Tuesday, January 14, 2020

S 867 Reported in Senate – DOE Veteran Training

Last week the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee published their report on S 867, the Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act of 2019. The Committee met on November 19th, 2019 to consider the bill; adopting two amendments and recommending the bill favorably to the Full Senate. Cybersecurity jobs are specifically included in the list of job training opportunities to be encouraged by the bill.


The first amendment was an amendment from Sen Lee (R,UT) that struck paragraph §1107(g). That paragraph authorized appropriations of “such sums as are necessary to carry out this section”. It further provided for the allocation of those funds from DOE to DOD facilities to support the programs.

The second amendment was a joint staff amendment that removed references to the now absent §1107(g) from paragraph (f). The resulting rewritten paragraph now requires DOE to provide grant monies to establish certification and training programs where “an appropriate industry-recognized certification and training program does not exist”. No specific authorization for funding those programs is provided in the revised bill.

Moving Forward

There was broad bipartisan support in Committee for the new version of the bill. The Committee adopted the revised bill by a voice vote, but Lee specifically asked that his opposition to the bill be noted in the record. This is important because it implies that Lee would object to the bill if it were offered under the Senate’s unanimous consent process. The Senator is well known for his use of his objection power to gain additional influence on bill language. If the bill were to be considered under the unanimous consent process it would likely include additional changes to the language of the bill.

This bill is not important enough to be considered under regular order, a very time consuming process. The bill could be added to a DOE authorization or spending bill, either during the bill writing process or as an amendment proposed from the floor.

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