Oh man, I don't know about you but I am all fired up. I'll tell you what, I think that you just got a small dose of why those of us who know this man, and have seen him as our secretary of labor are so enthusiastic about him and what he's doing and what he stands for. I could not be more honored or really personally happier than have him here with me in Sioux City, here at the north central states Regional Council of carpenters building, and with so many of you. I am thrilled.
I have something more to say about Tom in a minute, but I want to thank Ernie Colt, business rep for Sioux City Carpenters Local 948. I want to thank Kevin Hilton, political director of the North Central States Regional Council. I want to thank your state representative Chris Hall, where is Chris! Thank you Chris! I am so thrilled to have Chris's endorsement, can't wait to work with you, can't wait to be your partner, and I have to say thanks to everybody here in Sioux City who's sending such a young dynamic democrat to represent you the state legislature.
In addition to a bunch of carpenters here, both current and retired. We got some laborers here as well. We have a bunch of other unions represented, and I am very proud I have the support of so many of you who do the building and the making of what we value in our country. It's really important to me to have this chance to come here to talk to you about what I think we should be doing to invest a lot more money in building up our country.
That's why I rolled out my infrastructure plan last Sunday in Boston, at a rally that was titled Hard Hats for Hillary. I've met some people who are hard heads for Hillary, but I'm proud to have Hard Hats for Hillary because I so admire and respect the work that you all do. We had an amazing rally, Terry O'Sullivan was there to introduce me. He's like Tom, he gives a stem winder. Doug McCarron was there to cheer me on. We had a great representation.
The reason we were all in Boston, a thousand-strong, was just send a clear message that we're gonna create more good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans. As Tom just told you we're making progress but we haven't gone as far as we need to.
Now before I get into the details of all that, I want to say a few words about the ongoing situation in San Bernardino, California. We're learning more literally by the hour, there certainly is much more support for the view that this was a terrorist act.
I have a great deal of confidence in law enforcement, local, state, federal, and I am convinced that they will do everything they can to run down every lead no matter where it might take them anywhere in the world. We will learn more about these people, these murderers. We will do everything in our power to make sure we prevent acts like this from happening.
Now, I know how important it is to protect our country. I was as some of you know a senator from New York on 911. I spent a great deal of my time as Secretary of State, but then before that as a senator, working with people who shared my commitment to protect us and prevent attacks. We have to be vigilant, and we have to be cooperative. Not only within our own country, so we share information with one another, but also do a better job of collecting and analyzing information from around the world.
I've said repeatedly, we need to redouble our efforts to dismantle the global structure of terrorism. We have to go after those folks who are on the internet, radicalizing people. We have to fight these terrorist networks in the air, United States has to lead that, and we're getting more help. The French, the Brits and others, Germans just voted to help us.
We have to fight them on the ground that has to be the people who we're there, not American troops. We can enable them, and empower them, but we're not sending our troops there. We have to fight them online. This is the first time we have faced an adversary so sophisticated about using the Internet, using it to recruit vulnerable people, using it even to train, provide information, about planning for attacks. So we've got have a strategy to defeat global terror networks. A part of that strategy, I'm just gonna say this, again, I've been talking about it for the last few days, is to try to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on guns in our country.
Now, last night, the senate voted down a law to block suspected terrorists from buying guns. We have thousands of people on a no-fly list. They get put on there based on credible information and suspicion that they should not be left on a plane, inside our country or coming into our country. That bill was to prevent anybody on the no-fly list from buying a gun. I got to tell you, you're too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America, in my opinion.
There are a number of steps we have to take, and we're going to have to be really focused on going after anybody who poses a threat to us, no matter how they get here. I know there's a big argument going on in the country about refugees, look we have to be careful I understand the legitimate fears and concerns people have. We have to have the toughest possible vetting that our defense department, our intelligence community, Homeland Security, the state department, everybody has to be as careful as we can. It does take up to two years.
I want to remind you, the people who flew those planes the World Trade Center and the Pentagon we're not refugees, they were here legally. They flew in on visas. They overstayed their visas but they got here legally. So we're gonna have to take a much broader look, and we also don't want to do anything undermines law enforcements capacity to get the information we need. We've had Syrians, for example, coming to this country really long time. Some of you probably know that one of the oldest mosques in America is in Cedar Rapids. The oldest Syrian Orthodox churches in America is in Cedar Rapids. So we've got to proceed with caution, but we also have to keep moving forward in concert with our values.
It's important to do what works and not argue but what won't work. Too much arguing going on, I want us to roll up our sleeves and protect us, and support law enforcement. Who we've seen in the last week rush to deal with an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, losing the life of a brave young police officer. We saw law enforcement responding and San Bernardino, and one of the officers, as he was trying to move people out of harm's way, said please go I will take the bullet. So let's pull together on behalf of law enforcement, our security professionals and do what will work to protect America.
