The United Steelworkers (USW) is blasting Senate Republicans for invoking
filibuster to prevent a vote on President Obama’s American Jobs Act of 2011.
By invoking the filibuster, the USW said in a statement released on Tuesday,
“the GOP once again sided with the wealthy and multi-national corporations
rather than with the middle class majority, which would benefit from the
“It is unconscionable that during this time of economic distress,
Republicans would deny millions of Americans job opportunities in order to
advance the GOP quest to un-employ one man—President Obama,” USW
International President Leo Gerard. “The middle class majority needs help
from Congress, not the wealthy few.”
The legislation would give tax breaks to the middle class and small
businesses and create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, reducing unemployment
by as much as 1 percent, the USW said, with the $447 billion cost to be
offset by a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires.
Seventy-five percent of Americans support the surtax on millionaires at a
time when the average big corporate CEO hauls in $9.6 million a year but the
average family of four scrapes by on $50,000, according to a Washington
Post/ABC News poll, with 75 percent of independents, 57 percent of
Republicans, and 55 percent of Tea Partiers favoring higher taxes on
millionaires, the USW said.
Americans have said in poll after poll that their top priority is jobs.
“They see Republicans in Congress defending loopholes for Wall Street and
the wealthiest Americans while the GOP refuses to even allow a vote on
legislation to create jobs and fails to offer any realistic solution,”
“In fact, the GOP’s so-called American Jobs Act was a proposal by Republican
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas to eliminate income taxes for corporations—even
though they are sitting on $2 trillion in reserves and not creating jobs,”
the USW said. “Americans know what the GOP is about, with 70 percent in the
Post/ABC poll saying Republicans care more about protecting the rich than
the middle class.”
“To forestall a rebound recession, Republicans must turn that around and
begin to acknowledge the needs of the middle class majority,” Gerard said.
The USW represents 850,000 members in the United States, Canada and the
Caribbean. It is the largest private sector union in North America,
representing workers in a wide range of industries including metals, mining,
rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, plus office, technical and service
workers in health care, security, hotels and municipal governments and