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. Tina Smith Announces Up to $550 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for Projects Supporting Underserved Producers, Career Development Opportunities for Next Generation of Agricultural Professionals

WASHINGTON, [9/7/22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced up to $550 million in funding to support projects that enable underserved producers to access land, capital, and markets, and train the next, diverse generation of agricultural professionals. These investments are made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, which Senator Smith helped pass earlier this year.  “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Sen. Smith. “With food shortages, supply chain snags and a tight labor market around the world, it’s vital we support and grow our farming sector here at home. This funding, which is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help underserved producers access land, capital, and markets while supporting career development opportunities for the next generation of farmers in Minnesota and around the country.” The American Rescue Plan directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help ensure underserved producers have the resources, tools, programs, and technical support they need to succeed. As part of this mandate, the USDA will set up an independent Equity Commission to help underserved groups access USDA programs and services and direct resources to partner organizations working to help achieve these goals. Of the $550 million in funding, $300 million will be used for Increasing Land, Capital and Market Access projects aimed at helping underserved producers. The deadline for partner organizations to apply for this funding is October 28, 2022. Additionally, $250 million will go towards the Learning to Leading program, which creates career development opportunities for the

Klobuchar, Smith Introduce Legislation to Support Volunteer Drivers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced legislation to support volunteer drivers. The Volunteer Driver Tax Parity Act would lower the financial burden that volunteer drivers face by increasing the charitable mileage tax reimbursement rate for drivers from $0.14 to $0.625 per mile for a two-year period.  “Volunteer drivers are vital to rural communities across our state, helping seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and others access important necessities such as meals and health care,” said Klobuchar. “By increasing the charitable mileage tax reimbursement rate, this legislation will help alleviate the financial challenges that many volunteer drivers face, ensuring that they can continue to serve their communities.”  “Minnesota’s seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities all rely on volunteer drivers to provide crucial services such as access to food, medication and transport,” said Smith. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which will increase the charitable mileage tax reimbursement rate and lower the financial burden for these volunteers. By more fairly compensating them for their services, we can help ensure volunteers are able to continue helping the people who rely on them.” The Volunteer Driver Tax Parity Act would: Increase the charitable mileage reimbursement rate from $0.14 to $0.625 per mile for a two-year period in order to address financial challenges placed on volunteer drivers; Set the permanent rate for volunteer drivers at $0.24 following the two-year period to adjust for inflation; Ensure that the IRS has the ability to adjust charitable mileage reimbursement rate accordingly to inflationary

Senators Smith, Warren Question Fidelity on Plans to Allow Bitcoin Investments for 401(k) Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter questioning Fidelity’s decision to allow Bitcoin investments for 401(k) plans, saying that cryptocurrency is volatile and could risk retirement savings. The Senators ask the company to explain why they have failed to heed the Department of Labor’s warning about 401(k) crypto investments and raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest presented by Fidelity being both a Bitcoin miner and a purveyor of Bitcoin.  “We write to inquire about the appropriateness of your company’s decision to add Bitcoin to its 401(k) investment plan menu and the actions you

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

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

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