Guest Column: McGinty Pivots to Toomey
Over the last few months, I have traveled across the state meeting with Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. Whether we gathered in restaurants or met outside bus stops, I have heard the concerns of our hard-working men and women in this Commonwealth and was honored to receive their support last week.
I entered this race to give working families a voice. This fight is deeply personal: my dad was a police officer in Philadelphia and my mom was a restaurant hostess. My parents were firm believers in the American Dream and they worked hard to make ends meet and give my nine siblings and me an opportunity to succeed. Their hard work and determination paid off. All ten of us kids were able to chase our dreams and discover and develop our God-given talents.
For too long now, though, families like mine have been struggling to get by. If you’re working hard, you should get ahead. But for decades now, wages have been stagnant. The cost of higher education continues to soar. Mothers and fathers all across this country are working two and three jobs just to put food on the table and pay the bills.
It’s time to put the needs of working families back in the forefront of our national conversation. Everywhere in Pennsylvania, families have told me that Washington has not been working for them. We have representatives like Pat Toomey who are focused on the needs of the special interests, not the interests of working people.
That’s not acceptable. We need to give Pennsylvanians a fair shot at getting ahead and invest in their bright futures.
The way I see it, this starts with paying people a decent wage. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, something that Senator Toomey has consistently opposed, despite the mathematical reality that wages have not kept up with the cost of living. No one who works full time should be living in poverty.
Further, we need to ensure equal pay for equal work. As the mother of three daughters, this issue is crucial for me. I want my daughters to know that their work is valued. On average, Pennsylvania women today earn just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the same work. The wage gap hurts families, yet Pat Toomey has voted no fewer than five times against critical paycheck fairness legislation.
We can, and must, do better.
Last year, it was my great privilege to work with Governor Wolf to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act here in Pennsylvania. This enabled more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians to have access to quality health care – even as it cut the bill to taxpayers by hundreds of millions of dollars. However, Pat Toomey has voted again and again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away the health care coverage Pennsylvanians rely on. I will fight every day to make healthcare affordable and accessible, and to drive down the excessive cost of care.
I strongly believe that our government has a responsibility to uphold the promise it has made to our seniors and protect Medicare and Social Security. Our seniors have worked their whole lives for these earned benefits. But Pat Toomey has a different idea. He’s pushing to privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare. Gutting these vital problems might earn Senator Toomey a pat on the back from Wall Street, but seniors across this Commonwealth would be devastated. Social Security represents 90 percent of the income for almost 40 percent of our seniors.
So, I say enough is enough. The special interests have enough Senators like Pat Toomey fighting for them in Washington. Pennsylvania families deserve a Senator who will join with Senator Casey and have their back in the U.S. Senate.
That’s the change I can and will deliver. Hardworking Pennsylvanians are fired up to take on the status quo. They carried us to victory on Tuesday night and I am determined to deliver them a victory, restoring the promise that their hard work means opportunity and a bright future. I am humbled by your support and I know that with your help, from now until November 8, we can make history. As Pennsylvania’s first woman Senator, it will be my privilege to fight every day to give hardworking Pennsylvanians the fair shot they deserve.