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

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

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 support themselves and their families.” Since becoming law, the ARP Act has delivered historic economic relief to families, businesses, schools, and health care providers. The ECRDC supports small businesses and entrepreneurs in East Central Minnesota by initiating projects and programs to find solutions to regional problems and by providing technical assistance and connecting people to available resources. This funding will stimulate much-needed economic recovery as the region is healing from the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Our Commission is eager to establish this new ARPA-funded revolving loan program and get these much-needed dollars out to our region’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to further strengthen and diversify the economy in east-central Minnesota,” said Ben Montzka, Chairman of the East Central Regional Development Commission.

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Federal Investment to Strengthen the Economy in Rural Minnesota

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (Both D-Minn.) are announcing a new investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strengthen local economies in rural Minnesota. The funding supports a host of programs, which will help boost small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities through job training, business expansion, and technical assistance. “This federal funding will help small businesses and entrepreneurs access the workforce development opportunities that are key to supporting economic growth,” said Senator Klobuchar. “I’ll keep fighting to ensure rural Minnesotans have the resources they need to thrive.”  “These investments will help rural ag producers,

Klobuchar, Smith, Hoeven, Cramer Successfully Advocate to Resolve Dispute Regarding Federal Funding for Red River Communications, Helping to Bring Broadband to the Region

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, and Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced that following two years of advocacy on behalf of Red River Communications, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a petition to resolve a data filing error preventing the company from receiving federal funding needed to provide high-speed internet access to rural communities in the Red River Valley.  “High-speed internet is crucial to connecting to work, school, health care, and business opportunities. But today, tens of millions of Americans do not have access

Senators Smith, Thune, Wicker, Casey Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Access to Rural Broadband

WASHINGTON, D.C. [2/7/22]— Today, U.S. Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Connect Unserved Americans Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) targets funding through the ReConnect Program to areas most in need of reliable broadband services. Additionally, it would enhance the coordination between federal agencies that are disbursing broadband funding to prevent the overbuilding of existing broadband networks at the taxpayers’ expense.   “Broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st Century – it isn’t just nice, it’s necessary if we’re going to build an economy that

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Increased Funding Opportunity for Minnesota Infrastructure Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/02/22] — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (Both D-Minn.), announced the expansion of a popular program which helps fund local infrastructure projects. In 2021, the program (RAISE) funded 90 projects in 47 states, including two large projects in Minnesota. The $1.5 billion in available funding for 2022 represents a 50 percent increase compared to last year thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which Senators Klobuchar and Smith helped pass in November 2021. “Investments in transportation infrastructure serve as down-payments on the economic well-being of our state and country,” said Senator Klobuchar. “RAISE

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