Issue: Economy and Jobs

Walorski Urges Top Trade Official to Consider Manufacturing Jobs in Steel, Aluminum Investigations

Walorski Urges Top Trade Official to Consider Manufacturing Jobs in Aluminum, Steel Investigations

Expresses Concern Over Potential Impact on Hoosier Manufacturers if Tariffs or Quotas Imposed

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee urged United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure the Trump administration’s investigations into the nation’s supply of aluminum and steel take into consideration the potential impact tariffs and quotas could have on American manufacturers, including those in northern Indiana.

“I would just ask [you] to consider the anxiety from my constituents about the prospect of tariffs and quotas on inputs that they depend on to make RVs, trailers, and all sorts of other products,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Could you convey to the president and to Secretary Ross my request that they conduct these investigations and decisions that they’re making thoughtfully, thoroughly, and transparently to determine what the impact of action might be for American companies, to avoid any type of quick action that would hurt these companies.”

BACKGROUND

The Trump administration is currently conducting investigations into whether unfair trade practices harm national security by limiting the availability of U.S.-produced aluminum and steel for military equipment, including aircraft, ships, and armored vehicles.

Walorski in April joined President Trump in the Oval Office for the signing of a presidential memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to use its Section 232 authority to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on national security.

At the time, Walorski called for “a careful and balanced investigation [that maintains] military readiness while ensuring Hoosier manufacturers continue to have a reliable supply of aluminum at fair market prices.”

The administration is expected to announce the results of the investigations and potential actions in the coming weeks.

Video of Walorski questioning Ambassador Lighthizer at the hearing is available here. The transcript of their exchange is below.

WALORSKI: I am more than concerned about the impact on aluminum, and the aluminum industry, as it pertains to my district in northern Indiana and my state. I would just ask [you] to consider the anxiety from my constituents about the prospect of tariffs and quotas on inputs that they depend on to make RVs, trailers, and all sorts of other products. I’ve already been contacted by some of these manufacturers, and they are already being impacted by price differences, and they’re very very uncertain as to what’s going to happen, as am I, and I appreciate your willingness to look into it.

But could you convey to the president and to Secretary Ross my request that they conduct these investigations and decisions that they’re making thoughtfully, thoroughly, and transparently to determine what the impact of action might be for American companies to avoid any type of quick action that would hurt these companies – could you just convey that information?

LIGHTHIZER: Yes, I will, I would be happy to do that.

WALORSKI: Can you just give me the bottom line, 20 seconds, as you see this Section 232, as it pertains to steel and aluminum? I’m particularly interested in the aluminum part.

LIGHTHIZER: I think you’re going to see decisions on both of them fairly soon. I think the view in the administration is that we have a very serious issue, the president has asked us to look at these things, they had hearings on one before, they have hearings on the other today, and the president wants action. He’s worried about what’s happening in those industries, and the president wants action. So to the extent you have concerns about effects, it’s certainly timely.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on AM General, SF Motors Announcement

Walorski Statement on AM General, SF Motors Announcement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after AM General announced the sale of its commercial assembly plant to electric vehicle manufacturer SF Motors, which will preserve approximately 430 auto worker jobs at the Mishawaka facility:

“Today’s announcement is positive news for our community and proof that the Hoosier workforce is second to none. This investment in South Bend and Mishawaka will keep hundreds of auto worker jobs here and further solidify northern Indiana’s position at the forefront of American manufacturing and innovation. I look forward to working with SF Motors and AM General to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for employees and to keep our local economy growing.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes for Relief for Main Street and Small Businesses

Walorski Votes for Relief for Main Street and Small Businesses

Financial CHOICE Act Reins in Washington Bureaucrats, Holds Wall Street Accountable, Protects Consumers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for legislation to undo the most damaging parts of the Dodd-Frank Act, which placed burdensome regulations on community financial institutions, limited job creators’ access to capital, and left taxpayers on the hook for Wall Street bailouts. The House passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, by a vote of 233 to 186.

