Right to Work
- Exertion of strength or
faculties; physical or intellectual effort directed to an end; industrial
activity; toil; employment; sometimes, specifically, physical labor.
- The matter on which one is at
work; that upon which one spends labor; material for working upon; subject
of exertion; the thing occupying one; business; duty.
- Manner of working; management;
- Performance of moral duties;
- To exert one's self for a
purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to
be engaged in the performance of a task, a duty, or the like.
- Hence, figuratively, to be
effective; to have effect or influence; to conduce.
- To carry on business; to be
engaged or employed customarily; to perform the part of a laborer; to labor;
- To labor or operate upon; to
give exertion and effort to; to prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor.
- To produce or form by labor;
to bring forth by exertion or toil; to accomplish; to originate; to effect.
- To influence by acting upon;
to prevail upon; to manage; to lead.
- To set in motion or action; to
direct the action of; to keep at work; to govern; to manage.
- Introduction and
- Winning the War on
- Honoring and
Supporting Our Armed Forces
- In 2000, the
President promised to provide members of the Armed Forces "better
pay, better treatment, and better training." He has fulfilled
that promise to our troops. Supported by the Republican Congress,
President Bush has increased basic pay by nearly 21 percent. Many
service members have seen much more than that. The increase in basic
salary and payments for food and housing has reached nearly 30
- Republicans know
that workers in the defense industry and broader civilian sector -
including manufacturing workers, engineers, scientists, and farmers -
who supply our Armed Forces with cutting-edge weapons, combat
materiel, and sustenance are also vital to the success of our troops
on the battlefield. We hail their indispensable contributions to
victory in the War on Terror.
- Building a Better World
Based on Democratic Governments, Free Markets, and International
- Republicans know
that a strong world economy enhances our national security by
advancing prosperity and freedom in the rest of the world. Economic
growth supported by free trade and free markets creates new jobs and
- We hail the strong
record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in:
- taking timely
action to help domestic industries and workers adjust to foreign
competition, including through safeguard actions in support of
America's manufacturing sector and trade adjustment assistance for
appropriate labor and environmental concerns into U.S. trade
negotiations, promoting mutually supportive trade and
environmental policies and agreements; and
- using the
International Labor Organization, trade preference programs, and
trade talks to improve working conditions in conjunction with
- The Broader Middle
East and North Africa
support efforts by the President, Vice President, and Republican
Congress to ensure that America takes the side of reformers who are
committed to democratic change. We support doubling the budget for the
National Endowment for Democracy and focusing its new work on bringing
free elections, free markets, free speech, and free labor unions to
the Middle East.
- Ushering in an Ownership
- We want individuals
to own and control their income.
- Tax Relief: Making
it Happen, Making it Permanent
- George W. Bush
ran for President on a promise of lower taxes, so that people could
keep more of the income they earn.
- In 2001,
President Bush signed historic tax relief into law. The 2001 law:
and expanded IRAs and 401(k)s so workers can save more for their
- President Bush
and the Republican Congress built on the reforms of 2001 by passing
the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003.
- Increasing Saving
- In the past few
years President Bush and Congressional Republicans have passed into
law a variety of measures to improve, simplify, expand, and protect
retirement savings in IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans.
- Made it
easier to take your retirement plan from one job to the next.
women who take time off from work to start a family to catch up
on their missed retirement plan contributions.
more disclosure for employer sponsored retirement plans and
required that rules apply to both executives and rank-and-file
- We will build
upon it by promoting policies that encourage workers to save. We
support the President's proposal to create a new Lifetime Savings
Account (LSA) so workers can save for a variety of needs, to
consolidate the three types of current law IRAs into a single
Retirement Savings Account (RSA), and to consolidate numerous
employer-based retirement plans into a single Employer Retirement
Savings Account (ERSA).
- Strengthening Social
Security with Ownership
- Each of today's
workers should be free to direct a portion of their payroll taxes to
personal investments for their retirement.
