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We'll Be Listening Closely

As President Donald Trump prepares to address a joint session of Congress tonight, working people will be listening closely. For going on two years now, Trump has been promising to create economic opportunity and make life better for working people. It’s time for him to walk the walk, says AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders.
By Lee Saunders ·
We'll Be Listening Closely
Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

It's time to walk the walk. For going on two years now, Trump has been promising to create economic opportunity and make life better for working people. Tonight, he addresses a joint session of Congress, and working families will be listening closely.

They want to hear if he’s going to keep his word – and they want concrete plans, not vague promises or platitudes. They want to know specifically how he will create jobs, raise wages and help workers have a strong voice on the job. They want him to explain specifically how he’s going to lift up the middle class if he’s going to pursue tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, while calling for radical cuts to public schools, public safety and other public services.

They want solid assurance that they can continue to depend on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to keep their families healthy. They want to know if the president, as he pledged, will protect the programs and benefits they need for a dignified retirement. He needs specifically and unequivocally to denounce plans, championed by some in Congress and embraced by his own secretary of Health and Human Services, to undermine retirement security by cutting or privatizing Social Security or Medicare.

Working people, both union members and non-union members, have been getting a raw deal. They’re working harder for less. They’re struggling to keep a roof over their heads and pay the bills every month. Donald Trump said he would be a president for them. Now is his chance to prove it. We’ll be listening closely tonight.

Lee Saunders is the President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO.

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