You heard what Tom said. We're making progress. Another good jobs report today. But we've got to do a lot more to make the economy stronger for everybody, not just those at the top. Tom understands that. He is doing a terrific job, and as I travel across the country, talking and listening to people, I often hear about the initiatives he's undertaking. The Department of Labor is firmly supporting labor. You know what, that is a nice change from what we had eight years under George W. Bush.
Tom is pushing hard for apprenticeships, people who are ready to work, and then connecting them with employers who are ready to hire. He has pushed hard to improve job opportunities for our veterans and for people with disabilities. He believes in a fair day's pay for a hard day's work. So he's been fighting to raise the minimum wage, to ensure fair pay for women, and to enforce the labor laws on the books, so workers are not cheated by employers taking advantage of them. There's no greater advocate for working families than our secretary of labor.
I love the fact that he launched a campaign called "Lead on Leave" that means let's help every American gain access to earned sick days and paid leave. Too many families, I know them, you know them, are faced with an impossible choice when they get sick, or when their child gets sick, or their aging parent that they're taking care of get sick. They stay home to take care of their family, they risk losing their paycheck. Sometimes they risk losing their job.
We've got to make it easier for workers to take care of their own health, of their kids, of their parents, and be able to fulfill their responsibilities at work. That's why I am advocating for paid family leave. That's why I'm advocating for paid sick days. Now, a lot of unions have bargained for those rights, but the vast majority of American workers don't have them. Yet another reason why we need more unions representing more workers.
I am thrilled to have his endorsement, I really am going to be relying on his advice and expertise, and we were talking about the importance of getting jobs growing, but how the construction trades have really begun to come back. You guys got hit so hard by the Great Recession. A lot of people lost their jobs, a lot of people cashed in their retirement savings, some people lost their homes, kids' college funds were wiped out, but even though you may have gotten knocked down, you didn't get knocked out.
You did everything you could to be able to stand up and keep moving forward. Because of your hard work, we have under President Obama's leadership, seen sixty nine months straight, of job growth. Americas businesses have created more than 13 million new jobs. A lot of people forget, I got to tell you the republicans want you forget how bad it was. They want us to have a collective case of amnesia. I saw President Obama shortly after he was elected in 2008. He called me ask you to come to Chicago, I didn't know why, turned out he wanted me to be secretary of state, but before we got into that, he said, it is so much worse than they told us.
We were losing 800,000 jobs in months. 9 million Americans lost their jobs, five million lost their homes, thirteen trillion dollars in family wealth, was wiped out. As bad as it was, it could have gotten worse. The auto industry was on a fast downward slide. The rest of the world was also in bad economic trouble. We were in that big ditch that Tom mentioned. I don't think President Obama gets the credit he deserves for helping to dig us out of that big ditch, and get us standing again. The auto industry is thriving again, all those jobs up and down the supply chain. We're producing more energy, including more clean energy than ever before, and Iowa is one of the leaders. 18 million people have gotten health insurance, which is meant a lot of them and their families.
You know, I'm not satisfied, and I don't think we should be. I've been traveling around Iowa, and I've been listening to people, and they told me about the stresses that they're under. How the cost of everything continues to go up, but wages haven't gone up. A lot of people are struggling with prescription drug costs, with childcare costs, and trying to send a kid to college, boy. Some of you know how hard and expensive that is. So we've got to get jobs growing.
Now, Tom mentioned my husband's eight years. Those were good economic years. At the end of them, we had 23 million new jobs. Incomes went up for everybody, at the top sure, but most importantly the middle. Working people and more folks lifted out of poverty than any time in recent history. So, republicans don't like it when I say this, but it is a fact, the economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House.
I'm not running for my husband's third term, I'm not running for President Obama's third term, I'm running for my first term but I'm gonna do what works to create jobs and raise incomes.
Last Sunday, when I was in Boston with everybody, I announced one of the critical elements of my jobs plan. Investing in infrastructure. We are in a sorry state. Our roads, our bridges, are crumbling. Families endure blackouts, because our electric grid fails in extreme weather. Beneath a lot of our cities, our pipeline structure, our water mains, sewer systems, are a century or more old. Our airports are a mess. We don't have a single airport in the top 25 in the world. It's costing money. The delays, the problems. Tom and I we're just talking about our ports. Our ports are in terrible shape. We don't want to lose business. I was honored be endorsed by the longshoremen the other day, and they do a great job because a lot of the fate that comes into the United States, comes by big containerships.
They're so far behind in modernization and operation, it costs more money. The ships stay off shore to process everybody else. Our rail systems are getting over worked. I learned the other day that it takes nearly as long for a freight train to go across the city of Chicago as it takes for it to come from Los Angeles to Chicago, because our infrastructure is old. It's broken down. You know my images is held together by duct tape.
That has real world consequences. Here in Iowa, farmers are paying a price for the freight rail congestion that slows shipments throughout the upper Midwest. That drives up prices, it hurts farmers, and it makes us less competitive. So I have proposed a five-year 275 billion dollar plan to strengthen infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and build the future we deserve. Now this not only creates good jobs, but it also strengthens our economy. That in turn leads to more good jobs in the future. So we're gonna make smart investments in ports and airports, waterways and roads, like Highway 20, not far from here. If you were to count up all of the hours you spent sitting there, or having problems getting there, it will cost real time and real money. So we're going to do everything possible to make us more competitive, while we create more good-paying jobs.
