Jobs and Economy

“Mike Honda has dedicated his career to tackling difficult issues and doing what’s right for working people. After leading the local effort to bring BART to San Jose, Mike got $900 million in federal funding for the project creating nearly 10,000 jobs for the Silicon Valley. Mike is an effective advocate in Congress for his district and all of California”

– California Governor Jerry Brown

As a Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Honda plays an important role in overseeing and determining all Federal funding. Since his election to Congress in 2000, he has brought over $1.3 billion in funding back to his constituents for critical investments that help the community and create jobs. As the son of a sharecropper and postal worker, and himself the member of a teacher’s union, Mike has been a consistent champion of worker’s rights.

BART Extension to San Jose

Mike has been essential to securing funding for the BART Extension to San Jose at the Federal level. He worked directly with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to secure $900 million in Federal funding for the project, and as Member of the Appropriations Committee has ensured that the project receives the Federal funding on time every year. The project is creating 13,000 jobs throughout Silicon Valley.

Manufacturing

One out of five jobs in Silicon Valley are in manufacturing, twice the national average. Even so, many Silicon Valley inventions end up being manufactured overseas, often because the United States is not able to match the incentives and policies that companies receive elsewhere. Mike been a leader in promoting policies that rebuild the manufacturing sector, support the development of new technologies, encourage investments in transportation and energy, and build a stronger workforce foundation for the future. He has been, and continues to be, a strong champion for President Obama’s proposed network of manufacturing innovation centers that work with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them develop new customers, expand into new markets and create new products, allowing them to add and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. 

Mike helped deliver the $250 million flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing institute to Silicon Valley, and as lead Democrat on the subcommittee that sets the Department of Commerce budget, I secured funding for a new, industry-driven, competitively awarded manufacturing institute led by the Commerce Department and funding for the department to coordinate the activities of all of the manufacturing institutes around the country.

Technology

As a former high school science teacher who has spent his life in this valley, Mike understands the key role technology plays in growing our economy. He co-authored the Nanotechnology Research & Development Act of 2003, which he got passed through a Republican-controlled House and Senate, and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The bill led to $3.7 billion in funding for critical research and development that fueled Silicon Valley’s growth.Mike is also working to improve STEM education so the US can develop a highly skilled workforce to ensure our future global competitiveness, which is why he has introduced legislation that would help prepare the high-tech workforce of the future by elevating the role of STEM education in national policy and improving the quality of STEM education.

As a Member of the Appropriations Committee, Mike was able to steer the placement of a new U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to make sure it was in Silicon Valley. He has also been a consistent champion of making the Research & Development tax credit permanent. In May of 2014, he broke ranks with his party to vote for a bill making the credit permanent.

Sound and Relevant Legislation

Mike has been a leader on this through the introduction of sound legislation: 

  • Next Generation American Manufacturing Act (HR 255) This bill will provide tax credits for the most innovative and disruptive technologies, along with a 25% tax credit for companies building their first manufacturing facilities in the United States.
  • Support Our Startups Act (HR 254) will expand a popular tax deduction for small business startup expenses. Current law allows entrepreneurs starting a small business to claim a $5,000 income tax deduction when total startup business costs do not exceed $50,000. The Support Our Startups Act will double the tax deduction to $10,000, and raise the cap on total startup expenses to $60,000.
  • Incentivize Growth Now in Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs (IGNITE) Act (HR 253) will allow entrepreneurs to save up to $10,000 a year in after-tax income in a Small Business Savings Account to be used to establish a small business. This will mean fewer loans and credit card debt that can hamper the success of a new enterprise.
  • Creating Jobs From Innovative Small Businesses Act (HR 256) will help small, research-intensive companies invest in their ideas and reach the next step of their business development. It will encourage small business investment by establishing a temporary 20 percent tax credit for investments in research-intensive small businesses.