- Choice is the
key. Any new options for retirement security should be voluntary, so
workers can choose to remain in the current system or opt for
something different. This is a challenge that demands leadership.
ownership of voluntary personal retirement accounts for today's
workers will make Social Security more equitable, but, just as
importantly, will put the system on sure financial footing. Fifty
years ago there were 16 workers to support every one beneficiary of
Social Security. Today there are just 3.3 workers for each
beneficiary. By the time young men and women who are entering the
workforce today turn 65, there will be only two workers for each
beneficiary. Doing nothing is not an option. We must keep faith with
both the past and the future by strengthening and enhancing Social
- Small Business
- Small businesses
are the most potent force of economic growth and job creation in
America. They generate more than half of our nation's gross domestic
product and create seven out of ten new private-sector jobs in
- Though more work
remains to be done, including reauthorizing the Small Business
Administration, President Bush and Congressional Republicans have
made good on each of those commitments. They have:
Health Savings Accounts, which allow individuals to save and pay
for their health care tax-free. Combined with a catastrophic
health plan, they are an easier and less costly way for small
businesses to provide health insurance for their employees.
- Building an Innovative,
Globally Competitive Economy
- America's economy is
the strongest in the world, and it is getting stronger thanks to lower
taxes, fewer burdensome regulations, and a focus on encouraging
investment. Our goal is to make sure America remains the strongest
economy in a dynamic world and to make it possible for every American
who wants a job to find one. We must ensure that workers are equipped
with the education and training to succeed in the best jobs of the 21st
century, and we must encourage the strong spirit of innovation that has
put America at the forefront of new technology industries. Future
prosperity demands that we have affordable, cleaner, more independent
energy supplies and affordable, high-quality health care.
- By keeping the costs
of running a business low and ensuring that our workers have the skills
to compete in a dynamic global economy, President Bush and the
Republican Congress will continue to ensure that America is the best
nation in the world in which to create jobs.
- Lower Taxes and
- In 2001,
President Bush and the Republican Congress worked together to pass
the most sweeping tax relief in a generation. By letting families,
workers, and small business owners keep more of the money they earn,
they helped bring America from recession to a steadily expanding
economy. Despite enduring the after-effects of the stock market's
irrational exuberance in the late 1990s, terrorist attacks on our
nation, and corporate scandals that bubbled to the surface after
years of inattention, the U.S. economy has now grown for 33 straight
months. And unlike four years ago, there are no signs of an end to
the current economic growth.
- The proof is in
the numbers, and the numbers prove our economy is strong and growing
- Over the
past year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew at one of the
fastest rates in two decades.
- Without the
President's tax relief, real GDP would have been more than 3
percent lower and 2 million fewer Americans would have been
working at the end of last year.
- Since last
August, 1.5 million new jobs have been created.
unemployment rate has fallen from 6.3 to 5.5 percent, which is
below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
over the last year is up in 46 of the 50 states, and the
unemployment rate is down in 49 of the 50 states. In addition to
the official figures, household surveys show that hundreds of
thousands of new jobs have been created, unreported, through
self-employment and by small businesses.
after-tax incomes are up by 9.6 percent since December 2000.
rates are at record levels - seven out of ten American families
own their own home today.
confidence is up from the levels seen at this time last year.
remains low by historical standards, as do mortgage rates.
- We know what
brought us this success - the hard work of the American people and
the Republican commitment to low taxes. Now we must keep our economy
on the right path by preventing taxes on families from going up next
year, making the tax relief of the last four years permanent, and
reforming the tax code to make it simpler, fairer, and more
- Tax Reform
- In particular, we
- Make the tax
relief of 2001 and 2003 permanent. The various expiring tax
relief provisions, ranging from 2005 to 2011, make the tax code
confusing for everybody and limits the ability of workers,
families, and businesses to plan for the future with
the Litigation System
litigation system is broken. Junk and frivolous lawsuits are driving
up the cost of doing business in America by forcing companies to pay
excessive legal expenses to fight off or settle often baseless
lawsuits. Those costs are being paid by small business owners,
manufacturers, their employees, and consumers. A typical small
business with $10 million in annual revenue pays about $150,000 a
year in tort liability costs. That is money that could be used to
invest and hire new employees. Inefficiency and waste in the legal
system is costing the average American family of four $1,800 every
year, equivalent to an extra 3 percent tax on wages.
- If small
business is America's economic engine, trial lawyers are the brakes:
They cost hundreds of thousands of good jobs, drive honest employers
out of business, deprive women of critical medical care - then skip
out with fat wallets and nary a thought for the economic havoc and
human misery they leave in their wake.
- Education: No Child
- Every child
deserves a first-rate education, because every child holds infinite
potential, and we should give them every opportunity to reach it. We
believe there is an inseparable link between a vibrant economy and a
high- quality education system. It takes a vibrant economy to
provide the tax base necessary to fund a high-quality education
system. Equally, it takes a quality education system to provide the
highly skilled labor force necessary to meet the demands of a
growing, vibrant economy.
