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Job growth is a major factor in building our economy. The recovery from the recession has helped many individuals and families but many are still out of work, are underemployed, or are worried about losing their job. I believe that Congress must show much greater urgency in helping the millions of workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and have not been able to find a new one in this persistently difficult economy. There are many commonsense and traditionally bipartisan steps that we should take in order to help get our economy moving again and help people get back to work.

Supporting research and development in modern technology, investing in domestic manufacturing, and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure are ways we can bring jobs back to the U.S. and keep our nation at the forefront of discovery, progress, and efficiency.

Furthermore, we must balance the budget.  Congress needs to seek a comprehensive deficit reduction package that makes smart, targeted cuts that do not deplete critical funding from programs that are essential to our well-being, economic competitiveness, and national security – like training for US servicemembers so we’re prepared for future threats—and looking for new revenue to ensure that everyone pays a fair share in investing in our country’s success. 

For example, this is why I have cosponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) H.R. 297, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which would close a number of offshore tax loopholes, eliminate many of the tax incentives for U.S. companies to move jobs and operations outside of the United States, and modify rules on corporate inversions for businesses dodging U.S. taxes.

Strengthening America’s economy is a top priority and I will continue to work across the aisle to arrive at a balanced solution.



Reducing unemployment and growing jobs in America is a cornerstone for strengthening our economy.  When President Obama assumed office after the financial crash, we were losing 800,000 jobs each month.  Passage of the American Recovery Act a few months later, at the height of the recession, helped stop the freefall of our economy and save and create jobs. 

From early 2010 to the beginning of 2016, there have been over 15 million jobs added to the private sector. But we still have a lot of work to do to support workers’ rights and keep jobs here on American soil.

Our country should find ways to further support domestic manufacturing and encourage nascent industries that are developing cutting-edge innovation, such as defense and clean energy technologies. Federal initiatives like the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation help to coordinate efforts amongst federal agencies invested in domestic manufacturing, support academic institutions focused on manufacturing innovation, and commercialize this innovation. These investments translate into growing jobs and the economy in the manufacturing sector.

That is why I support the “Make It In America” agenda, a plan focused on creating the best conditions for American businesses to manufacture their products, innovate, and create jobs right here in the U.S. When more products are made in America, there will be greater opportunity for our people to “Make It In America.”

I also understand that many of the issues constraining growth in the middle class and the well being of our families are related to the economics of women’s lives. That’s why I support the “Economic Agenda for Women and Families,” a plan that ensures that women receive equal pay for equal work, earned paid sick leave and access to affordable high quality child care.

In 2016, Massachusetts was designated as the location of one of the Obama Administration’s manufacturing innovation institutes, and will be hosted at MIT with partnerships at UMass Lowell. The manufacturing institute, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, will help translate some of the cutting edge work in sensor and network technology done at our premier research universities to be integrated into fabric and fiber manufacturing. This technology has the potential to spur local and regional economic development as we integrate advances in medical and energy technology into the very clothing we wear. These sorts of technologies have the potential to save the lives of those with medical conditions, improve communication, and even protect our soldiers.

The Third District of Massachusetts and surrounding region has been growing into a hub for this kind of innovation, bringing together the area’s academic, business and government resources to create jobs and develop state-of-the-art products.

Click here to go to my Jobs & Labor Issue Page and take a more detailed look at my work to grow jobs and support America’s workforce.


The Berry Amendment

I have long called for a correction to a serious loophole within the DOD purchasing process that is costing American manufacturing jobs while inhibiting the ability of U.S. military personnel to train in high-quality American-made athletic footwear. 

I championed legislation that will close the loophole, boost local and national footwear manufacturing while simultaneously supplying U.S. servicemembers with the best equipment possible. As a result of these efforts, in April of 2014, the Department of Defense announced it would change its policy and provide recruits with American-made footwear. New Balance, based in New England with a major facility in the Third District city of Lawrence, manufactures a compliant shoe and sees the decision as a potential boost to job creation. When the DOD delayed implementation of this new policy, I partnered across the aisle to coauthor legislation included in the FY2017 defense bill that would require the Pentagon to abide by its own policy change and support U.S. manufacturing.



Small Business

From the woman who runs a business out of her home, to the firm with 200 employees that designs high-tech products for the Defense Department, our small businesses serve vastly divergent markets and have differing needs. Historically, small businesses help bring economies out of recession, are highly motivated to be innovative, and create a significant percentage of new jobs.

Please visit my small business page detailing steps I have taken to support small growth companies in the Third District.


