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When You Make It In America, Every American Can Make It

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. I thank the gentleman from California. I thank him for his leadership on this issue, as he has repeatedly taken to this floor in talking about what I think is thematically something that America is in tune with, and that's the understanding and the commitment that we need to return to manufacturing, we need to return to our industrial base, we need to enhance our innovative skills, we need to make things here in America. So Make It in America has become our agenda. Over the last several weeks, there have been more than 1,000-plus town forums and hearings where people have discussed the concept of creating jobs and making things here in America. We all know that for every manufacturing job, that creates four other service-sector jobs. And this is vitally important.

I visited a company with its president, Bing Murphy. The company is called Industrial Air Flow Dynamics. IAFD is a manufacturer in the State of Connecticut. They make everything right here in America. They compete with foreign companies. They're begging to make sure that they get more skilled workers lined up to do something that is extraordinarily unique in manufacturing.

And a recent study and survey in the State of Connecticut indicated that in the State alone, 2,500 manufacturing jobs were going unfilled because of a lack of skills or the appropriate training, and the need, oftentimes, for the small entrepreneur and manufacturer, who doesn't have a huge human resources department, to sort through applicants and to make sure that there's this opportunity for them to do that. But we're hoping to pilot and lead the way in making sure that we're matching skills with manufacturers as we continue to focus on making things here in America. We all know, as the gentleman from California has pointed out, that when you make it in America, every American can make it.

We have an opportunity that is quickly going to disappear, and that is the supercommittee. We have taken the position within the Democratic Caucus that there's a very simple equation: that job creation equals deficit reduction. Let me say that again: Job creation equals deficit reduction. We know from CBO scoring that just getting unemployment--which is at an unacceptable level of more than 14 million-plus Americans and 25 million Americans that are underemployed--that if we get the figure of 9.1 percent unemployment to below 7 percent, we cut the deficit by a third. There is no other silver bullet. There is no other item before us that brings that extraordinary relief that I know people on both sides of the aisle desire.

This supercommittee, by embracing jobs has an opportunity, unprecedented opportunity without a cloture vote that is used to block, and has been used in the Senate, for over 497 bills that we've passed, or without poison pill amendments in the House to allow an up-or-down vote on job creation, the President's proposals, the proposals that have been put forward by our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. And while we may disagree in terms of our approach and methods, we all agree about jobs and so why not embrace this opportunity to create jobs.

If this should fail, it will fail because we didn't embrace job creation. We didn't embrace the concept of making things here in America. We didn't do what Bing Murphy has been doing back in Connecticut, and other manufacturers, focusing on and refusing to do anything other than the patriotic thing, which is to invest in your people, invest in a commitment to America, invest in our manufacturing base so that we can put this country back to work, grow the economy and lower the deficit at the same time.

Americans simply want one thing. As they sit across their dinner tables this evening and have these discussions with their spouses, all they want is the simple dignity that comes from a job. We have an agenda. We have an opportunity. Let's not spoil this chance. Let's take advantage of this opportunity that we have before us to unite the country, put them back to work by making things here in America.

I commend the gentleman for his ongoing work, and I commend our colleagues that have come to the floor this evening to express this deep and abiding concern about jobs, deficit reduction, putting this country back to work, embracing innovation, embracing education, and investing in Americans so that we can succeed.

Thank you so much, and I commend the gentleman from California.


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