“Dodd-Frank was supposed to protect consumers and hold Wall Street accountable, but instead it left taxpayers on the hook for big bank bailouts, squeezed Main Street, and made it harder for small businesses to create jobs,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This commonsense bill will help reinvigorate our economy, free our community banks and credit unions from crushing regulations, and ensure Hoosiers can access the tools they need for financial independence.”

BACKGROUND

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2010, imposed costly and complex regulations that many community banks and credit unions were unable to navigate or afford. These and other Dodd-Frank regulations have made many financial products and services more expensive and left consumers with fewer options. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have also faced greater difficulty accessing loans and other forms of capital. Meanwhile, taxpayers are still on the hook for bailing out “too big to fail” Wall Street firms if they collapse.

To protect consumers and taxpayers, boost economic growth and job creation, and provide relief to community financial institutions, the Financial CHOICE Act would:

Boost small businesses, innovators, and job creators.

  • The bill would increase access to investment and lending for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs so job creators have the capital to expand and hire more workers.

Provide relief for Main Street.

  • It would roll back burdensome regulations that have harmed America’s community banks and credit unions, which play a critical role in economic growth and financial independence.

End taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts.

  • The CHOICE Act would repeal the authority under Dodd-Frank for taxpayer-funded bailouts of “too big to fail” banks and establish a new form of bankruptcy for large, complex financial institutions.

Rein in Washington bureaucrats.

  • This legislation would subject all financial regulators to the REINS Act, giving the people’s representatives in Congress an up-or-down vote on new regulations with a major economic impact. And it would require an economic cost-benefit analysis of all new financial regulations to ensure they don’t do more harm than good.

Hold Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing.

  • It would increase penalties the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can seek for violations of securities laws, and it would give the SEC new authority to penalize fraud, deceit, and other financial crime that harm investors.

Protect consumers and increase financial choice.

  • The CHOICE Act would repeal the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, an Obama administration regulation that would impose burdensome restrictions on financial advisors and limit access to quality retirement planning advice, especially for low- and middle-income families. The bill would also reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, rename it the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency, and make it accountable to both the executive branch and Congress.

Increase transparency of the Fed.

  • This legislation would modernize oversight of the Federal Reserve and direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an audit of the Fed.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Jobs Fair Draws More Than 175 Hoosiers, 55 Employers

Walorski Jobs Fair Draws More Than 175 Hoosiers, 55 Employers

Jobs and Veterans Resource Fair at Bethel College Featured More Than 1,200 Job Openings

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – More than 175 Hoosiers today attended a jobs fair hosted by U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) that featured 55 employers, 10 veterans service organizations, and more than 1,200 job openings. The Jobs and Veterans Resource Fair took place at Bethel College and was free and open to the public.

“Bringing together job-seekers and our local job creators is a great way to help Hoosiers find new opportunities and keep our economy growing,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Northern Indiana is home to some our nation’s most innovative businesses and hardworking employees. I’m excited that so many people were able to connect with potential employers and that veterans had a chance to learn about the important resources available to help those who served.”

Before the jobs fair opened, employers participated in a seminar conducted by WorkOne, a career training and job placement center under the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The seminar aimed to help local businesses more effectively recruit, hire, train, and retain workers.

Walorski greeted the employers and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity to hire new employees from the talented, dedicated Hoosier workforce.

“I want to thank WorkOne for all their help in making today’s jobs fair a success,” Walorski said. “I’m grateful for the incredible work they do across Indiana to help Hoosiers pursue their careers and succeed in the 21st century economy.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Announces Jobs Fair on June 1st

Walorski Announces Jobs Fair on June 1st

Jobs and Veterans Resource Fair at Bethel College to Feature 55 Employers, 10 Veterans Service Organizations, More Than 1,200 Job Openings

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today announced a Jobs and Veterans Resource Fair featuring 55 employers, 10 veterans service organizations, and more than 1,200 job openings will be held on Thursday, June 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Bethel College in Mishawaka.

