Jobs and Economy
Pete’s number one priority is job creation. Though the economy has added private-sector jobs in recent months, the Brookings Institute indicates that the economy must create 205,000 jobs monthly until 2024 just to get the unemployment rate back to its level in 2007. There is still a great deal to be done to put people back to work, and Pete believes that task begins by revitalizing and reinvesting in Northwest Indiana’s economy.
The United States has a crumbling infrastructure and it has to start rebuilding. From water treatment facilities to roads, bridges, airports, and ports, America needs renovating. The American Society of Civil Engineers has indicated that it would cost about $2.2 trillion to bring America’s infrastructure up to good working order. In the State of Indiana alone, more than 1 in 5 bridges—a total of 4,091—are labeled either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. It is by reinvesting in its physical infrastructure that the United States can begin on the road to economic recovery and fiscal health.
Click here to see Pete’s floor speech about the importance of water infrastructure and disaster relief funding.
Pete believes that America cannot fix its long-term economic problems by exporting manufacturing jobs out of the country, and he has fought relentlessly alongside his colleagues in the Congressional Steel Caucus to keep well-paid jobs right here at home. He opposed the three major free trade agreements that passed this Congress on the grounds that they did not do enough to protect America's manufacturing base, and he has been active in opposing China’s increasingly abusive trade practices, from currency manipulation to subsidized exports to retaliatory tariffs.
Pete has appeared multiple times on the House floor and before the U.S. International Trade Commission to defend steel, automotive, and other manufacturing interests. He continues to visit the International Trade Commission to fight for Northwest Indiana's steel manufacturers.
Click here to read a letter authored by then-Representative Joe Donnelly and Pete in support of a "Buy America" provision that would help local manufacturers.
Pete has authored multiple pieces of legislation to encourage domestic manufacturing growth and keep jobs from flowing overseas. In the 113th Congress, Pete will re-introduce the following major pieces of legislation from the 112th Congress to help rebuild Northwest Indiana's infrastructure and lay the foundation for renewed economic growth and job creation.
- H.R. 1378, Fighting for American Jobs Act
Pete believes that companies that choose to lay off American workers and outsource jobs should not be eligible to receive publicly-funded grants, loans, and assistance from the federal government. This measure puts American workers at the forefront of the agenda of any company that receives federal assistance by requiring that companies declare the change in their number of employees in the U.S. and abroad. Firms that have higher employee growth abroad than in the U.S. would be prevented from receiving continued federal support until they rectify the disparity.
- H.R. 1817, the American Steel First Act
Steel is the heart of Northwest Indiana and a critical component of American industry. Pete is working to make certain that iron and steel produced in the United States by American workers is the material used to rebuild the nation. This measure requires the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security to use American iron and steel in their construction, alteration, or repair of roads, airports, harbors, tanks, ships, and other projects related to the nation’s defense and infrastructure.
Great Lakes Commerce
Pete believes that Northwest Indiana’s position on the south shore of Lake Michigan is one of its greatest assets. Shipping accounts for approximately $7.9 billion per year and 48,332 jobs in Indiana. Consequently, maintaining the region’s ports and finding ways to expand shipping operations in Northwest Indiana are top priorities.
Pete fights for vital Army Corps of Engineers projects to maintain and upgrade Northwest Indiana’s ports as the Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water.
To read a letter from Pete and other Members of Congress to the Department of Defense urging them to use Great Lakes ports for North American shipping click here.