Issue: Economy and Jobs

Walorski Receives Spirit of Enterprise Award from U.S. Chamber

Walorski Receives Spirit of Enterprise Award from U.S. Chamber

Updates Local Business Owners on Tax Reform at Goshen Chamber of Commerce Meeting

GOSHEN, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award for her support of policies that promote strong economic growth and job creation.

“Hardworking Hoosiers deserve every opportunity to achieve the American Dream, and I am committed to fighting for a strong business climate and good-paying jobs in northern Indiana,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m grateful for the important work of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce and all our local Chambers to make our communities strong and keep Indiana the best place to live and work in the nation.”

Walorski addressed local business owners at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce meeting and updated them on pro-growth tax reform and other developments in Congress. She also honored David Daugherty for his recent retirement after 14 years as president of the Goshen Chamber and congratulated Nick Kieffer on becoming the Chamber’s new president.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Walorski is working with her colleagues and the Trump administration on comprehensive legislation to overhaul the nation’s tax code for the first time in 31 years.

Additional photos from today’s Goshen Chamber meeting are available here.

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

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Walorski Discusses Tax Reform with Hoosier Farmers

Walorski Discusses Tax Reform with Hoosier Farmers

Joins 2nd District Farmers for Update on Pro-Growth Tax Reform, Regulatory Relief, Farm Bill

KEWANNA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today met with Hoosier farmers to share an update on tax reform and discuss their priorities for a tax code overhaul and the upcoming farm bill.

“Hoosier farmers are the backbone of our economy, and tax reform is critical to making sure they can stay competitive in the global economy and continue investing in future growth,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear directly from our local farmers about the challenges they face and how we can work together to help family farms thrive.”

The meeting, which took place at the Kewanna farm of Fulton County Farm Bureau president Joe Rude, included more than two dozen Indiana Farm Bureau members from across the 2nd District. Congresswoman Walorski and the farmers discussed a wide range of topics, including tax reform, regulatory relief, and the 2018 Farm Bill.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Walorski is working with her colleagues and the Trump administration on comprehensive legislation to overhaul the nation’s tax code for the first time in 31 years.

Additional photos from today’s Indiana Farm Bureau meeting are available here.

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 Interior Secretary Zinke, Industry Leaders for Roundtable on Outdoor Recreation Economy

Walorski Joins Interior Secretary Zinke, Industry Leaders for Roundtable on Outdoor Recreation Economy

Made In America Products on Display Include Newmar RV Built in Nappanee, Ind.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today joined Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, members of the Hoosier delegation, and outdoor recreation industry representatives for a roundtable discussion on how public-private partnerships can boost investment in outdoor tourism and drive growth in American RV and boat manufacturing.

“Northern Indiana is the RV Capital of the World, so Hoosiers know just how vital outdoor recreation is to growing our economy and creating good jobs for American workers,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This opportunity to boost investment in outdoor tourism through public-private partnerships is a turning point for keeping America’s parks open for business and building even more American-made RVs and boats. I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke to ensure RV and boat manufacturers continue to play a key role in strengthening outdoor recreation and our nation’s economy.”

“Indiana is at the heart and soul of America’s outdoor recreation experience, providing magnificent public lands and lakes and also manufacturing the recreation vehicles we love to use on them,” Secretary Zinke said. “For millions of American families, summer vacation means taking an RV or boat and exploring our lands and waters like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear, and America’s first national park which is in my neck of the woods, Yellowstone. I’m grateful to Rep. Walorski and Indiana’s Congressional Delegation for helping the President and I highlight Made in America week powered by outdoor recreation.”

BACKGROUND

The event at the Department of Interior featured a roundtable discussion followed by a showcase of American-made outdoor recreation products, including RVs manufactured by Newmar in Nappanee, Ind., and Keystone RV Company in Goshen, Ind.

Participants in the discussion on expanding partnerships to improve visitors’ experience on public lands included Secretary Zinke, Congresswoman Walorski, Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and members of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) such as the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

Eighty percent of RVs sold in the United States are made in Indiana, and RV manufacturing contributes $26.1 billion to our nation’s economy. Recreational boating contributes $121.5 billion to the economy.

Click on the images above for high-resolution versions of the photos.

