Labor & Employment
Ten years ago, our country entered its most severe economic recession since the Great Depression. And while the economy has steadily improved, many Americans still feel the effects of the recession in their daily lives. I believe that it is important to continue to support families who are struggling with unemployment during this difficult time by promoting job opportunity with a livable wage in today’s demanding economy. In order to assist families and individuals in need, I've voted in favor of unemployment insurance extensions and will continue to vote in favor of domestic job expansion programs. I have also supported initiatives to raise the minimum wage that mirror economic trends so that all families can bring food to their tables. In fact, I supported and voted in favor of H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, providing over 33 million Americans with a raise. It has been more than a decade since Americans have received a minimum wage increase and currently Americans continue to live in poverty, but I assure you that I will continue working in Congress to alleviate the economic hardships faced by so many Americans.
I will also continue to support our federal workers. Rather than pay-freezes and government shutdowns, it is incumbent upon Congress to recognize the important role federal employees play in protecting our national security and driving the economy. It is important that we protect federal workers from continuous targeted cuts and preserve their right to unionize so that they too earn a livable wage. The Trump Administration has attacked collective bargaining rights and wages of Federal Employees. In the face of these injustices, I was proud to support the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act to provide federal employees with a modest, yet long-overdue, wage increase. Moreover, I have worked tirelessly to establish protections for the right to unionize for Federal Employees. In fact, I signed on to a letter addressed to House leadership urging policymakers to keep language in H.R. 3351, a Financial Services and General Government appropriations package, to protect collective bargaining rights for Federal Employees. The hostile attitude towards Federal employees from the Trump Administration does not go unnoticed and I will work endlessly to protect the labor rights of all employees.
Georgian students also greatly benefit from vocational development programs such as apprenticeships. These programs provide eager learners with the necessary hard and soft skills to thrive in vocational careers. The added benefit of apprenticeships is a direct pathway into an industry facing labor shortages. Throughout my time in Congress, I have fought for programs such as the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, which provides low-income high school students with training opportunities in growing sectors like healthcare, technology, and customer service. I also voted in favor of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which was signed into law by President Barack Obama. And I have supported allocating several millions towards WIOA to support the enrollment of women, people of color, and persons with disabilities in apprenticeships and other workforce development programs.