My top priority as the 17th District Congresswoman will be getting America back to work. The Rockford area has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Jobless rates exceed 9 percent in other counties such as Fulton, Peoria and Whiteside. This is unacceptable.Our current economic difficulties cry out for new leadership, new ideas and a sense of urgency.
My plan has four components:
1. The Manufacturing Triangle: We need to focus not just on lowering the unemployment rate, but ensuring the jobs created provide livable wages and good benefits, such as manufacturing jobs. On Day 1 of my campaign, I laid out my vision of a Manufacturing Triangle, anchored by Peoria, the Quad-Cities and Rockford, that can be a destination area for reshoring of manufacturing jobs and future manufacturing growth. This region has the labor force, resources and innovative capacity to capture manufacturing growth.
2. Leveling the Playing Field for America's Workers: America has the best workers in the world, but they compete on an uneven playing field that results in our jobs being shipped to China. We should end unfair trade deals, and we should repeal incentives for corporations to move jobs overseas. I support the Patriot Employer Act, which eliminates incentives for firms to outsource jobs and promotes domestic manufacturing.
This is a common sense measure that reverses incentives to offshore American jobs. I also support the creation of an Infrastructure Bank financed through repatriated corporate profits that now sit in overseas bank accounts. This is a bipartisan Congressional proposal that could upgrade our decaying infrastructure and put people back to work.
3. Small Business Job Growth: I will host an annual Economic Summit, bringing together leaders from the district in business, labor, agriculture, health care and education to brainstorm how to attract new jobs and development and assist businesses in job growth. Most job growth comes from small businesses.
I plan to have a small business advocate on my Congressional staff, working full-time to listen to small business concerns, help them seek contracting opportunities in the federal government and work with them to seek opportunities in the global marketplace.
I also support permanent extension of a research and development tax credit that is vital for investing in the innovation economy and stimulating small business and entrepreneurs. And we should examine regulations for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Many federal rules are onerous for small businesses without expertise and staff to fill out paperwork.
4. Immediate Economic Boost: While my proposal is rooted in fundamental economic improvements, we also need to boost our economy and get people back to work in the short term. I propose a jobs plan that can generate short-term job creation and address long-term joblessness, boost the economy and generate revenues to help lessen the budget deficit. Short-term, Congress should pass a new Transportation Bill that can provide immediate job-creating opportunities while investing in our transportation infrastructure.
We have real deficit problems we must attack. The best way to do that is by growing the economy, placing people back on payrolls. My plan is to get our economy moving short term, creating economic activity and revenues that contribute to a long-term economic plan. This will address our deficit issues, refocus on American innovation and rebuild a sustainable American manufacturing base.
Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The annual review of the fire department of this city took placeyesterday and made a fine showing with machines and hose carts in tip-top order. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Last night's prayer meeting at Central Presbyterian Church wascalled off due to water in the basement, residue of last week's flood. 1913 -- 100 years ago: The junior class of Rock Island High School will hold a riverexcursion on the steamer St. Paul next Tuesday. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The 75th Anniversary of the Rock Island Arsenal today finds thenation's largest ordinance manufacturing plant filling many important orders for the army. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Miss Patrice Daly, Rock Island, a senior at Rock Island HighSchool, won second place in the recent state public speaking contest held in Peoria underthe auspices of the Knights of Pythias. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Hampton's sesquicentennial committee and the Hampton HistoricalSociety have scheduled a full slate of activities, which will be held throughout the year, to celebrate the village's 150th birthday. The first celebration will be the Memorial Dayprogram at 10 a.m. May 30, at the Brettun and Black Store Museum on River Road. Therewill be a sesquicentennial display.