Jobs & the Economy
My number one priority in Congress is to invest in the foundation of long-term economic growth that creates jobs and opportunity in the Pacific Northwest by increasing at-home manufacturing, innovation, and investments in our infrastructure. I champion bills that will improve our country’s transportation infrastructure, create well-paying jobs, and make sure businesses can get their goods to market. I also strongly advocate for investments in education so the next generation of workers is prepared for the jobs of the future.
Another way I am working to grow our state’s economy is by supporting small businesses and helping our businesses find new markets for their goods overseas. Exports from Northwest Washington create jobs and connect us to the rest of the world. About 40 percent of jobs in Washington are tied to foreign exports, and the pay for these jobs is nearly 50 percent more than the overall state average. I established a District Export Promotion Program to help link small businesses with local, state, and federal resources that help companies sell their products to other countries. And I sponsored the State Trade and Export Promotion bill to help small businesses export the products abroad and create jobs here at home.
Even as our economy recovers from the recession, not all are sharing in the benefits of economic growth. This is why I support efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and tie future adjustments to inflation. Families with parents working full-time should not be living below the poverty line. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would benefit millions of workers, including 48,000 low-wage workers in the Second Congressional District.
Helping Businesses Expand to New Markets
- Supported small businesses by cosponsoring the Next STEP Act of 2013 to make permanent a successful pilot program to help local small businesses export their products.
- Championed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The bank provides critical financing to help businesses of all sizes sell their goods overseas. Since 2007, the bank has supported more than $67 billion in exports in Washington’s Second District.
- Passed a bill that will help small- and medium-sized businesses grow by equipping them with tools to compete for federal, state and local government contracts through Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs).
Supporting Skills Training for Workers
- Supported local programs such as the Regional Innovation Program, Job Corps and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, connecting businesses and workers with the funding and training they need to succeed.
- Fought to extend unemployment insurance to give Americans enough support to get back on their feet and find employment.
- Cosponsored the Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act to accelerate skills training for veterans seeking to work in the manufacturing industry.
Fighting Income Inequality and Workplace Discrimination
- Cosponsored the Fair Minimum Wage Act, to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and tie future increases to inflation.
- Fought employee discrimination by cosponsoring bills to make the workplace more fair, including the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Employee Protection Act.
- Cosponsored Schedules that Work Act, which allows low-wage workers to request for flexibility of their schedules without retaliation.