AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka advises all Americans to pay close attention to President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominations.
The vast majority of Americans, no matter their candidate of choice, voted to rewrite the economic rules that have for too long left working people weaker and poorer. When it comes to the economic security of our families and communities, one of the most important decisions every incoming president must make is choosing who will serve in his or her Cabinet. These are immensely powerful positions that have a direct say on everything from wages to workplace safety to consumer protection to good schools to health and retirement security.
Unfortunately, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominations run counter to the express wishes of the American people. Instead of putting forward public servants dedicated to building an economy that works for all of us, the president-elect has opted to reward the authors and beneficiaries of our broken economic rules.
Andrew Puzder, the nominee for Labor Secretary, routinely violates federal labor law. Steven Mnuchin, the nominee for Treasury Secretary, helped cause the Great Recession and got rich by foreclosing on homeowners. Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Education Secretary, is an outspoken enemy of public education. And Congressman Tom Price, the nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, wants to destroy Medicare as we know it, privatize Social Security and strip away access to affordable health insurance.
It is simply impossible to change the economic rules without changing the rule makers. By nominating a cast of superrich, trickle-down true believers who will suppress pay, increase income inequality and embolden Wall Street, President-elect Trump is going back on his promise to make life better for ordinary Americans.
Starting immediately, our labor movement and all working people will be asking the tough questions about these nominees and holding each and every one of them accountable for their record. America needs a Cabinet who will fight for a new economic direction, not more of the same.