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Hillary Clinton on Jobs

Democratic Jr Senator (NY); Secretary of State-Designee


No salary increase for Congress until minimum wage increased

I got to vote to raise the minimum wage. I put in legislation which said that Congress should not get a salary increase until they did raise the minimum wage, and I am putting that back in, because I agree that by the time we got it raised after 10 years, it was already out of date.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Would accept minimum wage as president

Q: If you’re elected to serve as president, would you be willing to do this service for the next four years and be paid the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour?

GRAVEL: Oh, yes, I would, but I would say that we don’t need a minimum wage; we need a living wage. We don’t have that in this country because of what they passed.

DODD: I don’t think I could live on the minimum wage, but I’m a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10.

EDWARDS: Yes.

CLINTON: Sure.

OBAMA: We could afford to do it for a few years. Most folks can’t. And that’s why we’ve got to fight and advocate for [an increase].

Q: Would you serve at minimum wage?

RICHARDSON: Yes, I would.

BIDEN: I couldn’t afford to stay in the Congress for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, I’d do it.

KUCINICH: I think we need to increase the minimum wage and so all my neighbors can get an increase in their wages.

Q: So would you work for it?

KUCINICH: I would. But I wouldn’t want to.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Stand up for unions; organize for fair wages

Let’s make sure the people who work hard every day can actually support their families and save for the future. That means standing up for our unions again--understanding that there’s a connection between unions and the middle class. When I’m president, we’re going to stand up for unions. We’re going to make sure they can organize for fair wages and good working conditions. And we’re going to appoint people to the Department of Labor who are actually pro-labor for a change.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 20, 2007

Get tough with China and bring jobs back home

When I travel across Upstate New York and hard-working people come and say, they’re closing this factory down and shipping our jobs overseas. Why can’t we get tough on China? And I say, because of the debt that this government, under this president, has exploded, we are now dependent upon China, and how do you get tough on your banker? We need to start standing up for the American worker again, and be able to once again compete and win in the global economy.
Source: Speech at Democratic National Committee winter meeting Feb 2, 2007

Minimum wage increases haven’t kept up with Congress’ wages

The last minimum wage increase was in 1996, when Congress and the president raised it to $5.15 an hour. However, the impact of the 1996-7 increase has been eroded by inflation. Adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage is at its lowest point in 50 years. While minimum wage workers have not had a single raise, Congress has given itself $31,600 in pay raises. In the Senate, I’ve proposed blocking Congress from giving itself another raise until it lifts wages for workers.
Source: 2006 intro to It Takes A Village, by H. Clinton, p.306 Dec 12, 2006

Passed 2 planks of 7-plank platform, “New Jobs for New York”

Hillary’s “New Jobs for New York” platform included 7 measures to create 200,000 jobs in NY:
  1. Create “technology bonds” to fund interest-free loans to improve Internet access.
  2. A “Broadband Expansion Grant Initiative” to provide grants & loan guarantees to fund networks in “under-served rural areas.”
  3. Fund research on broadband technology in rural areas.
  4. Tax credits for small businesses that created jobs in smaller communities.
  5. Federal funding for “entrepreneurs who have good ideas but cannot afford lawyers and consultants to help them.“
  6. Funding for the Commerce Department’s Cooperative Extension Service to allow it to subsidize non-agricultural technologies.
  7. Create ”Regional Skills Alliances“ to provide training to technology workers.
She got two of her plan’s seven measures signed into law. Despite promising to create 200,000 jobs, NY lost 35,800 jobs. Clinton blamed NY’s poor job performance on GOP economic policies.
Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p. 56-59 Oct 11, 2006

Minimum wage should be tied to congressional salaries

We can start by standing up for an economy that honors work again. It is unacceptable that people working for a minimum wage have not had a raise in 10 years! Wouldn’t it be nice if they were given a chance to get beyond the stagnating wages? Productivity is up, profits are up, but people’s wages are not up. I have introduced legislation that would tie the minimum wage to congressional salaries. No more increases for Congress until we raise the minimum wage!
Source: Annual 2006 Take Back America Conference Jun 14, 2006

Pushed for extension of unemployment insurance

She followed an Alinsky game plan in taking on GOP leader Bill Frist. First, Hillary went on the attack, undermining a solemn agreement made with the Republicans on the extension of unemployment insurance, only to eventually relent and settle for an agreement to revisit the expansion of one of her beloved programs. Alinsky wrote, "The organizer must be able to split himself into two parts--one part in the arena of action where he polarizes the issue to 100 to nothing, and helps to lead his forces into conflict, while the other part knows that when the time comes for negotiations that it really is only a 10% difference--and yet both parts have to live comfortably with each other."