A Balanced Budget

For our economy to regain its footing, we must balance our national budget and generate long-term deficit reduction. The only way to do so is to combine targeted spending cuts with new revenue sources, just as every bipartisan group that has looked at this problem has suggested.  That is why I have consistently voted for budgets that take just such a balanced approach to deficit reduction and have called on Republican leaders in the House to negotiate with their Senate counterparts to achieve the same.  The American people deserve open debate on this critical national issue.

While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 temporarily reduced for two years the harmful, across-the-board government cuts known as sequestration, these cuts will once again come into full effect starting in October 2017. Though more visible to some than others, since it began in March 2013 sequestration has already caused widespread harm to American families, both through job loss and arbitrary cuts to programs that Americans rely on every day, and will continue to do so throughout its scheduled 10-year duration unless Congress takes action. Sequestration was intended to motivate Congress to pass a balanced budget, but instead has become a danger to our economy. Unless Republican leaders agree to comprehensive negotiations that combine targeted spending cuts with new revenue sources, these cuts will soon once again start moving our economy in the wrong direction.


Tax Reforms

I strongly support comprehensive tax reform to close loopholes that allow some of the most profitable U.S. corporations and individuals to avoid paying their fair share.  Every taxpayer deserves the certainty of knowing that the code is straightforward and fair and that everyone is contributing a fair share.  That is why I have consistently cosponsored and voted for legislation to eliminate tax incentives that reward companies for moving overseas, eliminating jobs in the US, or hiding their income.

But I have also led efforts around smaller, common sense reforms:

  • In 2013, I introduced the SERV Act to provide tax relief to senior volunteers.  Under Massachusetts state law, cities and towns in the Commonwealth can choose to offer up to $1,000 in property tax abatement to senior citizens who volunteer a certain number of hours in service to their communities.  This successful decade-old program has benefitted both senior volunteers and their communities, and has been discussed as a model for other states to follow.  However, the IRS deems this abatement as taxable income, requiring each participating town to treat its senior volunteers as employees and file corresponding paperwork for them. The revenue collected as a result is negligible, but the bureaucratic headache for participating towns is significant, and has become an impediment to participation.  The solution is the SERV Act, which exempts the abatement received by senior volunteers from counting for federal tax purposes.  This bill would provide property tax relief that can help seniors stay in their homes and, just as important, relieve towns from the burdens of unnecessary paperwork.
  • In previous Congresses, I have introduced bipartisan legislation to provide tax relief to small business owners during the recession, led the successful effort to fix errors in the code that were preventing certain military servicemembers from receiving their tax refunds, and pushed for the elimination of tax laws like 1099 reporting requirements and mandatory 3% withholding for state and local contractors that created undue burdens on small businesses.
  • Similarly, I have long been a strong and consistent supporter of making the R&D tax credit permanent in ways that responsibly do not add to the deficit. Massachusetts is one of the top research and development economies in the world, ranking first among states for patents, R&D, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards per capita, according to the Journal of New England Technology. As one Third District company wrote to me, “The R&D tax credit greatly helps smaller companies like mine as it helps level the playing field when competing in the global market. We are able to invest more into R&D knowing that the short term cost is less and the return on investment will be quicker, and that in turn helps us to grow here.” 
  • Unfortunately, when legislation was brought to the floor in December 2015 to permanently extend, among many others, the R&D tax credit, I ultimately opposed the legislation. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, often referred to as the “tax extenders” package because it extended a number of expiring individual and business tax cuts, included a number of provisions that I have long supported. These included, along with the R&D tax credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and extensions of credits for clean energy and conservation efforts.
  • Permanently extending these very worthwhile tax cuts has a very real and very sizable cost, but this legislation did not address that cost.  Commonsense and bipartisan options to pay for extensions of these tax provisions certainly exist, such as closing egregious loopholes that allow major corporations to reduce or eliminate the taxes they owe on billions of dollars in profit, but none of those options were included in this bill.  By making tax cuts permanent without proposing ways to make up the lost revenue, as this legislation does, we create a huge hole in the federal budget, which in turn will be used to threaten funding for the very programs I believe are vital to our economy and to our people like Medicare, Social Security and others.  And because they are permanent, the chance to go back and fix the negative impact becomes highly unlikely. That is why I voted against this legislation.
  • I expressed this same concern in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in November 2015.  You can read a copy of my letter here
  • You can also read an April 2016 op-ed I wrote in the MetroWest Daily regarding this vote and the impact unpaid for tax legislation can have on the national deficit.


