Kirsten Gillibrand

Read Kirsten Gillibrand’s positions on all 11 planks of the Pledge Agenda.
Scroll down – or click a plank in the outline below to jump to specific positions.

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America
2. Invest in a Green Economy
II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University
7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security
IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
9. Close Wall Street’s Casino
10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America

  • Kirsten Gillibrand has said in multiple interviews that she supports legislation for a guaranteed jobs program. “Guaranteed jobs programs, creating floors for wages and benefits, and expanding the right to collectively bargain are exactly the type of roles that government must take to shift power back to workers and our communities.”  (The Nation, 03/20/18)

2. Invest in a Green Economy

  • Greenpeace gave Sen. Gillibrand an A- on climate change, putting her in 2nd place – only behind Jay Inslee – in their ranking of the 2020 presidential candidate field. According to the NGO: “Sen. Gillibrand released a “moonshot” plan to tackle the climate crisis by phasing out oil, gas, and coal production, transitioning to 100% renewable energy in a decade, and implementing a Green New Deal for workers and communities. She pledged to stop new oil and gas leasing on public lands, end fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel exports, and hold polluters accountable to pay for communities to adapt to the climate crisis. She promised to protect workers affected by the transition away from fossil fuels, and prioritize investments in low-income communities and communities of color at the front lines of climate disaster and pollution. She signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Keep it up, Sen. Gillibrand!” (Greenpeace)
  • Co-sponsored AOC-Merkley Green New Deal resolution, a framework to achieve a fossil-free economy by 2030 through a “World War II level mobilization” to fight climate change with an enormous public works program that would create tens of millions of jobs. (Axios, 03/26/19)
  • “We must seize the opportunity to work on an ambitious legislative agenda to move our country and our economy to a more sustainable future…our committee should be holding hearings and considering legislation designed to decarbonize our economy and get us to net-zero emissions by as close to 2050 as possible. This should include a mix of innovative solutions in transportation policy, climate-smart infrastructure and high-performance energy efficiency. This also means considering legislation that builds up resiliency across a range of infrastructure in low-income and frontline communities that will bear the worst of the climate impacts.” (Gillibrand letter to Senator John Barrasso, 01/26/19)

II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

  • Co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ $15 wage bill (CNBC, 02/19/19)
  • In 2018, Gillibrand joined Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Mark Pocan to introduce the Workplace Democracy Actwhich would “strengthen the middle by restoring workers’ rights  to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. (Gillibrand press release, 05/09/18)
  • In a statement at the bill’s release, Gillibrand declared, “When workers’ rights to collective bargaining are attacked and undermined, corporations have enormous power over their workers and can keep wages so low that even full-time employees are still living in poverty. That is not how our economy is supposed to work. We need to start rewarding work again in this country, and that means making sure every worker has the right to join together to fight for the pay and protections they deserve.” (Gillibrand press release, 05/09/18)
  • “Guaranteed jobs programs, creating floors for wages and benefits, and expanding the right to collectively bargain are exactly the type of roles that government must take to shift power back to workers and our communities…Corporate interests have controlled the agenda in Washington for decades so we can’t tinker at the margins and expect to rebuild the middle class and stamp out inequality. We need to get back to an economy that rewards workers, not just shareholder value and CEO pay.”  (The Nation, 03/20/18)
  • Universal paid family leave: “In 2013, Gillibrand released a bill to create America’s first universal paid family leave program. It would pay workers while they take time off if they have to take care of a sick child, parent or spouse; give birth to a child; or get sick themselves….Gillibrand has reintroduced the legislation in every Congress since 2013….Gillibrand’s proposal would raise money by levying a 0.4 percent payroll tax for 12 weeks of paid family leave at an income replacement rate of 66 percent.” (Washington Post, 01/15/19)

4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With a Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

  • “Gillibrand will also pitch several policy ideas aimed in part at closing gaps between white Americans and people of color, including ending cash bail, legalizing marijuana and reducing mortality rates for mothers during childbirth. Gillibrand’s legislation on maternal mortality rates would give hospitals across the country additional funding to implement “best practices” in childbirth. The legislation was aimed at reversing the stunning rise in maternal deaths during childbirth in America, the majority of which are preventable, particularly among black women.” (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
  • In December 2018, Gillibrand held a news conference with the NAACP to call for Congress to end the current cash bail system, which disproportionately jails poor Americans who cannot make cash bail payments. (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
  • Gillibrand has also unveiled legislation to offer banking services at U.S. Postal Service offices, which would include low-cost loans and allow the poor to create savings accounts without paying payday lenders exorbitant rates.   (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
  • In July 2018, Gillibrand co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ legislation to end money bail outright. This would prevent people from being locked up before trial solely because they cannot afford their bail. (Sanders press release, 07/25/18)
  • Since entering the Senate, Gillibrand has supported comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including so-called Dreamers who were brought to the country illegally as children. (PBS, 01/18/19)
  • Gillibrand has also said she would eliminate and “reimagine” ICE. (PBS, 01/18/19)
  • Gillibrand’s views on immigration represent a departure from her years in the House. Then, she  opposed what she called “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, and opposed a plan allowing them to get drivers licenses in New York state. (PBS, 01/18/19)

