Rosa DeLauro Holds Neighborhood Office Hours

Liana Teixeira

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Conn.’s third congressional district held neighborhood office hours last Saturday at the Stop and Shop supermarket of Orange, Conn.  From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., DeLauro met one-on-one with local citizens to discuss their concerns or questions.

Questions ranged from the subject of education to current U.S. government activity and legislative acts.  Also addressed was President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Plan, a plan which contains portions of DeLauro’s own legislation.  DeLauro said that she strongly supports the Jobs Plan and believes that it provides a better opportunity for veterans, minorities, and young people to find work.

The Jobs Plan would remedy the layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police, and others by giving states greater flexibility with unemployment insurance (UI) funds to support job-seekers.  The Plan also attempts to rebuild the American economy on the basis of fairness and equality to all American families, as well as invest in small businesses and education.

With the development of new infrastructure and the fixing of America’s schools, more energy-efficient jobs would be created in the future, DeLauro said.  The bill would impact future job-seekers, including college graduates, by increasing the availability and demand of American jobs.

However, with a portion of the bill recently rejected in the Senate, the fate of the Jobs Plan remains unclear.  “If you can’t vote on the jobs bill, then you shouldn’t hold a job,” DeLauro said.

Other significant legislation sponsored by DeLauro during the one hundred eleventh Congress includes the Keep America Working Act, which would provide states with assistance in creating short-term compensation programs as an alternative to layoffs.  An employer would have the option of reducing the number of hours worked by employees instead of giving layoffs. Any employee whose hours have been cut by at least 10 percent may file for unemployment compensation.

On a more local level, H.R. 5556 bill would support and establish Teachers Professional Development Institutes.  This calls for award grants to encourage the operation of Teachers Institutes.  The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute may also provide technical assistance to local education agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to establish Teachers Institutions.

DeLauro is a strong proponent in strengthening the economy and creating middle class jobs.  She has sponsored legislation in support of tax cuts for working and middle class families, as well as investments in infrastructure and helping small businesses to succeed.