STRENGTHENING THE MIDDLE CLASS

Trudy’s Plan to Make the American Dream Affordable Again and Rebuild a Strong Middle Class 

Dear Missourians, 

Today, I am releasing my plan to bring real relief to people in our state who are struggling right now under the staggering costs of gas, groceries, housing, childcare, and more. As I travel across Missouri I’m struck by how strong our communities are. But right now we’re asking for too much from the working families who are the backbone of our country. 

We are facing record high rates of inflation and soaring energy costs. We are still recovering from an urgent baby formula shortage crisis that is threatening the health and well-being of babies across the country. And while wage growth is historically high, too many Americans are struggling to keep up with rising costs. 

It’s become clear to me that we need a new kind of politics: one that puts ego and divisions aside and puts the good of all people first. We need leadership that’s focused on fighting for real results for real people. We need people in Washington who will look out for single parents, small business owners, and farmers–and who will be willing to stand up to special interests and corporate lobbyists. 

That’s why I’m releasing this plan. This is my commitment to put the people of Missouri first and work for real solutions and real relief. 

With Gratitude, 

Trudy Busch Valentine 

LOWERING COSTS FOR MISSOURI FAMILIES 

From inflation to supply chain issues, Missouri families have seen the cost of gas, groceries, housing, and more rise significantly. Inflation is at its highest rate in over 40 years. Too many Missourians and Americans are living in a state of financial crisis. In fact, 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. We need real solutions, not more political talking points. 

Trudy knows we need to do more to lower costs for Missourians. That’s why she supports: 

Preventing another supply chain crisis like the baby formula shortage. Nothing has made the fragility of our supply chain more apparent than the baby formula shortage, which continues to affect millions of families across America. We must prevent the next crisis by investing in American manufacturing, breaking up corporate monopolies, and ensuring our negotiated trade agreements allow for the quick import of basic necessities like baby formula. 

Increasing support for American farmers and bringing food prices down. The supply chain crisis is affecting every sector of our economy, and Missouri’s farmers are no exception. Products needed to grow and protect healthy crops, like fertilizer, are snared in ongoing delays. This year, American farmers are slated to spend $40 billion more in farm production expenses, as compared to 2020. These cost increases are already translating to increases in food prices. In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will prioritize fixing supply chain issues that impact our farmers, so that the cost of everything from farming equipment to crop production to food prices come down. 

Lowering the cost of prescription drugs. As a nurse, Trudy knows that everyone should have access to quality, affordable healthcare, including prescription drugs. In the U.S. Senate, she will champion legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies just like private insurance companies do. This will significantly lower the cost of prescriptions for Missourians. Trudy will also push to allow imports of high-quality drugs from Canada and other nations, which will introduce competition and also drive prices down. 

Limiting the cost of insulin to $35. More than 37 million Americans live with diabetes, including at least 685,000 people in Missouri. On top of that, nearly 1.6 million people in our state — one third of the total adult population — have prediabetes. As too many families know, living with diabetes can be very expensive. That’s why Trudy supports capping the cost of insulin to $35 a month. Missourians shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their basic necessities. 

Making housing more affordable by expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program and investing in the National Housing Trust Fund. Affordable housing is becoming harder and harder to find for too many Americans. Rent is rising at the fastest rate in decades, leaving families with few options and on the brink of homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program, which is administered at the local level, 

helps low-income families, elderly people, and the disabled afford housing. Similarly, the National Housing Trust Fund works to build and rehabilitate homes for low-income people. Trudy supports further investments into these programs so that no Missourian has to wonder whether they can put a roof over their head. 

Giving Missourians relief at the gas pump by enacting a federally administered emergency gas rebate program. Missourians are seeing energy costs rise when they can least afford it. Gas prices are at record highs, further squeezing families who are living paycheck to paycheck. Trudy knows that we need to provide real relief in the form of direct payments to Americans struggling with gas prices. Especially for lower-income families, a rebate program can be a particularly effective way to provide economic relief. 

Standing up to gas price gouging. Americans continue to face high gas prices, which, coupled with supply chain issues, is resulting in higher costs of food and groceries. Meanwhile, Big Oil is racking in major profits. In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will support legislation that would prohibit companies from taking unfair advantage of an international oil crisis to jack up gas prices unreasonably, and empower the Federal Trade Commission to enforce this law. 

