I firmly believe that America has the hardest working, most talented, and best educated workforce in the world. Our country has been successful because of our excellent workforce, and it will continue to thrive as a result. This is also why I am confident that, moving forward, we will maintain the highest standard of living in the world. Throughout my career, I have consistently fought to safeguard critical worker rights to protect our strong workforce.
The ability to organize and collectively bargain for benefits was one of the most important advances in American labor law and has been a major contributor to our historically robust middle class. As the son of a union baggage handler at SeaTac airport, I understand how important labor unions are in the lives of American workers and their families. I have consistently supported workers’ rights during my time in Congress, and will continue to support legislation that protects living wage jobs, lowers health care costs, and ensures that Americans have a safety net to make a better life for themselves and their families.
- Fighting to close the gender wage gap. Despite many transformative changes in our economy, American women still earn less than their male counterparts. I am a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would limit differences in pay to factors of education, training or experience. The bill also requires collection of data to ensure that the gender wage gap is erased with punitive damages possible for any future discrimination.
- It’s time to give working Americans a raise, which is why I support the Raise the Wage Act. Over the years, American wages have stagnated while worker productivity has gone up. This is fundamentally unfair. This legislation would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour nationally, a $7.75 increase over the current rate, which has gone untouched since 2009.
- We must prepare our young people for the economy of today, and tomorrow. Recognizing that many job opportunities are in the STEM fields, I support legislation that provides relevant STEM education opportunities to high school students. The Youth Access to American Jobs Act encourages students to enroll in a course of study related to the manufacturing field at their community college, or enroll, for a two-year period, in their state’s apprenticeship program after graduating from secondary school. Students are also encouraged to enroll in the joint-labor management training program upon receiving an associate's degree from their community college. We must provide our students with an education that actually prepares them for a career.
- Support our working families with paid parental leave. I recognize the difficulties that many Americans face when balancing their career and family life. I have been a strong supporter of the Paid Parental Leave Act, which allows federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for the birth of a child, or placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. This bill directs the Office of Personnel Management to increase the amount of paid parental leave available to a total of 12 administrative workweeks. I am also a cosponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid family and medical leave program.
I understand and strongly empathize with the financial challenges that many Americans face. I am working hard in Congress to support policies that will help to get our economy back on track and create good-paying jobs here in America. I take the need for economic stability and jobs creation very seriously. I support policies to create broad-based opportunities for all, grow our economy, keep our country strong and forward-looking, and make government work better for everyone.
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More on America's Workers
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), the Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee, today announced the inclusion of a package of provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will provide critical support for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing cleanup mission at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case:
“Today’s Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court ruling is an attack on public sector workers and their right to organize and collectively bargain for better working conditions. The Court’s decision undermines unions’ ability to work on behalf of and be supported by those workers who benefit from collective representation.
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Join Congressman Adam Smith for a Town Hall Meeting
Congressman Adam Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents to hear their concerns, answer questions, and discuss issues facing Congress.
When: Wednesday, March 28th from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Ave S, Federal Way, WA 98003
“Today the House of Representatives passed an omnibus spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September. This bill will give more certainty to our federal agencies, but unfortunately it underfunds key areas of the budget and takes us further down our current path of fiscal irresponsibility by ballooning our federal debt and increasing our already unmanageable deficit.
“I could have supported most, if not all, of the funding in this bill but for the fact that just two months ago, we cut taxes by $2 trillion dollars. This legislation is like quitting your job and only then deciding that you want to buy a new house and a second car. I am supportive of spending the money necessary to meet our country’s needs. I am not in favor of continuing to borrow it; I want to raise the revenue necessary.
Congressman Adam Smith Delivers Weekly Democratic Address
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Michael Capuano (D-MA) introduced legislation that would speed up the implementation of life-saving positive train control (PTC) technology that could prevent catastrophic human-caused rail accidents. The legislation, the Positive Train Control Implementation and Financing Act (H.R.
“The Republicans’ final tax bill affirmed my opposition to this dangerous proposal. Today’s vote increased the deficit by a staggering $1.5 trillion, which overwhelmingly benefits the rich and corporations at a time when we are running historic deficits and wealth is concentrated at the top. This bill was so partisan and poorly constructed, and the process so lacking, that Senate parliamentary rules required provisions to be dropped at the last minute, which required the House to vote on the bill twice.
“The Republicans just reneged on their responsibility to properly fund the federal government because they were too busy giving away a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. By falling back on another short-term continuing resolution, almost a quarter of year past the due date for proper appropriations bills, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to do their job. Their lack of action will directly and negatively affect the people who reside in the Ninth Congressional District and across the country.