Jobs and the Economy
Economists are increasingly worried the economic recovery is leaving behind the middle class and those working to get into it. Rep. Denny Heck is worried about that too. Every family in Washington state deserves the opportunity to thrive. Members of Congress must do a better job working with their colleagues from both parties towards that goal.
REAUTHORIZING THE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK
The Export-Import Bank of the United States allows American companies access to new global markets for their products and services. Companies producing advanced manufacturing materials have found many customers in foreign countries eager to purchase their goods, but lack the insurance and loan services available to make large purchases possible.
The Ex-Im Bank was reauthorized for 2 years in 2012 with widespread, bipartisan support. To continue this important tool for U.S. businesses, Rep. Denny Heck introduced the Protect American Jobs and Exports Act of 2014, to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank for 7 more years and allow it to lend more money to American companies. His legislation received 201 cosponsors in less than 6 hours. At the start of the 114th Congress, Rep. Heck joined Ranking Member Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to introduce the Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015, which renews Ex-Im’s charter for seven years, increases its lending authority to meet the needs of U.S. exporters, and modernizes the Bank’s programs to better serve small and medium-sized businesses. Less than one day after the legislation was introduced, more than 160 Democratic members of the House of Representatives signed on to cosponsor the legislation, eventually reaching a total of 190 cosponsors.
On October 28, 2015, the House of Representatives successfully passed H.R. 597, the Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act, to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States until 2019, in a bipartisan, veto-proof vote of 313-118. The President signed the measure into law on December 4, 2015.
If you own a company in the South Sound and are interested in exporting your goods with tools provided by the Export-Import Bank , please contact Congressman Denny Heck's office.
“The fact that, for the first time since its inception, Congress failed to reauthorize this, is a shame,” President Obama said. “This is what Representative Heck was alluding to. Every other advanced country on Earth has a program like this in order to promote their businesses when they’re selling overseas. For us to be the only country that leaves these outstanding companies high and dry makes absolutely no sense.”
MAKE IT IN AMERICA, MAKE IT IN WASHINGTON
In April 2014, Rep. Denny Heck launched the Make it in Washington tour. While touring many businesses in the South Sound, Rep. Heck has seen firsthand the manufacturing and business prowess of our region’s companies and employers. Two out of every three new jobs are created by small businesses, and Rep. Heck continues to listen to ideas from small business owners about what Congress can do to help small business grow and thrive in the 21st century global economy. We don't just have one business that we rely on, but a diverse group of entrepreneurs. As Rep. Heck visits more South Sound businesses, he will continue to discuss what federal issues matter most for their bottom line.
If you own a small business in the South Sound and would like Rep. Heck to tour your business, please contact Congressman Denny Heck's office.
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE TO KEEP OUR ECONOMY MOVING
The 10th Congressional District includes the port of Olympia, part of the port of Tacoma, and many employees of the port of Shelton. That is over 100,000 family-wage jobs. Almost one-third of our nation’s GDP is a result of international trade, including 1.4 trillion dollars-worth of goods each year via our nation’s ports.
In 2014, Rep. Denny Heck supported the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act, commonly known as WRRDA. This bill modernizes our nation's water infrastructure, including our nation’s ports and waterways, by authorizing new and necessary Army Corps of Engineers projects. And the bill keeps costs under control by getting rid of old, out-of-date projects.
Rep. Heck pushed very hard for the final bill to include the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act—or WIFIA—would provide our communities with access to low-cost, long-term financing they desperately need to address aging water infrastructure and ensure water needs are met for future generations.
Rep. Heck is a strong supporter of the Partnership to Build America Act. Instead of using government money, this bill establishes a $50 billion dollar infrastructure fund from the sale of “American Infrastructure Bonds.” These bonds would be sold to private companies with a low interest rate, and loans from the fund would go to state and local governments to make necessary upgrades to their roads, bridges, public utilities, etc. Rep. Heck believes that bipartisan legislation to rebuild America’s infrastructure in a fiscally-responsible way like the Partnership to Build America Act is the best way to fund the necessary improvements our country needs to build a modern community that can support a growing and robust economy.
Stormwater infrastructure goes beyond the numerous, critical environmental benefits such as reduced flooding and improved green spaces. It means economic benefits as well. Family wage jobs across multiple public works sectors, better property values, and cost savings over the long-term. As a supporter of the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act and the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Financing Investment Act, Rep. Denny Heck advocates for funding inventive stormwater strategies that allow communities to plan, develop, and implement stormwater control projects. The Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act would establish “Centers of Excellence” for different regions that would conduct research, develop recommendations, and provide training and technical assistance to implement management practices for stormwater control and management. The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Financing Investment Act would create financing incentives to help state, Tribal, and local governments invest in Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI).
“Stormwater runoff is the top contributor to pollution in Puget Sound, but our nation’s largest estuary isn’t the only place impacted by stormwater," Heck said.
"Across the country, in every community, rain mixes with chemicals, oils, and other harmful pollutants to flood into our waterways. A stronger federal investment in the prevention of runoff allows for the implementation of cutting-edge solutions and puts our communities on a course towards healthy waters for everyone.”
STATE ROUTE 167
Economic development in the 10th Congressional District depends heavily on the completion of the freight corridor for the Port of Tacoma, SR 167.
Rep. Denny Heck convened the SR 167 Completion Coalition and have worked closely with the members to get this important roadway between Puyallup’s SR 161 and Tacoma’s SR 509 completed. The SR 167 Completion Coalition includes input from business, labor, local government, and local residents. The mission of the coalition is to put pressure on state lawmakers to fund the $1.5 billion project that has been overdue for 30 years.
SR 167 alone would create almost one thousand jobs, and the potential to create 80,000 permanent jobs statewide once it’s up and running. The area has waited three decades for the road to be completed and Rep. Heck believes its progress is critical for our region’s economy.
On July 16, 2015, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the $16 billion transportation package. The package included complete of SR 167, and as a whole is expected to create around 200,000 jobs.