This formula explains why staid Senate Republicans have such a hard time understanding Hillary. How can she be so nice on the floor and then turn around and say these awful things about us? They do not grasp the purpose of agitprop: To force a compromise in her direction, it is first necessary to disturb the peace.

Source: Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, p. 51-52 Feb 25, 2004

The working poor deserve a living wage

We should be working to keep a basic bargain with all Americans: If you work hard and are responsible, you will not live in poverty. If you study this issue, you can clearly see it will not hurt the economy, it will not increase unemployment. There are those who have opposed an increase in the minimum wage, arguing that it will cost jobs, and there are some people who say we need more studies.. They are wrong.
Source: Speech in Queens Oct 24, 1999

America can afford to raise the minimum wage

America can afford to raise the minimum wage. The last time it was raised was in 1966, 10 million Americans got a raise and the economy continued to create jobs at a unprecedented pace. Raising the minimum wage is certainly an American issue and a human issue. But it is particularly a woman’s issue. It is also a children’s issue and a family issue.
Source: Remarks at Minimum Wage Event, Capitol Hill Sep 28, 1999

Recently “we’re in it together” became “you’re on your own”

In recent years, long-established expectations about doing business have given way under the pressures of the modern economy. Too many companies are driven more by the need to ensure that investors get good quarterly returns. Too often, this means that they view most employees as costs, not investments, and that they expend less concern on job training, employee profit sharing, family-friendly policies, shared decision-making, or even fair pay raises. Even workers’ jobs may be sacrificed as executive seek short-term profits by moving production to countries where wages are lower and environmental and other regulations less stringent. Instead of “We’re all in this together,” the message from the top is frequently, “You’re on your own.”

The growing inequality of incomes has serious implications for children. America’s turbo-charged economy has produced cheaper and better goods and greater efficiency, but it also has created serious social dislocations that undermine family and community values.

Source: It Takes A Village, by Hillary Clinton, p.272-273 Sep 25, 1996

Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.

Congressional Summary:Revises the formula for Tier-1 amounts a state credits to an applicant's emergency unemployment compensation account. Increases the figures in the formula from 50% to 80% of the total amount of regular compensation ; and from 13 to 20 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. CHARLES RANGEL (D, NY-15): The House, for weeks, has attempted to save the free world from a fiscal disaster. We have bailed out the banks and those who held mortgages. At the same time, we provided for energy extensions, we provided tax breaks for those people that tax provisions have expired. We provided for hurricane relief, for mental health. So over $1 trillion is out there for this House to ease the pain of millions of Americans.

While we were dealing with these gigantic powers, we overlooked the fact that over the last 12 months the number of unemployed workers has jumped by over 2 million, leaving 10 million Americans struggling for work. These are hardworking people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rep. JERRY WELLER (R, IL-11): This important legislation provides additional needed assistance to the long-term unemployed. It's important that we pass this legislation today as our last act before we leave for the election campaign.

This legislation focuses the most additional benefits on workers and States where the unemployment rate is highest and where jobs are hardest to find. This program continues the requirement that those benefiting from extended unemployment benefits had to have worked at least 20 weeks. Americans were rightly concerned about proposals to eliminate that work requirement and allow 39 weeks or, under the legislation before us today, as many as 59 weeks of total unemployment benefits to be paid to those who have previously only worked for a few weeks.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None voiced.

Reference: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act; Bill HR.6867 ; vote number 2008-S214 on Nov 20, 2008

Voted NO on terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules.

CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To take $670,000 used by the EEOC in bringing actions against employers that require their employees to speak English, and instead use the money to teach English to adults through the Department of Education's English Literacy/Civics Education State Grant program.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ALEXANDER: Let me begin with this story. In March 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Salvation Army for allegedly discriminating against two employees in a Boston area thrift store. What had the Salvation Army done to earn this lawsuit from the Federal Government? Well, it had required its employees to speak English on the job. The English rule was clearly posted, and the employees were given a year to learn it. But this lawsuit means that a small business in Missouri would have to hire a lawyer in order to make sure they have a clear business reason to require their employees to speak our common language on the job.

So I have an amendment to bring some common sense to this subject. It would be to take $670,000 used by the EEOC, which it is using to bring actions against employers who require their employees to speak English.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. KENNEDY: Let's look at what the law is and what the Alexander amendment provides. The law currently says that if there is a need to speak English on the job, fine; employers can require that. But employers cannot use English-only rules as an excuse when they want to fire minorities who are performing the job correctly. In this fact situation, those employees had performed the job correctly for 5 years.

In addition, this amendment reduces the EEOC's ability to fight all forms of discrimination because it cuts the entire budget. That means race, age, religion, and disability cases will be harmed. I hope the amendment will be defeated.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment passed, 54-44

Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4222 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S058 on Mar 13, 2008

Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing.

