Employment-Related Legislation Scheduled for 2006
A battered Congress will go to work in 2006 with mid-term elections looming less than 10 months away. Low approval ratings and criminal investigations of several congressional members have representatives scrambling to get things done in a hurry, with some of their attention directed at employment-related legislation. Among the items that Congress will focus on are immigration reform, reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and health care reform.
Immigration reform is noted as a top priority by Bill Frist (R-TN) has noted that there are also tentative plans to begin hearings on the issue of immigration reform in February.
Congress is likely to quickly pass a bill reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act, which provides for funding for job training and services. The bill is currently pending in the Senate and is seen as a good election-year accomplishment by many members of Congress.
The seemingly perpetual issue of health care reform will also weight heavily in 2006 legislative sessions. The Senate will likely initiate legislation that will allow the formation of association health plans, i.e. plans sponsored by chambers of commerce or other business associations with the intention of making health coverage more affordable.