Protecting Our Economy and Restoring Growth to the Job Market

In 2008, our nation was shaken by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The livelihoods of hard-working families in Hawaiʻi and across the country were put at risk; millions of Americans lost their homes, and many saw their life savings wiped out – all because of risky banking practices by “too big to fail” banks. The banks that were ‘too big to fail’ in 2008 are even bigger today. And while our economy has slowly started to come back from this devastating economic crisis, our nation’s economic health remains at risk. We must ensure that no bank is so big that its risky bets can bring down the entire U.S. economy. 

Raise the Minimum Wage
In Hawaiʻi and across the country, far too many people are working one or two full-time minimum wage jobs, living in poverty, and barely scraping by.  The federal minimum wage has fallen far behind inflation and has actually lost value over time, meaning working families are making less while paying more just to make ends meet. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is an original cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 and index the minimum wage to the median wage growth thereafter. The federal minimum wage has stagnated for the last 10 years, and it is long overdue for Congress to do the right thing for hard-working Americans and raise the minimum wage. 

Break up the Big Banks and Hold Wall Street Accountable for Their Risky Investments
We must create a banking system that works for every American—not just Wall Street CEOs—and enact and strengthen reforms that will protect our economy from another massive collapse. Tulsi is a cosponsor of legislation such as the Return to Prudent Banking Act (H.R.381) and the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act (H.R.3711) to help protect Americans from big banks’ roll of the financial dice. To help ensure the financial stability of our nation, Tulsi is continuing to fight against dangerous behavior on Wall Street where investors take big risks on the backs of American taxpayers. She has urged criminal investigations of Wall Street executives who take money from American taxpayers, such as what recently happened with Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest “too big to fail” bank. 

“I will always fight against the schemes of Wall Street to make risky investments on the backs of American taxpayers.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Fighting Against TPP, An Unfair Trade Deal That Will Hurt Americans for Decades to Come
Most major trade agreements over the past few decades have directly, negatively affected hard-working families and small businesses in Hawai‘i and across the country.  We must learn from the past, and not repeat those same mistakes as we work toward a stronger economic future.  Tulsi vigorously fought against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a historically massive trade deal accounting for 40 percent of global trade, helping to ultimately defeat it at the end of 2016.

Promoting Economic and Job Growth in Hawai‘i
Our tourism industry is the main driver of Hawai‘i’s economy and creates opportunity for small businesses to grow on every island. Tulsi is continuing to work with federal, state, and county leaders on opening airports for direct international travel, which will help support those local economies. She has also worked to keep air travel taxes and fees as low as possible for people in Hawaiʻi and introduced the Passenger Fee Restructuring Exemptions Act (H.R.1074) to limit the passenger security fee for Hawaiʻi, Alaska and rural areas that rely solely on air travel for basic transportation.  As a member of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, Tulsi is working to diversify the economic drivers and job creators within the state by welcoming new industries, supporting our local film and TV industry, investing in our aging infrastructure, and encouraging innovative entrepreneurs who are working to make Hawaiʻi as a start-up paradise.

The U.S. military presence in Hawaiʻi also plays a critical role in protecting Hawaiʻi and our nation and promoting stability in the Asia-Pacific. The greater regional stability afforded by the presence of our military allows for opportunity and jobs for local people, adding $14.7 billion annually to our state’s economy.  In 2016, Tulsi worked to secure $200 million for military infrastructure projects across the country in the annual Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill.  

 

More on Protecting Our Economy and Restoring Growth to the Job Market

December 12, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted in support of the annual National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The must-pass bill is a compromise between the House- and Senate-passed versions, and passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 350-69.

December 11, 2013 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) sent a letter to House Budget Committee leaders, Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), yesterday highlighting the unique role of air travel throughout Hawai‘i and the negative impact of a possible air travel fee increase. The congresswoman requested a Hawai‘i exemption for increased air travel fees, particularly the Aviation Passenger Security Fee.
October 30, 2013 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard today voted against a bill that would weaken consumer protections against risky bank practices. The Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act (H.R. 992) would allow banks to continue risky derivatives trading with depositors’ money, and the promise of a taxpayer safety net. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 292-122.
 
October 16, 2013 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted for a bipartisan measure to re-open the federal government immediately and prevent the government from defaulting.  The legislation funds the government until January 15, raises the debt ceiling until February 7, and requires that the House and Senate agree on a budget by December 13. It passed the House tonight by a vote of 285-144.
 
October 5, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced the House passage of bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored to pay back workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown. The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) ensures federal employees will receive back pay, regardless of furlough status. It passed the House unanimously with a vote of 407-0.

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