Washington, DC – As Rhode Island continues to suffer from one of the highest joblessness rates in the country, the United States Senate has passed an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that will provide a better understanding of ways to improve the local economy. The amendment, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the pattern of job loss in New England over the past two decades with a particular focus on the decline of the manufacturing sector. Under the amendment, the GAO would have to submit a report to Congress later this year that includes recommendations to attract industries and bring new jobs to the region.
“New England states, and Rhode Island in particular, have suffered especially hard during the current economic downturn, and this report will provide a fuller understanding of how to revitalize the region,” said Whitehouse. “The results of this study will help us in our effort to bring new jobs to Rhode Island.”
The amendment was included in H.R. 4213, a jobs package that contains an extension of emergency unemployment benefits and federal health insurance subsidies through the end of the year. Whitehouse and Reed joined with 64 of their colleagues in ending a Republican filibuster of the bill. The bill is expected to pass the Senate, with the Whitehouse amendment, later this week.