Fighting for Working Families

Iowans are working harder than ever, but wages have grown too slowly over the last decade. Women still earn less than their male counterparts, and parents too often have to choose between a paycheck or staying home with their newborn. Washington politicians continue to side with corporations and the wealthy over hard-working Americans. And the damage is clear: wages are lower, union membership is down, and the middle class is shrinking.

It’s time for everyday Iowans to have a voice in Washington. I’ll prioritize expanding economic opportunity and security so that families can thrive right here in Eastern Iowa. In Congress, I will fight for equal pay, the unions that support our families, and a fair, living wage for every hard-working American.

Strong unions

My father was a union pipefitter welder and has been a proud union member for over 40 years. I grew up in a union household, and I understand how important good union jobs are to families across Eastern Iowa. I will always fight to defend unions so that we can strengthen our families and our workers across the 1st district.

Strong, organized labor builds a thriving middle class. Across the county, and here in Iowa, unions have raised wages for countless hard-working Americans. Nationally in 2014, the typical union worker made almost $200 more a week than an average non-union worker.1 But attacks on labor are decreasing union membership across the country.

Here in Iowa we have always been proud of our unions, and I’m honored to be endorsed by a number of them including the Iowa Teamsters and AFSCME Council 61. Unions deserve a strong voice in Washington. In Congress, I will always support pro-labor legislation and oppose efforts to put big corporations over American workers.

Equal Pay

In Iowa, women are paid 78 cents for every dollar that men earn, which means Iowa’s women – and their families – lose out on an average of $11,135 every year.2 That’s simply not acceptable.

As a state legislator, I fought hard for equal pay and introduced an amendment to require all businesses that contracted with the state to certify that they paid the same wages to men and women with the same education level and experience.3 Equal pay is a moral issue and a working families issue and I plan to continue this fight in Washington. In Congress, I will support equal pay legislation to close the wage gap that continues to hurt women and families across the country.

Living Wage

When American workers are paid a fair, living wage, our economy and middle-class flourish. Republicans in Washington continue to put corporations and their executives over hard-working Americans. In Congress, I’ll fight to ensure all American workers are paid a fair, living wage on which they can support a family.

At its heart, this is a family issue. We need to ensure Iowans have access to good-paying jobs at fair wages so they are able to settle down where they choose or remain in their hometowns, instead of being forced to move elsewhere to raise a family. By paying every worker a living wage, Iowans will be able to live close to their parents and grandparents in towns across our state, maintaining the strong family and community ties that have broken down as younger generations have been forced to leave too many places.

Paid Family Leave

The time for enacting an effective paid family leave policy is long overdue. No working American should ever have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a loved one. Unfortunately, this is a reality for too many parents and family members: in 2016, only 14% of civilian workers had access to paid family leave.4 It’s a disgrace and we must do better for American families.

I’m fighting to expand paid family leave because, when working families are given the time they need to care for themselves or their loved ones, our economy, our workforce, and our families thrive.

  1. “Want a raise? Join a union,” Tami Luhby, CNN Money, 02/24/2015
  2. “What’s the Wage Gap in the States?
  3. “‘Political games’ supersede debate on pay equity for women; CAPITOL IDEAS,” James Q Lynch, The Gazette, 04/24/2016
  4. “Access to paid family leave varies widely across employers, industries,” Drew Desilver, Pew Research, 03/23/2017
  5. “Access to paid family leave varies widely across employers, industries,” Drew Desilver, Pew Research, 03/23/2017