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

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. “This legislation will jumpstart economic development in these communities by expanding and enhancing a program with a track record of effective capital investment and community development.” Their legislation—the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act, named for Community Development Financial Institutions–will extend authorization of the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, while making it more reliable and accessible to smaller CDFIs. This legislation will expand and improve a successful program that operates without a taxpayer subsidy and allows CDFIs to access long-term, stable funding. The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program was enacted in 2010 to provide long-term, low-cost capital to CDFIs, which use the funding for economic development activities in underserved communities.  The program’s authorization lapsed in 2014, but it has been extended on a year-by-year basis in annual appropriations bills.  Under current program rules, borrowers must have a loan size of at least $100 million – which means that the program can only

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

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding to Boost Manufacturing and Transportation Workforce in Southern Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured more than $1.9 million in federal funding through the Fiscal Year 2023 federal budget to boost the manufacturing and transportation workforce in Southern Minnesota. Specifically, these resources will support Riverland Community College’s Workforce Development Learn and Earn scholarship program. This initiative enables students to participate in manufacturing and transportation programs to prepare them for careers as high-skilled technicians.  “Our manufacturing and transportation sectors are key to the economic success of communities across Southern Minnesota. By allowing more people to enroll in Riverland Community College’s