Paid Family Leave
The United States is one of the few developed countries without a national paid family leave program. The Family Medical Leave Act, passed in 1993, was a good start towards providing workers with job security while they care for a child or loved one, however roughly 40% of all U.S. workers are not covered under FMLA. It is time to guarantee paid family and medical leave for every American worker.
Earned-Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned-Income Tax Credit (EITC) continues to be one of America’s most powerful anti-poverty and work support programs. Each year, the credit helps approximately 24 million working families make ends meet, lifting nearly five million out of poverty. As Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, I have worked to improve and defend these tax credits for working families because the EITC is especially beneficial to Latino households.
Child Tax Credit (CTC)
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is an important tax credit that helps low- and moderate-income working families offset the cost of raising children. Along with the EITC, the CTC helps millions of hard-working Americans make ends meet, pay for childcare, and provide the basics for their children. I will continue to oppose efforts to cut the Child Tax Credit or make it harder for families to qualify for the full CTC.
Ending Gender-Based Discrimination
Gender-based discrimination continues to be a big problem for women in the United States. Disparities between incomes of male and female workers are well-established. Despite recent efforts to reduce this income-gap, women still earn about 79% of their male counterparts. In 2009, I was an original cosponsor of the landmark Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is designed to reduce gender based discrimination in the work place. Women should receive equal pay for equal work, and I am proud the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act became law on January 29, 2009.
Defending Women's Health Care Access
I have always been a steadfast supporter of the Title X Family Planning program, which is designed to provide access to contraceptive services and women’s health education. I will continue to oppose cuts to Title X funding because they are vital to educating women and girls in California's 38th Congressional District.
Promoting Equality in High School and College Sports
Women deserve to receive equal treatment across the board, which is why I oppose efforts to cut funding for women’s collegiate athletics. Sports develop self-esteem, leadership, and provide many physical and mental health benefits to young women. Women should have the same access to athletic teams as men do. That is why I have always been a vigorous supporter and defender of Title IX.
I believe in a living wage for all workers. Taxpayers are forced to subsidize the low-wage policies of huge, profitable employers like Walmart or McDonalds when hard-working, full-time employees need to turn to social safety net programs to get by. A living minimum wage will help working families put food on the table and put a roof over their heads. I will also fight for federal paid sick days legislation that will give workers the flexibility they need to take care of their loved ones without losing their jobs.
Securing Safety Nets
Republicans are constantly trying to chip away at important food and nutritional services for working families. Year after year, I have been an outspoken critic of block granting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and a proponent of expanding the reach of this necessary service.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is another critical service we must work to strengthen. WIC provides nutritional support to pregnant women and their newborn and young children at a time when they need it the most. However, WIC only covers children until their fifth birthday, leaving a critical gap between their fifth birthday and the start of kindergarten for many. I have introduced the WIC Act with my colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro, which would raise the age of eligibility from five to six. This would allow children access the critical resources WIC provides without a gap.
Labor and Working Families Caucus
Rep. Linda Sánchez is recognized by her colleagues and the national media as a leading voice for working families. She is a co-founder of the Labor and Working Families Caucus and has worked tirelessly to ensure that workers are safe on the job, from industrial accidents, as well as from employer intimidation and retaliation. As a working mother Rep. Sánchez understands what it is like to juggle the demands of kids, work, family, and laundry all at the same time. That is why she is a leading advocate for policies such as paid maternity and paternity leave and sick leave which will help make the lives of working families a little easier.