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 – On Wednesday, Texas Representatives Gene Green (D-TX-29) and Brian Babin (R-TX-36) introduced the Waterway Safety Improvement Act to enhance navigation and safety in our nation’s ports, including the Port of Houston. This legislation addresses longtime concerns on the Port of Houston waterways with clarifying language and by granting discretionary authority to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)—the entity in charge of Port maintenance.
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Architecture of Abundance energy package was voted favorably out of the Energy and Power Subcommittee by a voice vote.
The bill contains several provisions that Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) previously introduced or co-sponsored as stand-alone legislation, including; Section 1102, the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts, and Section 2101, the Energy and Manufacturing Workforce Development title.
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Representatives Gene Green (D-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2923, the Maritime and Energy Workforce Technical Training Enhancement Act, which would create two new grant programs through the Department of Energy (DOE) to help train workers in the maritime and energy sectors.
WASHINGTON – On Friday the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1314, the Trade Act of 2015. Members voted divisively, putting a halt to TPA in the House of Representatives. Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) voted no on all provisions, standing firmly against the bill, which would give the office of the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for three years. Rep. Green released the following statement:
WASHINGTON– U.S. Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) introduced a bill that supports manufacturing jobs and skilled labor in the U.S. automotive industry. The H.R. 2675, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 would protect low volume car manufacturers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) one-size-fits-all method for regulating automakers. The law would only apply to companies that manufacture “replica” cars, which are vehicles that resemble a car produced over 25 years ago.
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, The House Energy and Commerce Committee released Title III of its Architecture of Abundance energy package. This final title, Energy Diplomacy for a Changing World, includes key provisions from the North American Energy and Infrastructure Act and the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act, which were crafted and introduced during the 113th Congress by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Representative Gene Green (D-TX).
Participating Employers Include: Allied Barton Security Services, Avis Budget Group, Borusan Mannesmann Pipe Us Inc., Channelview ISD Transportation, City of Houston Parks and Recreation, City of Houston Human Resources, City of Houston Public Works and Engineering, City of Houston Solid Waste Department, DD's Discount, Delta Tech Services Inc., Dow Emergency, Drug Enforcement Administration, Eliot Management Group, Farmers Insurance, Faust Distributing Company, Geo Group Inc., Geotech Engineering, Hand and Stone, Harris County Department of Education, Harris County Distr
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) released the initial installment of its first ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The review examines vulnerabilities in U.S. energy infrastructure and proposes policy recommendations to modernize systems, and promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility. After reviewing the QER, Congressman Gene Green released the following statement:
“It’s important to us that the Administration sees the need for investment in our energy infrastructure.
(Houston, TX) – Congressman Gene Green invites constituents to his 13th Annual Job Fair on Monday, April 27th at San Jacinto College North from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.