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AFL-CIO Now

Harkin’s Rebuild America Act Builds Economy for 99%

Saying there can be no economic recovery without the recovery of the middle class, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) today introduced the Rebuild America Act. The legislation would, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

achieve shared prosperity by putting America back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure, repairing our safety net and insisting that shared sacrifice start at the top—with Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans.

Harkin’s legislation would:

  • Invest in infrastructure and manufacturing;
  • Provide the education and skills necessary for a 21st century workforce;
  • Empower workers;
  • Bolster retirement security;
  • Strengthen families; and
  • Pay for the bill by creating a fairer tax structure.

The Rebuild America Act, says Trumka, “addresses many unmet needs that have been ignored for far too long.”

The bill would revive the manufacturing sector so we can make things in America again, increase Social Security benefits and restore the minimum wage’s purchasing power. Sen. Harkin recognizes that fairness requires us to ensure workers don’t lose overtime protections to inflation, discourage rampant speculation on Wall Street, alleviate the cost of child care for working families and other overdue reforms.

Harkin says his legislation “will ensure that all workers have a right to join together and stand up for fair wages and working conditions and that employers face real penalties for violating that right.”

Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, says the bill:

offers strong medicine for what ails America—and a stunning rebuke both to those who say we can’t afford to invest in our future and to those who would cut vital investments to the bone.

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