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

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Walorski: Small Businesses Need “Tax Reform That Works For You, Not Against You”

Walorski: Small Businesses Need “Tax Reform That Works For You, Not Against You”

Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearing Examines Tax Reform Benefits for Small Businesses, American Workers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today pointed to the examples of three small business owners testifying at a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing to demonstrate how tax reform will jumpstart our economy and boost job creation.

“The risk that is taken by small business in this country is unparalleled, because there is no backstop,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “But the backstop that you seem to be asking us for is a tax reform that works for you, not against you. It works for your future employees, not against them. It allows all ships to rise in this country.”

Today’s hearing of the Tax Policy Subcommittee, entitled “How Tax Reform Will Help America’s Small Businesses Grow and Create New Jobs,” was the latest in a series of hearings as the committee continues working toward permanent, comprehensive tax reform. Witnesses included:

  • Teresa Meares, president of DGG Uniform and Work Apparel, which has 15 employees;
  • Scott E. VanderWal, owner of VanderWal Farms, which employs five family members and some college students on a part-time basis;
  • Rebecca Boenigk, CEO of Neutral Posture, which has 90 employees and 60 independent contractors; and
  • Chye-Ching Huang, deputy director for federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

BACKGROUND

House Republicans in 2016 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.

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.

Video of Walorski questioning witnesses at the hearing is available here. The text of her questions is below.

REP. WALORSKI: “I am so grateful, especially the three of you that are running small businesses, came in, all the way in here as Representative Kelly talked about. I am fascinated, though, I have to just bring this to everybody’s attention. In Ms. Huang’s written testimony, Figure 2 here says, ‘Trump-like pass-through rate cut would not benefit low- and middle-income Americans.’ And I’m sitting here listening to this testimony, and I’m thinking, this is one of these issues where it looks like we can’t see the forest for the trees because of this glaring one percent. So I want to ask all three of you that are actually running businesses: How many employees do each of you have? Ms. Meares, just start here and just go down the line.”

MS. MEARES: “So, total right now is 15, as I just hired five in the last six months.”

REP. WALORSKI: “Mr. VanderWal.”

MR. VANDERWAL: “We employ five family members and a couple of part-time college kids on our farm.”

REP. WALORSKI: “Ms. Boenigk.”

MS. BOENIGK: “We have almost 90 at the factory in Texas, and then we have independent reps across the country and in Canada. So 60 more that we pay on a 1099 basis.”

REP. WALORSKI: “Are any of your employees in a category that would be in that one percent of rich Americans? … No?”

MS. BOENIGK: “Neither are we.”

REP. WALORSKI: “Would tax reform allow you to pay more people more money, hire more people? And if you hire more people, do you think you will hire people that are in that one percent rich, or are they going to be average, middle-class Americans?”

MS. BOENIGK: “Average, middle-class Americans.”

REP. WALORSKI: “I think that one of the things that we miss when we sit on these committees is, you know, all the statistical information that comes out, the ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ kinds of things. But I mean, what I hear today from all of you that have employees, that you’re actually engaged in this every day, is that a pass-through rate cut raises all ships. And when all ships raise in this country, that’s how we get the most efficient, accurate increase in money and productivity in the lower- and middle-income in this country, because all ships rise.

“So as we’ve been looking at this, in a way to come in and be of the most benefit to you, I see this headline as being very blinded to what we’ve heard here today. That we’re not having a discussion about the House budget plan, the Trump-like tax reform plan, we’re not having a discussion about the one percent. We’re talking about energizing a growth factor in this country that will literally spark an economy where all ships rise, and they do it quicker and not slower because it answers – well, what I think it does is answer the question, and what I’ve heard from you today – is this tax reform plan has to be permanent. This tax reform plan has to raise all ships in this country.

“It can’t be concentrated on one percent, and I think we’ve proven today in all of your testimony the reflection of the hard work, the risk that you take, the risk that is taken by small business in this country is unparalleled, because there is no backstop. There is a backstop to everything that we do here, and it’s taxpayers, hardworking taxpayers’ money. But the backstop that you seem to be asking us for is a tax reform that works for you, not against you. It works for your future employees, not against them. It allows all ships to rise in this country. And that the expediency should be on our part to urgently move this legislation. Would that not be the summary of what we’ve heard today?”

MS. BOENIGK: “That would be wonderful. “

REP. WALORSKI: “I very much appreciate it, and I appreciate your hard work. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.”

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

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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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