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 Applauds Biden Admin Move to Eliminate Medical Debt from Credit Reports

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) celebrated a new proposed rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shielding consumers’ credit scores from being impacted by medical debt. Today’s announcement came after Senator Smith, along with 9 of her colleagues, urged the agency to take action. According to the CFPB’s own report, there is over $88 billion in medical debt on consumer credit records. “You can’t choose when you get sick – it happens whether we like it or not. You shouldn’t be punished with a lower credit score just because you needed medical care,” said Senator Smith.“This move by the Biden Administration puts the American people first, and I’m glad they listened to me and my colleagues who pushed for this new rule.” Senator Smith, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, called attention to the growing crisis of medical debt in a letter to the CFPB in 2022. The move by the CFPB compliments actions by the Minnesota State Legislature, who passed the Debt Fairness Act as part of a large omnibus bill in May of this year to address the impact medical debt has on Minnesotans.  ###

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Senate Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing on Expanding Opportunities for Beginning Farmers

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, led a hearing focused on opportunities to support new and emerging farmers. According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, the average age of a producer in the United States is now 58, and in Minnesota it is 57. One of the witnesses who spoke at the hearing about challenges faced by beginning farmers was Tessa Parks, Minnesota native and owner and operator of W.T. Farms in Northfield. Tessa is a young, first-generation farmer of color who, along with her husband, raises Holstein steers and runs a haying service. “The average age of a producer in the United States is 58, and in Minnesota it’s 57. And of course, this number increases every year. That in a nutshell is why we need to invest in the next generation of farmers, so this country’s agriculture production continues to work,” said Senator Smith. “This is a matter of national security, food security, and the strength and vitality of rural America. Agriculture is a driving force in America’s economy.” “Though I am new to farming and several generations removed from the farm, my connection to and love for agriculture is strong,” said Tessa Parks, owner and operator of W.T. Farms in Northfield, MN. “But beginning farmers like me face significant barriers to entry into agriculture, including a farm safety net that favors larger and more established farms, barriers to accessing land and capital, climate change, and

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce USDA Partnership to Expand, Bolster Minnesota’s Food Supply Chain

WASHINGTON [2/7/2024] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced federal funding to strengthen the middle portions of Minnesota’s food supply chain. These funds will help small farms and small food businesses access more customers and help consumers find more locally-grown goods – oftentimes at lower cost. The funding is made possible through the American Rescue Plan, legislation both Klobuchar and Smith supported.  “To keep prices low at the grocery store, we need to invest in our food supply chain to make it resilient from disruptions and bottlenecks,” said Klobuchar. “These grants will strengthen the infrastructure needed to

The Affordable Housing and Homeownership Protection Act Would Tackle Housing Crisis by Creating Millions More Homes and Helping Main Street Compete with Wall Street

WASHINGTON, DC – As the nation’s housing shortage pushes home prices and rents to historic levels, a new Senate bill would provide tens of billions of dollars to help create millions of new homes for low-income Americans. U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Jack Reed (D-RI)and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are teaming up with several colleagues to introduce the Affordable Housing and Homeownership Protection Act (S. 3673).  This bill would generate up to $50 billion over ten years to help build and preserve approximately 3 million affordable housing units nationwide.  The bill would be fully paid for through a transfer tax on large

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, and Governor Tim Walz Announce Major Federal Funding for Reconstruction of the Blatnik Bridge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Governor Tim Walz (D) announced a $1.05 billion federal grant to replace the Blatnik Bridge, which connects Duluth to Superior. The Blatnik Bridge opened in 1961 and has reached the end of its useful life. Bridge users experience lane closures and other disruptions multiple times each year due to inspections and maintenance work. This new bridge will be safer and boost the regional economy, as the Blatnik Bridge is integral to helping transport Minnesota goods for export to global markets. “For over 60 years, the Blatnik Bridge has

Klobuchar, Baldwin, Smith, Stauber Urge Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to Support Federal Funding to Rebuild the Blatnik Bridge

WASHINGTON – Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN) sent a bipartisan letter urging Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to support Minnesota and Wisconsin’s application for federal funding to rebuild the Blatnik Bridge. “We write to reiterate our strong support of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Department of Transportations’ application for federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” wrote the lawmakers. “By replacing the Blatnik Bridge, the project would exemplify the type of critical infrastructure project that was envisioned by Congress.”“As noted in our previous letter to President Biden in September 2023, the Blatnik Bridge, located