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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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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

Aug 8, 2018 Press Release

[CHICAGO, IL] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (IL-02) hosted a small business development workshop today in conjunction with the South Suburban Small Business Association, Chicago Southland Chamber and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to provide tips, tools and best practices for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs.

Aug 1, 2018 In The News

Summertime is often a chance to relax and take a day off, but in the small Illinois town of Kankakee, local businesses are charging ahead at full speed thanks in part to the power of the internet.

Jul 26, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, co-chair of the Democratic Budget Group, released the Kelly Report on the New American Dream.

According to Congresswoman Kelly, this report asks one central question: “is the American Dream still achievable?”

The report details how strategic investments in young people, mature workers, education, manufacturing and the digital sector will create jobs, foster opportunities and empower all families to live their American Dream.

Jun 4, 2018 In The News

Amazon.com Inc.’s recent adoption of a policy requiring racial minorities and women be interviewed for senior management openings has put a renewed focus on diversity at tech firms, with some members of the Congressional Black Caucus saying the industry still has a long way to go to address racial disparities.

May 15, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly (IL-02), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), members of the House Tech Accountability Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus, released this statement regarding Amazon’s Board of Directors’ reversal on the ‘Rooney Rule’ for director-level openings:

May 15, 2018 Press Release

EAST HAZEL CREST – Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) hosted a forum yesterday in East Hazel Crest, Ill., focused on how communities across the country are facing significant fiscal stress due to extreme austerity measure

Apr 12, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement after voting NO on the Republicans’ so-called “Balanced Budget” constitutional amendment, that’s nothing more than a veiled attack on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Americans who paid into these systems:

Apr 12, 2018 In The News

It was just a couple of weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly said, that a man approached her inside a store where she was shopping and thanked her for helping his son find a job.

The man’s son had attended the congresswoman’s Youth Job and Resource Expo held a year ago in Harvey, and had been able to find work through the event, Kelly said Tuesday.

Her office is again hosting the Job and Resource Expo from 9 a.m. to noon April 21 at Thornton Township High School, 15001 Broadway Ave., Harvey.

Apr 2, 2018 In The News

In an area where corn and soybean fields were once planted, a massive Amazon Fulfillment Center situated on 84 acres along West Monee Manhattan Road is now king of the landscape.

The 856,000-square-foot building — the fourth fulfillment center in Will County — was opened to the media Thursday morning as a workforce of more than 2,000 people and robotic automation sorts and send packages on their way to customers not only in Illinois and the Midwest, but across the country as well.

Mar 12, 2018 In The News

Lawmakers worry declining federal research and development dollars could stunt the development of new artificial intelligence tools and set the country back in the race for global dominance in the emerging technology.

“The future of U.S. innovation is at stake—this should be a cause of concern for everyone,” said Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill. “This administration’s science, immigration and education policies are all working together to reduce the U.S. lead in AI technologies.”

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