January 31, 2007 - Issue: Vol. 153, No. 19 — Daily Edition110th Congress (2007 - 2008) - 1st Session
STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS
(Extensions of Remarks - January 31, 2007)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E223-E224] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS ______ HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH of ohio in the house of representatives Wednesday, January 31, 2007 Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, during a hearing today in the Committee on Education and Labor entitled ``Strengthening America's Middle Class: Evaluating the Economic Squeeze on America's Families,'' I offered the following statement on the economic issues facing workers and families in America. As we will hear from today's witnesses, families across the Nation are experiencing increased financial pressures and too often failing to reap the rewards of their own productivity. Many middle class workers who have labored tirelessly to support their family are now faced with job insecurity and financial concerns. Too often, the overriding themes of many workers' lives have become themes of increasing debts and diminishing protections. The pressure they now face largely stems from circumstances beyond their control, circumstances that we as Members of Congress must work to rectify. Many families of middle class workers now teeter on the edge of economic stability. Every American can attest to the growing costs of necessities such as home heating oil, child care, and healthcare. As wages have failed to keep pace, many workers are placed in a precarious financial situation. Forced increasingly [[Page E224]] to rely upon loans and credit cards to make ends meet, families can find themselves one extended hospital stay or temporary job loss away from bankruptcy. The system designed to protect families in these situations is broken, and must be mended by this Congress. Outsourcing, once primarily a concern for manufacturing jobs, is now a growing concern for white collar jobs as well. Workers in my home state of Ohio have long known the consequences for workers when jobs are shipped overseas. The effects of trade policies such as NAFTA have led Ohio to post the sixth highest unemployment rate in the Nation in the most recent numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers and their families are left in an insecure world, with diminishing protections and in need of a helping hand. No longer can our Nation turn a blind eye to the effects of lax enforcement of labor laws, inadequate social support systems and faulty trade policies. This Congress must take the necessary steps to ensure that workers and their families are on stable economic ground. We have the ability to better protect and aid our constituents, and we must move towards the goal of security for workers as we begin this new Congress. ____________________