Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
Poverty is one of Rochester’s most serious challenges. In June 2014, Rochester was ranked as the 3rd poorest city in the United States. Congresswoman Slaughter is fighting to reverse this unacceptable trend.
We cannot fight poverty in Rochester without a strong economy. Yet, we live in difficult times: income inequality in the United States is the highest it has been since the 1920s; American companies continue to send jobs overseas in search of cheap labor, bigger profits, and tax havens; and working families continue to struggle while the wealthy flourish. Congresswoman Slaughter is using all the tools at her disposal to build a stronger economy for everyone and protect those in need.
- Raising Wages: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that all Americans would benefit from higher wages. Raising the minimum wage to over $10 an hour would help families stay above the poverty line. It would also benefit women and communities of color that have long been the most adversely effected by the low minimum wage. A report by the Center for American Progress found that 62 percent of minimum wage workers are women. Women who worked full time earned, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. Even worse, African American women earned only 64 cents and Latinas earned only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white male. The congresswoman believes all women should earn equal pay for equal work and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- Engaging Vulnerable Communities: Congresswoman Slaughter believes we should help individuals and families who have fallen behind get back on their feet. This means connecting people with the resources they need and protecting the social safety net. Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure funding and support for many local organizations that are working to rebuild our local communities.
- Creating and Protecting Jobs: Congresswoman Slaughter is focused on investing in Rochester’s economy and defending it from unfair competition overseas. She believes that our economy is the strongest when it works for everyone, not just for those at the top. That’s why she has helped secure funding and assistance for companies and projects in the Rochester area that have directly created jobs.
- Training Local Students and Workers: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that every American should have access to a high-quality and affordable education. In particular, Congresswoman Slaughter is working to ensure that the advanced manufacturing industries in Rochester have access to the skilled labor they need to thrive.
- Support Increased Federal Minimum Wage: Congresswoman Slaughter has cosponsored legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and the tipped wage to $3.15. The cost of living has outpaced the growth of wages, and this is especially true for minimum wage workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to advocate for a living wage that hard-working people both need and deserve.
- Union and Worker Rights: Labor unions have played a vital role in creating the largest middle class in the world. Unions have fought for important workplace protections, increased wages, and ensured justice for workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to work alongside unions and other advocates to improve working conditions and salaries for America's working poor and middle class.
- Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity: Congresswoman Slaughter is a member of the congressional Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. This task force allows members of Congress to bring together various federal agencies, national think-tanks, and global non-profits to find innovative solutions to the pervasive problem of poverty. Congresswoman Slaughter knows that successfully reducing poverty in Rochester requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, and she will continue to ensure the full strength of the federal government is brought to bear in this effort.
- Protect Community Development Funding: Congresswoman Slaughter is a strong supporter of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. This funding helps break the cycle of economic stagnation and inequality. She has consistently advocated for the program in the face of drastic budget cuts that began in 2010. In 2013, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $1.6 million under the program for Monroe County.
- Secure Workforce Training Funds: Since 2012, Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure more than $20 million for workforce training at Monroe Community College and RochesterWorks. These funds provide training and education to prepare unemployed workers and veterans for advanced manufacturing jobs.
- Level the Playing Field for Local Businesses: Congresswoman Slaughter takes every opportunity to promote Rochester’s world-class businesses. Whether it’s cutting through red tape, liaising with the federal government, or taking advantage of federal grants and support, her constituent companies have a strong advocate in Washington. By partnering with local businesses, she has helped save and create jobs at Hickey Freeman, Harris, Exelis, OLEDWorks, and many other local employers. If you need help with any business issues, please consult the Help with Federal Agencies page here.
- Expand Rochester’s Optics and Photonics Industry: Congresswoman Slaughter has continually fought hard for investments in optics and photonics. This industry supports more than 17,000 jobs in the Rochester region and plays a crucial role in New York’s high-tech economy. In 2014 and 2015, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $132 million for the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester. This lab supports over 300 local jobs and 1,000 jobs across the country. To learn more about this exciting area, please consult the photonics section of Congresswoman Slaughter’s website here.
More on Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) took to the House Floor today to call out Republican leaders in Congress for proposing a two-week continuing resolution that fails to address our nation’s urgent priorities. It has been two months since Congressional Republicans allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Community Health Centers, and the Perkins student loan program to expire with no reauthorizations on the horizon.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) voted late yesterday for the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment & Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3017), bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the EPA's Brownfields Program for the first time since 2006. The bill includes several provisions Slaughter introduced as part of her bill, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act, to jumpstart development efforts and provide additional resources for sites in need of redevelopment.
WASHINGTON, DC — During a House Committee on Rules meeting late last night on the Republican bill to provide tax cuts for the wealthy, committee Republicans voted against making several amendments in order under their closed rule, including a Republican amendment to fight sexual assault. That amendment, from Republican committee member Congressman Ken Buck, would eliminate business expensing for legal settlements, fines, fees, and legal expenses associated with sexual assault and sexual harassment.
WASHINGTON, DC — House Committee on Rules Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) gave the following statement at a committee meeting this evening as House Republican leaders work to jam their bill to provide a massive tax cut for the wealthy through the House. It would raise taxes for many middle class families nationwide while increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Tax cuts for the wealthy are such a priority for House Republicans that they used emergency procedures to force the Rules Committee to meet a day earlier than planned, with just a few hours’ notice.
Last week, House Republican leadership released their long-awaited tax bill. This proposal was made public after months of secrecy and backroom negotiations. Despite all the hype, I believe this bill was not worth the wait.
Here’s what we know:
Today, the House came together in a bipartisan compromise on some of the most urgent matters facing our nation. We extended the debt ceiling to pay our nation’s bills, passed a continuing resolution to fund the government, and secured the first funding installment for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. This is a testament to what Congress can accomplish when everyone—Democratic and Republican—works together for the good of the American people.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today led members of Congress and voting rights advocates Martin Luther King III, civil rights leader and president of the group Why Tuesday?, and Norm Ornstein and Bill Wachtel, co-founders Why Tuesday?, at a press conference calling for passage of H.R. 1094, the Weekend Voting Act. Slaughter introduced this legislation to move Election Day from the first Tuesday in November to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November, making it more convenient for voters and increasing turnout.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Harris Corporation will be awarded contract expected to total approximately $40 million from the Department of Defense to equip the new Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) with its radio systems. The Department of the Army announced the creation of the SFAB in February.
WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter (NY-25) issued the following statement on Republican’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget ahead of a committee meeting on the proposal this afternoon.