Bklyn Lawmakers On The Move June 5

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Clarke Calls on Boehner and Pelosi to Protect Medicare

Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, yesterday, said she was opposed to attempts to divert resources from critical programs such as Medicare to offset the cost of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), a program that provides retraining and employment assistance to workers who lose their jobs due to the impact of free trade agreements.

The training program comes as a counterweight to President Obama favoring the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement – a pact that is a bipartisan worry to Congress and organized labor.

In a letter sent to Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Clarke and 60 colleagues in the House explained that reductions in the Medicare program could ultimately threaten the stability of the program and impose substantial costs on future generations who will depend on Medicare in their retirement.

U. S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
U. S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

“We should compensate workers and small business owners who are harmed by free trade agreements that have the potential, in some instances, to create a ‘race to the bottom.’ But we cannot afford to undermine Medicare, which provides access to comprehensive health care for fifty million Americans, or any other vital program,” wrote Clarke.

“We have a responsibility to protect the legacy we share of providing health care that allows Americans to retire with security. I urge Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi to consider alternatives that will allow us to keep Medicare secure for the generations that will follow us.”

Jeffries: National Security Shouldn’t Trump Constitutional Rights

Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement on the FBI warrantless aerial surveillance program:

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation may have crossed the line and violated the privacy rights of the American people with its secretive warrantless aerial surveillance program,” said Jeffries.

“It is important to provide our law enforcement agencies with the tools necessary to keep the people of this nation safe. However, there should be a balance. The prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures found in the Fourth Amendment must be respected, or our liberty will methodically perish.

Jeffries said the Judiciary Committee should conduct a full-scale inquiry into whether the FBI’s aerial surveillance program is unlawful.

Nadler Co-Sponsors Signs On To Pregnant Workers Act

Western Brooklyn/Manhattan Congressman Jerrold Nadler, yesterday, unveiled new legislation that would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination.

Also signing onto the bill, dubbed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, were Bobby Scott (D-VA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY),Jackie Speier (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) along with U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA),Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Dean Heller (R-NV).

The proposed legislation follows a Supreme Court decision in the case of Young v. UPS that left the workplace rights of pregnant workers uncertain. The proposal addresses legal ambiguities stemming from the court decision and helps ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Congressman Jerrold Nadler

The legislation, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would require employers to make reasonable accommodations — such as a minor job modification – that would allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs.

The bill also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, still leaves millions of pregnant workers unsure of their rights,” said Nadler. “It doesn’t need to be this complicated. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act creates a simple, clear standard for every employer and is based on decades of case law. I am proud to stand here today with my colleagues from the Senate and reintroduce this critical legislation with bipartisan support to ensure that no woman has to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck.”


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