Jobs and the Economy
America is the richest country in the world, yet we continue to face a widening income gap where millions of Americans are working harder than ever, but they haven’t seen it reflected in their paychecks. Michiganders are working harder than ever, but their incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living, making staying in the middle class more difficult. As income inequality has increased, the rungs on the ladder of opportunity have grown further apart.
Congress can – and should – work together to create opportunity and increase economic opportunity so that all Michiganders and Americans have a chance to succeed. This includes raising the federal minimum wage so millions of workers get a much deserved raise. In Congress, I have co-sponsored H.R. 1010, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Raising the federal minimum wage, which is widely supported by the American people, is good for workers, good for businesses and good for our overall economy.
I’m also a strong advocate for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide equal pay for equal work for women. Right now in Michigan, a woman earns less for doing the same exact job and work a man does. That’s wrong. We should pass the Paycheck Fairness Act right away to close this discriminatory wage gap that costs women and their families thousands of dollars in lost wages each year.
The Fifth District – the birthplace of General Motors – put the world on wheels. Our communities have a proud legacy of manufacturing, and it is vital that we build upon this rich history to create an economy that works for everyone.
It’s in this spirit that I’ve been a champion of the ‘Make It in America’ agenda, a package of bipartisan bills to revitalize our nation’s manufacturing base and help create high-skill, high-wage jobs for Michigan and America.
This package of bills would help to rebuild our manufacturing base and invest in companies that locate here, in Michigan – not overseas. The legislative package has four key components, including developing a national manufacturing strategy; increasing manufacturing exports to other countries; encouraging businesses to innovate and bring jobs back to the U.S.; and investing in workforce and job training programs to support a workforce necessary for the twenty-first century economy.
One key piece of legislation alongside this package is the 21st Century Jobs and Manufacturing Act, which would expand on successful collegiate partnerships and jobs-training programs that already exist in Michigan to give workers career-ready skills in the jobs of tomorrow.
Growing up in Flint, I’ve seen firsthand the effect so-called “free trade” deals can have on our economy. At its peak, Flint had nearly 80,000 jobs in the automotive manufacturing industry. Today, that number is down to 10,000. Too often, we’ve been promised that trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will grow our economy and create American jobs – instead, they’ve done the opposite, contributing to the loss of tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to companies overseas while creating an uneven playing field tilted against our workers.
Unfortunately, the President’s administration is currently negotiating a new so-called “free trade” deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, entirely in secret. Congress so far has been left out of the negotiating process, even though the President will be asking Congress to vote in favor of this fast-tracked deal. Nothing I’ve seen so far leads me to believe this new TPP deal is any different from NAFTA.
Trade policies negotiated in secret, like the TPP, are not the right course for Michigan and I will continue to oppose them being fast-tracked. My district was sold a bill of goods the last time around and is still dealing with the effect NAFTA had on our local economy. TPP would double down on these bad policies, and I simply can’t support it.
More on Jobs and the Economy
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), the co-chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus and Vice Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, hosted a congressional forum today in Washington, D.C. as part of his new “The Future of America’s Cities and Towns” initiative that seeks to change the way Congress and policy makers think about and invest in communities.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today introduced legislation to increase the percentage of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations in Michigan and across America. STEM jobs, including professional and technical support occupations in the fields of computer science, mathematics, engineering and life and physical sciences, are growing nearly three times as fast as non-STEM jobs in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today introduced legislation in Congress aimed at reducing violent crime in cities like Flint and Saginaw as well as investing in programs that help youth to find summer employment that is linked to their school work or career focus. The two bills focus on additional law enforcement on the streets and addressing the lack of employment opportunities for youth, which is a systemic driver of violence.
Congressman Kildee’s two pieces of legislation are:
“I am pleased that the Department of Commerce has reached a deal with the Mexican government to stop illegal dumping of foreign sugar in America. Family farms in my district and across the country are struggling, and this agreement will help provide relief from unfair trade practices. I applaud Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for their work. I will work with them to ensure that this deal is enforced and that our sugar policy works in the best interests of American farmers.”
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today spoke at the House Democrats weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, leading efforts to oppose the Republican bill repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill, also known as the “Wrong Choice Act,” gets rid of consumer protections and Wall Street reforms designed to prevent another financial crisis. Congressman Kildee is the Vice Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee.
“While today’s announcement by the Commerce Department makes significant progress to address Mexico dumping sugar in the U.S. market, it still leaves a loophole that could hurt American farmers. Family sugar farmers in my district and across Michigan are hurting due to unfair trade practices. In my district alone, thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars are in jeopardy. I hope in the coming days, the Commerce Department closes this loophole and provides real relief to families in my district.”
Vice Ranking Member Kildee Gives Remarks at Rules Committee Against Bill
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), the Vice Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today delivered opening remarks at the Rules Committee as the U.S. House of Representatives begins consideration of H.R. 10, the Republican bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill, also known as the “Wrong Choice Act”, gets rid of consumer protections and Wall Street reforms designed to prevent another financial crisis.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for a wide-ranging interview on a number of important policy topics, including the President’s proposed budget, preserving Social Security and Medicare, investing in America’s older, industrial cities, fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, and protecting the Great Lakes.
On the program, Congressman Kildee called for Congress to immediately enact a “Marshall Plan” to invest in America’s older, industrial cities and towns, including Flint, Saginaw and Bay City.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement today after the Trump Administration’s formal NAFTA renegotiation notice was sent to Congress:
“I come from Flint, Michigan— we’ve seen the consequences of bad trade deals. Flint has lost 90 percent of its manufacturing jobs, in large part due to unfair deals like NAFTA. Especially in Michigan and the Midwest, many towns still face unique challenges, from declining population to job losses, as a result of these trade policies.
In Michigan, sadly you don’t have to drive far to see the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis. The Great Recession hit our state especially hard — hundreds of thousands of Michiganders lost their jobs, were evicted from their homes, or saw their retirement savings wiped out.