Jobs and Economy

Senator Smith is committed to fighting for more jobs and building a stronger economy, one that works for everyone so businesses grow and workers get better jobs with better pay, and so we can invest in infrastructure and manufacturing. Sen. Smith wants to address college affordability and expand career and workforce training for young people who don’t go to a four-year college.

Despite the fact that the economy is rebounding, too many Minnesota families struggle to make ends meet, face a job loss, or grapple with a shrinking pay check. Sen. Smith believes that in order to build an economy that works for everyone, we need a fairer tax code that supports working families, not just the wealthiest of Americans. We need paid family and medical leave for workers so that parents can stay home to take care of a newborn or a sick a family member without losing a paycheck. We need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the pay gap between men and women. We need fair trade policies that help Minnesota workers, businesses, and farmers get ahead, and we need to crack down on foreign countries that break international trade rules and put American workers out of jobs. We need to hold Wall Street accountable and make sure they don’t cause another economic collapse. We need to invest in small businesses and support entrepreneurs. And we need to help foster the next generation of Minnesota innovators by investing in research and development.

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sen. Smith will build on Minnesota’s proud history of invention and creativity by supporting our classrooms, students, and our workforce. And, as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Smith will be standing up for consumers, working to ensure fair access to financial services for all Americans, and working to improve the availability of safe, decent, and affordable housing.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Applauds Senate Passage of Her Bipartisan Bill to Help Small Businesses Access Capital, Create Jobs in Rural America

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) applauded the Senate’s passage of her bipartisan Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act. The legislation, which is co-led by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), would help eliminate hurdles small businesses in rural areas disproportionately face when they try to access capital. “Access to capital is essential to the economic health and growth of rural communities in Minnesota and across the country,” said Sen. Smith. “Rural small businesses often face disproportionate obstacles when trying to secure capital to develop and grow their businesses. This legislation would help rural small businesses overcome these hurdles and strengthen our rural economies.” Access to capital is critical for starting and expanding rural small businesses, which often face a disproportionate number of obstacles when seeking capital investment. This bipartisan legislation, the Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act, would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to submit annual reports on the unique challenges small businesses in rural areas face when trying to secure capital. The report would outline roadblocks and identify solutions to ensure rural small businesses, and the local economies they support, are able to develop and grow. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) also cosponsored the legislation.

Senator Smith Reintroduces Bill to Deploy Broadband to Underserved Rural and Tribal Communities

WASHINGTON [5.16.23] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith reintroduced legislation—the Community Connect Grant Program Act—to reauthorize a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program. The bill would make improvements to the grant program, making investments available for broadband projects in tribal, low-income, and remote rural areas. “Broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st Century—it isn’t just nice, it’s essential if we’re going to build an economy that works for everyone,” said Sen. Smith. “It is absolutely necessary whether you’re a student working on homework, a business owner selling products, a farmer using modern equipment, or a person who is trying to access health care. This bill is a step forward and will help connect more Minnesotans and people across the nation with affordable, reliable internet service.” “We appreciate Senator Tina Smith’s (D-MN) efforts to update the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant program,” said Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of the Rural Broadband Association. “We are proud to support the Community Grant Program Act of 2023, which would update the program’s requirements and standards to better meet the modern needs of consumers and improve coordination to ensure resources are going to areas most in need.  The bill will strengthen a valuable program for rural areas and further the shared goal of getting every American connected.” The USDA Community Connect program through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities. In addition to authorizing the program and targeting areas that lack access across the nation, Sen. Smith’s bill would increase internet

Senators Smith, Rounds Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Spur Economic Development in Underserved Communities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to jumpstart economic development in economically distressed areas and address disparities in access to capital for underserved communities. The bill would strengthen and expand Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), which play a critical role in bringing capital and financial services to a wide range of underserved communities – from urban areas to small towns and rural communities to Tribal lands. “Unequal access to capital and financial services is a key driver of economic disparity in rural areas, communities of color, and Indigenous communities,” said Sen. Smith.

Senator Smith, Colleagues Call on Fed to Strengthen Rules for Banks with Assets Over $100 Billion

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Angus King (I-Maine), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote the Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve (Fed) Michael Barr, calling on him to exercise the Fed’s authority to apply stronger regulation and supervision to banks with assets totaling $100 to $250 billion.  “The fall of both SVB and Signature, the near-crash of First Republic, and the struggles of other regional banks shed new

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Lindsey Graham Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Prepare Young People for the Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/16/23]—This week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to promote partnerships between afterschool providers and businesses so young people can explore career paths and opportunities that help them land their first jobs and thrive in the workforce. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act would support high-quality programs that help young people gain practical skills and connect them to real-life work experiences and learning opportunities. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). “We should be doing everything we can to provide our kids with the skills and connections

Senator Smith, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Grow Foreign Sales of American Agricultural Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) continued her fight to open new international markets for Minnesota farm products by throwing her support behind bipartisan legislation to help farmers, rural cooperatives, and small businesses sell more exports abroad. The Expanding Agricultural Exports Act is estimated to increase agricultural exports by $7.4 billion by doubling funding for the advertising programs of agricultural goods in foreign countries. In addition to Senator Smith, The bipartisan, bicameral legislation was reintroduced by Senator Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA). “I fought for a spot on the Agriculture Committee