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, 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 smaller businesses are suffering the consequences in an already restrictive environment.” The lawmakers also highlighted racial and gender disparities in small business lending. “About 14% of Black and Asian business owners, and 19% of Hispanic business owners, received all the financing they sought in 2021, compared to 34% of white small business owners. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened pre-existing inequalities in our economy for businesses owned by entrepreneurs from historically underserved communities,” they wrote. “A driving force behind the nation’s economy, businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans need access to financing opportunities by banks and credit unions.” U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) also signed the letter. A copy of the letter is available here and below. Dear Chair Pro Tempore Powell, Acting Chair Gruenberg, Chair Harper, and

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Major Federal Funding to Boost Duluth Tourism Industry, Strengthen Shoreline Resiliency

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Economic Development Association (EDA) has awarded $5 million in CARES Act recovery assistance funding to boost the Duluth tourism industry by strengthening shoreline infrastructure. This funding will make shoreline infrastructure more resilient to storms and other weather disasters while allowing for greater access to waterfront services. The investment will specifically enable the reconstruction of a seawall behind the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC).  “This investment is a win-win — helping boost the tourism industry integral to Duluth’s economy while bolstering critical shoreline infrastructure,” said Klobuchar.

Sen. Smith, Rep. Underwood Introduce New Legislation to Expand FMLA Coverage, Strengthen Worker Protections

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) introduced new legislation to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 to more workers. Every year, nearly 2.6 million workers who need family or medical leave do not take it because they fear losing their jobs if they do and are currently ineligible for FMLA protections.   The Job Protection Act would be the largest expansion of family and medical leave protections in nearly 30 years. The legislation would extend FMLA protections to tens of millions of vulnerable workers – no matter the size of their

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Major Federal Funding to Boost Supply Chain and Improve Land Border Port of Entry Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the General Services Administration (GSA) was awarded over $250 million through the bipartisan  Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to upgrade and increase capacity at the International Falls and Grand Portage land ports of entry on the Canadian border. These improvements will strengthen supply chains, improve safety and security, and create jobs. “Border ports of entry play a critical role in the success of Minnesota’s economy by facilitating trade and tourism” said Klobuchar. “This much-needed investment will help boost our supply chain by expanding processing capacity for goods

Senators Klobuchar and Smith Announce Initiatives to Strengthen American Food Supply Chains, Expand Opportunity for Farmers

WASHINGTON, [2.25.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced new plans to shore up American food supply chains and generate economic opportunity for farmers in Minnesota. Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $215 million in grants and other support available to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in Minnesota. “When we support our farmers and ranchers, we make it easier for all families to get food