U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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Manufacturing Jobs for America

Policy Ideas in Manufacturing Jobs for America

Skills Training

Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (S. 1400)
Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Goal: Increase investment in adult education, expand access to technology and digital literacy skills for adult learners, require better coordination and integration of adult education with state workforce development systems and postsecondary education, and strengthen English and civics education for new Americans.
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

America Works Act (S. 453)
Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Goal: Reduce the "skills gap" by amending the Workforce Investment Act, Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Act to encourage federal job training programs funded by these laws to give priority consideration to programs that offer portable, national and industry-recognized credentials. In doing so, job training programs would be encouraged to match the skills of workers with the needs of local employers, thereby training individuals for the jobs that are available in their communities right now.
Status: Referred to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

BUILD Career and Technical Education Act (S. 1293)
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Goal: Provide $20 million in new federal funding to establish a 2-year pilot grant program supporting career and technical education exploration programs in middle schools and high schools. 
Status: Referred to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Community College to Career Fund (S. 1269)
Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Goal: Create an $8 billion fund co-administered by the DOL and the Dept. of Education.  The purpose is to facilitate training between community colleges and businesses.
Status: Referred to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Manufacturing Universities
Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Goal: Award grant to a university designated as a ‘manufacturing university,’ in the amount of $25 million over a four-year window ($6.25 million per year) to revamp its engineering programs to focus on manufacturing engineering and curricula specifically related to targeted industries.  This bill calls for the designation of 20 U.S. Manufacturing Universities.
Status: Not yet introduced

New Skills for New Jobs
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Goal: Provide a federal match equal to the training repayment amounts (state income tax diversion to the community college) from programs like the Michigan New Jobs Training program. The federal government will provide those equal amounts to the community college every quarter. By matching the state contribution, the bill helps to decrease the repayment times of the current state programs and possibly double the number of eligible companies and workers that can participate. 
Status: Not yet introduced

On-the-Job Training Act (S. 1227)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Goal: Authorize the Department of Labor to make grants to fund local On-the-Job Training programs.  Grants will also provide state and local boards with resources to recruit employers and develop their OJT programs. 
Status: Referred to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Race to the Shop
Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Goal: Create an annual $150 million competition to promote reforms in workforce education and skill training for advanced manufacturing in states and metropolitan areas.  States and metropolitan areas would have to organize a task force to design and submit a proposal to address the manufacturing workforce and skills challenges within their region.  An inter-agency partnership would review submissions and award annual implementation grants to the five states and five metropolitan areas with the strongest and most comprehensive plans. 
Status: Not yet introduced

SECTORS Act (S. 1226)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Goal: Facilitate partnerships between employers, educators, and local workforce administrators to train workers for some of the most needed 21st century jobs.
Status: Referred to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Skills Gap Strategy Act
Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Goal: Directs the Department of Labor to develop a strategy to address the skills gap by providing recommendations to increase on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities, increase employer outreach efforts, and identify and prioritize in-demand credentials. The bill encourages the Department to develop the strategy using existing resources, programs, and personnel.    
Status: Not yet introduced

Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act of 2013 (S. 288)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
Goal: Authorize funds for the National Science Foundation to manage a competitive grant program to promote women and minorities pursuing jobs in the STEM industry.
Status: Referred to Senate Commerce Committee

Exports

American Export Promotion Act of 2013
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Goal: Authorizes the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).  The program awards grants of financial and technical assistance to support trade association or local chamber of commerce projects that enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. industries. Successful grantees pay a minimum of two-thirds of the project cost and agree to sustain the project after the MDCP award period ends. On average from 1997 through 2012 projects generated $258 in exports for every $1 in MDCP awards made by ITA.
Status: Not yet introduced

Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act (S. 1114)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Goal: Use U.S. trade law to counter the economic harm to U.S. manufacturers caused by currency manipulation, and provide consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency misalignment.
Status: Referred to Senate Banking Committee

