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) 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.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass Trumpcare:
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today offered an amendment in the House Financial Services Committee seeking to protect homeowners from unfair, deceptive or abusive foreclosure practices. The Kildee amendment was considered as the committee today is continuing its consideration of the “Wrong Choice Act,” which would repeal consumer protections and Wall Street reforms designed to prevent another financial crisis. Unfortunately, on a party-line vote, Congressman Kildee’s amendment was rejected by Republicans.
“Not even 100 days into President Trump’s presidency, Republicans have once again manufactured a new crisis and brought us to the brink of a government shutdown. I strongly oppose shutting down the government because it will hurt our economy, punish our seniors and veterans, and potentially cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to the Republican health care bill, known as Trumpcare. In his speech, Congressman Kildee called on his colleagues in Congress to vote against the bill that would mean higher costs for worse care and the loss of nearly two million jobs.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today highlighted a new analysis that found the Republican health care bill – also known as Trumpcare – would contribute to the loss of 1.8 million jobs nationwide by 2022.
Like many Michiganders, I have fond memories of spending time on the Great Lakes. As a child, my family would go up north to Traverse City or East Tawas, and as a parent, I took my children to the Keweenaw Peninsula. Sometimes we went out on a boat; other times we simply threw a line off the dock. Thinking back, there was rarely a year that we didn't spend on Michigan's beautiful water.
There is no shortage of issues that Democrats and Republicans disagree about. Thankfully, protecting the Great Lakes has never been one of them.
“We Deserve Fair Trade Policies That Put The American Worker First,” Kildee Says
Ahead of President Donald Trump’s joint session address to Congress, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today joined other Members of Congress, including Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), to discuss what they are looking for from the President on trade. His remarks, as delivered, are below: