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Cruz Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act Empowers American Worker, Keeps Economy Strong

September 20, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - One topic that has been noticeably absent from Democrats is the economy. Perhaps this is why "most Americans remain confident about the U.S. economy and in their own financial situation," crediting many of the policies President Trump and the Republican-led Congress have championed, as a recent CBS News poll found. In Congress, Republicans have achieved enormous wins for the American people. By rolling back burdensome federal regulations, and cutting taxes on working families and individuals, America's economy has never been stronger.

As a result of the policies championed by President Trump and Republicans in Congress:
• 6.5 million jobs have been added to the market
• Median household income is at its highest level in two decades
• Americans have seen 13 months of wage growth above three percent
• There are 4.7 million more full-time, year-round workers in the workforce since 2016, with almost half being added in 2018.
• Minorities are being lifted out of poverty at a higher rate than any other group.
• The poverty rate fell by 0.9 percentage points for black Americans and by 0.8 percentage points for Hispanic Americans, with both groups reaching historic lows.

Given the growing economy and competitive job market, Congress must focus on expanding our workforce and making sure students and workers gain the skills they need for the economy today and tomorrow. In August, a record number of small business owners and job creators reported having difficulty finding qualified workers in August, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses' monthly jobs report.

As Andy Puzder wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week:

"Heightened competition for employees is improving economic circumstances for working Americans better than any government program or mandate ever could. But for the tight labor market to persist, the economy must continue growing. Paradoxically, if economic growth is to continue driving the current demand for workers, at some point the economy will need more workers to meet that demand.

"That means job training is increasingly important, particularly for discouraged workers who want to re-enter the labor force. The Trump administration has taken action such as encouraging companies to make training available, but with congressional support more can be done."

That is why U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, legislation to expand vocational, as well as elementary and secondary, education opportunities. By providing a federal tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds, this bill provides more choices for elementary and secondary students and families and for postsecondary students and workers looking to gain new skills and advance their career through career and technical education, apprenticeships, certifications, and other forms of workforce training.

Upon introduction of the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, Sen. Cruz said:

"My bill allows for scholarships to give elementary and secondary students a personalized education experience, as well as scholarships for career and technical education, apprenticeships, certifications, and other forms of workforce training for postsecondary students. It is my hope that this bill will not only incentivize voluntary investment in our students, but will also energize a new era of opportunity in education and provide a brighter future for all Americans."

As Sen. Cruz reinforced last month during a discussion with local educators, job creators, and manufacturers:

"My number one priority in the Senate is jobs, jobs, jobs. Texans want more jobs, we want higher wages, we want more opportunity. And what Texans understand is it isn't Washington that's producing those jobs. It is not some gray, windowless building in the District of Columbia. It is small businesses; it is farmers and ranchers who are putting capital at risk to create opportunity. That's where jobs come from; they come from the men and women of Texas."

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