Columns

Blaine's Bulletin: Celebrating Hardworking Americans

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Washington, August 30, 2019 | comments

Throughout our nation’s history, American workers have been the driving force behind its growth and success. Our country is built on American grit and the pride of a hard day’s work. Without the notion of hard work, innovation, and motivation of our workforce, America would not be the country it is today.

As we head into Labor Day weekend, I hope we can all celebrate the successes of our fellow Americans. Just a few years ago, I lamented the economic struggle that was facing our middle class, including an unemployment rate of more than 7% and sluggish economic growth. Fast forward to today and our workforce is doing better than ever, with the July jobs report painting a very healthy picture of the economy. We saw 164,000 jobs added in July, a record low 3.7% unemployment rate, and wages rose more than 3%. All of this good news is in addition to the 6,373,000 jobs added since President Trump was elected.

From strong economic growth to increasing confidence across the nation, optimism is high and the future of the American economy is bright. Now is the time for America’s leaders to recognize the opportunity laid before us and work together to make the coming years even more prosperous for families, workers, and the businesses upon which they rely to build and maintain successful communities.

Congress must continue to support pro-growth policies that advance our economy. This includes a strong 21st century trade agreement to ensure the continued flow of goods and services between the United States and our North American trading partners. The United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), will serve the modern interests of American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses while supporting our 21st century economy. The USMCA is a major win for the American worker, stimulating American auto manufacturing jobs and requiring all countries to adopt International Labor Organization standards. It would add $2.2 billion to our economy, increase the GDP by $68.2 billion, and create more than 175,000 jobs.

Supporting our workforce is of the utmost importance to our nation’s continued economic growth. Unfortunately, House Democrats have voted for misguided legislation that would potentially cost 3.7 million Americans their jobs. The so-called Raise the Wage Act would affect the national minimum wage, implementing a drastic 107% increase.  However, the bill would actually hurt most the people it claims to be helping. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget office, not only could we lose 3.7 million American jobs due to this legislation, but we would expect 62% of job losses to overwhelmingly hurt women. We would also expect more than 35% of job losses to hit Americans without a college degree, devastating entry level employees as they try to join the workforce.

American Farmers, teachers, small business owners, and all workers deserve the opportunity to work hard and provide for their families. We can’t lose sight of the road ahead for our workers and the families who depend on them, and that is why I will continue to support pro-growth economic policies that will unleash our nation’s economic potential. I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

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