Cory Booker on Jobs
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
BOOKER: You know, we have said in our campaign that we're not only going to pay our campaign staff that, but we're going to pay interns as well. Not only do we pay our campaign staff wages that reflect what my values are, but we actually make sure that we have inclusive campaigns, diverse campaigns.
Q: So it's $15 an hour minimum?
BOOKER: It's $15 an hour or more than that, yes.
ANALYSIS: Booker's actual actions make it clear WHY he was vague: he is generally in favor of union organizing, but has a long antagonistic record with teachers' unions due to his pro-charter school stance. By avoiding union issues, the teachers' union would not have the opportunity to denounce Booker. Booker took plenty of heat for his pro-charter stance--but he was honest about that! He would have taken even more heat if he publicly made the connection--like many Democrats and liberals do - between a pro-charter stance and an anti-union stance.
Booker and Scott are unveiling a proposal that would promote apprenticeships in highly-skilled trades, a move designed to help fill millions of technical jobs in the construction, manufacturing energy and telecommunications industries, while also creating jobs for younger Americans, especially minorities struggling to find work.
Booker and Scott's LEAP Act (Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Programs) would provide tax credits to employers who offer apprenticeships to younger job applicants. Companies that offer apprenticeships to people under age 25 would receive a $1,500 tax credit and a $1,000 credit for apprentices above age 25. Apprenticeships, unlike office internships, offer a combination of on-the-job training and instruction in highly-skilled occupations.
Occupations in fields such as construction and manufacturing, with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13--the middle third of the pay scale--accounted for 60 percent of job losses during the worst part of the recession. As the recovery progressed, however, those jobs didn't come back. Instead, it was lower-wage occupations--those with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83--that accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.
Our work will not be done until we live in a nation where equal work means equal pay. And that's why, as your Senator, I will work to make the long overdue promises advanced by the 2009 enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act a reality by supporting further efforts to close the income gap between men and women, including the Paycheck Fairness Act and raising the federal minimum wage.
BOOKER: Well, politics is a zero-sum game. The spirit of Martin Luther King taught me that love multiplies and hate divides. We've got too much division going on in our politics. Where people come together, you make remarkable results. Well, Chris Christie and I disagree on most things. But if we just sat back in our relative partisan positions, we wouldn't have gotten anything together. The fact that we've come together right now has created the largest economic development period in Newark in over a generation. In fact, we are 3% of the state's population with a third of all the development in New Jersey is going on in Newark, in commercial multi-families. Our biggest boom, period, because we found ways to get together.
Cory Booker was not the typical, weak, opponent. Challenging a 16-year incumbent may strike some as a quixotic enterprise, but a number of factors suggest that Booker's run in 2002 could be classified as strategic. Booker maintained that conditions in the city (i.e., high unemployment, low home ownership, and low high school graduation rates) had not improved since James had taken office. Moreover, James' administration had been implicated in corruption scandals.
Sharpe James responded to Cory Booker's candidacy by making the election a contest of racial authenticity. Because James realized that he was losing among whites and Latinos, he knew he had to consolidate the black vote, calling James the "real deal." [Booker lost 53%-46%]
Congressional summary: Increases the federal minimum wage for employees to:
Proponent's argument in favor (RaiseTheMinimumWage.com): The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour remains decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers--$2.13 per hour--has not increased in over 20 years. The minimum wage of the past provided significantly more buying power than it does today. The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.56 today when adjusted for inflation.
Opponent's argument against: (Neil King in Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2014): The CBO concluded that a jump in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs. For Republicans, the report provided ammunition that a higher minimum wage would kill jobs. Democrats pointed to the CBO's findings that the higher wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But both sides missed a key finding: That a smaller hike from the current $7.25 to $9.00 an hour would cause almost no pain, and still lift 300,000 people out of poverty while raising the incomes of 7.6 million people.
Congressional Budget Office report: Once fully implemented, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3%. Some people earning slightly more than $10.10 would also have higher earnings, due to the heightened demand for goods and services. The increased earnings for low-wage workers would total $31 billion. Accounting for all increases and decreases, overall real income would rise by $2 billion.