I also want to be sure we invest in high-tech infrastructure. We need to make sure every place in America has access to quality affordable high-speed internet. I don't care where you live, you ought to be able to access it. It's kind of like electricity back in the nineteen thirties, we we're electrifying cities, but nobody want to go out and rural areas because it wasn't there wasn't as much money out there. There weren't as many customers out there. So we had to create and electrification program from the federal government. The rural electric co-ops and other organizations that came in to fill the gap. You know it took until the late nineteen sixties to electrify all of America, but we did it. Can you imagine now, not be able to get electricity, if you lived in the continental United States. Well I feel the same way about high-speed Internet.
I also want to create a new national infrastructure bank, other countries have done this, and we should as well. Now I am pleased that finally yesterday, finally, that Congress passed the highway bill. This has been going on for years, right? It's important that we finally got it done, but it's just a down payment. I mean it's a lot of money, but nowhere near what we need to spend. So that was passed by the congress, then I want to layer this additional money, and we're still behind the curve about what we need to spend to get our infrastructure up and going.
I also want to make sure we have a pipeline of workers, that's why I support apprenticeships. I proposed a new tax credit to encourage more high-quality apprenticeship programs. While we're doing this, I will not let anyone undermine collective bargaining rights, prevailing wage standards, or project labor agreements. You know the jobs were talking about are tough jobs. They take training and skill, they take respect for workers safety. We can't let anybody mess with that. We can't let people be cutting corners, or undermining worker safety. In the end, it also ends up costing more. You do a shoddy job, it doesn't hold up. We need to make sure the construction trades remain that latter into the middle class, and the people can stay there.
So there's a lot we can do together, but I need your help to be able to do any of this. I'm gonna keep making the case for what we need to do to create new jobs, and making sure that Americans get a raise. I'm the only candidate running who has said I'm gonna work to raise incomes, not taxes. I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America. This for me is a non-starter. You know folks haven't recovered their incomes since the Great Recession. Most Americans haven't gotten a raise since my husband left office. So we've got work to do. That's why I need your help in this upcoming caucus.
How many of you ever caucused before? Good, good. Well I hope you will again. Those of you who haven't, will think about doing it. It's one of the most historic experiences you can have, living here in Iowa. You all get to cast the first caucus votes on behalf of the candidate of your choice. Obviously, I hope that's me. Because I do want to fight for us. And I'll tell you why.
You know my grandfather was a factory worker and he came here as a young immigrant. He went to work in the Scranton Lace mills in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was hard work, he did it to support his family, but he also did it because he believed by working so hard here in America, he could give his kids a better life, and he did. He had three sons, they all went to college. My father got out of college in the middle of the Great Depression, couldn't find a job, heard from somebody, who heard from somebody that there might be a job in Chicago, so we hopped a freight train. I don't recommend that today, but a lot of people did it back then. Got himself to Chicago, got the job, that's the reason I ended up being born there, and worked hard, and then went into the Navy was a chief petty officer, when it came out he started a small business. He believed with all of his heart in the basic bargain of America. If you work hard, you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead and stay ahead. Kind of what I heard Tom describing from his upbringing, in Buffalo.
Now my mother had a very different experience. She was abandoned and rejected by her parents, and she was sent to live with grandparents who didn't want her. By the age of 14, she was out working as a housemaid. I didn't know any of this when I was a little girl, I just knew she was my mom and she was a great mom. But as I got older, and I learned about her life, I asked her how did you survive that? How did you keep going? She said, you know along the way, people showed me kindness. That first grade teacher who made sure she had enough to eat, because she'd come to school every day. When it was time for lunch, she never did have anything to eat. Or even the woman whose house she went to work in, knew my mother wanted to go to high school, made a deal with her. You get up early, you do your chores, you can go to high school, and you come back after school, and finish them. Sounds kind of harsh today, thinking about a fourteen year old kid, but for my mom it was a gift. She too believed with all her heart in the promise of this country.
So that's how I was raised. You know, my husband and I have had so many blessings and opportunities, because America. Now we have this amazing, wonderful, grandchild. It's pretty amazing being in the grandparents club, for those of you who are fellow club members. You know, all of the joy and none of the responsibilities. It's great. But you know, Bill and I spent just countless hours looking at her, taking care of her, talking about her, and will do whatever we can to make sure, along with her parents, that she has every opportunity in life to fulfill her own potential. But that is not enough folks. It really matters what kind of country she grows up in and what kind of world is out there waiting for her. I don't think it's good enough that the granddaughter of former president can have every opportunity, I want the granddaughters of factory workers and the grandsons of truck drivers do exactly the same opportunity in America. That's the promise and we've got to fight as hard as we can to make sure.
Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu1tTUcGbSA.