Creating Jobs and Growing the Economy
For too long our economic recovery has been hindered by partisan bickering in Congress, preventing needed progress on many important issues. Consequently, middle class families in Illinois and across the country continue to struggle to make ends meet. That’s why creating jobs and strengthening our economy to grow our middle class will always be my top priority in Congress.
For more than 25 years, I helped small and medium-sized, mostly family-owned, businesses succeed and grow. I was proud to represent hard-working families in the business community through my service on the House Committee for Small Business. I’ve seen firsthand the challenges and issues many of our businesses are facing, and I worked every day to be their voice in Congress.
Small and medium-sized businesses create the vast majority of new jobs, and they are the driving force behind economic growth and a thriving middle-class. The fastest and best way to propel this economy forward is to get these businesses hiring again. That’s why I introduced a bill promoting the interests of smaller businesses in any tax reform effort. And that’s why, to help entrepreneurs launch their ideas, I introduced a bill to expand public-private efforts to provide startups with the help and support they need to get off the ground.
Manufacturing – Make it in Illinois, Make it in America
Illinois’s 10th Congressional District represents one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing jobs in the entire country. I understand that supporting manufacturers and helping them grow and hire good people is critical to expanding our local economy. Yet, nationwide, between 600,000 and 800,000 quality, well-paying jobs remain unfilled for lack of workers with the necessary skills.
I am committed to closing this skills gap. When in Congress, I introduced the AMERICA Works Act to bring educators and industry leaders together to create more effective workforce training and development programs, and the LEARN Act to expand On-the-Job training programs.
Innovation, Research and Development
American innovation has changed the world, and the next generation of inventions will be the direct result of our investment in research and development. As we struggle to get our economy back on track, we can’t lose sight of these important investments.
In Congress, I consistently advocated for maintaining government investment in both basic and applied science, as well as support for ongoing incentives for corporate R&D.
A growing economy based on modern, advanced manufacturing, needs a modern, advanced infrastructure. For far too long, Congress has kicked the can down the road, threatening our future with an infrastructure debt that is every bit as daunting as our fiscal debt.
It’s estimated that over 70% of our nation’s roads and bridges are in mediocre to poor condition. Investment in a new bridge or a modern highway is an investment in our future. That’s why I support sensible, long-term investments in our nation’s infrastructure.
Education is the engine that will drive breakthrough technological advancements in energy, in health care, in tackling virtually every challenge we face today and in the future. The next great American invention that will change the world will be a direct result of creative, intelligent thinking that will begin in our classrooms. And it is in our classrooms that we must start to teach the great diversity of skills the next generation will need to thrive in the new economy.