Jennifer believes we need to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
In the State Senate, she voted in favor of several measures that would raise the minimum wage, and introduced legislation that would ensure women doing the same job as men receive equal pay and employment benefits. She also introduced legislation that would have established Paid Medical Leave in Virginia.
As a member of the Financial Services committee, Jennifer has been at the forefront of Congressional economic policy, holding the Trump administration and Wall Street accountable to the American people.
Workforce Development and Equality
Jennifer believes that making investments in our workforce is a key to growing our economy. As our state and our nation evolve from an industrial to a technology-based economy, our workers must be prepared for the jobs of the future, not those of the past. Jennifer supports increased investments in career and vocational training, and retraining for those who have been displaced from the workforce.
Too often, wages have not kept pace with costs and the increased use of low-bid or unrealistic contracts has resulted in an American workforce doing more work for less pay. Jennifer supports increasing wages and salaries, establishing paid family and medical leave programs nationwide, revitalizing America’s middle-class, protecting and expanding workers’ rights, making affordable housing more accessible to Americans, reining in Wall Street, and supporting America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Equal pay for equal work is a critical aspect of Jennifer’s ideal economy. She was proud to vote in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen and close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act and help ensure women are being paid fairly for their work.
Jennifer remains a strong advocate for the more than 35,000 federal employees in her district. She was a vocal fighter for the inclusion of paid parental leave for all federal employees in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. She also voted for the measure and was proud to have her amendment to support military intelligence members transition into jobs in the public sector included and passed with the final legislation.
Fueling Our Economy through the COVID-19 Crisis
As the nation faces new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer has continued in fighting for these economic priorities. In voting to pass the bipartisan CARES Act, she helped ensure wage, salary, and benefit security for more than two million air industry workers, $339.8 billion for state and local funding, $3.5 billion for child care assistance for frontline workers and billions more to boost other key parts of our economy, such as small businesses and public schools. Jennifer also voted for the bipartisan HEROES Act, funding our public health response and providing economic assistance for American families. It aims to provide $12 billion in state funding for the people of Virginia, in addition to over $1 billion in urgently needed funding for localities in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. During this time, Jennifer stands with labor and in the fight to ensure worker protection through personal protective equipment allocation, hazard pay, and proper leave allowances.
As an advocate for the 13,447 small businesses in her district, Jennifer spent many days calling small businesses owners during the COVID-19 crisis and sent hundreds of loan and grant support letters for those businesses to the Small Business Administration. After passage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), she raised the alarm to the SBA regarding the uneven and problematic disbursement of PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. When the Trump administration failed to publicly disclose information over the $500 million loan disbursements, Jennifer called for and helped secure more transparency and accountability from the Treasury and SBA. She understands her responsibility to small businesses and has remained in constant contact with lending institutions to ensure adequate assistance is provided.