Congressional Democrats Unveil Make it in America Plan
June 1, 2011
Amid all of the rallies, speeches and emotion surrounding the opposition to governors and legislators who want to undermine collective bargaining for public employees, one question has been conspicuously neglected. Where did the budget shortfalls hitting so many states—that right-wingers are blaming on public workers—come from in the first place?
Many factors contribute to budget problems but one stands out: The massive loss of manufacturing jobs has shrunk the tax base of municipalities and states. In turn, the costs of providing a safety net for families whose breadwinners who would rather be working but are now unemployed and need public help have grown.
Members of Congress, particularly those from industrial regions, have introduced numerous bills have over the past few years by Congressional representatives to address what it will take to rebuild America’s manufacturing base. On May 3rd, Democrats in Congress took the unprecedented step of consolidating these pieces of legislation in the “Make It in America Plan” of the 112th Congress. The bills are listed below. Visit the Campaign for America’s Future to learn more about them.
The Republican response to the Democrats’ plan is a seven-point plan that includes calls for reducing taxes on wealthy Americans, ratifying more free trade agreements (like Nafta) and weakening unions by stopping majority sign-up—where a majority of members in a shop can petition for representation and have their bargaining unit recognized by company managers and owners.
Says International President Edwin D. Hill:
Hill cautions union members to keep their eyes open for any wavering by political leaders. He says: