Support during train derailments
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, along with Rep. Chris Deluzio, introduced the Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act to give support to first responders on the frontlines of hazardous train derailments.
In the wake of the Norfolk Southern train derailment earlier this year, emergency responders and law enforcement officials were overwhelmed due to a lack of resources.
The legislation would ensure that communities are equipped with adequate resources for responses to these types of emergencies.
“Emergency personnel that respond to devastating accidents, including train derailments, are the first line of defense for public safety,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our bipartisan Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act will ensure that the Department of Transportation is adequately communicating with local emergency response officials, improving coordination and preparedness. I am proud to join Rep. Deluzio in introducing this legislation that will ensure our first responders have the resources they need before, during and after hazardous derailments.”
“As the president of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association, I am proud to announce that we support the Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act,” said Robert Brooks, president of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association. “We have a local that is now still without equipment lost to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Beaver Falls Firefighters Local 3539 is operating to this day down 13 sets of full gear, 10 self-contained breathing apparatuses and 10 face pieces for starters. That is a tremendous load for a fire department to overcome. With this legislation, the money needed would be immediately available to replace this equipment and replace manpower lost to illnesses related to the incident.” ••
Apprentices for in-demand careers
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, along with Rep. Bobby Scott, introduced the National Apprenticeship Act of 2023.
The bill would create nearly 1 million new Registered Apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years by investing more than $3.8 billion over five years. These resources will help scale up apprenticeship opportunities, streamline access to apprenticeships for both workers and employers and expand apprenticeships into new and in-demand industry sectors and occupations.
Previously, the House passed the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021.
“Apprenticeship programs create the opportunity to grow our economy, prepare workers for in-demand careers and address the trained workforce shortage,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to lead a bipartisan coalition introducing the National Apprenticeship Act, which will provide much-needed reinforcement and reauthorization of our registered apprenticeship programs and will aim to create 1 million new apprentice positions in the next five years.”
“We are pleased with today’s bipartisan introduction of the National Apprenticeship Act of 2023. Registered Apprenticeship is the gold standard of all workforce development models. Our unions are living proof of its success as we have trained and graduated millions of men and women from these programs and into middle-class careers in construction,” said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions. “Now is the time to strengthen and expand Registered Apprenticeship into other industries, for both blue- and white-collar jobs, who need to recruit and retain a well-trained workforce. We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to move and pass this timely legislation.” ••
Advocating for construction industry
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Donald Norcross re-launched the Bipartisan Building Trades Caucus for the 118th Congress to advocate on behalf of the millions of men and women in the construction industry.
The Bipartisan Building Trades Caucus brings members of Congress together to discuss the issues that impact the construction industry. The caucus will work to expand opportunities to apprenticeship programs and job training programs across the country while supporting and protecting workers in the building trades.
The caucus will also focus on closing the skills gap, creating good-paying jobs, ensuring economic security and strengthening pathways to the middle class.
“I’m proud to launch the bipartisan Congressional Building Trades Caucus in partnership with Rep. Norcross to work on the issues facing our workers in the building trades and their families,” Fitzpatrick said. “In this 118th Congress, it is critical that we continue to invest in workforce development programs like apprenticeships, strengthen protections for the workplace and improve the standard of living and accessibility of benefits for all working families. I look forward to working with members from both sides of the aisle on solutions to these and many other issues within our caucus.”
In addition to the re-launch of the caucus, Fitzpatrick and Norcross introduced the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities and support job training programs across the country.
The legislation will establish new efforts in the Department of Labor to grow and expand highly successful registered apprenticeships, creating hubs throughout the United States. The bill also allows the Department of Labor to market and promote the programs. ••
Ending congressional financial investments
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, alongside Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Matt Gaetz and Raja Krishnamoorthi, introduced the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act to prohibit financial investments by members of Congress, their spouses and any dependents.
“The fact that members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Fitzpatrick said. “We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information. This is basic common sense and basic Integrity 101. And we all view this as a critical first step to return the House of Representatives back to the people. I thank Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Gaetz and Krishnamoorthi for joining me in this effort.” ••