“This is a perfect opportunity to connect hardworking Hoosiers with new job opportunities at some of the many growing businesses in northern Indiana, and to help veterans get the resources they need,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Bringing together our local job creators and job-seekers at Thursday’s jobs fair is a great way to keep our economy strong and help Hoosiers find good jobs.”

The Jobs and Veterans Resource Fair is free and open to the public. Additional information is available below or at http://walorski.house.gov/jobsfair.

WHEN:

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:

Wiekamp Athletic Center, Gates Gymnasium
Bethel College
1001 Bethel Circle
Mishawaka, IN 46545

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Questions National Taxpayer Advocate on IRS Fraud Detection System

Walorski Questions National Taxpayer Advocate on IRS Fraud Detection System

Taxpayers Face Burdensome Bureaucratic Red Tape When Tax Returns Wrongly Flagged as Fraudulent

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today questioned National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) outdated fraud detection system as the House Ways and Means Committee examines reforms to ensure the IRS puts taxpayer service first.

In a hearing of the Oversight Subcommittee entitled “IRS Reform: Lessons Learned from the National Taxpayer Advocate,” Walorski described delays in replacing the outdated Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS) with the Return Review Program (RRP).

“The EFDS is still the principal fraud detection system because the RRP still isn’t ready for prime time,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “In fact, TIGTA says there is no estimated date for full implementation, and GAO estimates the program has incurred over $86.5 million in cost overruns. When the RRP has run as a pilot, it yielded a high false positive rate, and it missed $313 million in fraudulent filings.”

Asked by Walorski about the real-life impact when tax returns are incorrectly flagged as fraudulent, Olson testified that resolving false positives with the IRS often cost people significant time and money.

“This affects people who are low-income, high-income, it doesn’t matter,” Olson said. “People are having to get their preparers to call, and people often submit documentation multiple times. There is no one person assigned to their case, so every time they call they have to tell their story to a different person.”

The Taxpayer Advocate Service helps taxpayers resolve disputes with the IRS and informs taxpayers of their rights. With the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Congress created the National Taxpayer Advocate and mandated Local Taxpayer Advocates in each state. Nina Olson has served as National Taxpayer Advocate since 2001.

Video of Walorski questioning Olson at the hearing is available here. The text of her remarks is below.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks, Ms. Olson. Again, many thanks from my constituents in Indiana’s 2nd District you have helped. In the five years I have been here, you’ve been able to mitigate and help somewhere over 90 percent of the questions that we’ve had, and I’m very, very grateful to you for what you’ve done.

You’ve probably seen everything in 16 years, so I just wanted to pick up on what you said that you learned from the hearings that you guys had on the issues of ID theft, tax fraud, and scams. That’s what we really get burdened by, folks in our district that have gotten caught in these issues.

On this Return Review Program, the RRP, that started in 2009, this thing has tended to end up like a boondoggle. It’s the successor of the Electronic Fraud Detection System, or EFDS, which in 2010 the IRS said was “too risky to maintain, upgrade, or operate beyond 2015.” But here we are in 2017. The EFDS is still the principal fraud detection system because the RRP still isn’t ready for prime time. In fact, TIGTA says there is no estimated date for full implementation and GAO estimates the program has incurred over $86.5 million in cost overruns. When the RRP has run as a pilot, it yielded a high false positive rate and it missed $313 million in fraudulent filings.

Let’s set aside the numbers and stats and talk about the actual people behind them. You’ve documented well what taxpayers go through in your annual reports, but for the benefit of everyone here, can you walk us through what happens to a single mother, a small business owner, a person who either gets flagged as a false positive or a fraudulent return? Can you just go through how they find out, what hoops they go through, and what this really means to people?

Aside from the time element and the frustration, does it not cost taxpayers, as well, money if they need to seek professional services to be their advocate?

