Boehner again calls on Senate Dems to pass SKILLS Act

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday called on the Senate to pass a House bill that would streamline federal job-training programs and help people find work.

Boehner said the Senate should pass the SKILLS Act, H.R. 803, "as soon as possible" given that millions of people are still looking for work, and are not being helped by the bloated, ineffective federal job training program.

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"Right now, if you want to acquire new skills to qualify for a good job, you're up against a job training system that's a maze of overlapping programs and waste," Boehner said on the House floor.

"Unfortunately, not only have Senate Democrats failed to act on this measure, they're focus continues to be on improving unemployment," he added. "Our focus should be on improving employment, making it easier to create jobs and boost wages."

Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have both accused Senate Democrats of working only to make it easier for people to deal with not working, rather than finding them a job. Senate Democratic leaders tried earlier this month to extend emergency unemployment benefits, but failed after they put restraints on the ability of Republicans to amend the bill.

"Today in our country, far too many Americans have been unemployed for too long," Boehner said. "What for many families began as a crisis has turned into a new reality, a new normal."

When the House passed the SKILLS Act last March, only two Democrats voted with Republicans to pass it, and 14 Republicans voted against it.