2016 Republican Presidential Candidates


Right to Work


  1. Exertion of strength or faculties; physical or intellectual effort directed to an end; industrial activity; toil; employment; sometimes, specifically, physical labor.
  2. 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.
  3. Manner of working; management; treatment.
  4. Performance of moral duties; righteous conduct.
  5. 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.
  6. Hence, figuratively, to be effective; to have effect or influence; to conduce.
  7. To carry on business; to be engaged or employed customarily; to perform the part of a laborer; to labor; to toil.
  8. To labor or operate upon; to give exertion and effort to; to prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor.
  9. To produce or form by labor; to bring forth by exertion or toil; to accomplish; to originate; to effect.
  10. To influence by acting upon; to prevail upon; to manage; to lead.
  11. To set in motion or action; to direct the action of; to keep at work; to govern; to manage.

Constitutional Quotes

  •  None

2004 Republican Platform Quotes

  •  Introduction and Preamble
    •  Our plans focus on ensuring that America remains safe, terrorists are defeated, and democracy flourishes in the world … and on helping workers adjust to a changing economy by offering flexible training options that meet their individual needs

      Our Party’s 2004 platform addresses the major issues facing America in the first decade of the 21st century:

      •  Ushering in an Ownership Era - because a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit will keep our economy strong and provide more opportunities for workers and families.
  •  Winning the War on Terror
    •  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 percent.
      •  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 Compassion
      •  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 higher incomes.
      •  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 workers;
        •  incorporating 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 freer trade.
    •  The Broader Middle East and North Africa
      •  Republicans 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 Era
    •  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:
        •  Simplified and expanded IRAs and 401(k)s so workers can save more for their retirement;
      •  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. Their actions:
        •  Made it easier to take your retirement plan from one job to the next.
        •  Allowed women who take time off from work to start a family to catch up on their missed retirement plan contributions.
        •  Required more disclosure for employer sponsored retirement plans and required that rules apply to both executives and rank-and-file employees.
      •  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.
      •  Individual 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 Security.
    •  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 America.
      •  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:
        •  Enacted 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 Economic Growth
      •  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 stronger.
        •  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.
        •  The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.3 to 5.5 percent, which is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
        •  Employment 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.
        •  Real after-tax incomes are up by 9.6 percent since December 2000.
        •  Homeownership rates are at record levels - seven out of ten American families own their own home today.
        •  Consumer confidence is up from the levels seen at this time last year.
        •  Inflation 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 growth-oriented.
    •  Tax Reform
      • In particular, we must:
        •  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 confidence. 
    •  Reforming the Litigation System
      •  America's 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 Left Behind
      •  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 demands. 
    •  Supporting Teachers
      •  Research 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 tax relief.
      •  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 classroom.
    •  Community Colleges
      •  Community 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 Century Workforce
      •  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 assistance.
    •  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 Right-to-Work laws.
      •  Republicans 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 responsibilities.
      •  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 both.
      •  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 own.
      •  Republicans 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 Development
      •  America's 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. 
    •  Telecommunications
      •  Broadband 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 Communities
    • Health Insurance Tax Relief
      • The Trade 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 Welfare Reform
      •  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 family.
    •  Improving Work Schedule Flexibility
      •  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 Action
    •  We stand for the freedom that comes with a good paying job in a growing economy.

Republican Right to Work Values


Administrative Policy Initiatives

Republican Sponsored Legislature

Judicial Cases

Advocacy Organizations

Links of Interest

Related Issues and Relationship

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Last modified: June 15, 2015