When Republicans took the House majority, they pledged to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy. But after 200 days, Republicans have only passed one jobs bill—the patent reform bill, which is part of Democrats’ Make It In America agenda to support invention and innovation in our economy. But one jobs bill is not enough to help the millions of Americans still out of work. Republicans have still not put forward a comprehensive jobs agenda.
In contrast, Democrats are focused on our Make It In America agenda, a plan to support job creation by providing an environment for businesses to innovate and make products here in the U.S., which will help more families Make It In America.
Since the 1970’s, manufacturing has been in a steep decline, shrinking from 20 million jobs in 1979 to fewer than 12 million jobs today. However, 2010 and 2011 have seen a resurgence of the manufacturing sector that we need to build on.
- Manufacturing in the U.S. has seen 23 straight months of growth.
- In 2010, the manufacturing sector added 152,000 jobs.
- Manufacturing employment increases in 2010 and 2011 mark the longest stretch of growth since 1997.
Job losses in the manufacturing sector contributed to the stagnation of the middle class over the past decade—from 2002 to 2008, the median household income fell by $2,000. Democrats are focused on reversing this trend and rebuilding the middle class by making sound investments in:
- Our ability to out-educate our competitors and ensure we have a competitive workforce;
- Our ability to out-innovate our competitors and keep America the world leader in cutting-edge fields and technology;
- And our ability to out-build our competitor and strengthen infrastructure so that we can move products quickly and cheaply.
This is a comprehensive effort that includes:
- Investing in infrastructure and supporting the flow of commerce
- Keeping America competitive
- Supporting small businesses
- Smart tax policy
- Clean energy jobs
- Innovative education policy
By focusing on these critical investments in our future, we can create an environment that:
- Creates good-paying middle class jobs;
- Boosts America’s global competitiveness;
- Helps to spur growth in other areas of the economy that support manufacturing.
This agenda is one that both Democrats and Republicans can, and have, supported. It’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to help get Americans back to work, grow the economy and enact a plan to reduce the deficit.
A number of Make It In America bills were signed into law under the Democratic Congress last year and are helping to foster an environment that encourages manufacturers to innovate, grow, keep and create good jobs in the U.S.:
- U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act: Makes it cheaper for American companies to obtain the materials they need to manufacture goods. [Public Law 111-227]
- Protecting American Patents: Helps the Patent Office to begin to unclog the backlog—totaling about 1.2 million pending applications—by giving the agency access to more of the fees it collects so that patent applications can continue to be processed and innovative ideas can continue to move to market. [Public Law 111-224]
- Preventing Outsourcing: Prevents the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by closing tax loopholes that encourage companies to send U.S. jobs overseas. [Public Law 111-226]
- Small Business Jobs Act: Expands much needed lending to millions of small businesses and offers tax incentives to help small businesses grow, hire, and fuel our economy, without adding a dime to the deficit. [Public Law 111-240]
- Energy Jobs and Training for Veterans Act: Provides grants for programs to provide on-the-job training, apprenticeship, real experience, and long-term employment in all energy fields. [Public Law 111-275]
- America COMPETES Reauthorization Act: Establishes innovative technology federal loan guarantees for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and invests in science, technology, engineering, and math education. [Public Law 111-358]