Issue Position: Economy
Creating jobs and getting our economy turned around is Senator Gillibrand's number one priority. Senator Gillibrand believes the best way to create jobs is by increasing lending and cutting taxes for small businesses, making aggressive investments in infrastructure, and transitioning from foreign fossil fuels to an economy powered by clean, American energy.
Supporting Small Businesses
Government doesn't create jobs, businesses do. And small businesses are one of the best economic engines we have -- responsible for half of all private sector job creation and 70 percent of all new jobs in the past decade. To bolster small business growth, Senator Gillibrand helped pass the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, legislation to cut taxes for businesses that hire new workers, and co-sponsored additional legislation to eliminate capital gains taxes on investments into small businesses to attract new capital, help small businesses grow, and create jobs for New Yorkers who are ready to work.
Senator Gillibrand is also working to get capital flowing to small businesses again. Nearly 40 percent of all small businesses are struggling to access credit, according to a National Small Business Association Survey. Senator Gillibrand co-sponsored legislation to inject more than $30 billion into community banks that have a strong record of generating small business lending, projected to generate more than $300 million in new small business lending in New York alone.
And after draconian cuts to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans during the Bush Administration, Senator Gillibrand voted to restore SBA lending by extending fee waivers for SBA loans, and allow the SBA to continue to guarantee up to 90 percent of new loans. Since taking effect, average weekly SBA lending has nearly doubled.
Restoring Oversight and Accountability of Financial Markets, Keeping New York the Financial Capital of the World
New York's financial sector is responsible for 20 percent of the state's revenues and hundreds of thousands of jobs in New York. Every financial job creates three jobs in other sectors. Jobs in New York City's finance, insurance and real estate sectors account for one-third of personal income earned in the city. The future well-being of New York City depends on the recovery of the financial sector.
Senator Gillibrand helped pass Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to establish new, commonsense rules of the road to protect taxpayers, ensure the stability of our economy, and prevent future catastrophes, and keeps New York the financial capital of the world. Senator Gillibrand was instrumental in creating new transparency of our financial markets to keep our economy stable, growing, and working for all.
Upstate Works Act
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Senator Gillibrand knows how families in Upstate are struggling, and how different Upstate's economic priorities are. Senator Gillibrand wrote and introduced the Upstate Works Act, new legislation to provide targeted support for sectors across Upstate New York's economy, put more New Yorkers back to work, and ensure long-term economic strength and stability.
The Upstate Works Act provides new access to capital for businesses to grow and create jobs, retools New York's manufacturers to produce clean domestic energy, provides tax credits for family farms to diversity and expand their production, invests in worker training to prepare students and working adults for the jobs of the future, and helps connect Upstate businesses with new markets by expanding broadband to every corner of New York.
Upgrading our nation's infrastructure can create new jobs immediately, help connect more workers and businesses, and help grow our economy for the long term. Senator Gillibrand is working to secure federal investments for critical infrastructure projects in New York -- from building the Second Avenue subway line to the Northern Tier Expressway and more. Click here for a list of all of Senator Gillibrand's priority infrastructure projects for New York she advocated for in the current Transportation Reauthorization bill.
Additionally, Senator Gillibrand is committed to investing in the infrastructure of the 21st century, including high speed rail, rural broadband, health care IT and a SMART energy grid. She introduced the Rural Broadband Initiative Act to connect New York's rural communities with high speed Internet, and helped pass the Recovery Act that invested nearly $20 billion to implement health care IT to make health care more efficient, more affordable, reduce medical errors and save lives. And Senator Gillibrand helped secure more than $150 million in federal investments in high speed rail for New York.
Addressing the Housing Crisis in New York State
New York has been hit hard by the nation's housing crisis. In Rochester, Queens and Long Island, close to 1 in 1,000 homes have been foreclosed on, and thousands more are at risk of foreclosure. The downward spiral in the housing market has also crippled our financial sector, leaving small businesses without access to credit and forcing established companies to lay off workers or close their doors.
Senator Gillibrand helped pass legislation that invests $3 billion toward loans for up to 24 months for out of work homeowners so they can keep their families in their homes, and helped secure $111 million for New York through the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program to help struggling New Yorkers stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure.
In addition to putting families on the street, driving down home values and attracting crime, foreclosure also endangers tenants when the property they are renting is foreclosed on. Senator Gillibrand is committed to sensible reforms to protect tenants so that they are not forced out of their homes because of their landlord's foreclosure. As a former attorney in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Senator Gillibrand knows just how important these protections are.
New York has one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, and finding a home they can afford can be a challenge for families. Senator Gillibrand is committed to increasing support for programs to create affordable housing available to New York families by pushing for a national affordable housing trust fund. Additionally, close to half a million New Yorkers live in public housing, but the federal government currently fails to fully fund and repair these projects, leaving many in horrific disrepair. Senator Gillibrand will fight to increase the government's investments in public housing so that the thousands of New Yorkers who depend on it are not left out in the cold.
New Economy Fueled By Clean, American Energy
If we can beat Russia in the space race, America can beat China in the race to clean energy. But today, we spend $1 billion a day on foreign oil from hostile nations, hurting our economy, helping our enemies, and putting America at risk. It's time to stop spending billions on the outdated fuels of the last century, and start investing in clean energy that's made here in America. New York can lead the way.
Home to fertile soil, vast open spaces, cutting-edge innovation and world-class research institutions, New York has the potential to be a significant producer of clean, renewable energy from wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, and waste-to-energy systems. New York's engineering programs, and high tech businesses make the state uniquely positioned to transfer manufacturing know-how into creating the energy efficient technologies and products needed to address our current energy challenges.
As a Member of the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee, Senator Gillibrand is advancing policies that will help New York take advantage of the alternative energy revolution - growing green jobs and creating long-term economic opportunities for decades. And Senator Gillibrand introduced legislation to help the manufacturers of New York that powered us through the 20th century transition to clean energy production to power America through the next century.