116th Congress is the Most Pro-Retiree Congress in 9 Years

116th Congress is the Most Pro-Retiree Congress in 9 Years

Still, more than half of the Senate and more than one-third of the House earned scores below 50%

Washington, DC – The Alliance for Retired Americans released its 2019 Congressional Voting Record, which scores each U.S. Senator and Representative on critical retirement security issues, today.

“Almost every elected official in Washington says they care about older Americans,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “This report considers numerous votes to determine who stood up for seniors last year, and who did not.”

Forty-two members of the U.S. Senate and 216 members of the House of Representatives earned perfect scores of 100 percent. However, 51 percent of senators and 45 percent of House members earned scores below 50 percent.

The annual report reviewed votes on 10 key Senate and House bills that affect the health and well-being of retirees. The votes included bills and amendments to lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, protect people with pre-existing health conditions, ensure caregivers can take sick leave, protect pensions, and repeal the 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans.

“These issues are important and the votes have real consequences for millions of older Americans. They will either strengthen or weaken retirement security for millions of people,” said Fiesta. “Retirees need to have this information to hold their elected officials accountable.”

Fourteen senators and 4 House members earned scores of 0 percent. They are: Senators John Barrasso (WY), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Mike Enzi (WY), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), Mike Lee (UT), James Risch (ID), Ben Sasse (NE), Tim Scott (SC), and Pat Toomey (PA); and Reps. Justin Amash (MI), Dan Bishop (NC), Andy Harris (MD), and Gregory Murphy (NC).

The 2019 Congressional Voting Record is available online at https://retiredamericans.org/voting-record. 

Tell your representative to stand up for workers!

Right now, Congress has a critical opportunity to strengthen workers’ rights.

 

Lawmakers, in 2019, introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, H.R. 2474, which would give millions of America’s workers additional protections to organize and negotiate for better pay and benefits, and a voice on the job.

 

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on this crucial piece of legislation. But greedy CEOs will do everything they can to oppose working people standing together.

 

Can you make a call right now to tell your representative to pass the PRO Act?

 

It’s no secret that the right to form a union is under attack. “Right to work” laws are spreading, while wages have stagnated. More than ever, we need our lawmakers to stand up for working people’s rights—that’s where the PRO Act comes in. It would:

 

  • Penalize employers who violate workers’ right to organize.
  • Help workers secure a first contract.
  • Protect workers who go on strike.
  • Close loopholes that allow companies to misclassify workers as independent contractors.

 

Working people deserve the right to organize and demand living wages, safe workspaces and good benefits—and it’s up to our members of Congress to protect and strengthen that right. Call your representative and tell them to stand up for working families and pass the PRO Act!

 

In Solidarity,

 

Team AFL-CIO

We’ve Come Too Far To Stop Now!

New United Steelworkers podcast: Solidarity Works!

Hey all! I wanted to share that the United Steelworkers (USW) has a new podcast, Solidarity Works, and our first episode went live this morning! I sat down with our Rapid Response director, Amber Miller, to chat about the three major bills our activists are pushing for in Washington, D.C., and what lies ahead for them in 2020.

You can find us on pretty much any streaming service (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, etc.), or at usw.to/podcast. We’ll be posting episodes monthly until March when I’ll switch to two episodes per month.

Spread the word if you dig it!

In solidarity,

Chelsey Engel

USW Communications

Pittsburgh, PA

Register now: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2020 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference is officially open.

Click here to register for the MLK Conference: Give Us the Ballot Political Boot Camp!

With a critical election right around the corner, the theme for the 2020 MLK Conference is “Give Us the Ballot,” drawn from Dr. King’s 1957 voting rights speech delivered at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom gathering in Washington, D.C.

Decades after Dr. King advocated tirelessly for full access to the voting booth, we are still facing voter disenfranchisement at alarming levels. In the labor movement, we know that ensuring full voting access and a fair count of every ballot is critical.

When it comes to the important work of fighting for free and fair elections, we can’t wait. Join us at our upcoming conference boot camp to roll up your sleeves and get to work!

See you in January!

In Solidarity,

Team AFL-CIO

A vastly better deal

After many rounds of negotiations, and tireless support from allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sens. Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden, I’m writing to tell you that the AFL-CIO is endorsing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

We knew this deal was too important to get wrong or be rushed. In the face of pressure, working people persevered, winning truly enforceable labor standards and an elimination of special carve outs for big corporations. Also, the USMCA now closes loopholes designed to make it harder to prosecute labor violations.

The USMCA is far from perfect. It alone is not a solution for outsourcing, inequality or climate change. Successfully tackling these issues requires a full-court press of economic policies that empower workers, including the repeal of tax cuts which reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas.

But there is no denying that the trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance. More than 16,000 of you signed our petition to tell Congress that we deserve a trade deal that works for all of us.

This is your victory.

In Solidarity,

Rich

——–

Richard Trumka

President, AFL-CIO