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.
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
Kailua, HI—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted a Town Hall on Saturday evening for Oʻahu residents of the Second Congressional District. More than 500 constituents from all over the island, including North Shore, Central Oʻahu, and Waianae Coast residents, gathered in Kailua to hear from and ask questions of their congresswoman. More than 25,000 viewers tuned in via Facebook Live for the third of seven meetings she is hosting on her statewide Town Hall Tour during the April District Work Period.
Honolulu, HI—In support of local and national participation in the “Tax March” movement, which has gained momentum around the country to demand transparency from President Trump, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) issued the following statement today:
“Every president has a duty to put the interests of the American people first and foremost, and the American people deserve to know whether allegiance to special interests or undue foreign influence might be interfering with that duty.”
Lānai City, HI—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted an intimate Town Hall on the Island of Lānaʻi this evening, where over one hundred residents turned out despite the pouring rain—something they welcomed after a very long period of dryness. Students from the Lānaʻi Academy of Performing Arts kicked off the meeting with a lively local rendition of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life.”
Kailua-Kona, HI—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) kicked off her statewide Town Hall Tour in Kona last night, where nearly 500 residents of West Hawaiʻi packed the Kealakehe Intermediate School cafeteria to hear from their congresswoman and discuss issues affecting the people of Hawaiʻi, our country, and the world. More than 30,000 viewers tuned in via Facebook Live for the first of seven Town Halls that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is hosting during the April District Work Period on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island.
Honolulu, HI—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below in recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week: