President Obama Discusses Education at Macomb Community College

Oct 5, 2015

President Obama Discusses Education at Macomb Community College

On September 9, Rep. Levin traveled with President Obama to Macomb Community College where the President spoke about the importance of flexible education, and renewed his proposal to offer two years of free community college:  “Every American willing to work hard should have a shot at a higher education.  Because as the economy globally becomes more competitive, everybody has got to upgrade their skills just a little bit.  It’s not enough just to have the same skills for 30 years, because what worked 30 years ago isn’t going to work now…. And if you don’t have the skills to get the new jobs that pay better, if you don’t have the knowledge to adapt and be creative with new machinery, new systems, new techniques, you’re going to fall behind.”

The President also announced that MCC will receive $3.9 million to fund the Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+). The project will target apprenticeship pathways in information technology and manufacturing occupations.

Federal Government Two Weeks from Shutdown

As we reported last week, the clock is ticking as Congress inches closer to the October 1 deadline to fund the government and avoid yet another destructive shutdown.  While the majority of Americans oppose a shutdown, conservatives in the House of Representatives say they won’t back legislation to fund government agencies unless it also blocks funding to Planned Parenthood.  This organization provides contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, prenatal services and cancer screenings to millions of American women.

Rather than working out a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown, this week the House will debate a partisan bill to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.  The bill is expected to pass the House on Friday, but the measure has virtually no chance of advancing or becoming law.

Rep. Levin Backs Agent Orange Extension Act

In 1991, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act (AOA) to help veterans receive compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.  The Act established a presumption of service connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure and directed the VA to contract with National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to periodically research and review diseases that might be associated with Agent Orange exposure. A presumption removes the burden from the veteran to provide evidence of service connection to their illness when applying for benefits.  Without the NAS studies, thousands of Vietnam era veterans would have gone without the benefits they greatly deserve.

But the AOA expires on September 30, 2015.  Rep. Levin and a bipartisan group of other concerned House lawmakers have introduced legislation [H.R. 3423] to extend the AOA for two years.