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

Senators Smith, Warren Question Fidelity on Plans to Allow Bitcoin Investments for 401(k) Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter questioning Fidelity’s decision to allow Bitcoin investments for 401(k) plans, saying that cryptocurrency is volatile and could risk retirement savings. The Senators ask the company to explain why they have failed to heed the Department of Labor’s warning about 401(k) crypto investments and raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest presented by Fidelity being both a Bitcoin miner and a purveyor of Bitcoin.  “We write to inquire about the appropriateness of your company’s decision to add Bitcoin to its 401(k) investment plan menu and the actions you will take to address “the significant risks of fraud, theft and loss” posed by these assets,” wrote the lawmakers. In recent months, DOL became aware of firms marketing investments in cryptocurrencies to 401(k) plans as potential investment options for plan participants. This spurred DOL to publish a Compliance Assistance Release in March reminding fiduciaries of their responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and highlighting the risks that cryptocurrency may pose to retirement accounts. The Department expressed “serious concerns regarding the prudence of a fiduciary’s decision to expose 401(k) plan’s participants to direct investments in cryptocurrencies” and cited “the significant risks of fraud, theft and loss” presented by these digital assets. Despite DOL’s warning, Fidelity last week announced its Digital Assets Account, which will allow individuals to have a portion of their retirement savings allocated to Bitcoin through their 401(k) plan. If this proposed plan moves forward, workers at companies

Senators Smith, Murray, Baldwin Reintroduce INFORM Act to Ensure People Aren’t Denied Key Info When Considering Lump-Sum Buyouts of Pension Benefits

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) reintroduced the Information Needed for Financial Options Risk Mitigation (INFORM) Act of 2022, which would require pension plan sponsors to provide retirees and participants with critical information about the trade-offs involved when they offer a lump-sum buyout of their lifetime retirement plans and protect families’ savings. “After putting in a lifetime of work, retirees deserve to understand how a lump-sum buyout of their hard-earned pensions could impact their retirement plans,” said Senator Smith. “This commonsense bill would ensure hardworking Americans are given that clear information they need to make informed decisions about their financial future.” “No one’s retirement planning should be put at risk because they didn’t have the information they needed before making a big decision about whether to trade their lifetime pension payments for a one-time buyout,” said Senator Murray. “After working for decades to earn a retirement, people deserve to have better information about how a lump-sum buyout of their lifetime pension could undermine their financial future—and my commonsense bill will make sure they have that information so they can make an informed decision.” “Wisconsin retirees and their families deserve the pensions they have worked towards, planned for, and depend on,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our legislation will ensure that retirees are aware of the trade-offs involved in one-time pension buyouts so they can make informed decisions to protect their financial future and enjoy their hard earned retirement.” Lump-sum buyouts allow pension plans to make a one-time payment to retirees and

Sen. Smith, Senate Colleagues Call on Regulators to Focus on Lending to Main Street

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/31/22]— U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues in a letter to the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, urging them to work with banks and credit unions to ensure small businesses have access to safe and sound credit as Main Street recovers from COVID-19. “Recent research by the Federal Reserve System found that less than one-third of small businesses that applied for traditional financing in 2021 received all the funding they sought compared to recent years,” wrote the lawmakers. “…Banks are choosing to lend to bigger firms, and

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $400,000 in Federal Funding Ensuring 100 Jobs for East Central Minnesota

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/24/22]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced $400,000 in federal funding for the East Central Regional Development Commission (ECRDC). These funds were made available by the ‘Revolving Loan Fund’ provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which Senator Smith helped pass last year. “The American Rescue Plan Act continues to make significant impacts for small businesses and entrepreneurs across Minnesota,” said Sen. Smith. “The last two years have been incredibly challenging but our economy is recovering. This fund will create 50 new jobs and save 50 existing jobs – ensuring 100 people will continue to be able to

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith Secures Significant Federal Funding to Build Rapid Transit Line in Minneapolis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced that she has secured $5 million in federal funding to help build the E Line Bus Rapid Transit Line. “This project will help expand the transit system in Minneapolis with another fast, affordable way to get around the city,” said Senator Smith. “Transit projects like this one are a win for the local economy, help reduce traffic congestion, and are good for the environment. I’m proud of our work to secure these resources and directly improve the lives of Minnesotans.” The E Line Bus Rapid Transit Line will provide fast and reliable

Klobuchar, Smith, Stauber Secure Significant Federal Funding for Broadband Expansion in Pine County

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus; Senator Tina Smith (D-MN); and Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding to expand broadband access in Pine County. “This federal funding will support Pine County’s broadband initiatives, enabling people from all parts of the county to access critical work, school, and business opportunities online,” said Klobuchar. “I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these resources, and I look forward to continuing to partner with those in the community to address broadband infrastructure needs.” “As I have