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Braley, DeLauro Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Middle Class

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Representatives Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), co-chairs of the Populist Caucus, today introduced the Rebuild America Act, comprehensive legislation to rebuild the American middle-class. The bill invests in our future through three main tenants: investment to foster jobs and growth, creating financial stability for middle-class families and restoring fairness to the tax code. This stands in direct contrast to the vision for America Republicans are pushing today: slashing the social safety net to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

"The Rebuild America Act is the kind of comprehensive plan we need to strengthen the middle class, grow America's economy, and invest in the future," Braley said. "From the modernization of America's schools to the expansion of renewable energy, from a national manufacturing strategy to raising the minimum wage, this bill is the kind of bold vision that will put America back on a path to prosperity and progress. Congress has been paralyzed by inaction, but I believe this common sense plan can appeal to people regardless of partisanship."

"The debate in Washington has gone on for too long. We need to stop talking and start implementing solutions to get America back to work," DeLauro said. "The Rebuild America Act makes bold, critical investments in our future to create jobs and promote the financial stability so crucial to middle-class Americans. These families have been facing pressures on all fronts, from struggling schools to declining manufacturing to the squeeze on pensions and retirement security. This bill will help both individuals and businesses start to pull themselves out of the morass we have been in and prepare our economy for future challenges."

The Rebuild America Act has three overarching principles:

Investing in America to Create Jobs and Future Growth
Creating Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle-Class Families
Restoring Fairness to the Tax Code and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility

Investing in America to Create Jobs and Future Growth
Creating solid middle-class jobs that cannot be outsourced will lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. To do this, we need to move from being a nation that consumes to one that builds and exports. The Rebuild America Act invests in our schools and teachers, renewable energy and roads, bridges and infrastructure. It also rebuilds our manufacturing power through expanded tax credits and access to credit for business.

Creating Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle-Class Families
Middle-class families are facing enormous financial pressures, both during their working years and in retirement. The Rebuild America Act helps ease this stress by strengthening social security, establishing a fair minimum wage and ensuring paid sick days are available for workers across the country.

Restore Fairness to the Tax Code and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility
Our current tax system is unfair, too complex and keeps us on a path of perennial deficits. The Rebuild America Act takes action to level the playing field for all Americans. The bill includes the Buffet Rule, ends tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and makes Wall Street take responsibility for their irresponsible actions that led to the 2008 financial collapse. Crucially, the Rebuild America Act protects the pensions that workers are counting on to get through retirement by encouraging employers to continue to provide pensions and creating additional protections for people whose pension is a casualty of bankruptcy.

The following organizations support the Rebuild America Act:

Building Trades Unions
Machinists Union
Main Street Alliance
American Sustainable Business Council
Campaign for America's Future
American Dream
National Women's Law Center
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Employment Law Center
Urban League
US Action
Community Change
Moms Rising
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Children's Defense Fund
Young Invincibles
Social Security Works
Coalition on Human Needs
Family Values at Work
First Five Years Fund
ECE Consortium
Zero to Three
Head Start
First Focus
Workforce Alliance
American Progress
Knowledge Works
Alliance for American Manufacturing
American Small Manufacturer Coalition
Industrial Unions Council
United Spinal Association
The Arc

Formed in 2009, the House Populist Caucus is the only caucus in Congress dedicated soley to strengthening America's middle class. The Populist Caucus has 28 members.

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