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Supporting a healthy economy that works for everyone

One of my top priorities in Congress is to grow our economy and implement policies that create more jobs in Oregon and across the country. I will continue to fight for policies that grow our economy while protecting our most vulnerable citizens and rebuilding a vibrant middle class.

Supporting a heathy economy

Too many people and too many families still struggle, Incomes aren’t keeping up with expenses., and we need an economy that benefits everyone. To secure a prosperous economic future, we must:

Invest in infrastructure: It’s time to rebuild our economy by rebuilding America. I support a comprehensive infrastructure package that will put Oregonians and Americans back to work building and maintaining roads, bridges, water systems, schools, broadband, and electrical grids. By retrofitting buildings and increasing energy efficiency, we can create more jobs and save energy and money. I am also committed to building the economy by revitalizing American manufacturing and increasing export opportunities for American made goods.

Support workers and increase the federal minimum wage: the rights of workers, the right to organize, and Davis Bacon have come under attack too many times in recent years. I am committed to workers’ rights, and in Congress I will continue to stand up for those rights. Preserving the rights of labor unions is an important part of having a thriving middle class in our country. And we must raise the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for more than a decade.

Invest in apprenticeships and workforce training: Our economy is changing constantly, and we need to make sure our workforce’s skills match the emerging jobs. That’s why I’ve focused on expanding workforce training and apprenticeships here in Oregon and across the country. I introduced the bipartisan PARTNERS Act, which will create and expand industry partnerships that will support both businesses seeking to provide apprenticeships and workers who will become apprentices.

Create more affordable housing: In Congress, I’m fighting for strong federal support for cost-burdened individuals and for robust funding for affordable housing. I support legislation that will produce more than 3 million new housing units and reduce rents nationwide. Debt free college and universal health care will also help address homelessness. And Congress must increase funding for behavioral health services and addiction treatment, as well as other social safety net programs that support those on the brink of homelessness.

Achieve Universal Healthcare: Healthcare is a human right. Too many families are burdened by medical debt or can’t get the care they need. We need affordable, accessible health care for everyone, and all proposals to achieve that, including Medicare for All, must be on the table. In addition, no one should have to choose between putting groceries on the table and paying for medicine, which is why I’m working to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

As a member of Congress and a mom, I am committed to enacting policies that support workers and families and strengthen our economy – for everyone.

  • Paid Family Leave and Sick Days: In today’s workplace, taking time off work to bond with a new baby or to care for a sick loved one is a luxury few can afford. We are the only industrialized nation that does not require some level of paid family leave, which means far too many parents and caregivers are put in the impossible situation of having to choose between a new baby or sick family member and the need to earn a paycheck. I am a proud co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers to care for a newborn or adopted child or a sick family member, or to recover from an illness. Other countries have paid leave – so can the United States. Paid leave is the right thing to do for families and it’s good for business. Employers of all sizes, from Intel to Laughing Planet Cafe, are providing paid leave to their employees. Paid leave and other family-friendly policies help companies with recruitment and retention, and employees are healthier, happier, and more productive.

  • Affordable childcare: In Oregon, the cost of childcare is the fourth highest in the country for an infant and fifth highest for children under the age of four. We have more children in need of care than the slots available, driving the prices even higher. Childcare consumes a large share of family income, and we must do more to support working parents. We need policies that give all Americans the opportunity to create a better life for their children.

  • Retirement security: For decades, workers achieved retirement security through a combination of employer provided pensions, personal savings, and Social Security. Today, however, significantly fewer employers provide retirement plans to their workers. In fact, there are more than 68 million people in our workforce whose employers do not offer any type of retirement savings plan. Social Security is an essential tool that helps retirees make ends meet, but it is not intended to be the sole form of income in retirement. We need new ways to provide workers with retirement security, which is why I introduced the American Savings Account Act. Modeled after similar programs in Oregon and California, this legislation would provide every American worker without access to an employer-sponsored savings plan with their own American Savings Account (ASA), a personal, pre-tax retirement savings plan.

  • Equal pay for equal work: Women make up more than half of the workforce in the U.S., but too often they still earn less than their male colleagues doing the same job. This is an affront to all hard-working American women - and it needs to end. It's time for Congress to pass a stronger Equal Pay law that holds employers accountable for systematically paying female employees less than men for the same work. I chaired a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and I’m glad the legislation passed the House. There’s more to do before it’s signed into law, though. Women deserve equal pay for equal work!

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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