- Strong schools
will also produce a workforce with the skills to compete in the 21st
century economy. We must have citizens capable of conceiving the
next generation of new technologies and innovations, mastering the
art of analyzing problems and crafting their solutions. Education is
the key to prosperity and fulfillment - the foundation on which all
other success is built.
- For too long,
the value of a high school diploma has declined as students leave
school without even basic skills like reading and math, let alone
the advanced math and science skills the modern workforce
- Supporting Teachers
confirms what every parent knows to be true through commonsense and
experience - a good teacher makes all the difference in a child's
education. The No Child Left Behind Act set the goal of having a
highly qualified teacher in every classroom by the 2005-2006 school
year. States have been provided flexibility and resources to make
sure teachers have the skills and tools to be successful with all
children. These needed reforms are backed by historic levels of
funding for teacher quality initiatives and support for teachers,
including training, recruitment incentives, loan forgiveness, and
- We must also
work to reduce the barriers that are keeping qualified professionals
from entering the classroom by expanding alternative pathways to
teacher certification - programs like Troops to Teachers, which
helps former military personnel become classroom teachers; and
Transition to Teaching, which provides training for people who want
to become teachers and encourages states to develop and expand
alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification.
- Every teacher
and every student deserves a safe classroom in which to work and
learn. The No Child Left Behind Act ensures that teachers and other
school professionals can undertake reasonable actions to maintain
order and discipline in the classroom without the fear of
litigation. The law provides civil immunity in any state court and
limits the financial liability of teachers, instructors, principals,
administrators, and other education professionals for actions taken
to maintain discipline, order, or control in the school or
- Community Colleges
colleges play a vital role in not only cultivating citizens for the
21st century, but also equipping them with the essential skills and
training needed for jobs in the new economy. Because they are so
adaptable and accessible, community colleges are increasingly
critical providers of job training, both for degree-seekers and for
workers seeking to retool, refine, and broaden their skills. We
support the President's High- Growth Job Training Initiative, which
has provided seed money to fund job training partnerships between
community colleges and local high-growth industries.
- To ensure that
America remains the world leader in the innovation economy - and to
ensure that America's graduates have the training they need to
compete for the best jobs of the 21st century - President Bush
proposes to expand opportunities for math and science education in
colleges and universities. Needy students studying math and science
will be eligible to receive additional college aid.
- Training Our 21st
- As the dynamic
global economy forces many workers to consider changing fields or
adding new skills, the President and Republican Congress want to
make training for new jobs easier to come by and more flexible in
providing individualized assistance. Ensuring that workers have the
tools they need to succeed in the 21st Century Economy is a critical
step in helping Americans be self-sufficient and successful. It is
also critical to maintaining our position as the most productive and
strongest economy in the world.
- We support
effective and enhanced job training programs that offer states
additional flexibility and individuals more choice to design their
own workforce training programs. The President's Personal
Reemployment Accounts would provide unemployed workers flexible
support and incentives in finding a job. And President Bush and
Congressional Republicans are also providing unprecedented
assistance for workers adversely affected by foreign trade -
including additional training, income support, and health care
- Protecting the
Rights of Workers
- We affirm the
time-honored right of individuals to voluntarily participate in
labor organizations and to bargain collectively. We also believe
that no American should be coerced into an association they do not
wish to join. And no one should be kept out of a job for which they
are qualified simply because they choose to remain independent of
labor unions. We therefore support the right of states to enact
respect the enormous sacrifices and commitment of the workers,
including building tradesmen, who responded to the attacks of
September 11th. Thanks to their skill, courage, and patriotism, the
very dangerous work at the World Trade Center and Pentagon was done
remarkably quickly and without a single fatality. We will always
remember and honor the efforts of the rescue and recovery workers
who dedicated countless hours to helping America recover.
- All American
workers deserve workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair. The
President and Republican Congress have supported efforts to improve
workplace safety without burdening businesses with costly and
unnecessary regulations. And these efforts are showing results -
overall workplace fatalities and injuries are at record low levels.
