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Rep. Steel Advocates for Local Schools, American Jobs in First Committee Markup

February 10, 2021

Committee members discussed COVID-19 relief, the importance of reopening our schools, and the negative impacts of a federally mandated minimum wage

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) joined members of the House Committee on Education and Labor for the committee’s first markup of the 117th Congress, which included the proposed budget for the next fiscal year and President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief legislation.

During the markup Rep. Steel offered two amendments to the bill and spoke in support of safely opening schools, supporting private schools and public schools as they work to educate students safely, and supporting American jobs.  

In Rep. Steel’s opening remarks, she stated:

“We can all agree that teachers, students and parents have been some of the hardest hit because of this pandemic. These kids are our future and it’s critical that they are supported and have the tools for success. But the bill in front of us today will hurt more Americans than be helpful to those struggling at this time. The committee should work in a bipartisan way to provide targeted help.”

During the markup Representative Steel offered two amendments to the bill. These amendments would have:

  • Required schools to reopen as soon as vaccines are made available to teachers. This language would not have required teachers to be vaccinated, rather it would have classrooms reopen once teachers had the opportunity to protect themselves from the virus.
  • Protected American jobs, by preventing the 107% minimum wage hike from going into effect If the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan fact-based organization, found that 200,000 jobs or more would be lost due to the wage increase.

Both amendments were defeated by the committee’s Democratic members.

Rep. Steel was recently named to two subcommittees – the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, and the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. You can learn more about these subcommittees, the full committee, and today’s markup here.

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