December 6, 2013
Among the 10 Democratic U.S. Senators who sit on the Senate's labor committee is a name that will increasingly be in the news this year: John Edwards.
The North Carolina senator, added to Sen. John Kerry's ticket on Tuesday, is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which includes Sens. Edward Kennedy (MA) and Hillary Clinton (NY).
The committee's broad jurisdiction includes wage and hour issues, child labor, public health, equal employment and more. Edwards has been involved in each.
In March, Edwards released a statement disapproving of the Bush Administration's overtime proposal. "Unless the Labor Department is stopped," Edwards said at the time, "the overtime changes would have far-reaching effects throughout the country. American workers log more hours than their counterparts in any other industrialized nation. "
Last month, Edwards joined a bipartisan group of senators in writing to President Bush about the loss of textile jobs. Edwards and the other signees on the letter said that China is using "unfair trade practices" to subsidize its exports, and that the United States is at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of additional manufacturing jobs. The senators asked President Bush to support an emergency meeting of the World Trade Organization.
Edwards has also asked for stiffer penalties on businesses that violate safety rules; supported federal job-training programs; and strongly criticized tax laws that encourage corporations to send jobs overseas.