Economic growth and job creation are top priorities for Rep. Eshoo. She works tirelessly with Members of Congress, constituents, and businesses in the 18th Congressional District to enact effective legislation to meet these goals.
Among these efforts, Rep. Eshoo authored sections of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which economists agree played a large part in preventing another Great Depression. She voted for the Recovery Act to help initiate economic recovery and create an estimated 2.5 to 3.6 million jobs in its first year and a half.
Because of the Recovery Act and other efforts, the hemorrhaging of jobs ceased and America saw job gains for the first time since 2007. After losing jobs for a year and a half, Silicon Valley has led the recovery. In July 2012, Silicon Valley led the nation in job growth. Across the rest of the country, job growth is picking up as our economy rebounds from double-digit unemployment in 2009. While we are on the right path, it will take time and additional sound policies to achieve the strong and sustained job growth needed for a full recovery.
In 2009, during the worst of the recession, the Recovery Act:
- Invested nearly $700 million for approximately 400 projects in our Congressional District, including:
- More than $38 million for improvements and repair of public transit;
- $25 million for energy efficiency projects; and
- $3.5 million for the Pell Grant Program in Foothill-DeAnza, West Valley-Mission, and the San Mateo County Community College Districts.
- Cut taxes for 95 percent of working families—the largest middle-class tax-cut in history—through the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, providing $37 billion in tax relief across the country, including 186,000 families in our Congressional District.
- Made loans to nearly 40,000 small businesses through the Recovery Act, providing them with over $18 billion in much-needed capital.
- Funded over 11,500 transportation construction projects nationwide, ranging from highway construction to airport improvement projects, with more than 7,800 already underway.
- Started more than 2,700 construction and improvement projects at over 350 military facilities nationwide.
- Made multi-billion dollar investments in innovation, science and technology that are laying the foundation for a 21st century economy.
- Provided critical relief for state governments facing record budget shortfalls, including:
- $55 billion to help prevent cuts to Medicaid programs across the country; and
- Nearly $60 billion in funding for education—a move, according to state governors, already responsible for creating and saving over 300,000 education jobs. It is also the single largest amount of money ever spent on K-12 education in the history of our country.
Job Creation Measures in the 113th Congress
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Eshoo introduced a follow-up bill to the JOBS Act to impose a deadline on the SEC for increasing the Reg A offering limit after the deadline was mistakenly left out of the JOBS Act. H.R. 701 requires the SEC to complete its rulemaking by October 31, 2013, and it passed the House on May 15, 2013 by a vote of 416-6.
American Jobs Act
In the 112th Congress, Rep. Eshoo was a cosponsor of H.R. 12, the American Jobs Act of 2011. This bill was offered at the request of the Obama Administration, and would have taken many immediate actions to spur the economy and job growth. Among other things, the American Jobs Act would have:
- Cut payroll taxes in half for 98 percent of American businesses as well as 160 million American workers, and eliminated payroll taxes entirely for firms that increase their payrolls, thereby incentivizing small firms to grow.
- Made immediate investments in infrastructure, and created a National Infrastructure Bank that could leverage a public investment with many times that amount in private dollars, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans to work modernizing our roads, railways, airports, and waterways.
- Modernized at least 35,000 public schools nationwide, with a focus on science labs and internet-ready classrooms – to ensure that the next generation of Americans have the skills they need to compete in the 21st century.
- Given aid to states to prevent the layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, as well as police officers and fire fighters.
- Created a “Returning Heroes” tax credit, providing $5,600 to $9,600 to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.
This bill would have been paid for by closing loopholes in the tax code for oil and gas companies, hedge funds, and the owners of corporate jets, and by limiting itemized deductions for those making more than $200,000, Independent analysts estimated that the President’s jobs bill would have raised economic growth by up to 2 percentage points and created up to 1.9 million jobs. Unfortunately, the American Jobs Act was halted in committee by the Republican leadership.
Other Job Creation Measures in the 112th Congress
Rep. Eshoo was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012. This law reduces regulatory burdens on startups so they can focus on growth and hiring more employees. The law also incorporated important provisions of H.R. 1070, the Small Company Capital Formation Act, legislation Rep. Eshoo also cosponsored which increases the SEC’s Regulation A offering limit from $1 million to $50 million. Raising this limit helps small companies raise capital and create jobs in their early stages.
On February 17, 2012, the House passed H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which President Obama signed into law five days later. This law extended the payroll tax cut through December 2012, a critical measure for middle class families struggling through the recovery. The law saved a worker making $50,000 a year an estimated $80 per month on his or her tax bill. For workers making more, the tax break could put more than $2,200 back in their pockets in 2012.
Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of H.R. 1418, the Small Business Access to Capital Act. Under current law, federal credit unions are only permitted to lend up to 12.25% of their assets to member businesses. This bipartisan bill would raise this cap to 27.5%, freeing up more capital for small businesses seeking loans. These loans have very low default rates, and this capital would boost the efforts of innovators and job creators.