Jobs and Economy
When I travel around Northwest Oregon, I often hear from parents who struggle to pay for child care—which in Oregon can cost as much as a year of college tuition. I’ve heard from parents who don’t have access to paid family leave at work, and have to choose between caring for a new baby and earning a paycheck. Congress must do more to address the challenges facing our families.
Our economy will be stronger and people will be healthier when we acknowledge that families need policies that work for them, not against them. Equal pay for women, good wages, paid leave, and affordable child care will better support families in Oregon and across the country. When we open the doors of opportunity to everyone, we all succeed.
One of my top priorities in Congress is to grow our economy and implement policies that create more jobs in Oregon and across the country. As a leader on the Education and Labor Committee, I’ve introduced legislation to strengthen apprenticeships and paid, on-the-job training programs to provide workers with meaningful pathways to better paying jobs, and to connect businesses with workers who have the skills they need. I support the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. I also helped pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help to address the pay gap and provide workers with the tools they need to achieve equal pay for equal work.
More on Jobs and Economy
"Some schools in Northwest Oregon have been able to reopen, but many have not," said Bonamici, who represents much of the metro area's west side, including Newberg and Dundee. "We all want students and educators back in schools, but they need resources to make sure everyone is safe."
Bonamici represents the First Congressional District of Oregon. She answered voters’ questions for more than 45 minutes. One caller asked how small business owners could afford the proposed minimum wage of $15 an hour, especially in the wake of the pandemic. The caller said the minimum wage was never meant to support families.
“Katherine was the glue that held us together,” said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., who played a leading role in the negotiations. “If you end up with a product that has support from the AFL-CIO to the Chamber of Commerce, that is an unusual feat.”
Upon reintroduction, the bill had 41 cosponsors in the Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and all four Oregon and Washington Senators: Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell. The reintroduced House version of the bill had 170 sponsors, including Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Peter DeFazio of Oregon.
Congress and the Oregon Legislature have each considered stronger protections in the past few years, but neither has acted. However, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, said Tuesday she is optimistic a bill that passed in the Democratic House last year will fare better in the Senate now that Democrats control that chamber, too. “Age discrimination is still too prevalent in the workplace,” Bonamici said in a written statement. “My office has been working closely with people who have filed age discrimination complaints, but the burden and outcomes are often very uncertain.”
The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 provides a plan for states to set up and run federally funded programs and calls for the Labor Department to diversify and expand apprenticeships in conjunction with industry leaders, educational institutions and others. In addition to Scott, the bill is sponsored by Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.).