Congressman George Miller: Is the American Dream Still Alive? Congress, Labor & Income Inequality
Former Congressman George Miller is widely recognized as a national leader on labor issues. Miller was Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor and a member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Miller is responbile for reinstating the Davis-Bacon Act wage protections for Gulf Coast workers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in addition to sponsoring the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 and authoring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight against pay discrimination.
Miller, a Democrat, served in the House of Representatives for 40 years, from 1975 until 2015, representing portions of California’s Solano and Contra Costa counties, which included his hometown of Richmond. During his tenure, Miller worked with seven sitting U.S. Presidents and became the fifth most senior member of the House of Representatives. In addition to labor issues, Miller was a force behind key education, environmental, and health care legislation. While in Congress, he served as Chairman on the House Committee on Natural Resources and established and chaired the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families.
Some of his key legislative acts include co-authoring the Republican-led No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated better education for minority and poor children, and helping to write and pass the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act.
After 40 years in office, his extensive legislative list also includes passing of the 1992 federal water law that required the Central Valley do more to protect fish and wildlife, expanding the federal student loan program, hiking the minimum wage, and incorporating physically handicapped children into mainstream classrooms.
Additionally, Miller was co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee for 10 years, during which his leadership is credited for helping Democrats retake the House in 2006, leading to Pelosi's historic ascension as the first female speaker of the House.