Jobs, the Economy, and Lowering Costs
Senator Van Hollen fights for policies to lift up workers and help families make ends meet by growing the economy in a way that creates more opportunity and shared prosperity for all, reducing the costs of household necessities like prescription drugs, and ensuring that the super-wealthy and powerful corporations do more to invest in the success of every American.
The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic strained the pocketbooks of working families across our state like never before. That’s why Senator Van Hollen partnered with colleagues to pass a series of relief bills to deliver financial support to those hardest-hit and give America’s comeback a big boost. Those efforts, including provisions from the American Rescue Plan, resulted in landmark initiatives to provide direct payments to over 2.7 million Maryland families, provide monthly tax cuts to 684,000 Maryland families with children, shore up Maryland small businesses, keep theaters and performance venues from shuttering, and lend a helping hand so that restaurants could stay open despite the unprecedented hardship of the pandemic.
The economy added over 6 million jobs during President Biden’s first year in office – the most job growth ever in a single year – thanks in large part to the American Rescue Plan. We are on the road to recovery, and we are building back from this crisis. But it isn’t enough for us to return to the pre-pandemic status quo: Senator Van Hollen believes we must build back stronger, and that includes ensuring our economy works for everyone.
That mission begins with creating more good-paying home-grown jobs. To bring our nation’s infrastructure into the 21stcentury and spur hundreds of thousands of new jobs, Senator Van Hollen helped pass the infrastructure modernization bill, which has now been signed into law. That law will bring more than $7 billion in federal funding to Maryland over five years to improve our transit systems, railways, drinking water, roads, bridges, tunnels, broadband, and more, and it includes additional resources for our nation’s ports, including the Port of Baltimore. All of these investments will put more Marylanders to work in good-paying jobs.
Senator Van Hollen is also leading a push to create more jobs in our communities to help tackle the climate crisis, including through his legislation to create a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator and his HOPE for HOMES Act. Both bills would not only provide a boost to clean energy technologies, they would also create jobs and ultimately reduce Marylanders’ energy costs. In addition to these efforts, Senator Van Hollen is working to increase the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, and strengthen the power of workers to form unions and bargain collectively so they get the compensation they deserve from the fruit of their labor.
Senator Van Hollen has also teamed up with colleagues to ensure that the wealthiest and big corporations pay their fair share so that we can invest in an economy that benefits every American and rewards work – not just wealth. After decades of rising inequality, a devastating pandemic, and wasteful tax giveaways to the wealthiest of the wealthy during the Trump Administration, it is long past time for us to reform the tax code in order to sustain a fairer economy with greater opportunity for everyone. That’s why Senator Van Hollen has introduced legislation to reveal when multinational corporations are getting tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas or abusing offshore tax havens, and he has joined his colleagues on legislation to close those loopholes. He has also been fighting to create a Millionaire’s Surtax, which would apply an additional 10-percentage point tax to incomes about $2 million for married couples and above $1 million for individuals – and under that plan, 99.8% of Americans wouldn’t pay an extra dime in taxes. Last but not least, Senator Van Hollen is leading efforts to close the stepped-up basis loophole, which billionaires use to avoid income taxes entirely on the enormous gains that come from their wealth, rather than their work. Closing that loophole would make sure that the largest American dynasties pay their fair share of taxes while protecting small businesses and family farms.
As we boost jobs and wages, we should also reduce the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, child care, and other essential goods and services. Senator Van Hollen has proposed a suite of legislation to address these rising costs, including giving Medicare the right to negotiate the price of prescription drugs and delivering tax cuts to families. And by calling for new investments in affordable housing, down-payment assistance programs, rental relief, and expanded mobility services that will help families with children use housing vouchers to move to neighborhoods of opportunity, Senator Van Hollen is working to shrink the amount of money that families spend to keep a roof over their heads – while simultaneously creating new opportunities for all Americans to grow wealth.
The United States is regarded around the world as “the land of opportunity.” Senator Van Hollen is partnering with colleagues to live up to that reputation by building an economy that works for everyone and growing more opportunity and more shared prosperity for Marylanders and our fellow citizens from coast to coast.