John McCain on Jobs
Republican nominee for President; Senior Senator (AZ)
A: Well, the point is that I have voted to keep taxes low and to cu taxes. And Senator Obama has voted to raise them consistently. Even on people as low as $42,000.
Q: But why have you been against the minimum wage?
A: I’m for the minimum wage increases when they are not attached to other big-spending pork barrel.
Q: So, you would have been for the increases in the minimum wage, even though you voted against it 19 times?
A: The fact is that I am for a living wage for all Americans. And I’d like to see them get it. But the key is to get them jobs, and get them the kind of good educational opportunity and affordable health care. So, I am committed, and my record clearly shows that I’ve done everything I can to keep their taxes low.
ROMNEY: We’re going to have to do the hard work of rebuilding our economy, strengthening it. And I know that there are some people, such as Sen. McCain, who think that some jobs have left that are never coming back. I disagree. I’m going to fight for every single job, in every state in this country.
McCAIN: Sometimes you have to tell people things they don’t want to hear. There are jobs--let’s have a little straight talk--there are some jobs that aren’t coming back to Michigan. There are some jobs that won’t come back here to South Carolina. But we’re going to take care of them. That’s our goal; that’s our obligation. We need to go to the community colleges and design education and training programs so that these workers get a second chance. That’s our obligation as a nation. And by the way, I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong.
A: I think the unions have played a very important role in the history of this country to improve the plight and conditions of laboring Americans. I think that like many other monopolies, in some cases they have then serious excesses. I come from a right-to-work state. If someone wants to join a union in my state, they’re free to do so, but they are not compelled to do so. I think the key to unions is that any American has the right and privilege to join a union but should never be forced to do so. And this latest ploy of the Democrats of signing people up in the most willy-nilly fashion is something that needs to be rejected, because it will not protect the rights of workers who do not wish to join a union.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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