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Public Statements

Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, today the majority is showing the American public again that the majority doesn't think we have a jobs crisis in America. Getting Americans back to work is not their top priority. Getting the American economy back on track and creating jobs is my first, second, and third priority. Until the majority gets to work, we're not going to move this country forward.

Democrats remain committed to creating jobs immediately and to expanding educational opportunity for all Americans. Rather than bringing to the floor legislation to help create jobs, we're wasting time with this attempt to undermine workers' rights--the right to organize, to have safe working conditions, fair wages.

On Monday night, I had a town hall. Not one person--not one--wanted to talk with me about the NLRB or its rulemaking; but many wanted to talk about job creation and wanted to make sure we were investing in our children's education. I offered an amendment to this bill to help keep teachers in the children's classrooms. I offered a real solution to a real problem, not a special interest giveaway to big business. Unfortunately, the majority blocked my amendment on procedural grounds.

Now, across the country, budget cuts and teacher layoffs have forced schools to reduce the days of the school year, to cut classes in literacy or arts or music or physical education, to increase class sizes, or to reduce library hours. My amendment would have invested in our workforce and our educational system. My amendment would have supported nearly 400,000 education jobs, enough for States to avoid the harmful layoffs and to rehire tens of thousands of teachers who lost their jobs over recent years.

Tom, a student from East Brunswick, wrote me recently. ``Teacher layoffs in the eyes of this student is a bad thing,'' he said. ``This past year, I had many oversized classes.''

Our children don't get a second chance to succeed in school. Our future economic growth depends on a well-educated and innovative workforce. That's what we should be dealing with today. My amendment would have supported our children. This flawed bill ignores those pleas for help.


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