NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – As the pandemic continues, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the administration is working to reduce workforce shortages and address other issues related to the economy. FOX 8 spoke to Raimondo in a one-on-one interview on Wednesday.
“The president has been laser focused on getting people back to work since he took office, you know, and the good news is that 6 million Americans have gone back to work since he was in office, and that’s what we know a lot of people in particular said,” Raimondo said. Women are still struggling to get back into the workforce.”
She said childcare expenses are another priority of the Biden administration.
“The president is pushing very hard to make sure child care is affordable, and we will get that done this year in 2022,” Raimondo said.
But the expanded federal tax credits for children that sent monthly payments to families expired in December of 2021 and the extension that President Biden had called for in the Senate was suspended.
“We need to get Congress to extend it and make it permanent,” Raimundo said. “Childcare is essential, it’s good for the economy, it’s good for our children, by the way, every other developed country is really doing a better job of providing childcare.”
She said expanding access to pre-kindergarten is on the White House agenda.
“The other thing the president is pushing for is the general public for pre-kindergarten, so you know, every kid should be able to go to public pre-kindergarten when they’re three and four years old just as they do when they’re five for kindergarten children,” Raimundo said.
US Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, opposes the president’s proposed plan to build back better, also referred to as the “human infrastructure” package.
“Instead of creating more government programs that put our country in more debt, I think the administration needs to address the issues we already have,” Cassidy said.
Raimondo was asked what the administration is doing to reduce inflation.
“Yes, it is, says a concern. Americans every day, they look at their bills, their purchase bills as you say, and they’re higher, so we work every day to keep the cost down,” Raimondo said.
Cassidy says inflation must be tamed.
“Fed Chair Jerome Powell said inflation is now the biggest threat to our economy,” Cassidy said.
Raimondo says they are focused on helping all industries.
“What the president does is we go through every industry and we do everything we can, we pull every lever we can industry by industry, so for example, we’ve done a lot of work with the ports, and we’ve made tremendous progress in reducing congestion at the ports in California,” Raimondo said. Which makes the market more advantageous, supply increases, and prices go down.”
She said the trillion-dollar infrastructure package Biden pushed for, and approved by Congress, would also create millions of jobs.
“For example, it will provide broadband to every American and I know a lot of people in Louisiana and in your area who don’t have high-speed broadband,” Raimundo stated.
It expects many US industries to grow in 2022.
“I expect another strong economy this year, you know, I think you will see women return to the workforce as COVID recedes, as we deal with the semiconductor situation, I think you will see car companies hiring more people to increase their production of cars,” Raimundo said, “I think You will continue to see increases in all kinds of technology and digital jobs.”
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