One of my top priorities in the House of Representatives is pushing for legislation that will strengthen and protect the American economy and increase our job base. The best way to accomplish this is through strengthening our domestic economy, creating jobs, and training workers. For the last eleven years, our office has coordinated an annual job fair to connect local businesses and jobseekers.
Make It In America
Since the 112th Congress when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, the majority has brought zero jobs bills to the floor and continually refused to put forward a comprehensive jobs plan. As an alternative, the Democrats’ “Make It In America” plan aims to strengthen the economy and boost the middle class though continuing to grow our manufacturing sector and creating those jobs in America.
The focus of this initiative is to support job creation today and in the future by encouraging businesses to make products and innovate in the United States and strengthen our country by investing in infrastructure and key sectors, such as education and energy. The “Make It In America” agenda focuses on four core areas: 1) Adopting and pursuing a national manufacturing strategy, 2) Promoting U.S. exports, 3) Encouraging businesses to bring jobs back to the US, and 4) Training a 21st century workforce.
Reinvigorating our nation’s manufacturing sector and putting millions of Americans back to work should be a non-partisan issue. The reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and a long-term reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act are key parts of the “Make It In America” plan. To learn about the other proposals that are part of the “Make It In America” plan, click here.
It was our nation’s manufacturing base that created our middle class and made America the largest economy in the world. Reinvigorating our nation’s manufacturing sector and putting millions of Americans back to work should be a non-partisan issue. Many of the "Make it in America" bills are still under consideration but I will continue to support legislation like these that bring businesses and jobs back to the United States.
We must increase our nation’s commitment to building and modernizing our transportation infrastructure. This is one of the best ways to boost our economy. Investing in infrastructure supports jobs and allows people to get to work and school more quickly.
We must build new modes of transportation, such as the METRO light rail and bike infrastructure, which will reduce congestion on our roads. In large metropolitan areas like Houston, we cannot lose focus on supporting our roads and highways that connect our communities. A multi-faceted transportation strategy is important to properly preparing our area for the future.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets safety and regulatory standards for our workplace and serves as the federal enforcement agency for worker safety laws to ensure those standards are implemented around the country. OSHA encourages worksites to incorporate voluntary programs that will improve the safety and health of workers. I have been a lead supporter of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Another initiative I advocate for is protection for all workers, including contractors and those not directly employed by the site operator, through keeping a comprehensive log of workers on site. I have been a strong supporter of OSHA’s mission to protect worker safety and the programs they use to accomplish this.
I believe that the minimum wage needs to be increased in order to accurately reflect inflation. Nearly every year the costs of goods and services increase, but people who are earning minimum wage do not see increases in their salaries. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, less than $15,000 a year. At this salary, it is difficult to make ends meet without being supplemented by public assistance. If the minimum wage were adjusted for inflation from 1968, it would be $10.67 today. Increasing the minimum wage will be a positive step in helping to raise the standard of living for all Americans in our country.
Having been a Union member for many years, I believe in fighting for worker’s rights and understand the importance of collective bargaining. In recent years, collective bargaining rights have been threatened and undermined across the country. The right to organize and to bargain as a group is one of the most basic rights we enjoy as Americans. I support federal enforcement of our labor laws through The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which serves to prevent unfair labor practices by employers and labor organizations. Without the protections of the NLRB, worker abuses would go unchecked and many hard working Americans would suffer.
More on Jobs/Workforce
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Green spoke out today on the floor of the House of Representatives to implore his colleagues to act quickly on the American Jobs Act to grow our economy and restore jobs:
“Members, the jobs are the issue and the American Jobs Act is the solution and I hope that this House will consider it on the floor immediately.
Houston, Texas - Congressman Gene Green released the following statement in reaction to the Department of Justice’s announcement on filing a federal antitrust lawsuit against the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger:
Washington, D.C. - In response to the stalemate on reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, which has hurt thousands of government employees and construction workers who have been caught in the middle of the struggle, Congressman Green released the following statement:
Washington, D.C. – After a long and arduous wait for appropriate legislation addressing the federal debt ceiling and budget, Congressman Green released the following statement regarding his vote today on passage of Senate bill 365, the “Budget Control Act of 2011.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Green released the following statement regarding the pending debt deal:
“I'm glad an agreement was reached to avoid defaulting on our national debt. Like all legislation that comes to the House, I still need to see the actual language before casting my vote to make sure the specifics are what's good for my constituents and the nation.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Green released the following statement in opposition to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) recent announcement that they are examining the possible closure of 220 post offices in Texas, including five in the 29th Congressional District.
Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Green released a statement on negotiations between the White House and Congressional leadership’s attempts to forge a compromise on balancing the federal budget and increasing the national debt limit:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) and Congressman Gene Green (D-TX29) introduced H.R. 2482, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. Importantly, this bill will establish the framework for the deployment of a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network for public safety. It will also allocate the D-Block to public safety outright and free of charge.
Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) announces the 9th Annual North Channel Job Fair being held this Friday, May 20. Organized in partnership with Workforce Solutions, a human resources provider for the Houston-Galveston area, the fair will host over 40 employers with full and part-time opportunities they are looking to actively fill.
A joint press conference will be held at 10:30am with welcoming remarks from Congressman Green, and remarks from Christopher Diaz, Mayor of Jacinto City, and Larry Green, the President and CEO of Houston Works USA.