STATEMENT: What Paul Ryan Talks About When He Talks About Workforce Development

Washington, D.C. — Today, reports indicate that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) appears to be attempting to repackage his cuts to Medicaid and other critical programs as “workforce development.” Angela Hanks, director of Workforce Development Policy at the Center of American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

“Beware a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Speaker Ryan’s attempt to rebrand his plan to rob workers of essential benefits as workforce development is far from benevolent—it’s disingenuous and cruel. Speaker Ryan’s rebranding is especially insincere given that President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget would have cut funding for workforce development by a whopping 43 percent.

By refusing to raise the minimum wage, attacking collective bargaining rights, and investing in corporate giveaways instead of policies such as affordable child care or paid leave, Speaker Ryan’s own economic agenda has undermined job growth and undercut his own argument.

If Speaker Ryan were serious about getting more people into the labor market, he and President Trump would focus on policies that create and support good jobs, not punish struggling workers. Of course, much like the faux efforts at so-called welfare reform, this isn’t really about workforce development: It’s about cutting essential benefits from those who need them most.”

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8137.