What about commercially available technology that’s there? Is it your opinion that just from a common-sense perspective this would be where we would move to with an unbelievable amount of errors in fraud and money that’s being spent and this whole lack of accountability on this system, would you not agree that that would be some place where we could look and say let’s mitigate this as quickly as we can on behalf of the taxpayers?

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski: Tax Reform Will Boost Job Creation, Help Hoosier Families

Walorski: Tax Reform Will Boost Job Creation, Help Hoosier Families

Ways and Means Committee Holds Major Hearing on Economic Benefits of Pro-Growth Tax Reform

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing examined how pro-growth tax reform would strengthen the Indiana economy, boost job creation, and help Hoosier families keep more of their hard-earned money.

“I am grateful to represent Indiana’s 2nd District, one of the largest manufacturing districts in the country,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We have a lot of manufacturers and farmers, a lot of moms and dads that are just trying to pay bills and get their kids through school and through college. But I’ve heard from so many CEOs in my district that the American economy has succeeded in spite of our tax code. It hasn’t helped it.”

Walorski pointed to the positive impact a simplified tax code and lower rates would have on northern Indiana businesses like Smoker Craft, a boat manufacturer in New Paris, Ind. She cited Peter Barrett, a senior vice president at Smoker Craft, who said tax reform would allow the company to grow and create jobs.

“He said that tax cuts will allow his company to hire more workers, raise wages for their 600 employees, create new training programs, expand their plant, and make new capital equipment purchases,” Walorski said.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the House Republican tax reform Blueprint would lead to the creation of nearly 1.7 million new jobs nationwide – including more than 36,000 in Indiana – and increase take-home pay for middle-income Hoosier households by more than $4,500 per year on average.

House Republicans in 2017 unveiled their Blueprint for simplifying the tax code, lowering rates on individuals and families at every income level, and delivering the lowest rates in modern history for job creators of all sizes. The House Ways and Means Committee now is working with the Trump administration and the Senate toward an agreement on tax reform legislation.

Today’s hearing, entitled “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs,” was a major step as the committee continues working toward permanent, comprehensive tax reform. Another hearing on tax reform has been announced for Tuesday, May 23. Since 2011, the committee has held more than 40 hearings on tax reform. Witnesses included:

  • John J. Stephens, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, AT&T Inc.
  • Zachary Mottl, Chief Alignment Officer, Atlas Tool Works, Inc.
  • David N. Farr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emerson Electric Co.
  • Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global Inc.
  • Steven Rattner, Chairman, Willett Advisors LLC

Video of Walorski speaking at the hearing is available here. The text of her remarks are below.

I am grateful to represent Indiana’s 2nd District. We’re one of the largest manufacturing districts in the country. I’m very proud of the folks in our district. We have a lot of manufacturers and farmers, a lot of moms and dads that are just trying to pay bills and get their kids through school and through college.

I’ve heard from so many CEOs in my district that the American economy has succeeded in spite of our tax code. It hasn’t helped it. I wanted to be a part of this committee, and I’m grateful to be a part of the committee to actually be looking at this. And I wanted to just run a couple of quotes past you on what folks in my district have said.

Barry Baldwin is a tax preparer. He talks about why it’s important to lower the rates – and we’ve had this discussion for three hours on rates, and my question to you when I get there will be on rates and the issue of permanency and why it’s so important to you that we don’t do something that would damage your interests in tax reform by not making this permanent – but Baldwin the tax preparer says more money in people’s pockets leading to more spending, more spending creates more jobs, more jobs increase the tax base.

Gary Fox, he’s the Managing Partner for a tax services firm in my district called Crowe Horwath in South Bend, he said, “Small and middle market companies are unable to keep capital and invest in their business [with the] current tax rate environment.” He said lower rates will allow for better investment, capitalization, and increased full-time employment.

And then, since we’re a manufacturer, we manufacture nearly all the RVs in the country and worldwide, and we also manufacture boats. So Peter Barrett, a Senior VP at Smoker Craft, said that tax cuts will allow his company to hire more workers, raise wages for their 600 employees, create new training programs, expand their plant, and make new capital equipment purchases. None of those things, he said, happen in a vacuum.

