While we continue to fight for access to health care (pending the US Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act) it's rewarding to see that work continues on economic and job issues. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin recently introduced the Rebuild America Act, which would improve economic security for women and their families.
According to the National Women's Law Center, the Rebuild America Act recognizes the need for quantity and quality when it comes to job creation. The bill provides funding to help states and localities hire teachers and other public service workers — an especially crucial sector for women, who have lost nearly 70 percent of the public sector jobs cut since June of 2009. It also invests in infrastructure and manufacturing — and increases support for job training and education to expand access to these jobs among underrepresented populations.
Other feature of the bill would increase the minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage, advancing fair pay for women who represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers; provide significant new funding to make child care more affordable for families, help states improve the quality of child care, and increase the supply of high-quality programs in low-income communities; give workers access to paid sick days, which could also be used to care for a sick child or aged parent; and improve Social Security benefits. And these critical investments would be financed by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes and closing tax loopholes.
This is not a slam dunk deal and we need to continue monitoring this legislation along with actions related to the Affordable Care Act.