This morning, the White House released it’s “skinny budget,” the blueprint that lays out the administration’s budgetary priorities. Among the large increases in defense spending and cuts to important programs, one line stands out: a 21 percent cut to the Department of Labor.
If you care about U.S. workers it makes no sense to cut a fifth of the budget of the key agency that protects workers from being killed on the job, that protects their pay and benefits, that helps them get retrained after job loss and provides unemployment benefits if they can’t find a job. Working people deserve to work in a safe environment and get paid the wages and overtime they are owed. Without a fully functioning Department of Labor, workers will not have recourse when taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers, and employers who do want to follow the law will not have the assistance they need to comply. Congress should reject the president’s proposal and continue funding the agencies that protect workers on the job.