WORKER ASSISTANCE BILL: Sens. Elizabeth Dole (R., N.C.) and Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.) have introduced a bill that would amend the Trade Adjustment Assistance program to provide automatic eligibility for textile and apparel workers who lose their jobs when their companies close because of foreign trade. The bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the House. The bill would also expand the program, which is administered by the Department of Labor, to include dislocated workers whose companies shift production to nations such as China that don't have preferential trade agreements with the U.S. The bill increases the health care coverage tax credit to 80 percent for eligible workers and doubles funding authorization to $440 million.

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