Generating jobs and strengthening the economy is Congressman Blumenauer's top priority in Congress.
The most recent job numbers are starting to move in the right direction: numbers indicate that the labor market has begun to stabilize. Nationally, private firms have added an average of 111,000 jobs each month this year, and during the last quarter job creation was even faster at 128,000 per month. Other indicators are improving as well -- the workweek is lengthening and weekly earnings are increasing. But Oregonians continue to struggle with a sluggish economy that is still not generating jobs at the rate the nation needs to recover.
Congressman Blumenauer has been working with colleagues on a number of proposals to cut taxes for small businesses and invest in America’s infrastructure and clean energy resources, building on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provided tax relief for working Americans. These initiatives have put millions of Americans back to work and the economy on the path to a sustainable recovery. View a map detailing Recovery Act Projects in the Third Congressional District.
Congressman Blumenauer supports President Obama's American Jobs Act that would start to modernize America's infrastructure while putting our trades men and women back to work. The American Jobs Act would also cut payroll taxes and expenses for businesses that hire and invest.
Small businesses are critical to a robust American economy and play a key role in its recovery. They drive innovation and create jobs; in fact, small businesses created over 65% of the new jobs created in the country during the last 15 years. Here are just a few ways Congressman
Blumenauer has worked to help small businesses:
- The Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act increases the deductions for start-up expenses, so that more people will start businesses; excludes 100% of small business capital gains from taxation, encouraging investment; and expands Build America Bonds, funding projects that put people to work.
- The HIRE Act institutes a payroll tax break for businesses that hire unemployed workers and extends generous expensing rules for small businesses. Additionally, small businesses can receive a $1,000 tax credit if they keep newly hired workers on the job for at least a year.
- The Jobs for Main Street Act helps small businesses by eliminating fees on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to make them more affordable for small companies, and by increasing loan guarantees for small business.
- 3% Withholding Repeal Bill protects cash-strapped state and local governments as well as the private businesses that contract with them from the new withholding requirement.
- Small Business Health Care Tax Credit helps small businesses and small tax-exempt organizations afford the cost of covering their employees and is specifically targeted for those with low- and moderate-income workers. The credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.
Investment in America's infrastructure is also vital to economic recovery, creating jobs and laying the physical foundation for stronger communities. For every billion dollars spent rebuilding America, 25,000 jobs are created. So far, the efforts of Congress and President Obama to invest in our nation’s infrastructure and communities have generated over two million jobs. In fact, just this year we have seen the creation of 1.1 million jobs, greater than the total job creation over the eight years of the Bush Administration. These are just a few examples of benefits to Oregon:
- $140 million to jumpstart three wind farm construction projects in Oregon providing more jobs in rural communities;
- $50 million for Solar Energy Technologies, with $400,000 dedicated to Portland’s Neighborhood Solar Initiatives;
- $53.3 million for Tri-Met projects, putting nearly 2,000 Oregonians back to work; and
- $13 million to help support the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of low income housing.
- orhood Solar Initiatives;
These projects are vital to spurring job growth and putting Americans back to work, but we must also help families in need while generating demand for goods and services in the economy. Congressman Blumenauer continues to fight for the extension of unemployment benefits. He also worked to pass the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act, which ended the cycle of stop-gap measures and threats of payment cuts by providing a permanent fix. He is committed to working with my House and Senate colleagues to provide assistance to families so that their basic needs can be met while jobs in the community continue to increase.
The role that global trade plays in job creation for the Portland Metro Area must also be recognized. Portland is a trade dependent metro region in a trade dependent state. Portland’s position on the Pacific Rim make it a prime transportation hub for connecting international and domestic markets. One quarter of the jobs in the Portland Metro Area are dependent on international trade, with jobs in export manufacturing paying 9-18 percent more than non-export related jobs. The Portland Region ranked 2nd in export value growth between 2003-2008. If Oregon and Portland are going to grow in today’s challenging economy, we have to keep our state and region on pace to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports over the next 5 years.
The economic challenges we face are great, but by investing in small businesses and rebuilding and renewing America, we can create jobs now. By lending assistance to families struggling in these difficult times, we can stimulate demand and further boost the economy, creating even more jobs. These investments also boost the country’s global competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship, and repair our dilapidated infrastructure. While this recession has been devastating for so many families, Congressman Blumenauer is working hard to turn the corner.