Jobs & Economy
My number one priority in Congress is creating jobs and growing our economy.
Investing in Infrastructure
One of the best ways to create jobs is to put people to work fixing our roads, bridges, overpasses and waterways. That is why last Congress I co-authored an infrastructure jobs bill in the House that was fully paid for and would have funded transportation and infrastructure projects for two years. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated that the legislation would have created 177,500 jobs in California alone.
I also co-authored a bipartisan port improvement bill that has gained 187 co-sponsors. This legislation would fund dredging projects, creating jobs for the people who do the dredging and helping our local economy by making our marinas, ports and harbors more accessible for business.
Not only do smart investments in infrastructure and port improvements create jobs, but they also reduce hidden taxes on businesses and communities. A March 2013 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) found that the poor condition of California's roads costs drivers nearly $14 billion a year in repairs and operating costs.
We have to build an economy that can compete long-term. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure our district continues to grow as a national leader in the development and manufacturing of clean energy technology.
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program
I am working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a program called the Property-Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE, that’s seen tremendous success in parts of our district.
In 2009, I worked to get PACE language into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This language allows property owners to finance the purchase and installation of energy retrofits to their homes and businesses.
This program provides homeowners and businesses with a way to pay for retrofits to make buildings more energy efficient. And it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.
Since Sonoma County has started its PACE program, more than 2,000 commercial, residential, energy efficiency and water conservation projects have been undertaken. The county estimates the retrofits have pumped more than $58 million back into the local economy and have supported more than 700 jobs.
Today, I am working to pass additional legislation that will make sure every county has an opportunity to start a successful PACE program.
Protecting Geothermal Royalties
We have to protect geothermal energy and the money it bring into our communities. When geothermal revenue sharing was suspended in 2010, I authored and passed legislation that restored the payments to counties.
I am continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect geothermal revenues from future budget cuts.
Geothermal energy is good for our environment, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and helps our economy by spurring green job creation.
In 2011, our district received nearly $2 million in geothermal royalties. That money is used to pay for governmental services, such as road maintenance, public safety and law enforcement, related to the geothermal field.
Repealing geothermal royalty payments is a short sighted plan that will do nothing to reduce our deficit. And it is not fiscally responsible. It would kill jobs, cripple future green job growth, and slow our economic recovery – all of which will only make our deficit larger. I will continue to fight against these cuts, because if a community invests in developing geothermal energy, they deserve to get their fair share in returns.
Supporting Small Businesses
I am working to support our district’s small businesses. Last Congress I introduced bipartisan legislation to simplify the tax code for small businesses. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, we should all be able to agree that simplifying taxes for small businesses is good policy. This bill will save small businesses time, paperwork and headaches during tax season by expanding cash accounting, allowing them to focus their efforts on what they do best – growing their businesses – not on complicated accounting practices.
Investing in Education
Finally, for our long-term economic growth, we must invest in education and worker retraining so that our nation continues to have the world’s best entrepreneurs and innovators to compete in a global economy. That is why I have consistently supported funding need-based grants at their highest level so students can afford college. And it is why I co-authored legislation that would freeze some student loan interest rates and prevent them from doubling. This will save an average middle-class family about $1,000 a year.
Infrastructure, investments in new economic engines like energy, support for small businesses, and education – these are the keys to creating jobs and building a strong American economy for years to come.
More on Jobs & Economy
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, voted to pass H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. This bill expands access to retirement plans for employees of small businesses, makes it easier for home health care workers in California to access retirement savings tools, and eliminates an unfair and unjust tax hike on Gold Star families caused by mistakes in the Republican tax law. A statement from Thompson is below.
Washington – Today House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep Tom Rice (R-SC), and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) announced the introduction of H.R. 2213, a bill that permanently extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to help certain disadvantaged groups – including public assistance-dependent individuals, qualifying veterans, and persons with a physical or mental disability, among others – find permanent employment.
Washington, DC – Today, 36 members of the California Delegation sent a letter to Rep. Kevin Brady and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chairmen of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, respectively, expressing deep concern about any proposed changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction as indicated in the “Big Six” framework. The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes from their federal taxable income, and was written into the federal tax code since the inception of the income tax in 1913.
Washington, DC – Today, Congressmen Mike Thompson (CA-05), Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), and Randy Hultgren (IL-14) introduced the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act, legislation that would incentivize employers to invest in their employees, giving them the necessary training to close the skill gap that exists between employers’ needs and employees in many industries.
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) issued the following statement following a meeting with the President and a bipartisan group of members of the House Committee on Ways and Means at the White House:
Sonoma County’s two members of Congress said President Donald Trump made expansive promises and talked about spending trillions of taxpayer dollars in a speech Tuesday night that was short on explaining how any of it will be done.
“He made a lot of lofty promises that quite honestly I don’t see how they can be achieved,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, in a telephone interview shortly after the president’s first speech to a joint session of Congress.
U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and John Garamendi (CA-03) announced that low-interest Small Business Administration loans have been made available to business owners and homeowners impacted by the Clayton fire.
While there are no official estimates as to how many businesses and homeowners are eligible to receive these loans, the owners of the 203 homes and eight commercial structures that were destroyed may be eligible to receive these loans should they choose to apply and meet SBA criteria.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 11, 2016) – The Small Business Council of America (SBCA), a national nonprofit organization which represents the interests of more than 20,000 privately-held and family-owned organizations on Federal tax, employee benefit and health care matters, presented its 33rd Annual Congressional awards on May 4, 2016.
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today voted in favor of H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The agreement raises the debt limit until March 15, 2017, and sets increased spending levels for two years by partially rolling back sequestration cuts by $80 billion, which will be split equally between defense and nondefense spending.
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $1.5 million Defense Department grant for Riptide Bioscience, Inc. Riptide Bioscience is based in Vallejo on Mare Island. The grant, part of the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA), will go towards a research project titled the “Evaluation of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides as Topical Anti-Infectives with Broad Spectrum Activity Against Combat-Related Bacterial and Fungal Wound Infections.”