Hillary Clinton: Fighting for America’s Workers

“This is the country where if you work hard, you can make it. And each generation is supposed to have it a little better than the one before.” — Hillary Clinton, 10/23/14

Opposing outsourcing. Hillary Clinton called for eliminating “any tax break that promotes or rewards outsourcing,” and she suggested a plan to close those loopholes in the U.S. tax code. She also proposed a new tax credit called the Insourcing Markets Tax Credit to boost investment in communities across America hurt by international trade and technology. Hillary voted in support of legislation that discouraged outsourcing in the private sector, and she also voted to restrict federal agencies from outsourcing work.

Giving workers family and sick leave. Hillary Clinton proposed a $1 billion per year innovation fund to encourage states to develop family leave and paid leave policies and repeatedly cosponsored legislation to provide seven paid sick days a year to American workers. President Obama called for similar actions in his 2015 State of the Union Address, noting that he would be “taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own” and calling on Congress to “Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.” Hillary also called for providing paid parental leave to all federal employees, an action President Obama has taken steps on with a recent Presidential Memorandum.

Spurring advanced manufacturing jobs. Hillary Clinton introduced bills to bring new manufacturing technology to small and medium-sized businesses. She called for doubling the funding for Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, public-private partnerships that help manufacturers, and proposed expanding them to focus on renewable energy. Hillary worked across the aisle to challenge the Bush Administration’s cuts to these partnerships and she also cofounded the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus.

Standing against unfair Chinese trade practices. Hillary Clinton voted in support of authorizing action on Chinese imports if the Chinese government did not reform its currency practices. She also urged the U.S. International Trade Commission to crack down on Chinese metals sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices, noting that if industrial companies “do not receive appropriate relief from the impact of unfair foreign trade practices, the situations for these companies, and for working men and women, will only grow worse.”

Expanding job training opportunities for workers. Hillary Clinton has praised the idea of a “national skills corporation” to focus American efforts on job training, and in 2007 she called for doubling the funding for job training programs for workers displaced by international competition. Hillary also introduced bills to create “Regional Skills Alliances” to bring together local businesses, governments educational institutions and labor organizations to collaborate on new programs to train workers for modern technology jobs.

Protecting worker compensation. Hillary Clinton cosponsored legislation to expand protections for worker’s pensions and cosponsored bills to protect overtime pay for working Americans. Fighting alongside her Senate colleagues against the Bush Administration’s efforts to cut overtime pay for millions of workers, she said on the Senate floor, “I have yet to hear a compelling reason that some workers currently eligible for overtime should lose that eligibility.” Hillary also cosponsored legislation to strengthen the law requiring employers to give workers advance notice before mass layoffs are announced.

Fighting for steel and mine workers. Hillary Clinton cosponsored legislation to strengthen safety protections for coal miners and she proposed expanding the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)’s power to penalize companies that violate mine safety laws. Hillary also cosponsored bills to secure health care coverage for laid off and retired steelworkers. Describing the 2002 legislation, Senator Rockefeller (D-W.V.) said it would provide “desperately needed medical care to retirees whose companies have been forced out of business by imports.”

Helping Americans save for the future. In 2007 Hillary Clinton proposed giving all workers the opportunity to easily save for the future in portable “American Retirement Accounts.” Workers would be able to keep this retirement account with them if they changed jobs and the plan would allow workers to save up to $5,000 a year on a tax-deferred basis. Workers could choose how they want to invest the savings and they would be able to tap into the savings penalty-free for major life investments like college, buying a home, and retirement. The Washington Post editorial board noted that Hillary’s plan was “the boldest of the campaign to address this troubling situation.”

Originally published at correctrecord.org.

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