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 Presses Postmaster General to Ensure Timely Deliveries, Safe Working Conditions Ahead of Busy Holiday Season

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) sent a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy requesting information about how the Postal Service plans to ensure on-time deliveries and safe working conditions during the holiday season. Millions of Minnesotans depend of the Postal Service to pay bills, receive prescriptions, and conduct other essential business. When service is unreliable, Minnesotans can face serious consequences – from late payment fees and social security checks to days without critical prescription medications. Smith also pushed DeJoy to ensure Postal Service employees, who are often overworked during this busy time of year, are adequately supported. “The timeliness of deliveries and safety of workers are both critical issues in Minnesota, where severe weather adds a complicated dimension to the usual peak-season delivery challenges,” wrote Senator Smith. “I urge you to take every possible precaution and preparation to protect workers and ensure timely deliveries this holiday season.” In her letter, Smith requested responses to the following questions by November 23, 2023: You can find a full copy of the letter here.

As Child Labor Violations Skyrocket, Senators Smith, Casey, Murray Introduce Legislation to Combat Child Labor Exploitation

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introducing comprehensive labor legislation to protect children from exploitative child labor practices and hold companies and individuals who take advantage of them accountable. The Children Harmed in Life-threatening or Dangerous (CHILD) Labor Act cracks down on employers who violate child labor laws with much stronger federal penalties and allows children who have been exploited to sue their employers. The bill authorizes the Department of Labor to label and restrict the shipping of goods that are produced with child labor.  It also provides the Department of Labor with greater authority to investigate and hold suppliers and subcontractors throughout the supply chain responsible for oppressive child labor and requires federal contracts to contain provisions prohibiting child labor, among other provisions. “Over the past few years we have seen an alarming and dramatic increase in child labor violations,” said Senator Smith. “We’ve seen deeply troubling examples in Minnesota – meatpacking plants and slaughterhouse floors are no place for children. Companies that take advantage of children – often those who are most vulnerable – and subject them to dangerous work environments must be held accountable. This legislation strengthens and improves federal child labor laws and takes important steps to ensure bad actors are met with stronger penalties and are held accountable for violations.” “Children do not belong in factories or working during hours when they should be studying, spending time with their families, or simply being

Ahead of Likely Shutdown, Sen. Smith, Rep. Pressley Introduce Bill to Provide Back Pay for Federal Contract Workers

WASHINGTON — Ahead of a possible Republican government shutdown, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)introduced legislation to secure back pay for the thousands of federal contract workers who face layoffs without back pay during a potential shutdown. Unlike federal government employees, the thousands of federal contract employees—many of whom serve in modestly paid jobs like custodians and cafeteria workers—have no assurances that they will receive back pay to make up for the wages they miss during a shutdown. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and

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

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.

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.