Fighting for More Jobs, Higher Wages, and a Lower Cost of Living

Michael believes the economy does best when everyone has an opportunity to contribute to and share in our country’s prosperity. Over the last 40 years, America has continued to thrive as the most innovative, dynamic economy in the world, and Colorado has been at the forefront of our economic leadership. At the same time, the basic American bargain—if you work hard, you can get ahead—has eroded for too many people.

Incomes for the middle-class have not kept pace with the rising costs of housing, health care, higher education, and childcare. And many rural communities have not benefited enough from broader economic growth and job creation. In too many neighborhoods, grinding poverty has limited our children’s ambitions for too long. Every economic policy Michael fights for in the Senate helps address these challenges.

Delivering a High-Quality Education for Every Child

As a former Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Michael worked to deliver a high-quality education to every child in the city, and he saw how that can prepare our kids for the economy of the future and create the next generation of leaders. As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Michael is working to expand access to high-quality and affordable early childhood education, improve the quality of higher education, help students graduate college without burdensome debts, and give every child the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams.

Giving Kids in Every Community a Chance to Succeed

Michael has fought to expand the Child Tax Credit by introducing the American Family Act and the Working Families Tax Relief Act, both of which would help low-income and middle-class parents afford the costs of raising a child and make major reductions in child poverty.

Saving for a Secure Retirement

Michael believes that Social Security is a rock-solid guarantee that we need to protect for every American. He also has introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to retirement savings options by helping small businesses set up 401(k)s and encouraging employees to participate.

Making Job-Creating Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation

Michael supports smart federal investments in basic research and development that form the building blocks for major technological breakthroughs, as well as upgrading our infrastructure — including roads, bridges, airports, high-speed broadband internet, and public transit. He believes lawmakers should invest in roads and bridges for future generations the way their parents and grandparents invested in the infrastructure we see today.

Developing a Low-Cost, Cleaner Energy Future

Michael believes in a comprehensive energy policy that meets our 21st century needs, establishes aggressive targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and includes responsible development of our traditional energy resources.

Reforming Our Tax Code to Make It Economically Competitive, Simpler, and More Fair

Michael has been a champion of comprehensive, fiscally-responsible tax reform that makes our tax code simpler and more fair, while encouraging investment and job creation by American businesses in the United States. That’s why he fought against the Republican tax plan in 2017 which overwhelmingly benefitted the wealthiest Americans, not the working families in this country who need relief most, and is projected to add nearly $2 trillion to our debt over the first decade.

Fighting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Michael believes that immigrants are not only vital to the fabric of our country, but also to our economic potential. He was a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight that negotiated a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate with 68 votes in 2013. The nonpartisan, independent Congressional Budget Office found that this legislation would increase our economic output by 3.3 percent by the end of the first decade and 5.4 percent by the end of the second decade, raising average wages and lowering deficits over the long run.

American Family Act

“Far too many parents are struggling to make ends meet, with paychecks that don't stretch far enough to deal with the rising costs of raising a child. The evidence is overwhelming: children perform better in school, are healthier, and are more likely to succeed in the economy of the future if their parents can afford to raise them in an environment that allows them to thrive. This bill would help relieve the substantial financial burdens on parents in the middle class and those striving to make it there, allowing them to invest in our most important asset—our kids' future.” 

In 2017, Michael and his colleague, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), introduced the American Family Act to overhaul the existing Child Tax Credit and make it dramatically more effective for supporting middle-class families with kids and reducing child poverty.

The bill would create a new $300 per-month, per-child credit for children under 6 years of age and a $250 per-month, per-child credit for children 6 to 18 years of age—tripling the credit for all children and, for the first time, making the credit fully refundable. Independent analysis of the plan found that it would cut child poverty nearly in half and end extreme child poverty in the United States.

Read more about Michael’s plan to expand the Child Tax Credit in this Vox article. 

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