Job Creation and Economic Growth
Creating jobs and revitalizing Pittsburgh's economy has been my top priority throughout my service in Congress.
I have worked throughout my service in Congress to promote economic growth and job creation across the nation – and especially in southwestern Pennsylvania.
I have supported federal programs that help our economy grow and create jobs. I have, for example, consistently supported increased federal funding to repair and modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The repair backlog on our country’s roads, bridges, waterways, ports, airways, transit systems, schools, and water and sewer facilities is well over $100 billion. I have supported increased funding for such federal infrastructure programs throughout my service in Congress. I have also consistently supported federal education and job-training programs that prepare students for the more complicated and skill-oriented jobs of the future. And I have been an advocate for more federal funding for scientific research and the development of new technologies.
I have also worked to promote the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology around the country, facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield sites, and preserve federal support for manufacturing like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program.
In addition, I have been actively involved in creating new institutions in our region to help local businesses compete in the global high-tech marketplace, and I have worked successfully to secure federal funding for a number of local research and development initiatives - including Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab, the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Institute, the National Robotics Engineering Consortium, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the National Center for Defense Robotics, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center - all of which have helped transform the region into a high-tech hub. I plan to continue to work in the House to provide federal support for such efforts.
During the recent recession, I have strongly supported legislation to jump-start the economy and create jobs - legislation like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stimulus bill”), which provided tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure investments and aid to state and local governments to prevent massive lay-offs of police officers, firefighters, teachers, and health care workers. The stimulus bill worked, and two million jobs were created or preserved by it. In addition, the bill provided billions of dollars in research that will one day make our country more productive, healthy, and prosperous. Finally, the stimulus bill provided tax breaks to struggling Middle Class families and extended unemployment benefits and health care coverage to workers who had lost their jobs. Most of this federal spending was pumped right back into our economy, raising our nation’s demand for goods and services and preventing an even deeper economic downturn. In the two years after enactment of the stimulus bill, the country experienced more than two years of uninterrupted private sector job growth.
Unemployment is still too high, however, and I believe that Congress and the federal government should do more to pump up demand and get the economy on a strong path to recovery. At the same time, we have a huge backlog in infrastructure construction that we'll have to address sooner or later. I believe we can kill two birds with one stone, by increasing the repair, replacement, and expansion of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. That would put Americans back to work, increase demand for goods and equipment, and improve the infrastructure networks that our economy depends upon. We also have to get federal deficits and the national debt under control, but I believe that the best and fastest way to do that is to promote economic growth in the short term while adopting responsible deficit reduction measures that phase in over the coming years. I will be working in the coming weeks and months to achieve those goals.