Businesses, government and government-focused companies have been working to provide their workers with business training for the past several years, but the GOP leadership has pushed back on efforts to create more opportunities for workers.
In a memo issued Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the GOP’s bill would provide more than $2 billion to help businesses and employers prepare for the upcoming federal job-training tax holiday.
“We know that our economy is struggling, but this holiday will help create jobs, expand opportunities and make America stronger,” Ryan wrote.
“In addition to providing incentives to help employers prepare, the bill will ensure that businesses will continue to have access to taxpayer-funded job training programs that are designed to help them hire and retain qualified workers.”
The tax holiday, which began Jan. 1, provides $500 billion in tax relief to businesses and households.
The bill also increases the federal payroll tax from 7.2 percent to 8.2.
The GOP plan would also increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, with the maximum increase to $15.
The legislation would increase the minimum wage for all workers in all states, including those who work at small businesses.
It would also raise the minimum annual earnings for workers in low-wage industries from $23,400 to $28,400.
The legislation would also require employers to pay workers a wage floor of at least $15 an hour.
It also would require employers who hire new workers to pay a higher minimum wage.
The House bill would also eliminate a provision that would have provided $2.9 billion for job-and-training programs, including grants for training, hiring, retraining and apprenticeship programs, which would have gone to roughly 500,000 workers over the next 10 years.
The Senate bill would have given more than a million workers access to the training program.
The bill would add $2 million to a program that provides job-search assistance to businesses.
It would also give $50 million to help states establish job-security requirements for employees.
It has been widely criticized by Republicans, who have said it was insufficient.
The memo, however, notes that Congress is considering a bill that would provide $100 million to the Department of Labor to establish new job-skill training and job-assistance programs.
The House GOP proposal would also provide $150 million to states and localities to establish job training and employment-based programs.
The Republicans’ push comes after several congressional Republicans this week announced that they had received a letter from the Labor Department stating that they will seek to exempt up to 3.4 million workers from the employer-provided health insurance mandate.
The Labor Department has already said that it would provide exemptions for up to 6.6 million workers.