FAIR Enforcement Against Duty Evasion Act
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Goal: Combat foreign companies that smuggle products into this country to avoid paying penalties for unfair trade practices.  The bill creates “know your customer” rules for customs brokers and makes the information available to law enforcement, increasing the likelihood that lawbreakers can be identified and brought to justice. The bill would also create a safe harbor to shield brokers from fines if they make a good faith effort to comply.
Status: Not yet introduced

Green Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act of 2013
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Goal: Establish a Green Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Program to, among other things, promote policies to reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment, and productivity among businesses in the United States that export green energy technologies or related services and implement a national strategy with respect to the exportation of green tech.
Status: Not yet introduced

SelectUSA Authorization Act of 2013
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Goal: Authorize the SelectUSA program, a foreign direct investment initiative designed to promote the U.S. as the foremost place in the world to conduct business.
Status: Not yet introduced

Small Business Export Growth Act (S. 1179)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) 
Goal: Help small businesses capitalize on export opportunities by removing red tape and improve federal export assistance programs for small businesses.
Status: Referred to Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee

Access to Capital

Amend Section 179 Depreciation (S. 1298)
Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Goal: Increase, for taxable years beginning after 2013: (1) the limitation on the amount of the expensing allowance for depreciable business assets from $25,000 to $200,000, and (2) the threshold amount over which such expensing allowance is reduced from $200,000 to $800,000.
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

Angel Investment Tax Credit Act of 2013
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Goal: Allow a credit against income tax for equity investments in small businesses.
Status: Not yet introduced

Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 337)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Goal: Grant business taxpayers a tax credit for up to 20% of insourcing expenses incurred for eliminating a business located outside the United States and relocating it within the United States. This bill would also deny a tax deduction for outsourcing expenses incurred in relocating a U.S. business outside the United States.
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

Build America Bonds
Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Goal: Allow state and local governments to sell taxable bonds to investors, and the federal government subsidizes a certain percentage of the interest costs.
Status: Not yet introduced

CREED Act (S. 289)
Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
Goal: Extend the 2010 provision allowing small business owners to use SBA 504 loans to refinance existing commercial debt for any fiscal year during which the 504 base program operates at zero subsidy.  By doing so, this program lowers small businesses’ monthly mortgage payments at no cost to taxpayers.
Status: Referred to Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee

Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Goal:Shorten the depreciation schedule to 20 years for roofs that meet certain energy-efficiency standards and that are put in place over the next two years.  The current tax code acts as an obstacle to retrofitting old roofs with energy-efficient ones because generally commercial roofs are depreciated over 39 years.  By shortening the depreciation schedule, we are lowering the amount of tax that businesses would otherwise have to pay.  This change will create more jobs by encouraging the construction of new roofs and by putting more cash into the hands of businesses.
Status: Not yet introduced

Expanding Industrial Energy and Water Efficiency Incentives Act of 2013
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Goal: Offer targeted, non-permanent incentives to help U.S. manufacturing and industry become more globally competitive by employing smart technological improvements to reduce energy use and encourage water reuse.
Status: Not yet introduced

Job Creation through Energy Efficient Manufacturing
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Goal: Authorize $250 million in funding to a Financing Energy Efficient Manufacturing Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.  That program would provide competitive grants to states to fund new or expanded industrial energy efficiency financing programs.  These state programs could provide various forms of financing, but typically provide low-cost loans to manufacturers to help cover the up-front cost of energy efficient retrofits. 
Status: Not yet introduced

Make It in America Tax Credit Act
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Goal: Extend the 48C advanced energy manufacturing tax credit with $5 billion of additional allocations.  First introduced in 2011, S. 1764.  
Status: Not yet introduced

Manufacturing Reinvestment Account
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Goal: Allow manufacturing firms to establish a manufacturing reinvestment account (MRA) in a community bank where manufacturers can make annual pre-tax contributions of up to $500,000 that may be held in the MRA for up to 7 years.  Amounts distributed from the MRA are effectively taxed at a low 15 percent rate and must be used to purchase equipment and facilities or for job training.
Status: Not yet introduced

MLP Parity Act (S. 795)
Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Goal: Level the playing field between traditional and new energy businesses by helping energy-generation and transmission companies form master limited partnerships, which combine the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships.
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

