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Brown: Trump not addressing working class

Senator takes issue on overtime, immigration

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said on Sunday that President Donald Trump has not addressed the needs of working class voters who may have cast a vote for him.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brown told host Chuck Todd that Trump had “done nothing for workers” in the seven months since taking office.

“In the end, it’s whose side are you on? This president is on the side of Wall Street and big oil and the drug companies.”

Brown said Trump is trying to weaken rules regarding overtime.

“When President Obama, his last couple years in office, the secretary of labor came out with an overtime rule, 130,000 people in my state got a raise from that,” Brown said.

“This president, you know, the White House looks like an executive retreat for Goldman Sachs now.”

Brown cited his opposition to multinational trade deals, stating that his vote against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was one of his first in Congress and criticized the president for not working for a better deal.

“The president’s problem is he’s surrounded in the White House with a bunch of people that like those trade agreements,” Brown said of Trump. “And so Ambassador Lighthizer has to figure out how do you get this White House to support him on wanting to renegotiate NAFTA and put workers first? That’s the problem we face.”

Brown also spoke out on the proposal by Trump to end a program that gives work permits and deferral from deportation to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.

The Trump administration is reported to be considering an end to the “Dreamer” program, enacted under President Barack Obama.

Brown called the Trump proposal “inhumane” and said the government has “no business” deporting people who have been in the country for years.

He said he favored a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.

“I want to work with Sen. (Marco) Rubio in Florida, I want to work with others,” Brown said. “I listened to what Gov. (John) Kasich said. It’s terrible when we take people—when we are taking immigrants who have been here ten or 15 years and working hard, paying their taxes, active in their church, active in the communities, parents, and we throw them out of this country.”