This week, we took an important step in putting our folks back to work. On Thursday morning, I joined President Barack Obama and some Congressional colleagues from both parties in the White House Rose Garden for the signing of the HIRE Act, which I’m proud to say, was authored by my good friend and fellow North Carolinian, Congressman Bob Etheridge. I voted for this critical bipartisan bill that will spur job growth and strengthen the private sector, and I was proud to be there when it was signed into law.
It encourages businesses to hire new workers or raise wages. It provides incentives for small businesses by allowing them to forego payroll taxes on a new hire if that person is someone who has been out of work for at least two months. This tax benefit applies to unemployed workers hired between last month and the end of this year. This allows businesses to hire today instead of waiting.
Under this new law, businesses will also be allowed to write off $250,000 of new investments in equipment, offering these companies more incentive to invest in the future of their businesses. It helps make it easier for small businesses to get loans and gives tax incentives for new plants and equipment.
It also offers cities and towns the opportunity to invest in job creating projects, like investments in green technology or rebuilding crumbling schools, by providing an easier way to raise necessary funding by reforming municipal bonds.
While this was an important first step in putting Americans back to work, there is still a lot of work to be done. Government cannot be the only solution for our economic problems. However, it has to be an engine to help spur job creation and economic growth.
I will fight for more investment and support of small businesses. Small business is what will continue to propel our economy in a positive direction. It accounts for 75 percent of new job growth, and it is imperative that we find ways to help them succeed.
I will continue to work with our state and local officials to establish regional partnerships. Our district is uniquely positioned to work together to market ourselves to businesses looking to expand and relocate to our area. We have a tremendous workforce ready and willing to work hard. We have to be ready to capitalize on the economic recovery.
In addition, I am pursuing more ways to strengthen and re-energize American manufacturing. I recently sponsored a bill to repeal NAFTA and a bill to renegotiate the three major free trade deals. We have given these deals a chance to work, and they did not.
I continue to push to implement the provisions of the Kissell Amendment, which requires that Transportation Security Administration uniforms be manufactured in the USA. Also, I have authored a bill to require Homeland Security to adhere to Buy American by requiring all textiles procured by Homeland Security to be made in the U.S.
While we have made progress, we cannot lose sight of the work left to be done. Bringing jobs home to our district remains my number one priority and I will continue to fight for common sense solutions to our unemployment crisis until our communities are able to thrive once again.
Congressman Larry Kissell (D-N.C. -8) offices include Rockingham: 230 East Franklin St., Rockingham, NC 28379, Phone: 997-2070; Concord number (704) 786-1612; Fayetteville number (910) 920-2070; Washington office: 512 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; phone (202) 225-3715. Web site, kissell.house.gov.