Creating Jobs and Strengthening the Economy by Investing in Infrastructure and Innovation
When I first took office in 2008, I confronted some of the most challenging economic times in our nation’s history. The numbers of the Great Recession are staggering: almost 9 million jobs lost, billions in retirement savings eliminated, over 10 percent in unemployment, and over 30 million people qualifying for food stamps for the first time in our history.
Since 2008, thanks to the leadership of President Obama and Democrats in Congress, we have experienced 45 consecutive months of private sector job growth, unemployment below 7 percent, and a recovering housing market. But the fight is far from over. I continue to be concerned about our economy, which is why I have championed legislation dealing with our nation’s infrastructure, to create good jobs, increase and extend the research and development tax credit to help companies create 21st Century jobs here at home, and an increase in the minimum wage to ensure that the gains of a recovering economy can be felt by all our workers; including those who work for tipped wages.
Our economy would be even stronger were it not for the fiscal brinksmanship of House Republicans, their insistence on shutting down the federal government, and the automatic spending reductions known as sequestration, for which I never voted. Consider this: a recent report showed that the shutdown left 850,000 federal workers furloughed at home, cost American taxpayers over $2 billion, and reduced spending from visitors to national parks and museums by more than $500 million. The American people deserve better. I remain committed to fighting to create jobs and grow our economy.