Jobs and the Economy
Jobs and the Economy
Why it matters: Arkansans deserve well-paying, sustainable employment and, with the right policies, Washington can help our state achieve that. Given the right tools and circumstances, small businesses can and will create good paying jobs for the people of Arkansas.
Where I stand: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in not just a public health emergency, but an economic one as well. We can get back to our strong, healthy pre-pandemic economy, but it will take the right approach of policymakers at all levels of government.
In order to foster an economic environment where job creation thrives, we must promote an agenda that encourages growth and innovation—not stifles it. Along with a pro-growth tax code, we must keep unnecessary, burdensome regulations off the books. When agencies overregulate, it creates an environment of uncertainty that slows job creation and brings economic growth to a grinding halt.
I am committed to working with my colleagues to pursue a pro-growth agenda. I believe there are commonsense ideas that we can agree upon that will facilitate economic growth, create good jobs in the Natural State and allow Arkansans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
What I’ve done: I have consistently worked to promote a pro-growth agenda. I’ve supported policies that reform the tax code, which enables hardworking Arkansans to keep more of their money in their own pockets and makes our businesses more competitive; reduce the regulatory burden; open new markets for Arkansas companies to compete in; and create more educational opportunities that prepare Arkansans to compete in today’s workforce.
Senator Boozman's Jobs and Economy Accomplishments
In 2017 Boozman supported historic tax relief which resulted in the creation of millions of jobs, higher paychecks and more Americans getting to keep more of their hard-earned money. The law reduced the corporate tax rate which has helped make American businesses more competitive and encouraged small businesses to expand, invest in their employees and increase wages.
Boozman has authored and advanced policies to ensure the American workforce is trained to fit the modern economy’s needs and position it for growth. The Every Child Achieves More Act signed into law in 2015 included an amendment authored by Boozman to improve the preparation of students’ real-world skills in business. He approved the modernization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act in 2018 to help students and adults gain the education and training they need to find high-skill, high-wage or in-demand jobs.
He has championed initiatives that support specialized training in order to create a pipeline of a highly-skilled workforce from school to industry. The senator supported a federal grant awarded to the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (UA-PTC) to launch a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Park project help the school increase its capacity to train more students in STEM fields.
Boozman understands the importance of job corps programs to developing the Arkansas workforce, especially in underserved areas. Boozman fought to prevent the closure of the Cass Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Franklin County. Fortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture reversed its plan to shutter a number of Job Corps locations, including Cass.
Boozman supported the inclusion of “Opportunity Zones” in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The law encourages long-term private investment to revitalize designated economically-distressed communities. The U.S. Treasury Department has certified the 85 Opportunity Zones across Arkansas.
In 2021, Boozman helped preserve the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) designation for Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs and Texarkana. The senator successfully led a bipartisan coalition of senators urging the Biden administration to abandon its plan to increase the minimum urban area population threshold for designation which would have negatively impacted federal funding eligibility for the Arkansas communities.
The senator has advocated for small business development funding. In Fiscal Year 2021 he helped secure more than $30 million for programs that support small business development such as the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, Women’s Business Centers and Regional Innovation Clusters program.
In 2020, Boozman supported the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to stabilize the economy and provide relief to Americans struggling in the wake of economic challenges resulting from COVID-19. In addition to increasing grant funding to Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers, it also created the Paycheck Protection Program. This program has been critical to helping businesses survive and continue paying their employees. More than 43,000 PPP loans were approved for Arkansas in 2020. Boozman has worked to strengthen and expand the successful program to ensure it is workable for all small businesses.
The more market access our businesses – both large and small – have around the globe, the more jobs they can create here at home. That’s why he has encouraged fair and open trade in international markets. Boozman was a driving force in the creation of World Trade Center Arkansas. It has played a valuable role in connecting businesses in the Natural State with partners around the world.
Boozman has reliably fought for fair and free trade agreements. He called for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and highlighted the importance of the USMCA to Arkansas. Boozman also pushed for the approval of trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia. In 2020, Boozman applauded President Trump for signing the Phase One Trade Deal with China. There were a number of positive provisions included in the Phase One deal.
The senator has championed regulatory reform to reduce the heavy-handed and harsh overregulation that hinders economic growth. In 2016, Boozman led efforts to prevent the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)from adopting a proposal that would have increased electricity costs for consumers in Arkansas. He is continuing to ensure the executive branch does not overstep its authority and is committed to repealing misguided rules.