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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

Oct 7, 2020 In The News

Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., said they believe the federal government will play a key role in pushing the development of artificial intelligence by ensuring access to data and education, Nextgov reported Tuesday.

Oct 6, 2020 In The News

The federal government may have a role to play as an equity mediator when it comes to the development of artificial intelligence technologies, according to three lawmakers. 

Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., are convinced that artificial intelligence will soon be ubiquitous and the U.S. government will play a vital role in its development. But in order for the technology to be developed equitably, the federal government will need to ensure access to education as well as resources like data aren’t limited to elites. 

Oct 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.3 million grant to Calumet City, Illinois, to make road and water infrastructure improvements needed to support development at the city’s Riverside Drive Industrial Park.

Sep 30, 2020 Press Release

Chicago, IL – Chief James Black and Captain Jeff Dill joined Congresswoman Robin Kelly yesterday to mark Suicide Prevention Month and call for greater access to federal first responder resiliency and wellness resources.

Sep 28, 2020 In The News

Local, state and federal officials gathered Monday to mark the start of the Homewood train station renovation. 

“The Homewood station is one of the central, premier train stations of the south suburbs. This station not only takes people to Chicago, but all the way to New Orleans and many cities and states in between,” U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., said. “Each of these governing bodies worked together to create this incredible project.” 

The renovation has been in the works for years, becoming fully-funded last October. 

Sep 28, 2020 In The News

Amtrak and Metra have announced a combined $29 million construction project to improve their shared station in south suburban Homewood.

Sep 25, 2020 In The News

The U.S. House and Senate have both agreed to extend an international cybersecurity program through 2027.

The bill reauthorizing the Undertaking Spam, Spyware and Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers Beyond Borders Act was sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Robin Kelly, a Democrat from Illinois. The legislation was passed by voice vote in both chambers, a procedure usually reserved for noncontroversial pieces of legislation.

Sep 25, 2020 In The News

Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., want to see their resolution to create a national artificial intelligence strategy passed this year, possibly during Congress’ upcoming “lame duck” session.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is handling the resolution, and its authors are currently “twisting arms” for more co-sponsors, Hurd said during the launch of MITRE‘s Center for Data-Driven Policy on Thursday.

Sep 22, 2020 Editorial

The United States is the global leader in artificial intelligence. We have an innovative private sector, world class universities and remain the top destination for international AI talent. However, American leadership is no longer guaranteed. In fact, Eric Schmidt and Bob Work, the chairman and vice chairman of the congressionally established National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI), wrote, “[T]he United States is in danger of losing its global leadership in AI and its innovation edge.”

Sep 21, 2020 In The News

Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas and two-time Wash100 Award recipient, and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., have presented a bipartisan resolution that aims to establish a national strategy in pursuit of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM and other information technology companies have shown support for the resolution that highlights AI’s strategic value, Hurd’s office said Friday.

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