Americans United Dubs U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett Middle Class New Jersey’s ‘Public Enemy #1’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           CONTACT:   Jeremy Funk, (202) 263-4576

March 6th, 2007                                                             


Americans United for Change Dubs U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett Middle Class New Jersey's ‘Public Enemy #1'



Washington D.C. - In response to his repeated assault on the middle class agenda in the 110th session of the U.S. House of Representatives, Americans United for Change today dubbed U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5) middle class New Jersey's new ‘public enemy #1.' Specifically, Americans United took issue with Rep. Garrett's votes against: 1) H.R.2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act which would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 1997 from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years; 2) H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, which would level the playing field for middle class workers by fixing a badly broken system for forming unions and bargaining with big business and Corporate America for better pay and improved benefits; and 3) H.R. 5, the College Student Relief Act of 2007, which would slash the interest rates on subsidized student loans in half from the current 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.  All three bills passed in the U.S. House with bipartisan support, and Americans United for Change, the non-profit advocacy organization perhaps best known for leading the fight to beat back President Bush's disastrous proposal to privatize Social Security in 2005, is now urging Members of the U.S. Senate to do the right thing and move each element of the middle class agenda to the President's desk.


"More and more of America's working people are struggling to make ends meet, and our middle class is disappearing," said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Americans United for Change. "Three meaningful pieces of legislation to reverse this trend have already come before Congress this year - and, unfortunately, Congressman Scott Garrett was no where to be found when middle class families in New Jersey needed him most.  Just last week, Rep. Garrett opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give middle-class workers a fair shake by fixing a badly broken system for forming unions and bargaining with Corporate America for better pay, improved benefits and retirement security.   Earlier this year, Rep. Garrett stood adamantly opposed to the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade.  He couldn't even be counted on to stand up for the most vulnerable workers in his state who live in borderline poverty.  A week later, Garrett opposed legislation to make college more affordable for middle class students by slashing student loan interest rates in half.  It's a question of priorities and a question of values - and it's clear that the Congressman has lost touch with the values of middle class New Jersey families, whom overwhelmingly support all three of these important initiatives.  Until Rep. Garrett gets his priorities straight in Washington and stops pandering to the special interests at the expense of working people, we will continue to identify him as middle class New Jersey's ‘public enemy #1.'"


Why middle class workers support the Employee Free Choice Act:


Why middle class families support the Fair Minimum Wage Act:


Why middle class students support the College Student Relief Act of 2007: