Democrats add to 'Better Deal' platform with a slew of pro-labor-union ideas
Senate Democrats are rolling out another plank in their “Better Deal” platform today, a series of pro-labor reforms aimed at “strengthening the collective voice and negotiating rights of workers.” ...
“Democrats are redoubling our commitment to working men and women with these proposals,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. “We’re offering the middle class and those struggling to get there a better deal by taking on companies that undermine unions and underpay their workers, and beginning to unwind a rigged system that undermines every worker’s freedom to negotiate with their employer.”
The labor plank of the Better Deal is ambitious, anticipating court and National Labor Relations Board decisions that could go against unions in the next four years. Among them:
A “federal law that provides public workers with the same rights and freedom to engage in collective bargaining as their private sector counterparts,” designed to prevent the piecemeal right-to-work efforts that have taken off in Republican-run states since 2011.
A ban on state “right-to-work” laws altogether, as “they have been found to reduce union membership by up to 10 percent and have resulted in lower wages and decreased access to employer-provided health care and pensions.”
Making it easier to strike with a “ban [on] the permanent replacement of striking workers.”
WaPo - Dave Weigel
What happened to the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal?’ Check the spending bill.
Eight months after Democrats began to release their “Better Deal” agenda, they are on the cusp of passing some of it into law — by tucking it into this week’s must-pass spending bill.
“This budget agreement shows that the Better Deal agenda is more than a set of ideas; now, it’s going to be real policies,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement. “It delivers on exactly what we laid out last year: rural broadband, child care and assistance with college tuition.”
In negotiations, Democrats checked off several items in the Better Deal, a compendium of policies backed by Democrats in the past and brainstormed in meetings last spring and summer. The new items include $5.8 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant program; $20 billion in infrastructure spending, including rural broadband funds, with no corresponding cuts; and a special joint committee on fulfilling pension obligations, with the results to be voted on by the end of the year.
Passing those items as part of a spending package will let the White House — eager to advertise new spending on infrastructure and rural voters — take some of the credit. Democrats believe some of the credit will redound to the 10 Democrats facing reelection this year in states won by President Trump in 2016.
“It shows that Democrats are willing to work with anyone in a Republican-controlled Washington to deliver for the middle class,” Schumer said.
Democrats Try to Thread the Needle on Russia in New Anti-Corruption Platform
Some Democrats are annoyed with the cable news fixation on every twist and turn of the Russia investigation. Others think the party needs more focus on the issue. But Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), the chair of the congressional Democracy Reform Task Force, thinks he’s found a way to thread the needle.
“I mean you can basically say ‘Look, nobody should be interfering with our democracy, with our elections,” Sarbanes said in an interview with The Daily Beast on Monday. “So foreigners shouldn’t be doing it, special interests shouldn’t be doing it, big money shouldn’t be doing it. It belongs to you, the people. It’s your campaign, it’s your politics, it’s your government.”
Sarbanes, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), unveiled a broad anti-corruption platform on Monday meant to serve as a supplement to the Democrats’ economic messaging in the “Better Deal” platform. Riffing on President Trump’s own successful slogan “drain the swamp,” the platform is intended to fix the campaign finance system, strengthen ethics laws and facilitate better access to the ballot box for every American voter. It harkens back to a successful messaging platform of 2006, a year in which Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate.
Putting this out now, six months ahead of 2018’s midterm elections, accomplishes two things in Sarbanes’ eyes. It provides an additional incentive for voters to consider a changing of the guard in the nation’s capital and holds members accountable at the same time. Should Democrats win a majority in November, in part because of this messaging, it will be incumbent upon them to pass legislation in the first 100 days that accomplishes these goals.