Small BREW Act (S. 917)
Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Angus King (I-Maine), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Roger Wicker (R-La.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
Goal: Under current law, brewers generally pay an $18 excise tax on each barrel brewed.  Small brewers, currently defined as those that brew fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year, pay a reduced excise tax of $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels of beer they brew each year. The Small BREW Act would reduce the excise tax applicable to brewers producing up to 6 million barrels per year to just $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels and $16 on additional barrels below 2 million per year.
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

Small Business Savings Account
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Goal: Create tax preferred Small Business Savings Accounts to pay for trade or business expenses, including operating capital, the purchase of equipment or facilities, marketing, training, incorporation, and accounting fees. Allows annual contributions to such accounts up to $10,000.
Status: Not yet introduced

Startup Innovation Credit Act (S. 193)
Chris Coons (D-Del.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Goal: Help startup manufacturers get access to the R&D credit.  Currently, startup firms are shut out of the R&D credit, yet newer companies are the ones that create the most jobs.  This legislation would allow new manufacturers to claim their R&D credit against their employment taxes, providing much needed cash flow to fuel growth. 
Status: Referred to Senate Finance Committee

Conditions Necessary for Growth

America Recruits Act
Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Goal: Promote the on shoring of jobs to rural and underdeveloped areas, strengthen workforce training and industry certification programs, and expand U.S. exports.
Status: Not yet introduced

American Jobs Matter Act (S. 1246)
Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Goal: Require the Department of Defense, for the first time, to measure domestic employment as a factor in rewarding a contract. American manufacturing firms will be able to leverage their contribution to the U.S. economy to win federal contracts by demonstrating how many jobs they will create or retain with the award of a contract.
Status: Referred to Senate Armed Services Committee

American Manufacturing Initiative
Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Goal: Address the R&D tax credit, vehicle mandates and goals, tax credits for advanced technology and flexible fuel vehicles, programs to support U.S. manufacturing, fair trade enforcement, health care, advanced vehicle development, fuel conservation and biofuels, fuel conservation and biofuels, fuel savings, and Department of Defense manufacturing initiatives.
Status: Portions of the proposal have been adopted

Building a Stronger America Act of 2013
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Goal: Strengthen manufacturing and competitiveness and promote US exports.  Strengthen employment clusters to organize regional success, promote workforce innovation for new jobs and applied education, and attract and grow jobs with certification and training standards.
Status: Not yet introduced

Clean Technology Consortia
Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Goal: Link inventors with investors and entrepreneurs to bridge the “valley of death” and get innovations out of the lab and into the factory. Similar legislation has passed the House multiple times as part of the 2009 climate bill and the 2010 America COMPETES re-auth, but has not passed the Senate.
Status: Not yet introduced

Fab Lab
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Goal: Create a federal charter for a non-profit organization called “The National Fab Lab Network” (NFLN). NFLN would act as a public-private partnership whose purpose is to facilitate the creation of a national network of fab labs and serve as a resource to assist stakeholders with their effective operation.
Status: Not yet introduced

Made in America Manufacturing Act (S. 63)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Goal: Create a competitive program that awards states and regions with funding to support local manufacturers through low-interest loans to build new facilities and upgrade equipment, and access to capital and technical assistance to develop exporting opportunities and to connect innovative small suppliers with larger companies. Funding would also go towards job training and vocational education programs that partner businesses with colleges, local workforce centers and other skill providers to prepare workers for manufacturing jobs.
Status: Referred to Senate Commerce Committee

Native Small Business Conformity Act of 2013
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Goal: Expand opportunities for Native small businesses under the Small Business Act's HUBZone and Native 8(a) programs by providing common requirements and eligibility standards for Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations and Native Hawaiian Organizations.
Status: Not yet introduced

Rebuild American Manufacturing Act (S. 544)
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Goal: Require the President to establish a national manufacturing strategy every two years and submit that strategy to Congress.
Status: Referred to Senate Commerce Committee

Restoring America's Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Goal: Establish a National Advanced Manufacturing Program to coordinate manufacturing research and development.
Status: Not yet introduced

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