    To enable employees to form & join labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Requires investigation that an employer:
    1. discharged or discriminated against an employee to discourage membership in a labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge employees in the exercise of guaranteed collective bargaining rights; and
    3. adds to remedies for such violations: back pay plus liquidated damages; and additional civil penalties.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    The principle at stake here is the freedom that all workers should have to organize for better working conditions & fair wages. There are many employers around the country who honor this freedom. Unfortunately, there are also many employers who do not. These employers attempt to prevent workers from unionizing by using tactics that amount to harassment, if not outright firing. In fact, one in five people who try to organize unions are fired. These tactics are already illegal, but the penalties are so minor, they are not effective deterrents.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Democracy itself is placed at risk by this bill. The sanctity of the secret ballot is the backbone of our democratic process. Not one voter signed a card to send us here to Congress. None of us sent our campaign workers out to voters' houses armed with candidate information & a stack of authorization cards. No. We trusted democracy. We trusted the voters to cast their ballots like adults, freely, openly, without intimidation, and we live with the results. But here we are, poised to advance legislation to kill a secret ballot process.

    Let's be clear. Every American has the right to organize. No one is debating that. This is a right we believe in so strongly we have codified it and made it possible for workers to do so through a secret ballot.
    Status: Cloture rejected Cloture vote rejected, 51-48 (3/5ths required)

    Reference: Employee Free Choice Act; Bill H R 800 ; vote number 2007-227 on Jun 26, 2007

    Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.

    Increase the federal minimum wage to:
    1. $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment;
    2. $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and
    3. $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    We have waited for over 10 years to have a clean vote on the minimum wage for the poorest workers in this country Low-wage workers had their wages frozen in time, from 10 years ago, but when they go to the supermarket, the food prices are higher; when they put gasoline in the car, the gasoline prices are higher; when they pay the utility bills, the utility bills are higher; when their kids get sick, the medical bills are higher. All of those things are higher. They are living in 2007, but in their wages they are living in 1997.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    This bill is marked more by what is not in the bill than what is in it. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create two-thirds of our Nation's new jobs, and they represent 98% of the new businesses in the US. What protection does this bill provide them? None whatsoever.

    We can do better. In the interest of sending the President a final measure that provides consideration for small businesses and their workers, the very men and women who are responsible for our economy's recent growth and strength, we must do better.

    Reference: Fair Minimum Wage Act; Bill H.R.2 ; vote number 2007-042 on Feb 1, 2007

    Voted YES on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25.

    Vote to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour, over a two-year time period, in three incremental stages. Without the amendment, the minimum wage would increase to $6.25 per hour.
    Reference: Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; Bill S AMDT 44 to S 256 ; vote number 2005-26 on Mar 7, 2005

    Voted NO on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress.

    Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders
    Reference: Bill S J Res 6 ; vote number 2001-15 on Mar 6, 2001

    Protect overtime pay protections.

    Clinton signed a letter from 43 Senators to the Secretary of Labor

    To: Labor Secretary Elaine Chao

    Dear Secretary Chao:

    We write to express our serious concerns about the Department's proposed regulation on white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act. These sweeping changes could eliminate overtime pay protections for millions of American workers.

    We urge you not to implement this new regulation that will end overtime protections for those currently eligible. Under current law, the FLSA discourages employers from scheduling overtime by making overtime more expensive. According to a GAO study, employees exempt from overtime pay are twice as likely to work overtime as those covered by the protections. Our citizens are working longer hours than ever before – longer than in any other industrial nation. At least one in five employees now has a work week that exceeds 50 hours. Protecting the 40-hour work week is vital to balancing work responsibilities and family needs. It is certainly not family friendly to require employees to work more hours for less pay.

    Overtime protections clearly make an immense difference in preserving the 40-hour work week. Millions of employees depend on overtime pay to make ends meet and pay their bills for housing, food, and health care. Overtime pay often constitutes 20-25% of their wages. These workers will face an unfair reduction in their take-home pay if they can no longer receive their overtime pay.

    We urge you not to go forward with any regulation that denies overtime pay protections to any of America's currently eligible hard-working men and women.

    Source: Letter from 43 Senators to the Secretary of Labor 03-SEN4 on Jun 30, 2003

    Rated 85% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record.

    Clinton scores 85% by the AFL-CIO on union issues

    As the federation of America’s unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America’s workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

    The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

    Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

    Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union.

