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Congressional Briefs: Lee supports Obama's racial profiling comments

By Staff

July 27, 2009, 2 p.a. - Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s comments on the arrest of noted scholar Henry Louis Gates: 

“We agree with the president when he said, ‘that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.’ 

“What the president said was honest and it was right. There is a long sad history in this county of African Americans and other people of color being subjected to racial profiling. 

“Now is the moment for this country to tackle this issue as well as the many inequalities in the criminal justice system. The arrest of Dr. Gates is an unfortunate reminder that we are not yet a color-blind society and must work each and every day to complete the unfinished business of ending racial discrimination in America.”

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Barbara Lee Supports Transportation, HUD Appropriations Bill

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) voted to help spur the economic recovery and create jobs with targeted investments in a modern transportation system and housing assistance for all Americans.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act builds on the work of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and our long-term economic plan to provide short-term help in the form of housing and jobs for those hurt most by the economic downturn and long-term solutions like improved infrastructure to put our economy on sound footing for the future.

“Our nation is facing the worst economic crisis since the great depression,” said Lee.  “Millions of people have lost their homes and millions more are on the brink of foreclosure. The housing investments we make in this bill will help to keep families in their homes, support affordable housing, and provide assistance to those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Additionally, the transportation funding we provide in this bill will help build on and sustain the investments we’ve made with the Recovery Act to improve public transportation, modernize and repair our highway infrastructure, and facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout our nation.”

Fudge, Loebsack Add Critical Workforce Development Provisions to Landmark Education Bill

Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) offered a critical workforce development amendment to H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009.  

The Loebsack/Fudge amendment encourages better coordination between community colleges and a consortium of stakeholders in related fields. These groups of stakeholders, also called sector partnerships, commonly focus on developing new workforce pipelines to address employee shortages. Sector partnerships also re-imagine the way in which workers are retrained and compensated. 

Strengthening the relationship between community colleges and sector partnerships will assist regions to expand and develop core industries, allow education and training centers to respond to employers' staffing needs, and prepare workers for careers in burgeoning fields. 

"Ohioans welcome retraining and employment development opportunities.  By providing these vital services, the Greater Cleveland Area will continue to be a leader in growing industries, such as health care and aerospace," said Fudge. "This amendment supports the relationship between community colleges and industry stakeholders in order to establish a dialogue on employers' needs and how education centers can best prepare workers for a 21st century economy." 

"Iowa is a prime example of what sector and industry partnerships can do," said Loebsack. "Through partnerships with our community colleges and industry leaders, we were able to push Iowa towards being a leader in wind energy. This legislation is a game-changer; it brings everyone together to grow and save entire industries while empowering our workforce to advance." 

The amendment was included in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which passed out of the Education and Labor Committee today.  

To learn more about the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 please click here.

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