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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

Jul 27, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Robin L. Kelly (IL-02) announced that all 10 of her Community Project Funding requests have been included in the House Appropriations bills. The 10 projects total $6,786,000 in funding, which will come back to support the projects in Illinois’ Second Congressional District. The House bills will be debated on the floor and voted on this week.

Jul 7, 2021 Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly today announced $1,219,234 in grant funding for local Head Start Programs that she helped secure through the American Rescue Plan.

Jul 6, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) announced her request of $200,000 for Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation (CSEDC) has been included in the text of the FY 2022 Appropriations bill, which will be considered by the House in the coming weeks. CSEDC requested this funding for their project, the 4343 Ascending House, the Chicago Southland Tech Incubator.

Jul 1, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) announced $20 million in funding to support transportation and infrastructure projects in Chicago, Cook County, The Village of Matteson, Will County, and Kankakee County. These projects were included in the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, legislation that will reauthorize surface transportation, transit, rail and safety programs for the next five years.

Jul 1, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), introduced the bipartisan Providing Resources and Occupational Training for Emotional Crisis and Trauma (PROTECT) 911 Act to address important health and wellness issues for our nation’s 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers. Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA-35), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI-03) are original cosponsors.

Jun 17, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09), both Co-Chairs of the Energy and Commerce Racial Disparities Working Group, today wrote to energy sector leaders to request a meeting to discuss minority representation at all levels of the energy sector.

May 11, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced two bills to expand and increase access to employment opportunities for underserved youth. The Helping to Encourage Real Opportunity (HERO) for Youth Act and the Creating Pathways for Youth Employment Act will increase federal resources for communities seeking to create or grow employment programs and provide tax incentives to businesses and employers to hire and retain youth from economically distressed areas.

Apr 28, 2021 Press Release

MATTESON, IL – Congresswoman Robin Kelly released the below statement in reaction to President Biden’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress this evening:

Nov 19, 2020 In The News

Data privacy and cybersecurity issues continue to be top of mind, as this week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Internet of Things (“IoT”) Cybersecurity Improvement Act (H.R.

Nov 18, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act (H.R. 1668), introduced by Congresswoman Robin Kelly. The legislation establishes baseline standards for government-purchased Internet-connected devices.

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