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Can Congress Redeem Itself?

Can Congress Redeem Itself?

In the latest polls for May and June, Congress’ approval rating is a mere 14%. This reflects a clear dissatisfaction with Congress not doing something meaningful to help American households. Highjacked by the Tea Party, the Republican-led House of Representatives does not want to use government to help people at a time America’s people need help digging out from policies that let Wall Street bankrupt the country.

Now Congress has been thrown the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court, and it struggles with fixing a broken immigration system. But, as we celebrate the federal minimum wage law turning 75 this week, we should add to the list Congress’ duty to raise the minimum wage.

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Trumka: Climate Change Solutions Must Emphasize Job Creation

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on President Obama’s climate change initiatives that he announced yesterday.   

We welcome President Obama’s announcement yesterday that he will work closely with all stakeholders, including labor and business leaders, as well as state governments, as he develops an ambitious plan to address climate change, advance new energy-efficient technology, and create good jobs. As President Obama said in the State of the Union address, the best way to address the twin problems of climate change and a weak economy is for Congress to pass comprehensive energy legislation.

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Minimum Wage Hike Would Boost Kids and Workers Out of Poverty

Annie E. Casey Foundation photo

Two new studies succinctly lay out the need for and the broad economic benefits of raising the federal minimum wage.

The Kids Count Data Book finds that the number of children living in poverty jumped by 3 million from 2005 to 2011—years marked by stagnant wages—and now 23% of the nation’s children live in poverty.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United shows that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, as legislation in Congress would do, would boost more than half of the working poor in the United States out of poverty.

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LGBT Working Families Celebrate: 'At Last, DOMA Is Overturned'

LGBT Working Families Celebrate: 'At Last, DOMA Is Overturned'

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, paving the way for the federal recognition of same-sex marriages. In a separate 5-4 ruling, the court dismissed an appeal by opponents of marriage equality of a lower court decision that found California's Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The dismissal of the appeal means that same-sex couples in California can begin getting married again.

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Here's a Bright Idea: Let's Expand Social Security

Photo courtesy: Iowa Democrats

In a Progressive Leaders Forum Town Hall meeting that will air Wednesday on SiriusXM 27's "The Agenda" radio show, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) joined Nancy Altman of Social Security Works, Edward Coyle of the Alliance for Retired Americans and host Ari Rabin-Havt to discuss the future of Social Security, including Harkin's proposed legislation that would expand Social Security benefits. The Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 (S. 567) would raise the monthly Social Security benefit by about $65 and would measure inflation not with the chained CPI (a benefit cut), but using a more accurate measure of inflation for seniors (the CPI-E).

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Workonomics: The Most Important Upworthy Series You're Probably Not Reading Yet (But You Should)

Workonomics: The Most Important Upworthy Series You're Probably Not Reading Yet (But You Should)

Did you know 75% of minimum wage earners are adults? That there's a website that will literally help you fix your job? On some farms in New York, 15 to 16 workers are forced to live together in tiny trailers? On average taxpayers subsidize Walmart $6,000 per employee because of poverty wages?

These stories appear in the Upworthy series, Workonomics, brought to you by the AFL-CIO. The series is designed to lift up shareable content about labor unions, America's middle class and the need for collective action to make real change around wages, paid sick days, economic inequality and workers' rights. 

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Watch Live: Should the Koch Brothers Own the Tribune Newspapers?

Watch Live: Should the Koch Brothers Own the Tribune Newspapers?

This morning, the panel "Should the Koch Brothers Own the Tribune Newspapers?" is discussing the potential sale of the group of newspapers to Charles and David Koch at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at 9 a.m. EDT. As we've covered on the blog before, the Kochs are interested in buying the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and other leading newspapers owned by the Tribune Co.  

Watch the event live after the jump or here: www.aflcio.org/koch-brothers.

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What Would a Broad and Inclusive Labor Movement Look Like?

What Would a Broad and Inclusive Labor Movement Look Like?

Join Dorian Warren on Wednesday, June 26, from 2–3 p.m. EDT for the eighth in the AFL-CIO series of live online discussions on how we build a movement for the future of working people. The AFL-CIO and Warren, an assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, want to hear your ideas on new ways the labor movement can open its doors to people who aren't in a union. He poses this question:

What would a broad and inclusive labor movement look like and do, and what would it need to provide for you to join it?

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Take Action

Tell Congress to Oppose Trump's Nominee for Labor Secretary

Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor—fast food CEO Andrew Puzder—would be a disaster for working Americans. Tell your members of Congress to oppose him.

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