Jobs and the Economy
We must reignite the American Dream! We must provide the ladder of opportunity for every American to climb, so that every person who works hard and plays by the rules is able to achieve their dreams. Whether it is through the dream of higher education, or opening their own small business, we must help them up that ladder.
My top economic priorities include expanding access to education, so that Americans can be competitive in tomorrow’s workforce; rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, to create jobs today; promoting the growth of small businesses, which spurs innovation and supports the middle class; and revitalizing our manufacturing sector so we can “Make it in America” again.
Expanding Access to Education
We must make college affordable so everyone can get a high paying job and to provide American companies with the skilled workers they need. That’s why I voted in favor of the greatest increase to Pell Grants ever, so that we can ensure robust financial aid is available so students from every background can get a degree.
And we must not slip further in the science and technology fields that made our nation great. Today, we are 20th in the world in graduation rates in these subject areas. That’s why I offered an amendment to the America COMPETES Act to help college students in science, engineering and math, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, transition from 2-year to 4-year academic institutions. But we can do more by strengthening academic standards and promoting teaching careers in these areas.
Building America’s Infrastructure
We must build a 21st Century transportation, water and telecommunications infrastructure as an investment in our future that will also create the jobs we need today. That’s why I strongly supported the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (Map-21) Act. This bill invests billions in our nation’s transportation infrastructure over the next two years to create or save more than 2 million jobs. Building our transportation infrastructure is one of the best ways we can invest in our nation’s future and create jobs.
We must also bring the Gold Line from Downtown Los Angeles all the way out to the Ontario Airport. Already we have had great success beginning construction on the extension from Pasadena to Azusa, which will open in 2015. And I am now fighting for funding to bring it out to Glendora, Claremont and Montclair.
Creating Opportunities for Small Business
Small business is the key. They create 2 out of every 3 new jobs, spur innovation and support the middle class. But in these though economic times small businesses are faced with not only a lack of costumers to buy their goods and services, but also a lack of access to credit to keep their businesses afloat. That’s why as a Member of the House Small Business Committee, I am committed to fighting for small businesses and ensuring that they have the opportunities and tools they need to succeed. My priorities include expanding access to capital for small businesses so that they can expand and create jobs, delivering more federal contracts by increasing opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the procurement marketplace, and helping small businesses find new customers by exporting their products around the world.
Revitalizing the Manufacturing Sector
We must stop the erosion of America’s manufacturing base by extending tax credits for investing in plants and equipment, and by funding programs to rebuild the American manufacturing base. We need to create high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future while promoting American competitiveness, innovation and exports. We must close tax loopholes that encourage outsourcing U.S. jobs overseas. We must also give companies that have operations overseas incentives to bring their jobs home.
That’s why I support President Obama’s plan to give these companies a 20 percent income tax credit for the expenses of moving operations back into the U.S. I am also in favor of the recently announced “Make it in America Challenge,” a $40 million competition that will help accelerate the trend of insourcing - U.S. companies that bring back jobs and invest here in America. These grants will be available to states, cities, nonprofits, colleges and economic development districts. They can use these funds to develop plans to help attract companies that want to build in the U.S. but might need more resources.
I also proudly voted in support of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, a law that contained hundreds of tariff suspensions and reductions to allow American manufacturing companies to increase production, create more jobs in America and compete internationally.
Expanding Business Opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley
With the unemployment rate in Baldwin Park, El Monte and South El Monte among some of the highest in Los Angeles County, there is so much more that can be done right here in the 32nd District to help people get back on their feet.
To try to help residents of the San Gabriel Valley get a job or expand their businesses during these tough economic times, I have held the following events in the 32nd District:
•Job Hunters Boot Camps to provide unemployed residents of California's 32nd District with the resources and training they need to get back to work.
•Workshops for small businesses on how to increase economic opportunities through global exports, which opens up markets and finds new customers overseas.
•Workshops for small business owners on how to secure federal contracting and procurement. Over the last decade, federal contracting has more than doubled in size reaching nearly $540 billion in 2010. Doing business with government is vital for many firms’ success.
•Workshops with small business owners focusing on how the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help small businesses grow.
•An official House Small Business Committee hearing held in Pasadena to ensure the Small Business Administration could hear from local businesses about how the S.B.A. is, or is not, helping them grow.