Keystone XL Pipeline Actby Representative David Scott
Posted on 2015-01-09
SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, this bill is a labor
economics jobs bill. The American people need jobs. The labor unions
who founded and built the middle class of this Nation need jobs.
But, ladies and gentlemen, nobody needs jobs like young Black men. I see this as an opportunity here today. The highest unemployment rate is with Black young men. For Black young men between the ages of 19 and 35, the unemployment rate is 38 percent--38 percent--and in some communities it is 50 percent.
That is why I come before you today. I support the bill. But I want you all to help me support an amendment. You all know the amendment process is going on over in the Senate.
Over in the Senate, Senator McConnell said he is open to amendments. Here is the amendment: the amendment would just put language in this bill that would put the apprenticeship programs, what they affectionately call ``earn as you learn'' on-the-job training--no Federal money--and target those and guide and direct and encourage in this language that our labor union partners bring in these young African American men to learn these trade building skills. Each of the labor unions are ready. They have the apprenticeship programs, they have them there.
We need this desperately, ladies and gentlemen. Do you know that sitting in the prisons right now are 1 million Black men. Every week, thousands of our Black men are going into prison. The number one reason: they don't have jobs. This is a jobs bill. Yeah, it has got maybe, some people say, 4,000, some people say 2,000, but there will be other jobs that they can learn these skills from when we rebuild our infrastructure.
You all have seen the sign. Black lives matter, but Black lives with jobs.
Help me get this amendment in on the Senate side and let's pass this bill.