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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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 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.
“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.
“As Republicans in Congress continue to push their reckless tax cuts, they put at risk crucial agencies and programs, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), military pensions, and Medicare. In addition to massively benefiting the wealthy and corporations, as well as reducing revenue by more than a trillion dollars, the tax bill endangers important mandatory spending priorities on which middle class and working Americans rely.
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Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:
“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.
“Our country’s federal government is already massively in debt and cannot sustain the tax cut President Trump and the Republicans are proposing. It is both bad economic and fiscal policy to be debating a $1.5 trillion tax bill at a time when we are already $20 trillion in debt and running deficits of nearly $700 billion. With deficits already projected to rise for the foreseeable future, this bill will have devastating impacts on our national debt and the priorities that the constituents of my district have made clear they support.
“The Republican tax plan released today is disastrous for American workers and middle class families. Instead of having an honest discussion about our federal budget, House Republicans are attempting to force a partisan bill that will hurt millions of middle class Americans, only to give tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us. This tax plan illustrates how far out of touch the Republicans are with the needs of the American people.
“Today’s budget vote is the height of irresponsibility. The resolution passed today is not a legitimate budget. It is the vehicle for reckless tax cuts that will drive up the deficit and overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate our economy or help the middle class. Since 2001, the Bush tax cuts have cost us trillions in lost revenue, and produced virtually no economic growth. Another tax cut now will only further jeopardize our economic and national security.
“We are not looking at a ’10 out of 10’ response to Hurricane Maria. Eighty percent of Puerto Rico still doesn’t have electricity, thirty-five percent of people still don’t have water, and people have been forced to get water from Superfund sites. The Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that it needs about 2,000 additional workers to get the lights turned back on, yet there are only about 200 on the ground right now.