Family Values @ Work enthusiastically supports the Rebuild America Act introduced by Senator Tom Harkin. This legislation understands that our nation’s future depends on a strong middle class, made possible through jobs that allow workers to support a family and to care for them. The comprehensive provisions link job creation with job quality, and arrange to pay for needed upgrades by restoring balance and fairness to the tax code.
Senator Harkin, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is also chief Senate sponsor of the Healthy Families Act. He includes that bill in the Rebuild America Act under the category of “creating financial stability” – a recognition that lack of paid sick days cost families needed income and jobs.
Specifics of the Rebuild America Act include:
Invest in America to Create Jobs and Future Growth by modernizing our transportation and energy infrastructures, bringing our schools and community colleges into the 21st century, preparing our workers for jobs of the future, and directing the creation of a national manufacturing strategy.
Create Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle Class Families by increasing access to quality child care, expanding time-and-a-half overtime pay, establishing a fair minimum wage, allowing all Americans to earn paid sick leave, ensuring that Americans have the right to join a union, opening new paths to the middle class for people with disabilities, and strengthening Social Security.
Restore Balance and Fairness to the Tax Code by instituting the “Buffett Rule,” adopting a Wall Street trading and speculators tax, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and protecting pensions.
Sen. Harkin issued this statement about the proposed legislation:
“In recent years, many in Washington have been pushing not just misguided budgets, but a dangerously misguided premise – that America is broke, and that we can no longer afford the investments that make possible a strong middle class and a world-class economy. I strongly disagree. The Rebuild America Act puts policies in place that will repair the engine that drives our nation’s economic growth: the middle class. It creates the good jobs families need now through robust investments in America and will help grow the middle class in the long term by building economic opportunity for families. Perhaps most importantly, the bill addresses spiraling economic inequality by restoring fairness and balance to our tax code, which also fully pays for the cost of the bill.”