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Bipartisanship breaks out on factory jobs bill

Mar 12, 2013
In The News

A third Illinois Democrat has joined with a Pennsylvania Republican in the U.S. House to back a bill designed to help manufacturers get more quality help.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Aurora announced he will co-cosponsor a measure that would create industry-approved, nationwide training standards in certain business sectors.

Specifically, workers who complete federally funded training programs or otherwise meet set criteria would get a standardized credential that sponsors hope would be recognized nationwide.

"As a businessman and manufacturer, I know firsthand how important it to have skilled workers," said Mr. Foster. "We'll only be able to create high-wage, high-skill jobs in America if we have the necessary training."

The bill is supported by the Tooling & Manufacturing Association and the National Association of Manufacturers. It originally was introduced by another Democrat, Rep. Brad Schneider of Lincolnshire, and Pennsylvania Republican Lou Barletta. It's co-sponsored by Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Schaumburg.

Meanwhile, Ms. Duckworth is sponsoring a bill to allow disabled veterans to receive disability and military retirement pay tax free.

"Those veterans who have been willing to sacrifice for their country and became disabled during their service should not be penalized," Ms. Duckworth said. "We need to do everything within our power to help disabled veterans succeed."