Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Conyers & Congressional Advocates Announce Creation of Full Employment Caucus

(WASHINGTON) – Today, in response to the ongoing jobs crisis in America, Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), José Serrano (D-N.Y.), and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) announced the creation of a Congressional Full Employment Caucus. To end the unacceptably high rate of unemployment and underemployment in the United States - and achieve a truly full employment society - more than 24 million jobs need to be created. The Congressional Full Employment Caucus will serve as a platform and working group for Members dedicated to identifying solutions to our current unemployment crisis and advocating for legislative action. Ultimately, the goal of the Caucus is to realize the dream of a society in which every American who wants to work has the right to some form of employment. After the establishment of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus was finalized, the Representatives in attendance issued the following statement:

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, joined by their colleagues Congressman Charles Rangel and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, announcing the creation of a Congressional Full Employment Caucus.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.): “For far too long, the plight of the unemployed and underemployed in the United States has been - at best - ignored by Congress, or encouraged - at worst - by callous austerity-minded policies. When more than 24 million of our family members, friends, and neighbors are out of work, we cannot allow this to continue or become the new normal in America. It is for this reason that I have come together with a coalition of concerned Representatives from all corners of the country to form the Congressional Full Employment Caucus. Together, we will craft legislative responses to address the jobless crisis - like my ‘Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act’ - and serve as advocates, working towards a society in which employment is recognized as a fundamental human right. As Congress shifts its attention to legitimate concerns over gaping income inequality in the United States, we must not forget about the millions of Americans who lack an income to begin with through no fault of their own. Our work with the Congressional Full Employment Caucus will ensure that the unemployment crisis never leaves Congress’s radar until millions of hardworking Americans are able to find work once again.”

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.): “With nearly 30 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, Congress has a moral obligation to make full employment a reality.  We’ve formed this caucus to fight for a 21st Century New Deal. This means making sure there are no more collapsed bridges, contaminated water, or falling positions in global education rankings.  It also means restoring the dignity of work for millions of people.”

Congressman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.): "In America, if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed. When thousands of men and women work full time but need food stamps to put food on their tables, when they can't get health benefits, when they can't get paid sick days, then we must do whatever we can to stand up for them. In his State of the Union Address, the President has reminded the country that, with optimism for the future and action on all of our parts, we can expand economic opportunities for everyone in America. I look forward to work with Members of the Full Employment Caucus to advancing the set of concrete, practical proposals he has laid out to help more Americans find work, and more workers find the economic security they deserve."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.): As Congressional leaders, we must focus on long-term strategies that put every American back to work. Our country’s economic recovery will not be complete until we eradicate the chronic unemployment that plagues each and every one of our communities. Collectively, this caucus will work hard to ensure that all Americans are fully employed and set on a sustained path to economic prosperity.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.): “The creation of this Caucus provides a crucial platform for our colleagues in Congress and builds on the great efforts of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1977, that I had the honor of working on as a Congressional staffer decades ago. This Caucus will continue that call to justice by working with advocates and job creators, to take an active role in creating the 24 million new jobs needed to end unemployment and underemployment, to reach full employment, and ultimately to grow an economy that works for all and eliminates poverty in America. We all know that the best way to tackle the deficit is full employment, and the best way to lift folks out of poverty is a good paying job. This Caucus will join with other caucuses in Congress, the Out of Poverty Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and others, to reignite the American dream.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas): “Nearly 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers, including the 64,000 Texas residents, lost their unemployment insurance when benefits expired on December 28. I am proud to be a Member of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus – a Caucus that will work diligently and effectively to find solutions to our current unemployment crisis while advocating for any and all legislative strategies to combat the issue at hand.”

Congressman José Serrano (D-N.Y.): “I was proud to join the Full Employment Caucus, to focus on creating and sustaining good jobs. In too many of our communities – particularly the Hispanic and black communities – unemployment is at levels not seen in the rest of the nation since the Great Depression. We cannot rest until people in all communities have access to good jobs as well as the training and skills they need get them. Our nation is stronger when everyone is employed.”

Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.): “Even as America’s economy is steadily improving, American workers are being left behind. Congress has a responsibility to change that, which is why I’m proud to join this effort and work towards meaningful legislation that will create jobs, grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.”

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, joined by their colleagues Congressman Charles Rangel and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, announcing the creation of a Congressional Full Employment Caucus.

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