Economy and Jobs

I will stand up for Illinois steel, coal, and agriculture. I will fight to keep Scott Air Force base strong for generations to come.  As an alumnus of Southern Illinois University, I know that the university and other centers of higher learning in our region play a key role in creating and keeping jobs in Southern Illinois.

We face major economic challenges. Growing income inequality and inequality of opportunity in our country is causing economic hardship for too many–while the top 1% is doing better than ever. Too many hard-working middle-class families are economically struggling. It’s time to change that.

I support tax policies to keep and create manufacturing jobs in Southern Illinois. We should have a tax system that provide companies incentives to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States—and provides disincentives to ship them abroad.  We need to make “Made in America” mean something again—so I would support policies that would benefit American-made goods and products. And we need trade policies that protect and support the growth of American jobs—not agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will result in loss of jobs and lower wages.

America’s infrastructure—roads, bridges, water, and electrical grid—badly needs to be rebuilt. I would support policies to invest in infrastructure which would also create millions of good paying jobs. And, we need expansion of job training and apprenticeship programs to give workers the skills and training needed to obtain good paying jobs—especially as our economy changes and new technologies emerge.

And for all workers, it’s past time we raise the minimum wage.  Raising the minimum wage will not only help those at the lower end of the wage scale, but will help raise wages for all workers. While we are raising the minimum wage, we must ensure equal pay for women—and as a member of Congress I would support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

And to help strengthen families—whether single parent or both parents working—it’s time we raised the child care tax credit to help reduce the rising costs of child care.