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. – Today, Congressman Gene Green spoke in front of the Committee on the Budget in a hearing regarding his priorities for the federal budget for fiscal year 2013.
Congressman Green emphasized that Democrats and Republicans must work together to produce a budget that simultaneously helps meet our economic, health care, energy, and social challenges. An abridgment of Congressman Green’s remarks is below:
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Gene Green released the following statement in support of the United States Postal Service’s announcement today that 2 post offices in the 29th Congressional District that were on a list of post offices to be studied for potential closure are no longer under consideration for discontinuance.
Washington, D.C. – Following President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight, Congressman Gene Green issued the following statement:
“The greatest priority for Congress is creating jobs so I was glad to hear President Obama address this as a major priority of his. I strongly agree that we need to focus on strengthening our economy for the long haul so that we don’t continue to experience boom-and-bust economic cycles where the schemes of a wealthy few devastate the lives of millions of middle class families.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Gene Green supported passing H.R. 3630, which would extend middle class tax cuts, keep millions of Americans from losing unemployment benefits, and authorize payments to doctors accepting Medicare. This bill received over 90% support in the Senate. House Republicans rejected the bill in a party-line vote of 229-193 and sent it to a conference committee.
Rep. Green stated:
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gene Green voted against the GOP’s “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011,” H.R. 3630, which was ultimately passed in the House by a measure of 234-193 on December 13, 2011.
Along with much of the nation, I was disappointed to see that the congressional supercommittee's deliberations did not result in a deficit reduction plan. As a result, automatic cuts will be implemented across all federal government agencies, with 50 percent from defense spending and 50 percent from domestic programs.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gene Green released the following statement on the Balanced Budget Amendment being voted on later today (H.J.Res. 2), which offers little to help the American people and will inevitably cause drastic cuts to Social Security and other essential programs:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Gene Green led a letter to President Obama in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project as a key project of national interest in creating domestic jobs, raising revenue, and securing America’s energy independence. Twenty-one other Democrats also signed on to the letter requesting that the President grant a Presidential Permit to move forward with construction.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Gene Green issued the following statement on the proposed free trade agreements that are scheduled to be voted upon in the U.S. House of Representatives tonight:
Houston – In what was the largest job fair hosted by Congressman Green in the last ten years, over one thousand job seekers came to Congressman Gene Green’s 29th District Northside/Aldine Job Fair on Friday, September 30 at the M.O. Campbell Education Center in Houston.
“Although Houston has not been hit as hard by the economic recession as the rest of the nation, the turnout here proves that we are still in great need of jobs, and Congress needs to pull together and act fast to spur job creation,” said Rep. Green.