U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine held a roundtable discussion with Virginia women small business leaders on Friday about his strategies for creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
At Palio Ristorante in Leesburg, Kaine outlined his economic vision of creating jobs by leveling the playing field for small businesses, investing in infrastructure and brainpower, and bringing more balance to our fiscal challenges and political system.
"Our nation can learn some powerful economic lessons from Virginia," Kaine said. "Once we embraced talent and built up the infrastructure to develop that talent, like community colleges and other forms of higher education, our economy raced ahead. If we invest in our nation's infrastructure and brainpower we will create jobs immediately and strengthen our economy over the long term."
Kaine and roundtable participants also discussed other issues important to women and families in Virginia including his strong support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, career and technical education, and workforce training as well as his strong record of support for women-owned businesses. As governor, Kaine significantly increased state contracts with small, minority, and women-owned businesses.
"If I go into the Senate I want to work to level the playing field for small businesses. We should look for ways to increase access to capital, simplify the tax code for them, and increase government procurement opportunities for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses," said Kaine.
Kaine drew a sharp contrast between his record and George Allen's on fiscal issues. As a senator, Allen added trillions to the country's national debt, helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit, and voted four times to raise his own pay. When Kaine was governor, he made more than $5 billion in cuts, including to his own salary, to keep Virginia's budget balanced during the worst national recession in 70 years.
Kaine has rejected Allen's drastic all-cuts approach to the budget, highlighting the importance of a balanced strategy that will make significant cuts, but also leave room for strategic investments.
Since the year began, Kaine has hosted more than 60 economic roundtable discussions across the state, including many with women business and community leaders.