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Ranking Member Cassidy on Biden’s Proposed Apprenticeship Rule, Ignoring Congressional Authority

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a statement following the Department of Labor (DOL) publishing a 779 page proposed rule to implement new regulations on registered apprenticeships under the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937, a two page law.

“The new Biden regulation is 395 times longer than the legislation it is supposedly interpreting. This is clearly the White House attempting to circumvent Congress and legislate by regulation,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This level of policy change needs to come through Congress, especially while the HELP Committee is working on legislation to address the workforce shortage.”

The regulations would inject political ideology into the National Apprenticeship System, including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. The rule would allow DOL to dissolve the apprenticeship programs of employers accused by labor unions of misconduct without a requirement that the charges are verified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This would empower unions to intimidate and coerce employers with baseless accusations. It would also give unions veto authority over new apprenticeship programs, limiting job training opportunities for American workers. This comes at a time when workforce shortages continue and the labor force participation rate remains well below pre-COVID levels.

Additionally, the rule gives the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and State Apprenticeship Agencies enforcement authority over labor disputes, a role already performed by the NLRB. Ultimately, the proposed regulation applies more bureaucracy to a system in need of flexibility when responding to pressing workforce needs.


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