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Jobs and the Economy

We have come a long way since the financial crisis of 2007, which left millions of Americans unemployed and cost our economy billions of dollars. However, we must continue to do even more to put our nation back on the right track, and ensure our economic growth is sustainable for generations to come.

Advancing strong and sustainable economic development legislation is my top priority.  To that end, my economic agenda has five key elements:

Investing in our Economic Future through Education

There is no greater investment we as a nation can make than in the future of our children.  I support strong investments in our national education system that promotes college affordability, teaches financial literacy, and invests in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.  These are the fields that will drive the 21st Century economy.  It is crucial that our students are financially literate, and equipped with the necessary skills the market demands to ensure success in the modern economy.

Similarly, I support initiatives that provide workers with the education and retraining they need to succeed in the modern workforce.  Anyone who wants to work should have the resources to sharpen their skills and embark on a new career.  Career education and re-training play a major role in helping job seekers expand their skill base. That is why I introduced legislation that promotes federal retraining assistance programs for seniors and other underserved Americans.

Promoting an Economy that Works for Every American

Real economic growth supports everyone, not just the wealthy few.  I support policies that promote an economy that lifts up traditionally underserved communities.  Specifically, I support: 

Comprehensive and Compassionate Immigration Reform

Our nation’s immigration system is broken.  Passing immigration reform that supports a sensible path to citizenship, and attracts the best and brightest to the United States to build a diverse domestic workforce is essential to our long-term growth.

Sensible Housing Policies that Promotes Home Ownership

Still too many people are at risk of losing their homes following the financial crisis of 2007.  I support programs that work to keep people in their homes and avoid foreclosure, as well as programs that support first time homeownership.  Essential to these efforts is ensuring that mortgage and housing finance documents are clear and understandable, and mortgage lenders do not take on excessive risk or extend credit to those who cannot afford it.

Hiring  the Heroes of Our Armed Forces

As our veterans return to civilian life with the winding down of Operation Enduring Freedom, thousands of soldiers are trying to enter the civilian workforce with much difficulty.  No one should fight for us overseas only to have to fight for a job here at home.  That is why I have introduced legislation that would provide businesses with a tax credit if they hire our veterans.  The men and women who serve our country are highly trained with the unique skill sets and leadership abilities that are attractive to potential employers. I support expanding federal programs that help veterans find employment and that assist them in transitioning back into civilian life.  

Promoting Fair Trade

International trade is essential to success in our global economy.  Trade creates jobs, and creates new customers for Illinois businesses.  However, trade policies must be fair and need to be in the best interest of American workers.  Trade agreements cannot create a race to the bottom, and cause jobs to be sent overseas.  I support a trade agenda that protects the health, safety and environment of all trading partners, and ensures and promotes quality high-paying American jobs.

Investing in Our Nation’s Economic Lifeblood: Family Farms and Transportation Infrastructure

The Second Congressional District is home to over 1,200 farms which grow corn, soybeans, and wheat that feed our families, fuel our cars, and raise our livestock.  We rely on farmers for everything that we do.  I endorse strong federal policies that support family farmers, and ensure they are able to make the investments they need to increase their productivity and meet the nutrition and energy needs of our ever-growing population.

Just as essential to our national economy is a strong transportation infrastructure.  Unfortunately, our nation’s locks and dams, bridges, tunnels, and roadways are in desperate need of repair.  I support projects like the Illiana Expressway and the South Suburban Airport, which will attract the much-needed jobs and new businesses that will boost the local Second District economy, as well as finding a long-term and sustainable solution to funding and repairing our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. 

Promoting an Economy that Encourages Business Growth and Investment

In order to grow our economy, we must create a legislative and regulatory environment that encourages business investments, while ensuring American workers’ health and safety is protected.

I’m working to attract more businesses to the Second District by creating and supporting policies and programs that draw highly-skilled jobs and major retailers to our region.  In order for our community to thrive, we need a local economy and skilled workforce that can meet the demands of the global community. 

As the daughter and granddaughter of small business owners, I know the challenges entrepreneurs face in starting up and expanding their businesses.  Small business is the engine that drives our economy, and I’m committed to empowering our local entrepreneurs to start the new businesses that create the jobs our communities need to grow and succeed.

Responsibly Reducing our National Debt and Advancing a Fair Tax Code

No matter how much we invest in our nation’s businesses, our economy will not thrive if the federal government’s fiscal house remains a mess.  With a national debt over $17 trillion and growing, and a confusing tax code filled with exemptions and loopholes, current federal tax and spending policies do not promote an environment conducive to economic growth.  I support common-sense proposals that work to sustainably reduce the national debt and reform our nation’s tax code while still protecting benefits for our nation’s elderly and underserved citizens.

For more information concerning my work and views on the issues of Jobs and the Economy, please contact me.

See also information on Jobs and resources for Businesses.

More on Jobs and the Economy

May 29, 2020 In The News

Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately hit communities of color, specifically affecting black, Native, and Latino Americans at higher rates than whites.

In Mississippi, for example, while black people comprise 37 percent of the population, they make up 52 percent of Covid-19 deaths. And in multiple Southwestern states, the Navajo Nation has seen one of the highest rates of coronavirus cases in the country.

May 27, 2020 In The News

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is creating talk of tax relief from the halls of Congress to county treasurer’s offices.

Mar 25, 2020 Press Release

Matteson, IL – On Monday, Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a telephone town hall with health care experts and state government representatives to answer questions and hear concerns of constituents as the nation seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mar 23, 2020 Press Release

Matteson, IL - Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a conference call with local small business owners and chamber of commerce representatives, the first in her series discussing the economic and community impacts of the coronavirus.

“The purpose of the call was to hear firsthand what my local small business owners and independent contractors need from Congress,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “I plan to pass on their concerns and ideas to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We are doing everything we possibly can to make sure businesses not only survive, but thrive once we get past the virus."

Jan 23, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) wrote to newly confirmed SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, regarding burdensome rules governing the SBA’s 8(a) and 8(m) programs, programs designed to empower socially and economically disadvantaged business owners.

Dec 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives to approve the revised United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA).

Dec 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement following her “YES” vote on the Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act (H.R. 5377), which will reduce the federal tax burden on Illinois homeowners created by the GOP Tax Scam:

“When Congressional Republicans rammed through their GOP Tax Scam, they raised taxes on Illinois homeowners by needlessly capping the state and local tax (SALT) deduction at $10,000 per year.

Dec 18, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement declaring her support for the revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“When first announced, I had a number of concerns regarding the USMCA. However, after months of intense negotiations and changes that remedy my concerns, I’m proud to announce my support for this significant trade deal that will foster economic growth and opportunity throughout Illinois.

Dec 18, 2019 Editorial

Illinois and the Midwest have long been the breadbasket of the world. Soybeans, corn, wheat, pork and other products are proudly grown here and feed people all over the world. Likewise, we still make American steel products, cabinets, pharmaceuticals and beverage cans right here in Kankakee.

Dec 13, 2019 Press Release

Matteson, IL - In recognition of Computer Science Education Week, Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced David Love, a student at Kankakee High School, won the 2019 Congressional App Challenge (CAC) for the 2nd District.

David developed an App called “Virtual ATM,” designed to serve as a virtual banking system. A video demonstrating his “Virtual ATM” app can be viewed here.


Robin Kelly



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