Economy and Jobs
Senator Shaheen knows we need to continue to create jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. As a former small business owner, she understands that it is the private sector, not the government, which will create jobs that put people back to work and strengthen the economy. But she also knows that the government has an important role to play in creating the right atmosphere for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Senator Shaheen is committed to helping small businesses grow and create the jobs that will keep America competitive in the 21st century.
Small Business – The Job Creators in New Hampshire’s economy
Small business is the engine of New Hampshire’s economy—that’s why Senator Shaheen asked to serve on the Senate Small Business Committee. Small businesses make up 95 percent of the employers in the state and create two out of every three new jobs.
The last few years have been challenging for small businesses. Too many saw their markets shrink and their lines of credit disappear—all because of a global financial crisis they did not create. Senator Shaheen’s top priority has been ensuring that small businesses have the support they need to grow and create jobs.
As a member of the Small Business Committee, Senator Shaheen helped craft the landmark Small Business Jobs Act, which provided unprecedented support for our small businesses. She has worked to put credit into the hands of small businesses, help them grow by promoting exports, and reduce their health care costs. To read more about Senator Shaheen’s small business agenda, click here.
Inspiring Innovation to Keep America Competitive
The future of the American economy lies in innovation. That’s why we need to create the right climate for companies and entrepreneurs to create the high-tech, 21st century jobs that will pay good wages and support the American middle class. Not surprisingly, New Hampshire is ahead of the curve – it is home to one of the most dynamic, innovative economies in the country.
Senator Shaheen has been a strong advocate for policies that will tap into the innovative spirit of New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen sponsored legislation to re-authorize the Small Business Innovation Research program, which has helped hundreds of New Hampshire small businesses develop new ideas and turn them into commercial successes. She’s also a supporter of expanding the federal research and development tax credit and making it permanent.
American businesses need a highly educated work force that’s ready to do the jobs of a 21st-century economy. Senator Shaheen continues to advocate for ways to encourage students to get involved in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – so that our workforce will continue to be competitive in the future.
Today 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, yet the vast majority of American businesses do not export their products or services and less than one percent of small businesses export. Increasing exports is an effective way to spur growth, encourage investment, and create jobs in New Hampshire.
Senator Shaheen has been a leader in helping New Hampshire businesses sell their products and services to international markets and find new and expanded markets. She was the first New Hampshire Governor to lead a trade delegation outside of North America. As a Senator, Shaheen has undertaken several initiatives to connect businesses with federal resources that can enable exporting, such as the Export-Import Bank.
Shaheen sponsored legislation to strengthen Small Business Administration programs that assist small business exporting. As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, she convened a hearing to explore how to enhance trade with Europe. She is also the cosponsor of legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which helps U.S. businesses invest overseas and promotes economic development in new and emerging markets.
Transitioning to clean, alternative energy is critical to both our national security and economy. The transition to alternative energy presents enormous opportunities. As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Chairwoman of its Subcommittee on Water and Power, Senator Shaheen is committed to ensuring that America leads the way in building tomorrow's clean energy economy—creating millions of jobs and opportunity up and down the economic ladder. We cannot continue to export dollars for imported oil from hostile regions of the world. Instead, we must confront the global threat of climate change, and at the same time we must meet our rapidly growing energy needs. In the Senate, Shaheen is a leading voice for comprehensive energy legislation that provides the incentives and certainty businesses are looking for in order to invest in clean energy.
Senator Shaheen also believes that it is essential to protect consumers from wild fluctuations in the price of gas and home heating oil caused by speculators on Wall Street. Economists have confirmed that speculation is contributing as much as 20 percent of the price of a barrel of oil, which can lead to artificially high gas and home heating prices. Shaheen is working to stop increased speculation from putting an unnecessary burden on American families and businesses.
Investing in Transportation and Infrastructure to Fuel Commerce and Create Jobs
New Hampshire’s infrastructure is essential for its residents and businesses. We need good roads, bridges, railways, and airports to keep New Hampshire and the United States competitive in the coming decades. Our economic rivals, including China, are already investing in 21st-century transportation systems that will make their countries more attractive to business in this increasingly global economy. And with a rising population, our infrastructure is under increased stress.
While the State of New Hampshire is responsible for maintaining our infrastructure, the federal government plays an important role in supporting projects that are critical to New Hampshire’s economy. Each year, the State of New Hampshire receives support from the federal government to maintain and develop roads, bridges, and airports. These projects create jobs in the short-term and lay the groundwork for creating jobs in the future.
At the height of the recession, the Recovery Act put many people back to work and enabled the State to address some of its most critical, shovel-ready projects. In fact, New Hampshire was one of the fastest states to get these projects up and running, which put people to work right away.
In the long run, however, there is more to be done to meet our infrastructure needs. Senator Shaheen believes it is critical to provide New Hampshire with the support it needs to provide a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation infrastructure for our businesses and residents.
Wall Street Reform
Lax regulation and a culture of greed on Wall Street led to a financial meltdown that sent this country into a deep recession. In July 2009, Senator Shaheen voted to pass strong regulatory reform that will restore accountability to Wall Street and oversight to shadowy derivatives markets. She continues to make sure that the interests of Wall Street should not trump the needs of middle class families.