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Susan knows that many San Diego families are not really feeling the economic recovery.  Families are earning wages that are simply not keeping up with cost of living. It is this weakened economic power of the middle class that is keeping our economy from growing the way we have seen in the past. Congress must come together to improve our economy.

Susan is fighting for policies that will create jobs. She is working with her colleagues to ensure that middle-class Americans prosper and small businesses have the tools they need to innovate and thrive.  She will continue fighting for investments in to fix roads and highways, education, and scientific research that will allow American business to succeed and keep hiring.

As a mother and grandmother, Susan believes that we need to get the federal debt under control, so we do not mortgage the next generation’s future.  But efforts to fix our budget must be balanced without placing a disproportionate burden on the most vulnerable in our society – including our veterans, the poor, seniors, and those with disabilities.

Working to Raise Wages

Fighting for $15 Minimum Wage  – Susan is an original cosponsor of H.R. 15, the Raise the Wage Act. Once enacted, the federal minimum wage would rise almost immediately from $7.25/hour to $9.25/hour, increasing gradually until it reaches $15.00 per hour. The federal minimum wage would keep pace with rising wages overall through automatic annual increases to keep the ratio of the minimum wage constant with the median wage. 

Taking Action to Close the Gender Pay Gap – Susan is fighting for the enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide a much-needed update of the Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. According to U.S. Census data, by age 65, the average woman will have lost $430,480 throughout her working life as a result of the pay gap. Women make up about half of the workforce and deserve equal pay for equal work.

Boosting our Local Economy

Reducing Waits at the Border – Studies have shown that delays and inefficiency at the border cost the region $7.2 billion in lost output and 62,000 jobs. Susan worked with her colleagues in Congress and local leaders to secure federal funding to complete improvements at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The improvements have increased the number of lanes to 25 lanes with 46 inspection booths. The funding also went toward expanding capacity for foot traffic across the border with an additional pedestrian crossing.

Helping Small Businesses

Almost 95% of businesses in the County of San Diego are small businesses.  Susan is working with San Diego employers to find out what they need to create jobs and sustain growth. 

Susan continually engages with local business to listen to their ideas on improving the economy and business environment. On top of visiting with individual companies and business owners, she has done small business walkabouts in neighborhoods throughout her district visiting multiple businesses at a time to talk with owners about what they need in order to hire and grow, and how Congress can continue to play a role. 

Working with Local Manufacturers - Susan brought together local manufacturers and the Commerce Secretary for a Manufacturer’s Roundtable.  The Roundtable Discussion included 13 local businesses and economic organizations and one of their top concern was education and workforce training.

Easing Paperwork Requirements - After hearing from small business owners in San Diego, Susan voted for the new law to repeal the increased IRS Tax Form 1099 reporting requirements enacted under previous legislation. The last thing we want to do is place unnecessary and duplicative regulation on the backs of our small businesses; they should be free to focus on growing their business and not filling out paperwork. 

Health Care Tax Credit - One of the reasons Susan supported the health care reform package is because it included provisions to help small business owners provide coverage for themselves and their workers.  This credit covers up to 50% of the premiums small business owners pay to offer coverage.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that small businesses will save $40 billion through 2019.  

Encouraging Innovation

San Diego is home to one of the world’s largest biotechnology hubs that create and supports thousands of jobs and conducts groundbreaking research. Susan believes that federal support for these companies is vital to encourage the continued innovation that grows San Diego’s economy and provides medical treatments and cures for millions of sick and suffering people across the world.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - San Diego receives more NIH funding than nearly anywhere else in the United States.  Susan has spearheaded efforts in Congress to increase this funding so San Diego can maintain and grow its biotechnology workforce.

Repealing Medical Device Tax - After hearing from medical device companies in San Diego, Susan supported the Healthcare Cost Reduction Act (H.R. 436) to repeal a tax on medical devices.  With San Diego’s biotechnology companies facing fierce global competition, Susan will continue working with her colleagues to eliminate unnecessary and duplicative taxes and regulations.

Patent Reform - Susan knows that a strong patent system is necessary to maintain America’s status as the world’s leader in innovation.  That is why she joined her San Diego colleagues in a bipartisan letter in support of streamlining patent reform efforts in Washington.

Renewable Energy – San Diego is a leader in the solar energy industry. It accounts for more than 8,000 jobs in San Diego County. Susan continues to push for tax incentives to encourage growth in this industry.  The Omnibus Appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2016, which Susan supported, extended the solar energy investment tax credit for another five years. This is not only good for the local economy but also good for the environment.

Supporting Defense Jobs

As the home to one of the largest concentrations of naval forces in the world, our regional economy benefits significantly from federal defense spending.  In San Diego County, defense spending impacts more than a quarter of our employment (over 300,000 jobs), a number that has grown steadily over the past decade.  Susan works hard to maintain the unique economic role played by San Diego’s defense community, especially small businesses. 

Unbundling Contracts - Small businesses in San Diego have so much to offer the defense industry in the form of quality products and efficient services.  Susan’s been frustrated to hear that they continually run into barriers, like the negative impact of contract bundling (when multiple contract requirements are combined into a single contract), which can force out small businesses that can’t compete for large contracts.  Especially now, our government needs to help bring more businesses into the DOD procurement system, not push them out.  

Important Shipbuilding Jobs - The USNS Lewis B. Puller, christened in San Diego, is a prime example of the role shipbuilding jobs play in our region.  The contract to build the Puller helped preserve 3,600 San Diego jobs.  Susan has long been a strong and vocal supporter of the MLP program and the need to bring more shipbuilding contracts to San Diego’s “working waterfront.”

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