WEST WARWICK — Residences and town officials from both West Warwick and Coventry gathered Wednesday night at a dinner hosted by U.S.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to voice their opinions and listen to his input on various topics.
As residents ate dinner, Senator Whitehouse explained to them the many ideas he hopes to implement to preserve Social Security and Medicare, keep student loan rates down and get jobs back to Rhode Island.
Senator Whitehouse told the audience that he founded a Defend Social Security caucus to make sure the social security and Medicare benefits are not cut for senior citizens.
He said with the latest healthcare bill, no senior citizen had any change to their benefits, “and that’s a line we needed to defend.”
Another crisis Senator Whitehouse said he is trying to fix is the sky-rocketing unemployment rate in Rhode Island.
He said in today’s economy, it’s difficult for small businesses who may be expanding, but who can’t decide whether to continue hiring people.
“I’ve got legislation that will give a tax credit when you hire somebody,” he said. “To encourage the businesses that are growing.”
He said that unfortunately, the federal government gives tax benefits to jobs that move overseas.
“I’ve been to Rhode Island factories and I’ve seen holes in the floor where machines used to be,” he said. “And I ask what the holes were and they tell me ‘we moved those machines to other countries to do our work.’”
Senator Whitehouse told the audience he is pushing to get rid of the tax benefits that move American jobs across the ocean.
In terms of Rhode Island jobs, he said he’s been given permission from the federal highway to rebuild the north bound lane on Interstate 95, resulting in 1,000 new jobs for the state.
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