5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality

  • Universal paid family leave: “In 2013, Gillibrand released a bill to create America’s first universal paid family leave program. It would pay workers while they take time off if they have to take care of a sick child, parent or spouse; give birth to a child; or get sick themselves….Gillibrand has reintroduced the legislation in every Congress since 2013.Gillibrand’s proposal would raise money by levying a 0.4 percent payroll tax for 12 weeks of paid family leave at an income replacement rate of 66 percent.” (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
  • Gillibrand has also advanced legislation related to the #MeToo movement and issues of sexual misconduct, including a bill that passed last year to address widespread criticisms of Congress’s process for handling sexual misconduct. The legislation makes lawmakers financially liable for settlements, gives accusers access to legal representation, and simplifies the process for accusers to file complaints. Previously, taxpayers footed the bill for any settlement or award reached after a complaint was lodged against a member of the House or Senate.  (Washington Post, 01/15/19)

III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All
6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University

  • “Gillibrand says she wants to create a path to college for those that can’t afford it by creating better education programs for low-income students and creating tax deductions on college tuition. She co-sponsored the “Debt-Free College Act of 2018,” which offers federal matching funds to states to help students pay for two- and four-year public colleges without taking on debt. The bill would help pay for tuition and room and board, but it does not specify how it would fund the plan.(PBS, 01/18/19)
  • Gillibrand also wants to make childcare more accessible and more affordable. That includes encouraging more workplaces to host their own in-house childcare. She plans to incentivize more at-work childcare by giving tax credits to companies. (PBS, 01/18/19)
  • Senator Gillibrand introduced legislation to expand and improve the Child Care Tax Cut, which helps middle class families access and afford child care. The Right Start Child Care and Education Act would expand the value of the child care tax credit to a maximum of $6,000 and provide new tax benefits for companies that provide on-site child care and support education for child care workers to ensure the availability of quality, affordable child care to New York’s working parents. (Senator’s website)

7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security

  • In September 2017, Gillibrand co-sponsored Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” bill to nationalize health insurance (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
    • The Sanders bill would ban private health insurance and transition the U.S. to a government-run health system within four years. The bill offers a few funding options, including a new tax on the wealthiest 0.1 percent, and a new premium based on income.
  • Gillibrand’s aides have said she has supported letting anyone in America buy into Medicare since she ran in a conservative House district in 2006. (Washington Post, 01/15/19)
  • She believes a Medicare-for-all system will eventually displace the private insurance industry by beating it out in competition. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)
  • Gillibrand believes that all undocumented immigrants should be covered under a government-run health plan. She also supports giving the federal government the ability to negotiate drug prices directly as well as import drugs from other countries. She has yet to address whether or not she supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)

IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

  • Gillibrand has come out in support of the Securities Transaction Tax, a tax on financial transactions in the stock market that’s expected to raise billions of dollars. (New York Post, 06/30/18)

9. Close Wall Street’s Casino

10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests

  • Gillibrand supports automatic voter registration, granting voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, making Election Day a national holiday, and statehood for Washington DC (all in accordance with the rest of the Democratic candidates). She also supports Puerto Rico’s self-determination. Her views on lowering the voting age to 16 are still unclear. (Washington Post, 04/11/18)
  • Gillibrand also supports eliminating the electoral college in favor of the popular vote. Meanwhile, she is open to eliminating Senate filibuster, adding justices to “pack” the Supreme Court, and implementing a term limit for Supreme Court justices. (Washington Post, 04/11/18)
  • Recently, Sen. Gillibrand led a group of Senators to reintroduce a voter empowerment act to help ensure equal access to the ballot for every voter, modernize voter registration, and help eliminate deceptive practices that deter people from voting (Gillibrand press release, 02/26/19)

V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans
11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

  • The New York senator would like to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. She agrees with President Donald Trump about ending a system of tribunals that resolve trade differences. But she would like to see more environmental protections and more gains for dairy farmers who trade goods with Canada. (Gillibrand senate press release, 09/04/18)
  • “Saudi Arabia is using American-made bombs to terrorize Yemeni civilians with airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians – and millions are without food and access to medical care. The Senate must do everything it can to end this humanitarian crisis.” (Gillibrand, Facebook, 12/12/18)
  • Gillibrand supports recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela and imposing economic sanctions on the country, while opposing military intervention. (Huffington Post, 01/31/19)
  • Warren and Gillibrand also led the fight to keep the Trump administration from pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. (The Atlantic, 02/21/19)