Economy & Jobs
In January, 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, our nation was in the midst of the worst recession in generations. The financial system was on the brink of collapse, the housing market was melting down in many parts of the country, and more than 700,000 Americans were losing their jobs every month.
However, thanks to swift, bold actions by the Obama Administration and Congress, we have stepped back from the brink and our economy has begun to recover. I voted for multiple measures to create jobs, support small businesses and promote economic growth.
I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cut the taxes of 95% of Americans and invested in critical Central and South Coast projects to create jobs immediately and invest in our future. For example, Recovery Act funding is responsible for repairing the Santa Maria Levy, improving multiple sections of Highway 101, dredging Morro Bay Harbor, funding cutting edge R&D at UCSB and Cal Poly, and increasing energy efficiency of public buildings in our towns.
I also voted for the HIRE Act, which provided tax incentives to small businesses who hired unemployed workers, and the Small Business Jobs Act to help increase access to credit for Small Businesses. Click here for more information about my efforts to support Small Businesses.
Thanks to efforts like these, the financial and housing markets have stabilized, historic job losses have turned into steady gains, and banks have begun to lend again.
But there is still much more work to be done. Creating jobs and promoting economic growth remain my top priorities. I believe we must continue working to move our economy in a New Direction that strengthens the middle-class and provides for responsible long-term growth and prosperity.
Winning the Future
In order to rebuild our economy to better compete in the global marketplace of the 21st century, I believe we must do more to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors. The private sector is where much of these critical efforts will take place, but it can't do it alone.
As the Representative for the 23rd Congressional District, I am fortunate to represent many innovative universities and businesses. During my time in Congress I have been proud to help these valued institutions access federal funding to help them develop innovative new technologies, create jobs and help increase economic growth.
This is why I strongly support targeted government investments in things like high-tech R&D, clean energy, education, and infrastructure that will help spawn new, innovative businesses and create quality jobs that can't be shipped overseas. These responsible investments have the added benefit of reducing our long term deficit -- a problem that must be addressed -- by creating jobs and increasing economic growth, and I will continue to fight against misguided attempts to cut funding in these critical areas.
Unemployment across the country remains unacceptably high, especially in California. Unemployment Insurance is an effective tool to help unemployed workers stay afloat while searching for a new job. It also has the added benefit of creating $1.65 in economic demand for every $1 in benefits, according to economist Mark Zandi.
During these tough times I believe additional measures are needed to help workers who have lost their jobs due to the recession. This is why I voted to create the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their standard benefits, and voted to expand and extended this critical program several times.