Washington’s labor-endorsed Sen. Patty Murray meets with workers to explain what’s at stake in election
SEATTLE (Oct. 24, 2022) — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) joined a Workers First Economy Town Hall hosted by MLK Labor and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO in Seattle with workers, voters, and supporters on Thursday, where she explained 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 was part of 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.
“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,” Murray said. “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.”
WSLC President Larry Brown stressed the importance of voting and urging fellow union members to do the same as he introduced Murray and Thursday’s event.
“Every election is important. There is always so much at stake for working people,” Brown said. “Our standards and rights as workers can be lost with the stroke of a pen in Olympia or in Washington, D.C. Or in the case of our special guest here today, Senator Patty Murray, those labor rights and standards can be protected and enhanced.”
Murray’s strong advocacy and voting record for Washington’s working families have earned her the WSLC’s endorsement.
At Thursday’s event, Murray spoke about her strong commitment to protecting workers’ rights and supporting unions and unionization efforts in Washington state. She 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.
WSLC Secretary Treasurer (and President-Elect) April Sims called Murray’s PRO Act “game-changing legislation that would restore workers’ rights to organize, get rid of exploitative right to work laws nationally, and impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate labor laws.”
Murray has also made it a priority on the Senate floor to confirm a pro-worker majority to the National Labor Relations Board, which helps make sure workers can unionize and to oversee any complaints brought forth regarding unfair labor practices.
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 that 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.
Murray also described 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. She 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.
She 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. She ensured 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.