Jobs and the Economy

To promote long-term economic growth and create jobs for the 21st century, America must invest now in our physical, human, and intellectual capital. We must out-build, out-educate, and out-innovate our international competitors so that our companies can produce the best products and hire the best people. This is why Senator Durbin supports investments in national labs and world-class universities in Illinois, Illinois’ infrastructure, youth workforce development, and retraining Illinois’ workers for jobs of the future.

Congress should focus on restoring economic security for the middle class—and those working their way up to the middle class—by passing legislation that rewards hard work with fair wages, expands apprenticeships and job training, builds on manufacturing growth, and ensures large corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.

Senator Durbin is a cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the national minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024 and index the wage to median wage growth in the future.

The Equal Pay Act was signed into law more than 50 years ago, yet American women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by men. The gap is even wider for women of color. Senator Durbin supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act to more strongly discourage pay discrimination and strengthen workplace protections for women across the country.

In America, if you work full-time you should be able to support your family—you should be paid a living wage, have access to quality health insurance and paid leave, and be able to save for retirement. However, far too often, employers are more focused on returning profits to wealthy shareholders and executives than doing the right thing for American workers and the American communities they rely upon. And too many employers ship jobs overseas. Senator Durbin introduced the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act to reward employers that provide good American jobs with fair wages and benefits and do not ship jobs overseas. 

In the last two centuries, government support for scientific research has helped split the atom, defeat polio, conquer space, create the Internet, map the human genome, and much more. The federal government should continue to make investments in high-value research and development that are critical to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Durbin has worked to provide funding to researchers at Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories and Illinois’ universities so that they can conduct ground-breaking scientific research. Senator Durbin also has introduced the American Cures Act and the American Innovation Act, which would increase funding for nine medical and basic science research agencies. Additionally, Senator Durbin led the congressional effort in bringing the national Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute to Illinois, allowing manufacturers of all sizes from across Illinois to be at the forefront of innovative, industry-driven research making Illinois and America more competitive on the global stage.