Author: Emma Thomson

Walorski: We Must Recover Unemployment Fraud and Seek Justice for Taxpayers

Walorski: We Must Recover Unemployment Fraud and Seek Justice for Taxpayers

“We must send a clear signal that fraud will not be tolerated.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, today helped to introduce the Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022, which would fight pandemic unemployment fraud and hold bad actors accountable.

Criminals capitalized on pandemic relief programs and stole billions from hardworking American taxpayers during one of our nation’s darkest hours,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “Our legislation, the Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022, will take important steps to restore order and recover taxpayer funds. We must send a clear signal that fraud will not be tolerated. As a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars, I will continue to fight to expose fraudsters’ deception, get answers, and hold criminals accountable.”

Experts have estimated that up to $400 billion of pandemic unemployment relief has been lost to fraud. Just last month, the Washington Post reported that an estimated $163 billion has been captured by fraudsters.

Congresswoman Walorski serves as the top Republican on the Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee, which has broad jurisdiction over employment issues. She has led public meetings with industry experts to raise awareness and offer safeguards to taxpayer dollars. Previously, she helped to introduce H.R. 3268, the Combatting COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2021, and has called on the Government Accountability Office to investigate this fraud.

Congresswoman Walorski introduced today’s legislation alongside House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Republican Leader Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), House Committee on Small Business Republican Leader Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), and House Committee on the Budget Republican Leader Jason Smith (R-Mo.), as well as fellow Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Read the full text of the Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022 here.

###

Walorski to Sec. Yellen: Inflation in This Country Is a Flat-Out Disgrace

Walorski to Sec. Yellen: Inflation in This Country Is a Flat-Out Disgrace

“The administration’s policies have given us climbing gas prices, persistent supply chain bottlenecks, workforce shortages, and surging inflation.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today strongly urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to address inflation and rising energy costs that are plaguing Hoosiers and Americans across the country. In a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Biden Administration’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, Congresswoman Walorski discussed the devastating realities of these Biden-era burdens for families, workers, and industries in Indiana.

“Inflation in this country is a flat-out disgrace. There is no way to blame this on anything other than this administration’s policies. These aren’t stories – these are the American people,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “They are so fed up with it…I’ve never seen anything like what is happening in this economy.”

Congresswoman Walorski raised the consequences of skyrocketing gas prices – currently over $5.25 per gallon in Northern Indiana – and record-breaking inflation for the Hoosiers she represents.

“Increasing prices for gas and everyday necessities are hurting everybody in this district – from seniors to working families. The administration’s policies have given us climbing gas prices, persistent supply chain bottlenecks, workforce shortages, and surging inflation. The need for relief has never been greater,” Congresswoman Walorski continued.

During the hearing, Congresswoman Walorski also encouraged Secretary Yellen to prioritize a more robust Section 301 exclusions process, especially restoring Trump-era policy, which would provide relief to Indiana’s critical manufacturing industry.

Watch their full conversation here.

###

Walorski Statement on Record High Gas Prices in Michiana

Walorski Statement on Record High Gas Prices in Michiana

“Instead of pipelines, the Biden Administration has given us delusional pipe dreams.”

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement as gas prices rose to nearly $5 per gallon in Michiana.

“As gas reaches nearly $5 per gallon in Michiana, Hoosier families are feeling pain at the pump and beyond. In Indiana and across the country, Americans are being forced to make tough choices every day while fuel prices jump to new records. When we need them most, our vital farmers and truck drivers are getting crushed by out-of-control diesel costs.

“On the campaign trail, the president promised to kill America’s booming energy industry – and now he has delivered a cruel ‘incredible transition’ to skyrocketing fuel costs. Instead of pipelines, the Biden Administration has given us delusional pipe dreams. This summer, the American people will pay a steep cost for Joe Biden’s War on Energy.”

gas prices 5.31.2022

In La Porte, Ind., gas prices rose to $4.99 per gallon. Today the national average for gas hit another new high of $4.62 per gallon, according to AAA data.

###

Walorski Announces 2022 U.S. Service Academy Appointments

Walorski Announces 2022 U.S. Service Academy Appointments

Two Outstanding Young Hoosiers, Allison Bender and Carly Flinn, Will Attend U.S. Service Academies

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today announced that two young Hoosiers from Indiana’s Second Congressional District have received appointments to the U.S. Service Academies for the Class of 2026.

