Week Ending April 16, 2021

Historic Public Investments and Ambitious Jobs Plan and Budget 
Mark Biden’s First 100 Days

  • White House Updates
    • President’s Budget Breaks From Austerity to Invest in Needs
    • Administration Proposes Historic American Jobs Plan for Infrastructure
    • First 100 Days Usher in Big Changes
  • House Action
    • House Passes Bill to Help Prevent Workplace Violence
    • House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act
    • Healthy Families Act Reintroduced
  • Call to Action: Share Your Story to Urge Congress to Invest in Roads, Bridges, and Water Systems

President’s Budget Breaks From Austerity to Invest in Needs 

Last week, President Joe Biden submitted a robust $1.52 trillion budget to Congress with major increases for health, education, labor, housing and transportation and to promote equity overall. The details are here. AFSCME President Lee Saunders noted that “President Biden’s budget proposal puts working families first and makes the kinds of investments in public services our communities need to recover and build back better from the brutal toll of the pandemic.”

Administration Proposes Historic American Jobs Plan for Infrastructure

On the heels of the American Rescue Plan, the Biden administration  released its next priority, the American Jobs Plan, to rebuild 20,000 miles of roads, repair bridges, eliminate lead pipes from the nation’s water supplies, modernize transit and create millions of new jobs. Its vision broadly expands the traditional scope of infrastructure, calling for critical resources and policies to address inequities, improve child care, health care, energy, digital access, buildings including schools, homes, and public buildings, and collective bargaining rights for public and private sector workers.

Saunders noted, “The president’s plan provides the kinds of bold and comprehensive investments we need to build more modern, equitable and sustainable communities that will benefit all working families.” See how the plan can help your state here and view AFSCME’s priorities here.

Share Your Stories!

Does your community have unstable bridges, a backlog of roads to fix, or unsafe drinking water? Help us share the urgency of infrastructure needs in your communities with Congress by telling your stories and describing the shortfalls in resources needed to fix these problems.

 

Please contact Becky Levin at blevin@afscme.org to share stories about AFSCME members working in these sectors.

First 100 Days of New Federal Leadership Usher in Big Changes

The first 100 days of the Biden administration have helped all American families and our nation build back better with $1.9 trillion in resources and pro-worker policies provided by the American Rescue Plan. The Senate has confirmed Cabinet members who reflect the diversity of America, and the House of Representatives has swiftly passed bills to advance policies and protect rights for voting, labor, women, LGBTQ Americans, and working families. The administration has also proposed a $2 trillion plan to provide needed investments in broadly defined infrastructure and a robust plan for the federal budget. AFSCME looks forward to working together with our nation’s leaders to enact additional needed changes to improve our infrastructure, invest in our communities, and support working families.

House Passes Bill to Help Prevent Workplace Violence

The House passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195) in a bipartisan vote of 254 to 166. AFSCME urged its passage to require federal protection standards for EMS workers, psychiatric staff, nurses, social workers and all health care and social service workers. Importantly, it directs employers to develop and implement their violence prevention plans together with workers and their union. Saunders hailed the passage of this bill and called upon the Senate to take it up without delay. 

House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) by a 217 to 210 vote. This bill would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by implementing stricter standards and larger penalties on employers for claims of pay discrimination, prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for discussing wages, and prevent employers from making employment or pay decisions based on wage history. AFSCME supports this bill to address gender-based wage discrimination so that women can receive equal pay for equal work.

Healthy Families Act Reintroduced

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have reintroduced the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 2465), which would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn seven paid sick days each year. The pandemic is an urgent reminder that federal paid sick days policy is crucial to help people stay healthy. AFSCME supports this bill to improve both public health and workplace safety. 

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