On April 29, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) kicked off a campaign focused on rallying bipartisan support for legislation that would help manufacturers in the United States grow and create jobs. The Manufacturing Jobs for America (MJA) campaign had its start in the last Congress and the kick-off, which took place at an event hosted by Third Way at Union Station in Washington, D.C., was part of a significant media campaign to announce its revival in the 114th Congress. Senator Coons said he envisions the MJA campaign as a way to gather ideas from Senate Democrats that can then be taken to Senate Republicans to solicit co-sponsors and build bipartisan partnerships.
Senators Coons and Baldwin plan to introduce more than a dozen bills under the MJA banner aimed at supporting manufacturing in America. The bills will be focused on four general themes: (1) Strengthening America's 21st Century Workforce; (2) Opening Markets Abroad; (3) Creating the Conditions Necessary for Growth; and (4) Expanding Access to Capital. While the MJA campaign may sound overly ambitious, in the last Congress the initiative involved 27 Senators introducing 36 manufacturing bills, eight of which were enacted into law.
Senator Coons recognizes that while there is no shortage of good ideas for helping to revitalize America's manufacturing sector, the MJA campaign is about giving these bills "a chance to break through the political gridlock and make a difference in our economy." In a press release announcing the campaign kick-off, Senator Coons stated that "manufacturing isn't a partisan issue – it's about supporting good jobs in communities across the country. That's why we'll be working with members of both parties, from states all across the country, to pass more MJA bills this Congress."
The MJA campaign has been endorsed by a number of high-profile organizations, including the following: Alliance for American Manufacturing, National Association of Manufacturers, AFL-CIO, American Automotive Policy Council, American Small Manufacturers Coalition, Association for Manufacturing Technology, Bloom Energy, The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, National Association of Development Organizations, Progressive Policy Institute, STEM Education Coalition, United Autoworkers, and United Steelworkers. More information on the MJA campaign, including the full list of supporting organizations and participating senators, can be found here.