A picture of Senator Mary L. Landrieu
Mary L.
Former Democrat LA
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    Unanimous Consent Request—S. 1797

    by Former Senator Mary L. Landrieu

    Posted on 2013-12-10

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    LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I too hope we can resolve the issue my colleagues were just discussing. It is an important one for the country. We are very blessed in Louisiana to have a relatively low unemployment rate because our economy is doing so well, in large measure because of extraordinary new technologies, which I think the Chair understands as well in Indiana, where they used to discover oil and gas, and particularly natural gas in places and in ways we never thought possible. That is creating a real resurgence of manufacturing in our State, and that is benefiting not only us and our neighbors along the gulf coast, but it is benefiting States all over America.

    The economic numbers, despite the great challenges we have here in the Congress on our budget, on paying down our debt, on reducing our annual deficit, on procedural measures and how to run the Senate and work more effectively on behalf of the people of all of our States, are really quite good in [[Page S8597]] North Dakota, in South Dakota, in Texas, Louisiana, and other States. They are experiencing really very low numbers of unemployment because the jobs are plentiful. Our challenge is, just to comment briefly, on training the workforce we are going to need to fill all the jobs we have. These are very good-paying jobs, some starting at $40,000 or $60,000 a year--construction, welders--going up to $125,000. Some are temporary, but many of them will be permanent.

    So I hope we can resolve this unemployment issue, because, unfortunately, in Senator Reed's State--the State of Rhode Island--and in 20 other States there is very high unemployment. In some States it might still be over 9 percent. They are chronically unemployed because of the competition of globalization and other factors. So I think we have to try to find a way to work together as a Nation. As I said, Louisiana is blessed to have relatively low unemployment, but we have a big job skills training gap we are working on in our State.


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