The Future of Work, Wages, and Labor Unveiled
Dear Contra Costa Residents:
In 2016, before Donald Trump was elected President, I saw that hardworking families across the country were working more for less, and many people were being left behind. Our culture of unchecked corporate power and maximizing profits was coming at the expense of America's workforce.
These trends prompted me and three of my Democratic colleagues to launch an effort titled, "The Future of Work, Wages, and Labor" to address the big issues facing our economy like wage stagnation, rising inequality, and declining union membership. The effort took us on a 2.5 year cross-country mission where we met with experts, labor leaders, and local workers—including in the East Bay—to develop policy proposals that will address the immediate challenges facing our workforce and prepare us to take on new trends.
At a press conference on Wednesday, along with Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee Bobby Scott, and President of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, my colleagues and I unveiled the findings of our research and issued a report comprised of over 30 policy proposals.
Watch our full press conference, by clicking the image below.
IN THE NEWS: THE FUTURE OF WORK, WAGES, AND LABOR
"The proposals from DeSaulnier would represent a rebalancing of America's economic system away from business owners and stockholders and towards working people. Under the suggestions, corporate stock buybacks would be banned, ending a practice that rewards shareholders. The minimum wage would be raised to $15 an hour over seven years, with the threshold for overtime pay indexed to inflation."
RECENT KEY VOTES
Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 1635)
Last week, the House voted on a bill that improves financial aid counseling for student loan borrowers. Student loan debt is reaching crisis proportions, and this legislation will help borrowers make more informed choices about their financial decisions. However, improved counseling is not a sufficient solution for the millions of students struggling to afford college. I supported this legislation, which passed the House by vote of 406-to-4, but I will continue to press for more comprehensive measures to reduce the cost of college and allow every student to graduate debt-free.
Community Safety and Security Act (H.R. 6691)
This last minute bill would greatly expand the definition of "crimes of violence," creating more federal offenses, causing longer sentences, and a greater possibility of racial targeting. Instead of voting on overly broad legislation that we did not have a proper opportunity to review, we should debate the numerous versions of bipartisan criminal justice reform that have been proposed. I opposed H.R. 6691, which unfortunately passed the House by a vote of 247-to-152.
MARK AROUND TOWN
Speaking with the Oncology Nursing Society
Mark joined over 100 oncology nurses from around the country for their annual Hill day reception to discuss his work with the Cancer Survivors Caucus, and legislation he introduced to improve doctor-patient communication, which will help to improve the lives of cancer patients.
OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT
Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:
- 67 constituents continued to express opposition to the House version of the Farm Bill reauthorization, which would cut essential programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- 221 constituents shared their support for the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 6239), which requires organizations spending money in federal elections to disclose their donors, and help guard against hidden foreign interference in our democracy.
- 110 constituents oppose the Trump Administration's move to dramatically decrease the number of refugees resettled in the United States.
LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED
Family Unity Rights and Protection Act (H.R. 6236) - requires the Trump Administration to reunite families that have been forcibly separated at the border
Resolution in support of designating June 26th as LGBT Equality Day (H.Res. 405)
Two bills (Untraceable Firearms Act and the Ghost Guns are Guns Act) to regulate the 3-D printed gun industry if it moves forward
Higher Education Dream Act (H.R. 6525) - prohibits institutions of higher education from discriminating against Dreamer students
Federal Contractor Anti-Harassment Training Act (H.R. 5113) - requires federal government contractors to complete anti-harassment training
Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act (H.R. 5155) - prevents the Trump Administration from undermining essential health benefit requirements in the ACA that protect people with pre-existing conditions
LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT
Letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to clarify that federal funds may not be used to arm teachers
Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing strong opposition to the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court
Letter to the Federal Trade Commission expressing concerns over Verizon's throttling of internet to firefighters who were actively fighting the Santa Clara fires
Letter to House and Senate leadership urging rejection of the President's cancellation of the modest 1.9% pay adjustment for federal civilian employees, who are often the target of funding cuts despite their devotion to this country
Letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos opposing the proposed rule that would make it harder for defrauded student loan borrowers to get debt relief
Friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of blocking the repeal of Net Neutrality rules
Letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposing the merger of Bayer A.G and Monsanto
Letter to House leadership urging them to reject anti-Endangered Species Act policy riders in spending bills
Letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao urging her to stop holding up federal funding for transit projects