Allison Bender of La Porte, who is currently a senior at LaPorte High School, will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Carly Flinn of Silver Lake, who is currently a senior at Warsaw Community High School, will attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

“The U.S. Service Academies are an incredible opportunity for young Americans to answer the call to serve our nation. It is my honor to support Hoosiers as they pursue this unmatched educational opportunity,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “I am thrilled for Allison Bender and Carly Flinn – as well as their families – as these outstanding young women accept appointments to our service academies and prepare to serve our great nation. Their success in this competitive process is a testament to their character, drive, and servant-hearted leadership, and I am looking forward to watching them thrive in the chapters ahead.”

All prospective students wishing to attend an academy must be nominated by a Member of Congress or another U.S. official. All nominees are rigorously evaluated by the academies before they receive a possible appointment directly from the academies. Learn more about the service academies nomination process at Walorski.house.gov.

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

###

Walorski Announces $2.6 Million Grant for Rail Safety & Modernization

Walorski Announces $2.6 Million Grant for Rail Safety & Modernization

U.S. Department of Transportation Grant for Elkhart & Western Railroad Company Will Support Community & Protect Hoosiers

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $2,618,173 grant to an Elkhart & Western Railroad Company project located in Elkhart, Indiana.

“Indiana is the Crossroads of America, and it is essential that our railways operate at the highest capacity. I am thrilled to announce that Elkhart & Western Railroad Company has been awarded more than $2.6 million to modernize its infrastructure, improve rail safety, and relieve traffic burdens in our community,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “This grant will support forward-thinking investments in our economy and infrastructure as the railroad continues to support our region’s robust manufacturing industry. It is always encouraging to see job creators such as Elkhart & Western Railroad Company continuing to make long-term investments that will strengthen our community for years to come.”

Under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program, the grant funds awarded to Elkhart & Western Railroad Company will be used to modernize and improve track safety and capacity. By moving three grade crossing surfaces across Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties, the project is slated to eliminate blocked crossings to ease delays and congestion, as well as modernize existing infrastructure.

“The Elkhart & Western and the Pioneer Lines family of railroads are thrilled with today’s announcement. The EWR plays a key role in the manufacturing economy of Elkhart, and this funding will allow EWR to accommodate customer growth while improving safety and reducing blocked crossings in the community. We are very appreciative of Rep. Walorski’s support in bringing this win home to Indiana,” said Alex Yeros, CEO and President, Pioneer Lines.

In November 2021, Congresswoman Walorski provided a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Rail Administration urging consideration of this project. Read her letter here.

###

Walorski, Colleagues Lead Bipartisan Effort to Expedite Food Aid

Walorski, Colleagues Lead Bipartisan Effort to Expedite Food Aid

Providing Temporary, Targeted Relief Will Save Lives and Safeguard Americans’ Tax Dollars

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, is leading a bipartisan effort to address potential global food shortages by cutting through red tape to lower costs and expedite the delivery of food aid. To counter the food supply chain disruptions caused by Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, she recently introduced H.Con.Res. 92 alongside U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) to provide temporary, targeted, and timely relief.

“Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine has escalated the threat of food insecurity across the globe. We must take action to cut burdensome red tape, lower costs, and help get American-produced food into the hands of people in need,” said Rep. Jackie Walorski. “Our commonsense solution to cut delivery time and costs will save lives, safeguard taxpayer dollars, and maximize our investment in food aid for Ukraine and other allies. I am grateful to Senators Joni Ernst and Chris Coons, as well as Representatives Jim Costa, Michelle Fischbach, and Danny Davis for their partnership in this effort.”

Under current law, cargo preference requirements require 50 percent of Title II food aid shipments to be carried on U.S. flagged vessels. H.Con.Res. 92 would temporarily waive this requirement to expedite deliveries of food aid to Ukraine and other affected countries until February 2025. U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate.