    Clinton co-sponsored allowing an Air Traffic Controller's Union

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Federal Aviation Administration Fair Labor Management Dispute Resolution Act of 2006: Prohibits the FAA from implementing any proposed change to the FAA personnel management system in cases where the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service do not lead to an agreement between the Administrator and FAA employees, unless Congress authorizes the change during the 60-day period. Requires binding arbitration if Congress does not enact a bill into law within the 60-day period.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: Because what air traffic controllers do is vital to our safety, I became very concerned by a letter I received from Illinois air traffic controller Michael Hannigan. He wrote that "the air traffic controllers are not being allowed to negotiate in good faith with the FAA."

    What was clear in Michael's plea was the sense that he and his colleagues felt that they were being treated unfairly. I looked into it and came to the conclusion that if we did not restore a fair negotiation procedure, it would threaten agency morale and effectiveness.

    The problem is this: the FAA Administrator currently has the extraordinary authority to impose wages and working conditions on her workers without arbitration. In order to do that, she merely has to declare an impasse in negotiations and if Congress does not stop her from imposing her terms and conditions within 60 days, the Administrator can go ahead and act unilaterally. That authority denies air traffic controllers and all other FAA employees the opportunity to engage in and conclude negotiations in good faith.

    It is in the best interest of the agency and public safety to have management and labor cooperate in contract negotiations.

    EXCERPTS OF BILL:

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

    Source: FAA Dispute Resolution Act (S.2201/H.R.4755) 06-S2201 on Jan 26, 2006

    Sponsored bill linking minimum wage to Congress' pay raises.

    Clinton sponsored matching minimum wage increases to Congressional pay raises

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide for an increase in the Federal Minimum wage and to ensure that increases in the Federal minimum wage keep pace with any pay adjustments for Members of Congress.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This legislation will raise the minimum wage over the next two years and link future increases in the minimum wage to Congressional raises. Today, working parents earning the minimum wage are struggling to make ends meet and to build better lives for their children. The Federal minimum wage is currently $5.15 an hour, an amount that has not been increased since 1997. Sadly, during that time, Congress has given itself eight annual pay raises. We can no longer stand by and regularly give ourselves a pay increase while denying a minimum wage increase to help the more than 7 million men and women working hard across this nation. If Members of Congress need an annual cost of living adjustment, then certainly the lowest-paid members of our society do too.

    My legislation would increase the minimum wage first to $5.85 an hour, then to $6.55 an hour, and ultimately to $7.25 an hour within the next two years. In addition, my legislation then ensures that every time Congress gives itself a raise in the future that Americans get a raise too. This is the right and fair thing to do for hardworking Americans.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.

    Source: Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act (S.2725) 06-S2725 on May 4, 2006

    Extend unemployment compensation during recession.

    Clinton co-sponsored extending unemployment compensation during recession

    A bill to provide for a program of temporary extended unemployment compensation. Provides for federal-state agreements under which a state will make temporary extended unemployment compensation payments to individuals who:

    1. have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under state or federal law with respect to a benefit year (excluding any benefit year that ended before one year before the enactment of this Act);
    2. have no rights to regular compensation or extended compensation with respect to a week under such law or any other state or federal unemployment compensation law;
    3. are not receiving compensation for such week under the unemployment compensation law of Canada; and
    4. filed an initial claim for regular compensation on or after one year before the enactment of this Act.
    Source: Emergency Unemployment Extension Act (S.2544&H.R.4934) 2008-S2544 on Jan 22, 2008

    Ban discriminatory compensation; allow 2 years to sue.

    Clinton signed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

      Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to declare that an unlawful employment practice occurs when:
    1. a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted;
    2. an individual becomes subject to the decision or practice; or
    3. an individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid.
    Allows an aggrieved person to obtain relief, including recovery of back pay, for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge, where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to practices that occurred outside the time for filing a charge. Applies the preceding provisions to claims of compensation discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    [Note: A woman named Lilly Ledbetter filed a lawsuit for gender-based discriminatory compensation. The Supreme Court ruled that Ms. Ledbetter could only sue for damages going back 180 days, and the 180 days was calculated from the time her employment contract was initiated, i.e., her hire date. This new law changes the 180-day period to two years, and also calculates the date from the time of each paycheck, rather than the hire date. -- Ed.]

    Source: S.181&H.R.11 2009-S181 on Jan 29, 2009

    Sponsored bill enforcing against gender pay discrimination.

    Clinton sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act

    Source: S.182&H.R.12 2009-S182 on Jan 8, 2009

    Other candidates on Jobs: Hillary Clinton on other issues:
    Nominees:
    GOP: Sen.John McCain
    GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
    Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
    Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

    Third Parties:
    Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
    Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
    Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
    Liberation: Gloria La Riva
    Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
    Socialist: Brian Moore
    Independent: Ralph Nader
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    Energy/Oil
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    Families/Children
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Infrastructure/Technology
    Jobs
    Principles/Values
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War/Iraq/Mideast
    Welfare/Poverty

    Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010