Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Republican Congressional Candidate Richard Grayson Attacks Incumbent Rep. Ed Pastor for Not Supporting Healthy Families Act

PHOENIX, Aug. 6- The Republican Richard Grayson for Congress AZ-04 Committee today issued the following statement, written by Richard Grayson, who is running as a state certified write-in candidate against Don Karg in the Sept. 2 Republican primary for the Fourth District Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ):
The problem: More than 57 million workers in America are confronted with the harsh reality of losing pay and even risking a job when they get sick or need to care for an ill family member. Working families deserve paid sick days, but currently no state or federal laws guarantee them. I have friends who are forced to give up income when their little kids have the croup or a bad stomach virus or, God forbid, something worse. I don't have kids, but I have a mom with Alzheimer's disease who sometimes needs one of her grown-up kids to take off a day from work without pay to help her out.

The solution: the Healthy Families Act - legislation introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Edward Kennedy - guarantees seven paid sick days a year to full-time employees.

Even though Americans strongly support paid sick days, almost half of private-sector workers are denied paid sick days, and of the lowest quarter of wage earners, 79% have no paid sick days at all. The Healthy Families Act would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide seven paid sick days to care for their own and their families’ medical needs, benefiting 66 million Americans: 46 million would gain access to paid sick days; 19 million would gain paid sick days for leave for doctors’ visits and family care; and 1 million Americans would gain additional paid sick days.

If I were now a member of Congress representing Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, I'd have signed as a co-sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, and I'd certainly be voting for it. If I am elected this November, I will certainly co-sponsor this legislation and vote for it.

America's beleaguered working-class and middle-class families need all the help government can give them.

Why has Rep. Ed Pastor not joined his colleagues to co-sponsor the Healthy Families Act? Doesn't he care about the needs of Arizona's working families and their loved ones?

This bill has been co-sponsored by 103 House members, including Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-AZ], Rep. Rahm Emanuel [D-IL], Rep. Nydia Velázquez [D-NY], Rep. Charles Rangel [D-NY], Rep. Luis Gutiérrez [D-IL], Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D-OH], Rep. Solomon Ortiz [D-TX] and Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA].

But not Rep. Ed Pastor. Why not?

Rep. Pastor should be supporting the Healthy Families Act. Over 57 million workers don’t have a single paid sick day.

Just as every other developed country in the Western world offers universal health care to its citizens, they also provide a mandated number of paid sick days for those times when it's unconscionable to make working moms and dads choose between their jobs and their kids. I don't understand why America doesn't do the same.

And I don't understand why Rep. Ed Pastor doesn't seem to care about providing this help for our families.