24, 2018. The Committee continues to 
seek additional ways to help communities improve access to care 
and support services for those affected by substance use 
disorder.

             SUPPORTING OLDER AMERICANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

    Committee Democrats continued to recognize and examine the 
challenges that an ever-growing population of older Americans 
faces. In the 115th Congress, the Committee worked on a 
bipartisan basis to pass two pieces of legislation that were 
signed into law that seek to support older Americans and their 
caregivers. H.R. 3759, the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, 
and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017, directs the 
establishment of a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to 
provide recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on effective 
models of both family caregiving and support to family 
caregivers, as well as improving coordination across federal 
government programs. S. 1091, the Supporting Grandparents 
Raising Grandchildren Act, requires the establishment of an 
Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. 
The Advisory Council will identify, promote, coordinate, and 
disseminate to the public information, resources, and best 
practices available to help grandparents and other older 
relatives both meet the needs of the children in their care and 
maintain their own physical and mental health and emotional 
well-being. Both these legislative accomplishments will further 
support the aging community and provide feedback for how 
Congress and the Administration can better assist older 
Americans and their families.

              PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OLDER AMERICANS

    According to DOL, one in four U.S. workers will be 55 or 
older by 2024; this will more than double the rate from 1994, 
when 55-plus workers accounted for only 12 percent of the 
workforce.\26\ When older workers become unemployed, they are 
far more likely than other workers to join the ranks of the 
long-term unemployed, and age discrimination is a significant 
factor in their long-term unemployment. In a 2015 survey of 
older workers who lost their jobs, 51 percent said that age 
discrimination negatively affected their ability to get a new 
job.\27\ In a 2017 survey, 61 percent of respondents indicated 
that either they or an acquaintance had experienced age 
discrimination in employment.\28\ This number is up from 33 
percent reported in 2012.\29\ On May 25, 2017, Ranking Member 
Scott once again introduced H.R. 2650, the Protecting Older 
Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA), which has garnered 
bipartisan support in both the House and Senate over the past 
few Congresses as well as broad support from older Americans. 
The bill restores fairness in the workplace for older Americans 
by returning to the pre-2009 evidentiary threshold applied in 
discrimination claims and replacing the ``but-for'' test the 
Supreme Court adopted in 2009 in Gross v. FBL Financial 
Services, Inc. with the ``mixed-motive'' test that courts 
applied prior to 2009. Without this legislative fix, the 
heightened burden of proof to show age discrimination will 
continue to encourage employees to terminate older workers, 
causing them to experience economic hardship, greater health 
related and other costs, and the loss of business acumen and 
knowledge in the workplace. These costs are not insignificant 
to U.S. taxpayers who have to ultimately support the aged 
unemployed and their families through government services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Insurance Journal, Why Businesses Need to Plan for an Aging 
Workforce (June 21, 2018), https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/
national/2018/06/21/492950.htm.
    \27\AARP, The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work After 
Unemployment (March 2015), http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/
2015-03/The-Long-Road-Back_INSIGHT.pdf.
    \28\AARP, The Value of Experience: Age Discrimination Against Older 
Workers Persists (2018), https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/
research/surveys_statistics/econ/2018/value-of-experience-age-
discrimination-highlights.doi.10.26419-2Fres.00177.002.pdf.
    \29\Insurance Journal, Why Businesses Need to Plan for an Aging 
Workforce (June 21, 2018), https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/
national/2018/06/21/492950.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

             ENSURING CHILDREN HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTHY MEALS

    Committee Democrats worked to ensure that every child is 
able to grow and learn without the burden of hunger, regardless 
of the family's financial situation. Committee Democrats helped 
draft H.R. 2401, the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017, introduced 
by Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) on May 8, 2017.
    The ECESE Subcommittee held a hearing entitled Examining 
the Summer Food Service Program on July 17, 2018. During the 
hearing, Committee Democrats reiterated their support for both 
in-school and out-of-school feeding programs and recognized the 
invaluable contribution that nutrition programs and enrichments 
provide to communities. Committee Democrats invited expert 
testimony from Ms. Adele LaTourette, Director of the New Jersey 
Anti-Hunger Coalition, who discussed the importance of these 
feeding programs that often can mean the difference between 
going hungry and being fed for many children across the 
country.
    On September 22, 2018, the Trump Administration announced a 
proposed rule that would make changes to ``public charge'' 
policies. Under the proposed rule, officials would consider use 
of certain previously excluded public benefit programs to 
determine if an individual is likely to become a public charge, 
including SNAP and Medicaid, among others. Particularly since 
SNAP and Medicaid are closely linked with other child nutrition 
programs in the Committee's jurisdiction, Committee Democrats 
submitted a comment letter to DHS on December 10, 2018, 
opposing the rule and outlining the impact that this rule will 
have on the health and wellbeing of children, including a 
negative effect on participation in child nutrition programs.

                                   Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Marcia L. Fudge.
                                   Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.
                                   Suzanne Bonamici.
                                   Alma S. Adams.
                                   Donald Norcross.
                                   Raja Krishnamoorthi.
                                   Adriano Espaillat.
                                   Susan A. Davis.
                                   Joe Courtney.
                                   Jared Polis.
                                   Frederica S. Wilson.
                                   Mark Takano.
                                   Mark DeSaulnier.
                                   Lisa Blunt Rochester.
                                   Carol Shea-Porter.