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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Jobs/Workforce

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

February 26, 2014 Press Release
On February 21, 2014 Representative Gene Green led a letter to President Barack Obama, undersigned by 31 Members of Congress, requesting a significant increase in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers in the President’s budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
January 23, 2014 Event
Thursday, January 22 at 7:30p.m.
In Conjunction with Freeway Manor Civic Club
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church
2217 Theta Street
Houston, TX 77034
January 15, 2014 Speech
Mr. Speaker, it is time that the economic recovery benefit all Americans, not just the fortunate. Too many of our friends and neighbors are being left behind and I call on this chamber to bring up legislation that will increase the minimum wage and renew critical emergency unemployment benefits for those still looking for work.
January 8, 2014 Speech
The War on Poverty, proposed 50 years ago today in this chamber by then-President and fellow Texan, Lyndon Johnson, paved the way towards the enactment of many of our nation’s most popular and significant federal programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and Head Start.
January 7, 2014 Press Release

(Houston, TX) – On Monday, January 6, 2014, Congressman Gene Green led a discussion at the Houston Food Bank about cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and renewal of Emergency Unemployment Insurance. Joining the discussion were Brian Greene, Houston Food Bank President and Deon Hoffman, a local resident, recipient of SNAP and Houston Food Bank client.

October 4, 2013 Press Release

Today Congressman Gene Green submitted a Statement for the Record in honor of National Manufacturing Day, held every October 4:

September 9, 2013 Event
Meet with representatives from dozens of local businesses that are looking to fill open positions.
July 24, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Gene Green (TX-29) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) today introduced H.R. 2791, the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) of 2013. The legislation promotes the U.S. recycling industry by prohibiting the exportation of some electronics whose improper disposal may create environmental, health, or national security risks.  According to a recent study by the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling, restrictions on e-waste exports could create up to 42,000 new direct and indirect jobs with a total payroll of more than $1 billion.

July 11, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced new data that show the Houston metropolitan area became the top metropolitan area for exports in 2012.  Houston had been in second place for metropolitan area with the greatest exports since 2006, narrowly trailing behind the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area.  

May 15, 2013 Press Release

Houston, TX – On Monday, May 13, Congressman Gene Green hosted his 11th Annual Eastside Job Fair with over 50 employers and a turnout of over 300 job seekers. Partners included Workforce Solutions, Houston Community College - Southeast Campus, and the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce.

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