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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas


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.

Modernizing Infrastructure

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.

Worker Safety

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.

Minimum Wage

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.

Workers’ Rights

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

March 18, 2010 Press Release
Washington, DC – Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D), and Reps.
March 17, 2010 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Gene Green announced his support of including a plan to benefit our nation’s seniors in reforming the nation’s broken health insurance system. The legislation will close the “donut hole” to lower seniors’ prescription drug costs, and improve the coordination and quality of care. Home and community-based services will be expanded to keep people in their homes instead of nursing homes and stop the worst insurance abuses, such as denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.
March 11, 2010 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Gene Green cosponsored legislation to suspend for two years potential Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas regulations from stationary sources to give Congress time to enact comprehensive energy legislation.   
March 5, 2010 Press Release
Washington, D.C.Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) spoke out in strong support of the oil and gas industry and of the Constellation program before the members of the House Committee on the Budget on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. The Fiscal Year 2011 Budget resolution proposes tax increases for America’s natural gas and oil industry, and cuts NASA’s Constellation Program.
March 4, 2010 Press Release
Washington, D.C.Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) voted in favor of creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs this year. The bipartisan bill, H.R. 2847 the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act,  passed in the House today.
Included in the bill is a payroll tax holiday for business that hire unemployed workers, an income tax credit of $1,000 for businesses that retain these employees, and tax cuts to spur new investment by small businesses to invest, expand, and hire workers.
February 23, 2010 Press Release

Washington, DC -  Rep. Gene Green announced that landmark reforms to the credit card industry will go into effect this week thanks to the Credit CARD Act. The law, which was passed by this Congress and signed by President Obama last year, will end unfair industry practices and protect consumers from abusive tactics like retroactive rate increases, misleading late fee charges and over-limit fee traps. 

February 23, 2010 Press Release
Washington, D.C. Today, Representatives Gene Green (TX-29) and Harry Teague (NM-02), along with 17 Democratic colleagues, sent a letter to Chairman John Spratt (SC-05) of the House Budget Committee urging the committee not to include the President’s proposed oil and gas tax increases within the congressional budget.
February 22, 2010 Press Release
Houston, TX – Today Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-08), Rep. Al Green (TX-09), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), and representatives from the Port of Houston and local industry to discuss the use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds for local job creation.
February 12, 2010 Press Release

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Department of Labor announced grants in health care and emerging industries totaling more than $225 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. San Jacinto Community College District in Pasadena, Texas will receive more than $4.7 million.

February 5, 2010 Press Release

Houston, TX - Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) will hold two free workshops to provide current high school students with information on opportunities for post-graduation. These workshops are coordinated with Service Academies and Sallie Mae to encourage students to consider a career in service and to advise parents and students on ways to afford college.