PHOTOS AND B-ROLL: Murray talks about her plans to make child care and college more affordable, her fight to pass a federal paid leave policy, make the expanded child tax credit permanent
***WATCH: Video of event HERE***
(Seattle, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray — Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Pensions — hosted a Workers First Economy Campaign Town Hall at MLK Labor in Seattle with workers, voters, and supporters to discuss her efforts to lower everyday costs for the basics and build a stronger economy that puts working people and middle-class families in Washington state first — not giant corporations and billionaires. The event is part of Senator Murray’s Patty for WA Campaign Tour of town halls and Get Out The Vote events to discuss key issues at stake in the November general election — more on Senator Murray’s recent Patty for WA events is here.
“I grew up knowing what it means to get by on a tight budget — and that’s the perspective I bring with me to the Senate,” said Senator Murray. “When workers succeed, our businesses, communities, and our entire economy succeeds too — and unions can make all the difference in ensuring good benefits and safe working conditions for workers across the country.”
“Everyone in this room and across our state should be clear-eyed about the fact that workers rights are on the ballot this November,” Murray continued. “Big GOP donors are backing my opponent’s campaign because they know she’ll help Republicans roll back workers’ rights in every state. I’m proud to be a champion for unions and workers’ rights, and I’m leading the fight in the other Washington to pass policies like paid leave, child care, and quality health care, to build a stronger economy for everyone”
At the event, Patty spoke about her strong commitment to protecting workers’ rights and supporting unions and unionization efforts in Washington state. Patty is the leading sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act in the U.S. Senate, which would protect the right of every worker to join a union if they choose and bargain collectively for better pay, quality health care, and a safe workplace. Patty also made it a priority on the Senate floor to confirm a pro-worker majority to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which helps make sure workers can unionize and to oversee any complaints brought forth regarding unfair labor practices.
That same commitment to working families is why Patty is also leading the fight to get a strong federal paid leave policy over the finish line — one that we can pay for by simply making sure billionaires and giant corporations pay their fair share. Patty also has a child care plan — which is backed by nearly the entire Senate Democratic caucus and President Biden — to make child care more affordable and accessible.
When asked about health care, Murray pointed to her efforts to lower prescription drug costs and health care costs. Murray spoke about how the Inflation Reduction Act will finally allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs for seniors, which will bring down costs for patients and generate enormous savings for taxpayers. The law will also cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription drugs costs at $2,000 a year, cap their insulin costs at $35 a month, and cap price increases on their prescriptions at the rate of inflation so that drug makers cannot jack up prices to juice their own profits — helping the more than 1.4 million Medicare recipients in Washington state save money on their prescriptions. The Inflation Reduction Act also extends — for three full years — the health care tax credits Senator Murray championed in the American Rescue Plan, which have saved millions of Americans thousands of dollars on health care, spurred record enrollment on the health exchanges, and helped bring our nation’s uninsured rate to an all-time low.
Patty also spoke about her leading role in passing the American Rescue Plan, which helped recover all the jobs lost during the pandemic, and enacted one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in history. Patty was also a lead negotiator of the CHIPS and Science Act, which will boost manufacturing in America, especially for semiconductors — which are used in everything from cars to appliances to electronics — so that we are not reliant on foreign supply chains.
Patty also helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a landmark investment in job-creating traditional infrastructure like roads, bridges, and ports, as well as in public transit, clean energy and universal broadband — Patty also made sure these laws supported good-paying union jobs by making sure Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements were included portions of the CHIPS and Science Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Murray also discussed how she will keep fighting to make sure college and quality technical and career training is within reach for every Washington state family–pointing to her work to pass bipartisan investments in workforce training and her plans to make community college tuition-free, lower the cost of college overall, and enact long-term reforms to our student loan system.