So you’ve heard my district and I’ve heard from you. And you touched on this a little bit earlier, why lower rates are so important, but when we talk about the benefit of lower rates, and you touched a little bit on the issue of permanency, I just think it’s important that as we talk about this we talk about what the distractions can be if this isn’t permanent. And that’s how I’d like to hear your response to the issue of permanency and why it should be a top priority.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Trump Administration Notification of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

Walorski Statement on Trump Administration Notification of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

Administration Seeks to Modernize and Strengthen Trade Agreement for 21st Century Economy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to begin negotiations with Canada and Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“This is an important step toward modernizing and strengthening NAFTA so it better meets the needs of our nation’s manufacturers, farmers, businesses, and workers. The Trump administration is right that strong economic relations with Canada and Mexico have been good for our economy but that an update to NAFTA is long overdue. I look forward to working with the administration to open new markets for American products, create good jobs for American workers, and keep American businesses competitive in the global economy.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Walorski and fellow members of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss efforts to open new markets and create opportunities for economic growth.

Lighthizer today notified Congress President Trump intends to renegotiate NAFTA, with negotiations beginning no earlier than August 16, 2017.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Highlights Local Initiative in Hearing on How Young Adults Can Break the Cycle of Poverty

Walorski Highlights Local Initiative in Hearing on How Young Adults Can Break the Cycle of Poverty

The Excel Center, a Goodwill Program, Offers Hoosier Adults Opportunity to Earn Their High School Diploma

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources highlighted The Excel Center in South Bend, a Goodwill of Northern Indiana program bringing better opportunities to Hoosiers.

The hearing, entitled “Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults to Break the Cycle of Poverty,” included testimony from Jameela Roland, a recent graduate of Year Up, a nationwide program similar to The Excel Center. In asking Roland about her experience, Walorski pointed to The Excel Center’s emphasis on adapting to students’ needs to best equip them for a successful career, whether that means job training and certification or college preparation.

“Goodwill of Northern Indiana, they talk about ‘career and college,’ not ‘college and career,’ and I think when we can start breaking that mindset and setting young people free, they don’t have to go with that one mode or one model,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Initiatives like the Excel Center in my District or Year Up that you’ve been involved in, they’re locally driven, they adapt to individuals, they are what make that bridge out of poverty.”

Video of the hearing, including Walorski’s questions, is available here.

BACKGROUND

The hearing highlighted how innovative solutions, rather than one-size-fits-all approaches, are helping young Americans ages 16 to 24 break the cycle of poverty and move up the economic ladder.

According to data from Opportunity Nation, 17 percent of youth ages 16 to 24 in Indiana’s 2nd District are neither in school nor working – higher than the national average of 13.2 percent. Local organizations like Goodwill of Northern Indiana provide youth and young adults opportunities to enter the workforce and achieve their full potential.

The Excel Center is a free, public school where adults can earn a high school diploma, college credits, industry certifications, and on-the-job training. The program provides individualized services, including life coaches, child care, transportation assistance, and flexible schedules to ensure successful outcomes.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Urges Careful, Balanced Investigation of National Security Implications of Aluminum Imports

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today joined President Trump in the Oval Office for the signing of a Presidential Memorandum directing the Commerce Department to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S. national security.

“I applaud President Trump’s leadership to ensure U.S. imports of aluminum do not put our national security at risk,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “A careful and balanced investigation is essential to maintaining military readiness while ensuring Hoosier manufacturers continue to have a reliable supply of aluminum at fair market prices. I look forward to reviewing the Commerce Department’s evaluation and working with the administration to protect jobs and our national security.”

BACKGROUND

The Presidential Memorandum signed today directs the Department of Commerce to use its Section 232 authority to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S national security. The investigation will evaluate whether unfair trade practices harm national security by limiting the availability of U.S.-produced aluminum for military equipment, including aircraft and armored vehicles.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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