From health care to job creation, workers’ rights to corporate accountability, Senator Barbara Boxer has steadfastly remained 100% committed to the issues that matter most to California’s working families. And that was never more clear than it was today at Labor’s Joint Legislative Conference.
More than 700 California workers rose to their feet as Sen. Boxer outlined a vision for long-term economic recovery and job creation. Sen. Boxer, a longtime labor warrior, highlighted her partnership with the labor movement in passing important worker protections and economically progressive policies.
We fought to raise the minimum wage and we did it. We fought to protect collective bargaining, and we did it. We fought for overtime pay and equal pay, and now, we’re fighting to finish healthcare reform, to expand access to affordable care and making sure your insurance is there when you need it.
It’s no secret that the only reason why health care reform still has not become law is because Senate Republicans have been abusing the filibuster rule. Sen. Boxer lambasted congressional Republicans like Jim Bunning for their self-serving behavior and total disregard for the needs of the American people.
People are furious at lawmakers who put themselves first, side with special interests and block efforts to help families struggling through greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Last year, there were a record 112 filibusters by Senate Republicans. Even Craig Becker, Obama’s nominee to the National Labor Relations Board, was subjected to a filibuster, even though he’s more than qualified. It’s time to ask every elected official and candidate – whose side are you on anyway?
Sen. Boxer also called out Republicans who criticized and opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has saved and created millions of jobs, and has played a critical role in staving off another Great Depression.
We were in an economic free fall. We were at a point when we were bleeding 700,000 jobs a month, thanks to eight years of mismanagement under Bush. That’s why we took the steps we took. The Economic Recovery Act has sent more than $35 billion to California in grants, loans and tax relief, and another $50 billion is on the way.
Boxer also talked about reining in corporate greed, and is backing an amendment that would stop wealthy CEOs from raking in exorbitant bonuses at taxpayers’ expense. Boxer’s amendment would require that 50% of all bonuses over $400,000 go back to the taxpayers.
Sen. Boxer is returning to DC tonight so she can cast a vote on an essential jobs bill that would extend unemployment benefits and COBRA insurance for long-term unemployed. Boxer plans to propose an amendment to the bill that would fund a robust summer youth jobs program to put 400,000 young people back to work.
We’ve got to bring Americans together to fight for jobs for the middle class or were not going to get on the path we need to get on. Unlike the Republicans, we aren’t afraid. We’re optimistic, and we know if we set our mind to something we’ll do it.