Excerpts from Letter from 31 Senators to the Compass Group: Senate cafeteria workers are currently pushing for a union through the majority sign up process, but their employer, the Compass Group, has resisted the drive, even after the NLRB upheld charges against the company regarding discriminatory behavior. Although the Compass Group promised the NRLB they would end further unlawful intimidation, the Compass Group has discouraged their organizing campaign.
We request there that the Compass Group commit to reaching an agreement with the union seeking to organize these workers, and recognize the union as the worker's exclusive bargaining representative on the basis of majority representation of signed authorization cards.
OnTheIssues explanation: At issue is how the workers would unionize: the controversial aspect is the "majority of authorization cards," known as "card-check," which makes unionization much more likely.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Labor's Day is Over," Sep. 6/2009): Card-check would effectively abolish the secret ballot in workplace elections for union representation. It would also require employers to submit to binding government arbitration if they cannot reach an agreement with union representatives, forcing companies to submit to contracts that may imperil their very survival.
Opposing freedom argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Card Checks Block Free Choice," Feb. 21, 2007): Union activists argue that publicly signing a union membership card in the presence of union organizers, known as card-check organizing, is the only way that workers can freely choose to unionize. However, with card checks, union organizers know who has and has not signed up to join the union. This allows them to repeatedly approach and pressure reluctant workers. With this technique, a worker's decision to join the union is binding, while a decision to opt out only means "not this time."
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Senate races 2019-20:
AK: Sullivan(R,incumbent) vs.Gross(I)
AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Sessions(R) vs.Moore(R) vs.Mooney(R) vs.
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.
DE: Coons(D,incumbent) vs.Scarane(D)
GA-2: Isakson(R,resigned) Loeffler(R,appointed) vs.Lieberman(D) vs.Collins(R) vs.Carter(D)
GA-6: Perdue(R,incumbent) vs.Tomlinson(D) vs.Ossoff(D) vs.Terry(D)
IA: Ernst(R,incumbent) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mauro(D) vs.Greenfield(D)
ID: Risch(R,incumbent) vs.Harris(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Durbin(D,incumbent) vs.Curran(R) vs.
KS: Roberts(R,retiring) vs.
KY: McConnell(R,incumbent) vs.McGrath(D) vs.Morgan(R) vs.Cox(D) vs.Tobin(D) vs.Booker(D)
LA: Cassidy(R,incumbent) vs.Pierce(D)
MA: Markey(D,incumbent) vs.
ME: Collins(R,incumbent) vs.Sweet(D) vs.Gideon(D) vs.
MI: Peters(D,incumbent) vs.James(R)
MN: Smith(D,incumbent) vs.
MS: Hyde-Smith(R,incumbent) vs.Espy(D) vs.Bohren(D)
MT: Daines(R,incumbent) vs.Bullock(D) vs.
NC: Tillis(R,incumbent) vs.E.Smith(D) vs.S.Smith(R) vs.Cunningham(D) vs.Tucker(R) vs.
NE: Sasse(R,incumbent) vs.Janicek(R)
NH: Shaheen(D,incumbent) vs.Martin(D) vs.Bolduc(R) vs.O'Brien(f)
NJ: Booker(D,incumbent) vs.Singh(R) vs.Meissner(R)
NM: Udall(D,retiring) vs.Clarkson(R) vs.
OK: Inhofe(R,incumbent) vs.Workman(D)
OR: Merkley(D,incumbent) vs.Romero(R) vs.Perkins(R)
RI: Reed(D,incumbent) vs.Waters(R)
SC: Graham(R,incumbent) vs.Tinubu(D) vs.Harrison(D)
SD: Rounds(R,incumbent) vs.Borglum(R) vs.Ahlers(D)
TN: Alexander(R,incumbent) vs.Sethi(R) vs.Mackler(D) vs.Hagerty(R)
TX: Cornyn(R,incumbent) vs.Hegar(D) vs.Hernandez(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Ramirez(D) vs.West(D)
VA: Warner(D,incumbent) vs.
WV: Capito(R,incumbent) vs.Swearengin(D) vs.Ojeda(D)
WY: Enzi(R,incumbent) vs.Ludwig(D) vs.Lummis(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)