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Sen. Brown Targets NAFTA, Minimum Wage in Plan to Restore the "Value of Work"

photo of Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (pictured) says that the issue he has brought forth matters to middle class Americans.

The top elected Democrat in Ohio wants to take on what he calls “corporate freeloaders” – companies with workers whose wages are so low that they qualify for government assistance. 

The proposal from Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown would, as he puts it, restore the value of work. He wants to restructure trade deals such as NAFTA, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and improve retirement benefits.

Brown hopes his Senate colleagues will realize that these issues matter to middle class Americans.

“If they’re out listening to the public, go into a church, go into a diner, go into a union hall, walk into a street in middle-class, working-class neighborhoods they hear these discussions then we’ll move forward,” Brown said.

Several Republican and conservative groups have slammed Brown’s proposal, including Americans for Prosperity, which calls it just more government intervention that would hurt the economy during what they call a fragile recovery. Brown is facing what’s likely to be a tough re-election campaign next year.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.