American workers deserve fair wages for hours spent working
overtime. We are proud of the fact that 1.3 million additional
workers now have guaranteed overtime protections as a result of
Republican efforts to modernize labor laws left untouched since
1949. For the first time ever, the regulations explicitly guarantee
overtime protection to blue collar workers, police, firefighters,
EMTs, factory workers, construction workers, and licensed practical
nurses, among others. With clearly defined overtime rules that
recognize the realities of the modern workforce, employees and
employers will have a greater understanding of their rights and
- Workers who pay
dues through their workplace deserve to know how their dues are
being used - especially when the money is being used to support
political activity. Republicans have enhanced financial disclosure
requirements for political campaigns, corporations, and pension
funds in order to bring about more transparency and accountability
in the political system. And the Bush Administration improved union
financial disclosure forms to offer union members more information
about how their dues money is spent. We encourage management and
unions to find common ground thereby ensuring economic viability for
- Men and women
who retire after decades spent in the workforce are entitled to the
pensions they and their employers have contributed to throughout
their careers. As part of the 2001 economic growth and tax relief
bill, workers' pension payments are now calculated on the basis of
their best three years of earnings rather than their last three.
This protects workers whose earnings decline with their age. In
addition, criminal prosecutions against employers and plan trustees
who abuse pension and health plans have increased by more than 50
percent since 2001. More than $3 billion has been secured through
court judgments, settlements, and fines covering 150 million workers
and their dependents by holding those who manage benefit plans
accountable for their legal obligations to protect plan
participants. Thanks to Republican efforts to enforce the law, the
word is getting out that benefits managers should invest and manage
employees' retirement funds as carefully as they would handle their
recognize the historical federal health care promise made to coal
industry retirees. The Party will seek to ensure that health care
needs of "orphan retirees" in the coal industry will be
covered and will seek to ensure the continuation of those benefits.
- Research and
economy is undergoing a fundamental transition from one based
primarily on manufacturing to one based on innovation, services, and
ideas. Two-thirds of America's economic growth in the 1990s resulted
from the introduction of new technology and 60 percent of the new
jobs of the 21st century require post-secondary education, yet only
one-third of America's workforce has achieved that level.
provides Americans with high-speed Internet access connections that
improve the nation's economic productivity and offer life-enhancing
applications, such as distance learning, remote medical diagnostics,
and the ability to work from home more effectively.
- Strengthening Our
- Health Insurance Tax
Promotion Authority bill, supported by the Republican Congress and
signed by President Bush, provides a tax credit to help workers
obtain health insurance coverage if they have lost their jobs due to
international trade. The tax credit has helped thousands of
displaced workers get insurance coverage.
- Native Americans
- While many tribes have
become energetic participants in the mainstream of American life,
the serious social ills afflicting some reservations have been
worsened by decades of mismanagement from Washington. In its place,
we offer these guiding principles:
- High taxes
and unreasonable regulations stifle new and expanded businesses
and thwart the creation of job opportunities and prosperity.
- Supporting Humane
and Legal Immigration
- A growing
economy requires a growing number of workers, and President Bush has
proposed a new temporary worker program that applies when no
Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This new program would
allow workers who currently hold jobs to come out of the shadows and
to participate legally in America's economy. There must be strong
workplace enforcement with tough penalties against employees and
employers who violate immigration laws.
- Protecting Our Families
- The Next Steps in
- We need to build
on the results of the 1996 reforms and continue to move welfare
recipients into jobs and off the welfare rolls.
- We endorse
President Bush's plan to extend the benefits of welfare reform by
strengthening work requirements and promoting healthy marriages, and
offering training, transportation, and child care services to help
people become self-sufficient. Every American deserves a chance to
know the pride of earning a paycheck and providing for his or her
- Improving Work
- The President
and Republicans in Congress are working to provide private-sector
workers the same flexible scheduling options that government
employees already enjoy. Now that more families have both parents in
the workforce, American workers need more control over their work
schedules. More flexibility in the workplace will help Americans to
better manage the demands of work and family. And that will make
families stronger. Comp-time and flex-time enable employees to
choose paid time off as an alternative to overtime pay. Both of
these programs would be voluntary to employees and would include
employee protections to prevent employers from coercing or forcing
employees to take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay.
- Summary and Call to
- We stand for the
freedom that comes with a good paying job in a growing economy.
Republican Right to
Administrative Policy Initiatives
Republican Sponsored Legislature
Congressional Accountability Act, Pub.L. 104-1, 109 Stat. 3
Small Business Job Protection Act, Pub.L. 104-188, 110 Stat. 1755
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Pub.L.
104-191, 110 Stat. 1936
7, 1998 Workforce Investment Act, Pub.L. 105-220, 112 Stat. 936
- 2002-03-09 Job
Creation and Worker Assistance Act, Pub.L. 107-147, 116 Stat. 21
7, 2004 GAO Human Capital Reform Act of 2004, Pub.L. 108-271, 118 Stat.
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