Housing, Jobs & Economy

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With the economy still recovering from its worst crisis in more than 70 years, the people of Seattle, and Americans throughout the country, rightfully are concerned about their job security and the direction of the overall economy. Jim’s top legislative priority is jobs. The biggest drags on our economic vitality are the lack of consumer demand, low-wage jobs that barely allow employees to make ends meet, and continued cuts to earned benefits programs and the social safety net. Government can, and must, do much more to invest in America, put more money in consumers’ pockets, and strengthen the economy.

Jobs
Americans are still feeling the brunt of economic downturn. Government must intervene forcefully to counteract some of these economic shockwaves. With so many unemployed and so much in our country that needs repair and rebuilding, Jim firmly supports substantial federal investment in infrastructure restoration and expansion, research and development, and educational improvement. He believes that such investments will put thousands of people to work, which, in turn, will get our economy moving again. Putting people to work is the best solution, even if it requires funding from the federal government – it’s also good economics.  Jim has championed the Research and Development Tax Credit, strongly supports federal investment in green energy jobs, and endorses a national infrastructure bank.

Housing
Jim’s commitment to fair and affordable housing is a hallmark of his time in Congress.  In fact, Jim’s first legislative accomplishment in Congress was authoring successful legislation to create affordable housing for HIV/AIDS patients. Jim also works every year to preserve and expand the Lower Income Housing Tax Credit – a credit that private developers in Seattle, and around the country, put to good use by building innovative housing solutions for low-income Americans. He continues to press for sound lending practices by banks and is particularly supportive of credit unions, which are a great source of stable low-cost banking services for consumers and small businesses.

Jim also strongly supported the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” enacted in July 2010; this legislation curbs many of the most reckless financial practices which brought our economy to near-collapse. During the crisis, Jim pushed hard for aggressive solutions to the collapse of the housing market. He proposed legislation that would require banks to negotiate the principal of mortgage loans during bankruptcy and he has supported more expansive mortgage refinancing options for borrowers.

Economy
Our economy cannot recover without sound banking practices, a responsible private sector, and common sense federal budgets. Profits and respect for workers need to be balanced. Jim believes that you can run a good business, treat your employees fairly, and at the same time abide by sound regulation. In the last decade, irresponsible banking and an absence of sound federal regulations have done enormous damage to the economy, our budget deficit and, most importantly, working families. We need to get back to basics, which includes some bold collective action on infrastructure, housing and the banking system.

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