The American Dream is a dream of economic opportunity — that if you work hard, you can provide for your family and pass on a better life to your kids. Over the last 20 years, this dream has faded in places like Akron, Kent, and blue-collar manufacturing towns across America. Globalization, bad trade deals, and automation have widened the gap between rich and poor and put the path to the middle class out of reach for far too many Americans.
Finger pointing and empty promises will not bring back the jobs that have left. We must focus on the future of our economy and new opportunities for good-paying jobs, the closure of the GM Lordstown plant has made these issues all the more important. The American workforce stands ready to provide the skilled labor that the jobs of the future will require, such as at the Lordstown Motors Corporation, which in 2019 opened the doors of the old GM plant to production lines of electric pickup trucks. Through smart policy and innovative public-private partnerships like Youngstown’s America Makes, we can ensure communities like Warren and Alliance are ready to fill the high-tech jobs that the aerospace, additive manufacturing, and green energy sectors will create in the coming decades.
In 2016, Tim launched a bid for House Democratic Leader with a simple platform for change: Democrats must offer a bold message about the future of the American economy. For years, neither party has focused on the economic issues that are important to people in working-class towns like Youngstown, Ohio. To unite the Democratic party and attract independents, Republicans, and new voters, Tim believes Democrats must focus on the policies that will make life better for the entire working class.
This requires us to not only make our current economy fairer, but to also ask the tough questions about the future of our economy: What is the future of the workplace? How will we deal with the rise of automation? How can we ensure that a rapidly changing economy leaves no one behind? These are the questions at the heart of Tim’s message and his vision for the future of the American economy.
Tim is a strong fighter for worker protections, in 2019, he fought for unions as an original cosponsor on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, a huge priority for labor legislation in the current Congress. This important legislation extends protections to union workers by protecting those who strike, expanding employer penalties for labor law violations, and preventing employers from discouraging union membership. This bill passed the House in February of 2020.
Tim has led the fight in Congress to invest in this next generation of American manufacturing jobs by creating a United States Chief Manufacturing Officer and encouraging companies to retain jobs in the United States. Congressman Ryan has also worked to bring together industry, academia, and government partners to support manufacturing job creation through the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
Liquefied natural gas is just one example of how we can rebuild American infrastructure to jumpstart our economy. Tim believes that now is the time to invest in America — in our roads and bridges, in our energy grid and rural broadband. These projects not only create jobs in the short-term, they spur economic growth by making it easier for businesses to create jobs and export their products.
While building a strong economy is the key to restoring the American middle class, Tim also believes we must do more to build a fair economy that helps working families get ahead. He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and was an original cosponsor on the Raise the Wage Act, that passed the House in 2019, and raises the federal minimum wage standard. Tim believes that this is an important step, but we shouldn’t stop there. We need to keep fighting for jobs that pay $30, $40, and $50 an hour so no full-time worker should have to live in poverty. Congressman Ryan is also an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed the House in early 2019 and helps close the gender pay gap facing working women in America. Tim has fought for paid family leave and improved workplace rights for pregnant women, because American workers should not have to worry about losing their jobs in order to take care of their families.
Taking action to Create jobs
- Tim has challenged his own party to do more to create the kind of good jobs which will help rebuild the great American middle class.
- Tim has fought to make our economy fairer for working families by fighting to raise the minimum wage, end gender-based pay discrimination, and provide paid family leave.
- Tim is an original cosponsor on the INVEST in America Act and the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion investment to repair our nation’s crippling infrastructure while also stimulating our economy by creating millions of good-paying jobs.
- Working across the aisle, Tim has been a leader in supporting the development of America’s liquefied natural gas resources. He has supported tax breaks for fuel-efficient natural gas vehicles and cosponsored several bills to speed up federal approval of LNG exports.