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.
- We must 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 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 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
“The “Security Minibus” appropriations bill the House is currently debating is completely disconnected from the realities that our country faces and the spending choices we must make. This spending package includes funding for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, agencies of the Department of Interior, and several independent agencies.
“Instead of proposing a budget that makes available the tools Americans and this country need to succeed, the Trump Administration has proposed a disastrous and ideologically-driven budget that demonstrates this President’s complete lack of interest in or understanding of the realities of governing. The President has doubled down on his earlier campaign promises, and makes clear he wants to limit the government’s ability to improve the lives of working Americans and diminish our country’s role in the world.
“This month’s tunnel breach at the Hanford Nuclear Site underscores the importance of policies that prioritize worker health and safety. While the complete collapse of the tunnel was averted, I remain concerned. The Department of Energy (DOE) is relying more on luck than on certainty that all measures have been taken to avoid a potential incident that could release radiation and contamination. Such an incident would cause unacceptable harm, endanger lives and require long-term evacuations of the area and huge remediation costs.
“Our current tax code is overly-complex; there is no question it needs reexamination and overhaul. The tax proposal released today by President Trump would be disastrous. Its almost singular focus on cutting taxes for wealthy people and companies will harm working people and undermine a healthy economy.
“Today is Equal Pay Day, 94 days after the new year, and the day when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. It is unacceptable that 53 years after passing the Equal Pay Act, women still make 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. We cannot afford to wait any longer. Congress must act now to make equal pay for equal work a reality and close the gender pay gap.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a mistake and would throw away the meaningful progress we have made towards increasing the quality and accessibility of affordable health care. There is undoubtedly much work still to be done to improve our nation’s health care system but I strongly disagree with Republicans’ continued efforts to repeal the law, and their attempt to eliminate essential health benefits for Americans and their families.
“President Trump has outlined a fiscal agenda that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, and will likely set our country’s recent economic progress back decades. Rather than focus on expanding broad-based economic opportunities for every American to ensure their health and well-being, President Trump has proposed a budget outline that would result in the largest cuts to discretionary federal programs and agencies in decades.
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith will host a Town Hall on Saturday, March 4, 2017 in Seattle. Congressman Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents and hearing all questions and concerns.
Who: Congressman Adam Smith
What: Rep. Smith is hosting a Town Hall event where constituents can meet and interact with the Congressman and voice concerns on issues of the budget, immigration, education, the economy, national security and more.
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
"The opening lines of the President's speech belatedly expressed concern about the rising anti-semitism and other acts of bigotry that have occurred in our country in recent weeks. I am glad he made such a strong statement, but the rest of his speech returned to the old empty promises that offer almost no specifics for how he might achieve the goals laid out in his lofty rhetoric.
Congressman Smith to Host Town Hall in Seattle