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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

Nov 16, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Kelly released this statement following passage of the GOP’s tax scam bill:

“I am extremely disappointed that my Republican colleagues, Congressmen Peter Roskam (IL-06), Mike Bost (IL-12), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Darin LaHood (IL-18), voted to hike taxes on the middle class, automatically cut $25 million from Medicare and add $1.5 trillion to the deficit.

Nov 16, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Kelly took to Twitter to share the concerns on her constituents about the GOP’s so-called ‘tax reform’ plan.

Nov 7, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly spoke on the House floor against the proposed GOP tax plan that would raise taxes on working and middle class families.

Under the proposed GOP plan, key deductions and credits that help Illinois families will be reduced or eliminated resulting in a higher tax bill for these families. The GOP plan is also estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the national deficit.

Oct 27, 2017 Press Release

More than 300 job-seekers attended a Hiring Event hosted by Congresswoman Robin Kelly at South Suburban College on Friday.

The 5th annual Hiring Event featured more than 70 companies and agencies with active job openings, including Amazon, Nike, UPS, ComEd,, the U.S. Post Office, Franciscan Health, MiJack and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.

Oct 20, 2017 In The News

U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (IL-2) continues her mission to strengthen the U.S. economy by strengthening working families and encouraging job growth. In a recent visit to the Chicago Crusader, the congresswoman reiterated her call for jobs and district-wide economic investment opportunities that will not only put people to work but help them build lifelong careers.

Oct 17, 2017 Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly will host her 5th Annual Hiring Event for residents of the 2nd Congressional District on Friday, October 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the gymnasium of South Suburban College, 15800 State St., South Holland. More than 70 employers with active job openings will be in attendance.

Sep 28, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly, ranking member of the IT subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, joined the Democratic Caucus’ push to ensure that every American home has Internet access. An estimated 9 percent of all Illinoisans and 56 percent of rural Illinoisans, lack broadband Internet access.

Jul 24, 2017 Editorial

These are dark times in Washington. It’s no secret that President Trump and his team are working overtime to turn back the clock on our rights and divest from our communities.

If you want to know where the President stands on the welfare of the African American community, look no further than his immoral budget. It eliminates programs that feed hungry kids, support veterans and help families buy their own home.

Republicans are slamming the doors of opportunity for our youth. For people of color, those doors appear to be barricaded, chained and padlocked.

Jun 12, 2017 Press Release

Matteson, IL – Congresswoman Robin Kelly, joined by 30 other elected leaders, wrote to Governor Bruce Rauner expressing their “collective support for construction of the South Suburban Airport” in Peotone. The leaders called the project “an incubator of innovation and generator of growth for our nation.”

May 23, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement concerning the President’s budget request:

“This budget can be summed up in one word: awful.

It takes food out of the mouths of babies, takes heat away from seniors and takes the security of crop insurance from our farmers.

It’s awful for the families struggling to make ends meet.

It’s awful for seniors who paid into Social Security with the promise that it would take care of them.

It’s awful for public safety as it slashes critical investments in our law enforcement.

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