By TIM ROWDEN
Jill Schupp, Labor-endorsed Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District, has been a strong, reliable voice for working families in the state House and Senate. She supports strengthening prevailing wage laws and fought to defeat “right-to-work.”
She supported the voter-approved Clean Missouri initiative to clean up politics in Jefferson City and eliminate partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts and is adamantly opposed to Amendment 3 (“Dirty Missouri”) which seeks to overturn the will of voters and enshrine partisan gerrymandering in the Missouri Constitution.
She is an advocate for family medical leave, increasing teacher pay and doing what is necessary to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control so children and teachers can return to school.
And she supports raising the federal minimum wage so working families can make enough to not only survive, but to thrive.
Schupp’s opponent, four-term Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner, has consistently fought for the interests of Big Pharma, corporations and Wall Street.
Rather than representing her district, Wagner is infamous for refusing to hold open town hall meetings to hear from her constituents. She voted against lowering prescription drug prices, voted to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, and supported overturning the “fiduciary rule,” which required financial advisors to represent the interests of investors rather than their own personal profits. One of Wagner’s largest campaign donors, the Edward Jones brokerage firm, claimed the fiduciary rule was hurting its business.
“On every single issue that we could talk about, we have real differences, starting with the Affordable Care Act,” Schupp said of Wagner during a campaign rally Oct. 3 at United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655’s union hall in Ballwin.
“She has voted five times to undo the Affordable Care Act, which would allow insurance companies to deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. She has voted against lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
“This is a Congressperson who takes millions of dollars from the insurance industry, from Big Pharma, from Wall Street, from big corporations. She is kowtowing to them instead of listening to what her constituents need.”
Schupp has served in Missouri Senate since 2015, representing the 24th District, and previously represented the 88th District in the Missouri House from 2009 to 2014. She also served on the Creve Coeur City Council from 2007 to 2008, and Ladue School Board from 2000 to 2006, serving two terms as president. Her campaign platform includes access to affordable health care, improving education, economic growth and workers’ rights.
ISSUES FACING WORKING FAMILIES
Schupp responded to a Labor Tribune survey about her positions on prevailing wage, so-called “right-to-work,” Amendment 3, education funding and minimum wage. Here’s what she had to say:
- On prevailing wage – “I strongly support prevailing wage requirements, because they are a mechanism to prevent contractors from undercutting skilled, union labor when competing for contracts for public projects. In Congress, I will protect Davis Bacon because these requirements prevent a race to the bottom that is not good for workers or the industry. Contractors should compete on the basis of the skill of their workers and the ability to do the job well, not because their labor costs are less than the industry average.”
- On “right-to-work” – “I was proud to work with many in the Labor community here in Missouri to organize against ‘right-to-work’ when it was brought before the Missouri State Senate and I was an outspoken supporter of the ballot referendum (Proposition A) that defeated ‘right-to-work’ in 2018.
“I strongly believe we must expand protections for workers and their right to collectively bargain, not limit them. That’s why in Congress, I would gladly support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), which would make it easier to organize, penalize employers for violating federal Labor laws, and protect workers from retaliation for exercising their workplace rights.”
- On Amendment 3 – “I do not support Amendment 3, or ‘Dirty Missouri.’ I supported the ballot measure Clean Missouri that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2018 that would end partisan gerrymandering in our state and address many critical campaign finance and electoral reform issues. Missouri must vote NO on Amendment 3 this November.
- On campaign reforms – “At the federal level, I believe strongly in campaign finance reform and ending the practice of partisan gerrymandering. I support HR1, the “For the People Act” and will push to overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision to end the special interests’ stranglehold on our elections.”
- On education funding – “Because of my experience as a school teacher and serving on my local school board, I have always prioritized education in my work on behalf of my community. I believe investing in our public education system is one of the most critical functions of our government, and investing in our public education system means investing in our public school teachers. Our education system is at a disadvantage because we undervalue our educators.
“In Congress, I will work hard to improve our public education system and advocate for increased teacher pay so that our schools, teachers, and students have the resources and support they need to thrive.
“We ask so much of our teachers, especially right now. It is incumbent on Congress and our elected leaders to do what is necessary to get the virus under control and not place undue burden on our teachers and educators to not only care for and teach our children but also keep them safe during a public health crisis without adequate resources and support.”
- On minimum wage – “I believe that every worker deserves a living wage and that no one should have to work more than one full-time job to be able to support themselves and their families. I supported Missouri’s Proposition B, which will raise Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023, up from $7.85. In Congress, I’ll advocate for raising the federal minimum wage, and will fight to ensure working families have what they need to not only survive but thrive.”