“The world is witnessing an emerging food crisis as a direct result of Putin’s lawless assault against Ukraine; Russia is engaging in a ‘food war,’” said Sen. Joni Ernst. “Iowan and American farmers are ready to step in and help, but bureaucratic red tape is putting an enormous restriction on our shipping capacity that is actually increasing costs to the taxpayer while further delaying the vital delivery of food aid at a time when speed it critical. I’m proud and encouraged to see growing, strong, and bipartisan support for this temporary cargo wavier from some of the most important agriculture groups in Iowa and the nation as well as from so many of my colleagues from across the aisle in the Senate and the House. The need to act—and quickly—has never been clearer.”

“Russian blockades at the port of Odessa, confiscation of Ukrainian farming tools and tractors, and the threat of violence due to Russian shelling have wreaked havoc on Ukrainian food production, historically the world’s breadbasket. The consequences of Russia’s brutal invasion on food supplies are being felt across the world today, and when tens of millions of lives depend right now on the swift, effective delivery of American food aid, we can’t allow our emergency response to be held up by red tape that forces us to spend more money on shipping our food aid than on the food itself,” said Sen. Chris Coons.

“Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has fueled the global hunger crisis and disrupted food supply chains,” said Rep. Jim Costa. “This is being felt across the globe and we must take immediate action to address rapidly growing food insecurity. I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution to cut the red tape and expedite food aid delivery to vulnerable countries affected by Putin’s war.”

“This resolution is a common-sense, win-win solution to the rise in food insecurity as a result of Putin’s egregious invasion of Ukraine. Minnesota farmers are able to play a key role in ensuring the Ukrainian people have access to nutritious food,” said Rep. Michelle Fischbach. “By removing unnecessary red tape, American farmers and ranchers can more efficiently aid our allies in the conflict area.”

“I am delighted to join with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to do everything possible to come to the aide of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters and thwart Putin’s cruel efforts to oppress and force them into submission.  I commend Congresswoman Walorski for leading this effort,” said Rep. Danny Davis.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has reported that eliminating mandatory cargo preference reimbursements would reduce the deficit by an estimated $50 million per year.

The full text of H.Con.Res. 92 is available here.

###

Walorski: Biden’s Border Chaos Is Endangering the Homeland

Walorski: Biden’s Border Chaos Is Endangering the Homeland

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement following reports that an ISIS sympathizer allegedly planned to take advantage of insecurities on the southern border to carry out an assassination of former President George W. Bush.

“With President Biden in the White House, Americans are endangered and our homeland is at risk. As the president and his administration openly invite chaos and danger on the southern border, radical terrorists are plotting to take advantage of these vulnerabilities to carry out attacks on Americans. Our law enforcement officers are the best in the world, and they put their lives on the line to serve and protect American communities from these threats. The White House and Democrats owe it to these heroes to start working with us – instead of against us – to get serious about securing the border and protecting our homeland against terrorists, deadly illicit drugs, cartel violence, and the other ravages of Biden’s porous border.”

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

###

Walorski: Hoosiers Must Protect Girls’ and Women’s Sports

Walorski: Hoosiers Must Protect Girls’ and Women’s Sports

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) issued the following statement after the Indiana General Assembly voted to override the veto of Indiana House Bill 1041.

“As a young Hoosier growing up in Northern Indiana, I experienced firsthand the benefits of girls’ sports. Athletics build character and teach foundational skills, and we must continue to protect these opportunities for girls and women,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. “I’m glad to see the Indiana General Assembly act to protect the integrity of girls’ sports in Indiana.”

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

###

Walorski Announces Winner Of 2022 Congressional Art Competition

Walorski Announces Winner Of 2022 Congressional Art Competition

Penn High School Student’s Artwork Will Be Displayed in U.S. Capitol for a Year

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today announced Kelsey Forbes, a student at Penn High School in Mishawaka, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional Art Competition for Indiana’s 2nd District. Kelsey’s winning artwork, “From a Blank Canvas,” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for the next year alongside other winners from across the country.

“The annual Congressional Art Competition is a showcase of our region’s artistic excellence. Congratulations to our 2022 winner, Kelsey Forbes, on this amazing accomplishment. I can’t wait to see Kelsey’s winning artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “As visitors return to the Capitol, I am proud that Northern Indiana will be so well represented. Thank you to Kelsey, our runner-up Klara Guseilla, and all of the talented young Hoosiers who submitted artwork to this year’s competition and shared their creativity with us, as well as the teachers, families, and volunteers who made this year’s competition a success.”


