Sen. Bernie Sanders pushes plan to guarantee every American a job

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is preparing to unveil a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job offering $15 per hour and health care benefits to any American worker “who wants or needs one,” The Washington Post reported Monday.

It is not clear when Sanders will announce the plan and a Sanders spokesperson told the Post that it was still being crafted.

It is also not clear how Sanders’ plan would be paid for. Republicans have long opposed a federal jobs guarantee, saying such a plan would be too expensive and impractical.

The Post reported that an early draft of Sanders’ plan calls for the government to fund hundreds of projects in categories such as infrastructure, education and the environment. Americans would be entitled to receive a job with one of those projects or receive job training to do so.

Sanders, who ran a surprisingly strong campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and is rumored to be running again in 2020, joins two other rumored presidential contenders who have supported a jobs guarantee or offered guarantee plans of their own.

Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. tweeted support for a jobs guarantee, saying it would help “regular Americans who are unemployed and willing to work to better their local community.”

On Friday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. announced the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, which would call for the Department of Labor to select up to 15 areas to institute a job guarantee. According to Vox, which first reported on Booker’s plan, those jobs would pay the higher of $15 per hour or the prevailing wage and offer paid family leave and health benefits.

“The federal jobs guarantee is an idea that demands to be taken seriously,” Booker said in a statement. “Creating an employment guarantee would give all Americans a shot at a day’s work and, by introducing competition into the labor market, raise wages and improve benefits for all workers.”