Steve Pearce staged a press conference this morning to announce a plan for jobs and investment in New Mexico. Notably absent from the event, however, was any plan. While Michelle Lujan Grisham has spent more than eight months discussing her 12 comprehensive policy plans to create a stronger New Mexico, Pearce has dodged questions, eschewed detail, and looked to hide his extreme right wing record from hardworking New Mexico families.
Marg Elliston, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, responded: “Steve Pearce can’t distract New Mexicans from the fact that he has no plan to improve our economy, still hasn’t released his tax returns, and has a record of fighting against good-paying New Mexico jobs. Pearce’s ‘Prosperity Plan,’ is just a glorified press release with a vague commitment to invest in New Mexico businesses—It’s like lazy Pearce pulled an all nighter in a pathetic attempt to catch up with the detailed policy proposals Michelle Lujan Grisham has released over the past 10 months, and he’s earned an F.”
Michelle has been focused on real solutions and detailed plans for New Mexico families… that Pearce seems to have copied
Michelle Lujan Grisham Released her Jumpstart New Mexico plan to immediately create jobs and grow New Mexico’s economy in October of 2017. She will raise the minimum wage, invest in early childhood education, make New Mexico the clean energy state, and invest hundreds of millions of dollars back into New Mexico businesses, and increase workforce training. Michelle announced in her Jumpstart plan that she would instruct the State Investment Council to invest the full 9% allowed by law of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund in New Mexico, making roughly $200 more available to New Mexico businesses.
Her Build New Mexico plan will create a resilient economy for the long haul, creating a robust sector-strategy and creating centers of excellence at New Mexico universities to drive growth and investment. Pearce’s so-called plan simply lists a few economic sectors, and does not go into any detail when it comes to the work that has to be done to build an economy for the long term, bringing people together and investing in the sort of workforce training and development that will help these industries recruit the talent they need.
With his release, Pearce is attempting to disguise a record that it openly hostile to clean energy, good paying jobs, and workforce development:
Pearce supports poverty wages for hardworking New Mexico families
If Steve Pearce had his way, the minimum wage would still be at $4.25 in New Mexico, meaning a full-time worker would make less than $9000 a year. Pearce voted against increasing the New Mexico minimum wage from $4.25 $5.15 in 1999, and then voted against the Fair Minimum Wage Act to increase the wage to $7.25 nationwide in 2007. Someone working 52 40 hour weeks in a year would make $8840 if paid $4.25 an hour [SB497 1999; HR2, Vote #18, 1/10/17]
Pearce has consistently opposed clean energy development:
2007: Pearce Voted to Cut Funding for Renewable Energy Programs. In 2007, Pearce voted in favor of an amendment to the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water appropriations bill that would reduce funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs by $102 million. The amendment was defeated 107-320. [HR 2641, Vote #509, 6/19/07]
2008: Pearce Voted Against Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy. In 2008, Pearce voted against a bill that would extend expiring tax provisions through 2009. Specifically, the bill would provide tax incentives for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, and investment in renewable energy. These tax incentives would be offset by prohibiting individuals from understating foreign oil and gas extraction income in the calculation of foreign tax credits, freezing the deduction amount for oil and gas companies and prohibiting individuals who work for certain offshore corporations to defer tax on compensations. [Congressional Quarterly] The bill passed 257-166. [HR 7060, Vote #649, 9/25/08]
2007: Pearce Voted Against Rolling Back Billions in Oil and Gas Tax Breaks to Fund Alternative Energy. In January 2007, Pearce voted against the initial version of the House Energy Bill. The CLEAN Energy Act would have rolled back $14 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil and used the funding to promote renewable energy. The bill stipulated that the money be invested in clean renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels by shifting certain revenue from royalties and tax incentives from oil and gas companies into a reserve fund. The legislation required current offshore fuel producers who are not paying federal royalties to agree to pay royalties when fuel prices reach certain thresholds or pay fees based on how much fuel they produce. The bill also created a new renewable energy account and allowed the money to be used to offset the cost of research into alternative energy sources and conservation measures contained in future legislation. [HR 6, Vote #40, 1/18/07; New York Times, 1/19/07; Pelosi Release, 01/18/2007]
2015: Pearce Voted Against Amendment To Cut $3.2 Billion By Eliminating Funding For Renewable Energy And Decreasing Funding For Nuclear Energy. In April 2015, Pearce voted against an amendment to the energy and water development funding bill that would zero out funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, reduce Nuclear Energy by $691,886,000, and zero out funding for Fossil Energy and to apply the aggregate savings of$2,954,660,000 to the spending reduction account. “REP. TOM McCLINTOCK, R-Calif, that would eliminate funding for the energ efficiency and renewable energy program, nuclear energy and fossil fuel research and apply the $3.2 billion savings to the spending reduction account.” The amendment was rejected 110 to 311. [H.AMDT.172, Vote #200, 4/30/15; Congressional Quarterly House Action Report, 4/30/15]
Pearce says he supports job training, but has repeatedly voted to make it harder for New Mexicans to get trained or obtain a degree.
1997: Pearce voted against appropriating $355,000 for establishing a job training and skills program for welfare recipients. [HB 1052 1997]
1998: Pearce voted against a bill to provide career education opportunities to NM students. HB 124 would have created and expanded services connecting students to work opportunities and jobs. [HB 124 1998]
1999: Pearce voted against a bill that would have appropriated $1 million for vocational education programs in public high schools. [HB 88 1999]
1999: Pearce voted against the Education Works program, which would provide cash assistance and other measures to support needy families pursuing education. [SB 175 1999]
2004: Opposed $2bn increase for Pell Grants [H Res 685, Vote #301, 6/24/04; Associated Press, 6/25/04; Washington Times, 6/25/04]
2010: Opposed $1.9bn increase for Pell Grants [HR 3010, Vote #320, 6/24/05]
2011: Voted Against Protecting Pell Grants from $39m Cut [HR 1, Vote #146, 2/19/11]
2013: Voted for Ryan Budget that cut Pell Grant Eligibility and Funding [Inside Higher Ed, 3/13/13; Campus Progress, 3/12/13]
2013: Pearce Voted for “Students Pay More Act.” “Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014, but the rate would climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Stafford loan rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, while loans for parents and graduate students would have a 10.5 percent ceiling under the GOP proposal,” reported the Associated Press. [Associated Press, 5/16/13] The bill passed, 221-198. [HR 1911, Vote #183, 5/23/13]
2014: Voted for FY15 Ryan Budget that cut Pell Grant Eligibility and Funding [H.C Con. Res 96, Vote #177, 4/10/14; CQ, 4/10/14]
2015: Voted for FY16 Conference Report that cut Pell Grant Eligibility and Funding [S CON RES 11, Vote #183; On Agreeing to the Conference Report, 4/30/15; Bloomberg, 4/29/15]