Economic Development

Growth in the national economy begins with growth in our cities and towns here in Massachusetts’ Third District. I have been a strong supporter of economic development projects across the region, exploring options, helping to secure federal funding and bringing together stakeholders from all avenues to ensure projects move forward. My office works hard to support federal funding for local development projects, but also for local organizations, such as health centers, fire departments and academic institutions, in order to fill in the blanks and kick-start economic growth.  The following are just a few examples of projects I have strongly supported and will have a significant economic impact on our region.  


Hamilton Canal District

The City of Lowell has undergone an extraordinary transformation that began when the Lowell National Historical Park was established within the city’s core, the first urban national park of its kind in the United States.  I have strongly supported public investment in the Park, which has leveraged millions in private investment in the redevelopment of Lowell’s historic Hamilton Canal District. As a result, fifteen acres of vacant and underutilized land in the Jackson, Appleton, and Middlesex Street area known as the Hamilton Canal District are being redeveloped into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood spanning the Merrimack, Pawtucket and Hamilton Canals. When complete, the Hamilton Canal District in the heart of Lowell will create nearly two million square feet of commercial, retail, and housing space, as well as hundreds of new jobs and an estimated $400 million in annual tax revenue for the City.

I authored legislation passed into law that allows the City of Lowell to continue with development of the Hamilton Canal District Project by exchanging land with the Lowell National Historical Park.  During discussion of this bill in the Natural Resources Committee, the Republican chairman called it a “great bill” that would spur economic development in the community.

Multiple federal agencies have recognized the importance of the Hamilton Canal District. The Environmental Protection Agency has contributed funding through their brownfields program to help clean the site of industrial contaminants, the Economic Development Administration has twice contributed more than $2 million to construct two critical bridges over the Hamilton and Pawtucket canals, and Federal tax credits have been used for a number of developments on the site. By leveraging the resources of multiple federal agencies and across multiple sector of government and the private sector, the Hamilton Canal District will be the next chapter in Lowell’s redevelopment.

Click here for more information on the Hamilton Canal 


Manchester-Lawrence Rail Trail Corridor Revitalization

Building attractive, vibrant communities for people to live in is central to developing competitive 21st century cities and towns. Part of the challenge in doing this is ensuring past industrial sites are safe and attractive for public use. The Federal government has played a crucial role in this goal across the nation and there are many projects in the 3rd District that have received Federal support. The Manchester-Lawrence Rail Trail project is one such project that has the potential to open up new sites for redevelopment in downtown Lawrence, improve community and recreational infrastructure such as Bourgoin and Manchester Street Parks, and create connectivity within the city and between communities. The project proposes to create a 1.4 mile multi-use recreational path along an abandoned railroad right-of-way and will connect Lawrence to a larger regional trail path network. I strongly supported the City of Lawrence’s application to the Environmental Protection Agency for brownfield assessment and planning funding. The great work that Lawrence is completing is similar to the work that cities across the nation are doing with support from the Federal government. I look forward to working with community partners to advance the City’s vision.

Read more about this project


Fitchburg Line Commuter Rail Project

 Reliable transportation is integral to our region’s economy. Improving transportation options can open new employment or educational opportunities for individuals, these opportunities can help provide the rungs on a ladder to the middle class. Our region relies immensely on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to get citizens to their jobs, classes, healthcare appointments, and more. I represent communities along three of the MBTA’s commuter rail lines: the Fitchburg, Lowell, and Haverhill lines and as I visit employers and employees in the 3rd District I consistently hear how important it is for their employees to have reliable transportation. Knowing how important the rail network is to the region’s economy I do everything I can to enhance our transportation network to connect people to good jobs.

One project I was proud to support was the Fitchburg Line Commuter Rail Project. The Fitchburg line is a 50 mile rail corridor, the longest on the MBTA’s network, running from Fitchburg to Boston which serves 10,000 daily riders. Significant Federal and state investment, $306 million, has been brought to bear on the Fitchburg line which was plagued with delayed trains and long commute times. The investment is focused on double-tracking portions of the line to enhance performance, replacement or repair of tracks and bridges, and station construction or improvements in South Acton, Littleton, and Fitchburg. Because of this package of Federal and state investment the infrastructure improvements on the Fitchburg line will increase reliability, enhance the passenger experience, attract new riders, reduce maintenance costs and commute times, and support statewide and regional economic development goals.

I look forward to seeing the work on the Fitchburg Line finish and am proud the Federal and state governments were able to work together with local communities to enhance economic development opportunities in the region.

Read more about this project

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