STANDING UP FOR WORKERS AND BUILDING A STRONG MIDDLE CLASS 

Trudy knows that a strong middle class is the heart of a flourishing America. Trudy grew up watching her father, August “Gussie” Busch Jr. build one of the most successful brewing companies in the world by making sure workers had union jobs where they were treated with respect, and paying a fair wage that allowed them to raise families and afford a quality, middle class life. 

But now the American Dream is out of reach for too many. Wage gains haven’t kept pace with inflation and families are losing ground. Too many politicians are looking out for corporate interests and failing to prioritize the needs of working families, small businesses, and ordinary Missourians trying to get by. 

In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will be a leader who can’t be bought. She will be focused on delivering real results for every Missourian. That starts by: 

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. No one should have to work multiple jobs just to afford groceries or a roof over their head. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 13 years and it’s far past time to invest in a living wage for all Americans. 

Guaranteeing paid sick leave. Trudy believes we must ensure no one has to choose between keeping their job and looking out for their health and protecting their loved ones. Paid sick leave is also good for the economy and ensures that illnesses are not rapidly spread through job sites. 

Guaranteeing equal pay for equal work. Trudy believes people who do the same work should receive the same pay, regardless of their gender. Equal pay is also good for our economy. If women were simply paid the same as men, we could cut poverty among working women in half. 

Championing labor unions — the backbone of the middle class — by supporting the PRO Act. We’ve seen a decline in worker protections that has occurred in tandem with the decline of labor unions across the country. This decline has been brought about by a sustained, systemic assault on labor unions and their ability to stand up to corporate interests on behalf of workers. In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will be a fearless advocate for the right of all workers to unionize. That starts with supporting the PRO Act which would require employers to allow employees to communicate about and conduct organizing efforts. 

Ending the disastrous corporate tax cuts that unfairly benefitted wealthy CEOs while squeezing out workers. Trudy is running for the U.S. Senate because we need more leaders in Washington who can’t be bought. Trudy will look out for small businesses and working families. That starts with ensuring that massive corporations and billionaires pay their fair share. 

MAKING IT EASIER FOR HARDWORKING FAMILIES TO GET BY 

As a mom and grandmother, Trudy will always be a champion for our children. Trudy knows that supporting families and promoting positive outcomes for kids is the best investment we can make in the future of our country. But right now, families are struggling to get by. Raising small children and caring for our elders is squeezing out families on both sides. We need leadership who will put politics aside and put the people of Missouri first. 

In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will be a champion for working families. That’s why she supports: 

Investing in in-home and community based services for elders under Medicaid. American families are also facing financial strains at the end of life. Medicare, which covers over 60 million older Americans, doesn’t cover the long-term daily care — whether in the home or in a full-time nursing facility — that millions of aging Americans require. The median yearly cost of in-home care with a home health aide in 2020 was $54,912, and the median cost for a private room in a nursing home was $105,850. By increasing access to in-home and community services, we can ensure that low-income seniors have access to compassionate care at the end of life. 

Paid family leave, so that every parent can have the option to spend time at home with their newborn children without worrying about losing their job or endangering their health. America is the only developed country without guaranteed paid family leave, meaning millions of Americans struggle to choose between a career and raising children. Trudy knows we need to fix this because it’s good for families and our economy when parents can fully participate in the workforce. 

Renewing and permanently extending the Child Tax Credit, which helped lift millions of children out of poverty. The American Rescue Plan temporarily expanded The Child Tax Credit, providing hardworking families with major tax relief. The CTC helped families make ends meet and lifted 3 million children out of poverty. However the expanded tax credit expired and has not been renewed. Trudy believes that lowering childhood poverty is good for all of us and will be a champion for expanding this tax credit once again and making the expansion permanent. 

Bringing down the cost of child care by introducing a sliding scale limit on child care costs for families. The cost of childcare for too many Americans can be prohibitively expensive, forcing parents to make more difficult decisions. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, childcare costs have gone through the roof. Across the U.S. parents are seeing an average annual cost increase of 41% for center-based child care providers, and spending an average of $14,117 annually, up from $9,977 pre-pandemic. In the U.S. Senate, Trudy will support legislation to lower the cost of child care so every parent can access quality care for their child. 

Giving every child the opportunity to succeed with two years of universal preschool. As a mom and grandmother, Trudy wants every child to receive a quality education from the start. Nearly half of all 3-year-olds and a third of all 4-year-olds in the United States were not enrolled in preschool in 2019, largely because parents could not afford it. It’s time we make a quality education within reach of every family, regardless of where they live or what their background might be.