Rep. Walorski with 2022 Congressional Art Competition Winner Kelsey Forbes and Penn High School Art Teacher Betsy Durham

Congresswoman Walorski congratulated the winner on Saturday at a reception held at South Bend International Airport for students who submitted entries and their teachers. Second place was awarded to Klara Guseilla, a student at John Glenn High School in Walkerton. Her artwork, “The Cat’s Throne,” will be displayed in Congresswoman Walorski’s Mishawaka District Office for the next year.

Sixty-nine high school students from across Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District submitted entries, and Michael Beatty, a local artist, served as the judge. The St. Joseph County Airport Authority served as the facility host of the competition and reception.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to recognize the artistic talents of high school students in their districts. Since then, more than 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

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

###

Walorski Calls on VA to Deliver Long-Term Care Solutions for Veterans

Walorski Calls on VA to Deliver Long-Term Care Solutions for Veterans

“We stand ready to work alongside the VA to provide solutions to our Hoosier veterans and ensure these heroes receive the quality care they deserve.”

MISHAWAKA. Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today urged U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to provide improved care to U.S. veterans seeking long-term care (LTC), including ensuring quality care facilities close to veterans’ homes and family support.

“Veterans in Indiana and across the country have served and sacrificed to secure our freedom and defend the homeland. Our grateful nation must deliver on our promises to them,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “We stand ready to work alongside the VA to provide solutions to our Hoosier veterans and ensure these heroes receive the quality care they deserve.”

Congresswoman Walorski has heard from Hoosier veterans about stark challenges they have faced in being transferred between VA-contracted LTC facilities, often increasingly far away from their loved ones. She sent today’s letter jointly with Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).

“We are writing to share challenges that have been brought to our attention by veterans having difficulty getting placed in a long-term care (LTC) facility that is easily accessible to their network of support,” Reps. Walorski and Banks wrote to Secretary McDonough. “Veterans have shared with us that they are being relocated from one facility to another on relatively short notice, and that with each move their families are facing driving times exceeding two hours each direction to visit their loved ones.”

In their letter to Secretary McDonough, the members encouraged the VA to partner with Congress to provide solutions for the courageous men and women who have served our nation.

“Veterans receiving treatment at a LTC facility already experience stress and anguish not being at home or near loved ones. Being relocated farther away just adds to the stress and hardship and is not conducive to the standard of care veterans have earned,” they continued.

The full letter is available here and below.

May 4, 2022

The Honorable Denis McDonough
Secretary
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Secretary McDonough:

We are writing to share challenges that have been brought to our attention by veterans having difficulty getting placed in a long-term care (LTC) facility that is easily accessible to their network of support. Veterans have shared with us that they are being relocated from one facility to another on relatively short notice, and that with each move their families are facing driving times exceeding two hours each direction to visit their loved ones.

As our veteran population continues to age, we understand it can get more challenging to care for them. In the past when our staff and county veteran service officers expressed their frustration with the lack of private care facilities contracting with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), they were told private facilities may be less inclined to contract with the VA to care for veterans. The reason provided for this reluctance was that veterans in LTC facilities are more likely to experience acute health care challenges that may complicate a facility’s efforts to remain compliant with health care quality standards set by state licensing agencies. While we understand this factor may be a challenge, we hope to partner with the VA to find an effective solution to address the needs of Hoosier veterans.

To provide an example for your reference, one veteran who contacted us had been at the same LTC facility for 30 years. His stay at that facility came to an end in 2014 due to the facility terminating their contract with the VA. Since then, the veteran has been transferred to multiple facilities and each transfer has left him further and further away from his home and family. Veterans receiving treatment at a LTC facility already experience stress and anguish not being at home or near loved ones. Being relocated farther away just adds to the stress and hardship and is not conducive to the standard of care veterans have earned.

We would appreciate answers to the following questions:

  1. Is this challenge unique to Indiana or has the VA experienced issues contracting with LTC facilities for veterans in other states?
  2. What is the VA’s current policy on LTC facilities for veterans and their standards of care?
  3. If the VA is experiencing challenges contracting with LTC facilities to provide long term care, what plans are you putting in place to address these issues?
  4. Are there specific policy recommendations you could share with us that might help address this problem?

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

###

Get News & Updates