The Choice We Face this November 6th
Facing the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama took office at the lowest point of the Bush recession. From day one, Obama understood that a strong labor movement is the key to a successful recovery. Despite the continued use of the filibuster by Republicans, the Obama administration has utilized nearly every available opportunity to revitalize the economy. There have been disagreements on how to get there, but our goals are one and the same. Only one candidate will stand up for working families and put workers first: Barack Obama.
• President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress enacted solutions to create jobs during the economic collapse.
• Pushed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through Congress, creating 3.6 million jobs by the end of 2010.
• Supported an additional $26.1 billion in aid to save the jobs of public services workers.
• Proposed the American Jobs Act, which included $140 billion in infrastructure spending and state and local aid.
• Called for a $50 billion investment in critical transportation infrastructure projects and a six year, $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization—including $47 billion for high-speed and other passenger rail.
• Approved the first new nuclear plant construction in three decades.
• Led the effort to rescue the auto industry despite Republican calls to let it fail.
• Proposed the $3 billion "Cash for Clunkers" program.
• Imposed trade sanctions against China .
• Brought twice as many trade cases against China as President George W. Bush.
• Created the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to improve government coordination against unfair practices by trading partners.
• Called for a minimum tax on U.S. profits earned overseas and offered companies that scale back foreign operations a tax credit for bringing factories back to America.
WALL STREET REFORM
• President Obama led the way in holding Wall Street accountable for its actions and protecting working families from predatory practices.
• Enacted a sweeping financial reform package to stop Wall Street's reckless behavior and increased oversight to end "too big to fail."
• Regulates the "shadow" derivatives market, hedge funds and private equity funds.• Helps prevent bank bailouts by creating a council of regulators to oversee systemic risk, giving regulators authority to dissolve financial institutions while prohibiting bailouts.
• Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, creating an independent advocate for consumers and increasing oversight over banks and mortgage companies.
• Enacted the CARD Act that reins in and reduces credit card rates.
Obama named experienced worker advocates to the NLRB and the National Mediation Board (NMB); these boards have taken steps to level the playing field for workers who want to form and join unions.
• Appointed Hilda Solis, the daughter of a Teamster, as Secretary of Labor.
• The NLRB issued new regulations to streamline the union election process.
• Obama issued five pro-worker Executive Orders shortly after taking office to:
• Prohibit federal contractors from using government funds to block union organizing;
• Require federal contractors to post a notice informing workers of their right to form and join unions, reversing an earlier Bush order;
• Guarantee that workers can keep their jobs when a federal contract for services changes hands; and
• Has requested $25 million in additional resources to clamp down on the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.
• Signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, legislation to provide treatment and compensation to the 9/11 responders made sick from toxic exposures at Ground Zero.
RELIEF FOR WORKING FAMILIES
• Provided tax cuts for 95 percent of working families.
• Extended subsidized COBRA premiums for unemployed workers, allowing them to receive an additional six months of health benefits.
• Stood up to Republicans to extend unemployment insurance benefits, assisting 2.5 million Americans who lost their jobs.
• Invested $2 billion to provide education and career training programs to dislocated workers.
• Expanded Pell Grants and revamped the student loan program by eliminating fees paid to private banks.