[Excerpt] Trade Adjustment Assistance consists of several programs: Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA), Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers, and a Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). This report addresses the TAA and ATAA programs, as well as the HCTC. TAA and ATAA provide income support and other assistance to qualifying workers who lose their jobs directly due to increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States. The HCTC provides a refundable tax credit to offset 65% of the health insurance premiums of TAA- and ATAA-eligible workers.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance programs were set to expire on September 30, 2007. P.L. 110-89 extended the programs through December 31, 2007. H.R. 4341, which would further extend the programs through March 31, 2008, was passed by the House on December 11, 2007. As of February 20, 2008, the Senate has not acted on the measure. However, P.L. 110-161, signed by President George W. Bush on December 26, 2007, fully funds TAA and ATAA through September 30, 2008. The Department of Labor has indicated that this is sufficient to continue the programs through the end of the fiscal year, including issuing new certifications of eligible workers.
This report provides background on TAA and ATAA, summarizes key issues related to reauthorization, and briefly describes bills in the 110th Congress that affect the TAA and ATAA programs. These bills are H.R. 3920, H.R. 2764, H.R. 4341, H.R. 3375, H.R. 3943, H.R. 3801, H.R. 910, S. 1848, S. 122, H.R. 1729, S. 1652, S. 1739, H.R. 3589, and H.R. 3843. This report will be updated as legislative activity warrants.