“The truth is, across America, there are millions of hardworking men and women who have been left behind. They don’t want a handout, and they don’t want our sympathy. They simply want the government and corporations to stop working against them.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, joined House and Senate Democrats to unveil “A Better Deal” for hardworking Americans. This new economic agenda will boost wages, lower costs and level the economic playing field so it works for all Americans, not special interests or just the wealthiest few.
You can watch Congresswoman Bustos’ remarks by clicking here or below.
Her remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Thank you Sen. Klobuchar for that introduction.
My name is Cheri Bustos and I represent the 17th District of Illinois.
It’s 7,000 square miles… largely rural and blue collar… and it runs along the banks of the Mississippi River.
To so many of the families I serve, it’s clear that the economy isn’t working the way it should.
Some worked for decades in good manufacturing jobs…
Only to spend their last days training their overseas replacement workers before padlocking the factory door.
Others put their hearts and souls into building their small business on Main Street…
Only to lose it because of greed on Wall Street that caused the great recession.
And moms and dads across the heartland worry whether they’ll see their grandkids grow up in their hometown…
Because many of their children moved away to the big city just to get a job.
The truth is, across America, there are millions of hardworking men and women who have been left behind.
They don’t want a handout…
And they don’t want our sympathy.
They simply want government and corporations to stop working against them.
We’re here today to say we hear you.
That we agree with you
And that we are ready to present you with a better deal.
In the better deal we offer, we’re going to restore opportunity by helping 10 million Americans get good-paying, full time jobs.
We will do that, in part, by doubling our investment in workforce training and apprenticeships.
Let me tell you why this is so important and how we’ll help Americans get back to work in the kind of jobs where they can support their families.
Almost two years ago, I convened a group of small and mid-sized manufacturers from across my Congressional district.
The very first question I asked was how many of these employers had jobs they couldn’t fill.
Every single one of these manufacturers raised their hands.
When we drilled down about why…
It’s because today’s 21st century jobs require 21st century skills.
And while there are lots of people eager to take those jobs, they don’t always know where to get the specific skills they need.
We can solve this problem!
One way is by connecting our community colleges and high schools with local employers.
By having employers in the room as these programs are developed, we’ll create a skills pipeline that gets our economy back on track.
Not with low-paying, part-time jobs.
But with the kind of jobs hard working men and women can truly live the kind of lives where:
They can take a family vacation;
Buy a new pickup truck every few years;
And be able to buy their kids the shoes they want and not just the shoes they need.
We do this by connecting workers with better skills…
That lead to better jobs…
With better wages.
And that, in turn, will lead to a better future for hardworking families.
That’s our better deal for America.
Bringing back hope…
And restoring trust…
We can do it.
And we will do it.
And with that, I’d like to introduce our next speaker, Senator Elizabeth Warren.