Monday, September 19, 2011

Trumka's Statement on Congress and Obama's Jobs Program

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president's statement on Pres. Barack Obama's jobs proposal.

Did you watch President Obama’s speech last night? He showed working people he is willing to go to the mat to create new jobs on a substantial scale. His speech should energize the nation to come together and get serious about jobs.

We call on Congress to act and look forward to working with the president and Congress on all elements of this proposal. As the president explained, we no longer can delay putting Americans back to work rebuilding our nation’s schools, roads, bridges, transit, ports, rail, communications and energy systems. And we need to help state and local governments avoid layoffs that are dragging down the economy—rejecting the myth that the only way to end a crisis Wall Street started is to punish firefighters, teachers and others who perform critical public services.

Tell Congress: It’s time to get moving on jobs. Start with President Obama’s proposals and then keep going.

The plan announced by President Obama to create jobs is only the opening bid in a national conversation we’ve needed to have for a long time. In the coming weeks and months, we expect to see more proposals from the president and Congress to put America back to work.

President Obama understands this economic crisis was not created overnight, and it will not be solved overnight. The middle class has been under attack for decades. He understands we need to rebuild our economy for the 21st century and rebuild our middle class.

But doing this will require a revolution in the way Washington takes on these questions. Republicans are going to have to stop blocking bills that sustain or create millions of jobs and start offering and accepting credible solutions. As the president explained last night, we can delay no longer.

Tell Congress America wants to work. Add your name, then spread the word to your friends and family.

America isn’t broke—we’re the richest country in the world. We will only go broke if our leaders fail year after year to create jobs and turn our economy around. We can’t let that happen.

Politicians need to recognize that America’s best days are still before us. We cannot accept the disappearance of the American middle class or several more years of crisis-level joblessness. We can and must solve the jobs crisis—and we must start now. Please take action to help us make this happen.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. Some politicians claim cuts to our social safety net, deregulation and lower taxes for the rich will fix our problems. But they’re flat wrong. If we continue down this road, it only will destroy more jobs and send us into a vicious downward spiral. Our country is too good and too rich to weaken our commitment to safety net protections such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance.

We don’t have time to waste on the same old failed policies that drove our economy off a cliff in the first place. Tell Congress: Working families will judge our elected leaders by whether they act with integrity and energy to create good jobs now.
To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at

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