Walorski Statement on USMCA Entry Into Force
Deal to Modernize North American Trade Dismantles Barriers for Manufacturers and Farmers, Levels Playing Field for American Workers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force:
“America is facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, but our nation is resilient and our economy is safely reopening. With USMCA entering into force today, we are now in an even better position to recover and rebuild. President Trump’s deal to modernize North American trade will dismantle barriers for Hoosier manufacturers and farmers, level the playing field for our workers, and expand markets for made-in-America exports. This is a major victory for the American people.”
USMCA replaces the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a modernized, improved set of rules for trade with Canada and Mexico. The new agreement:
- Includes a new chapter on digital trade that sets a global standard to ensure American innovators and e-commerce businesses can compete fairly;
- Expands exports of agricultural commodities, including soybeans, corn, and pork;
- Opens access to the Canadian market for American farmers to sell dairy, poultry, and eggs;
- Streamlines customs procedures in order to reduce inefficiencies and get American products to market faster;
- Levels the playing field for American workers by requiring Mexico to overhaul its labor system; and
- Ensures the U.S. can hold Mexico and Canada accountable through strong enforcement mechanisms.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Walorski: Back-to-Work Bonus Could Help American Workers, Boost Economic Recovery
Calls for Bipartisan Proposals to Support Safe Reopening, Incentivize Return to Work
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) this week called for bipartisan proposals to support safely reopening our economy and to incentivize Americans who return to work, such as replacing temporary supplemental unemployment benefits with a back-to-work bonus.
“Businesses are reopening and rehiring, and they shouldn’t have to compete with a temporary government benefit,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “That’s why Ways and Means Ranking Member Brady and myself have supported looking at a back-to-work bonus proposal that would make work pay by allowing workers to keep up to two weeks’ worth of that additional benefit after accepting a job, essentially amounting to a $1,200 hiring bonus.”
Walorski is a cosponsor of the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act, which would turn temporary supplemental unemployment benefits into a back-to-work bonus. Workers would be allowed to keep up to two weeks of the benefit after accepting a job, comparable to a $1,200 hiring bonus.
Video of Congresswoman Walorski speaking at Thursday’s hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis can be found here, and her remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thanks to our witnesses for being here.
“The CARES Act provided $600 per week in temporary supplemental unemployment benefits to support public health by allowing businesses and workers to get through closures and stay-at-home orders and to flatten the curve. This was a necessary step back in March. But if we want a V-shaped recovery as states and cities safely reopen, we need to take a different tack on this benefit so that it doesn’t inadvertently disincentivize people from returning to work.
“For instance, in my home state of Indiana, workers receiving the $600 federal supplement would be getting about three times as much as they otherwise would on unemployment. Factor in the comparatively low cost of living in my district, and in many cases a worker would make more on unemployment than they would if they returned to work. In fact, the University of Chicago estimates that over two-thirds of unemployment insurance recipients nationwide are in this situation, and that over 20 percent are receiving double their salary.
“I want to be clear: I have no issue with any worker who took this benefit. Congress made it available at a time when much of the economy was going to be shut down for an undetermined amount of time. That additional benefit helped workers pay rent, put food on the table, and have peace of mind as they found themselves unemployed or furloughed through no fault of their own.
“But now businesses are reopening and rehiring and shouldn’t have to compete with a temporary government benefit. That’s why Ways and Means Ranking Member Brady and myself have supported looking at a back to work bonus proposal that would make work pay by allowing workers to keep up to two weeks’ worth of that additional benefit after accepting a job, essentially amounting to a $1,200 hiring bonus. We also want to make sure that states provide clear notice to unemployment claimants about return to work obligations and good cause exceptions.
“This is a better policy than the Democrats’ partisan bill, the HEROES Act, which would extend the $600 work disincentive through January 2021. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that doing this would weaken incentives to work, decrease economic output, and decrease employment. In short, it would kill our economic recovery.
“Another misguided policy in the partisan HEROES Act is restoring unlimited deductions for State and Local Taxes, or SALT. The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation has found that only 1 percent of the benefits of this policy would go to those making less than $100,000 a year. Instead, over half of the projected benefits would go to those with annual incomes of $1 million or more. This does nothing to rebuild our economy. It gives the wealthiest a whole cake, while the middle class is stuck with crumbs.
“Tax experts on the left and right agree that restoring an unlimited SALT deduction is bad policy. Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Furman, who is with us today, reportedly said restoring SALT was a “waste of money” that would not help economic recovery.
“As we climb out of this crisis, we need serious, substantive, bipartisan proposals that incentivize people to get people back to work and rebuild our economy, not bloated, partisan bills that disincentivize work and provide giveaways to the rich.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Walorski Statement on May Jobs Report
Unexpected Gain of 2.5 Million Jobs Shows Positive Signs for Economic Recovery
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s May jobs report, which showed an increase of 2.5 million jobs last month:
“The latest jobs report is great news for Hoosier workers and a positive first step as we begin to safely reopen and rebuild our economy. Recovering from this unprecedented public health and economic crisis will not be easy, but I know our workers, small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers are up to the task. I look forward to working with my colleagues and President Trump to continue building on the success of emergency relief measures like the Paycheck Protection Program and get Americans safely back to work.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Walorski, Kind Introduce Bipartisan Fix to Ensure Dependents Receive Coronavirus Relief Payments
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) today introduced legislation to ensure college students and adult dependents are eligible to receive federal relief funding in the form of direct payments. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most families will receive an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. However, no credit is available for dependents older than 16, meaning that many college students and other dependent adults, such as those with disabilities who are cared for by a family member, are not eligible for relief. This legislative fix will allow thousands of Hoosiers who were previously excluded, to receive direct economic impact payments.
“Coronavirus relief payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per eligible child are already helping workers, families, and seniors get through this unprecedented crisis,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “However, I believe it’s only fair to include all adult dependents – not just children under the age of 17 – in families’ direct payments. Providing these extra payments to parents with college-aged children, grandparents raising grandchildren, and families caring for a disabled relative is a commonsense way to get assistance to those who need it.”
“With so many experiencing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure all Wisconsinites receive the support they need,” said Rep. Kind. “College students’ lives were particularly uprooted by this crisis, often losing not only their homes but in many cases jobs as well. These students, those with disabilities, and their families cannot be left without a financial lifeline during these challenging times. This legislation will fill in gaps in the CARES Act by expanding eligibility for economic impact payments and take an important step towards providing further relief.”
The bill text is available here.
Walorski Votes to Replenish Paycheck Protection Program to Help Small Businesses Save Jobs
House Passes Funding for Small Businesses, Hospitals, Expanded COVID-19 Testing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for small businesses, provide critical resources to hospitals, and expand COVID-19 testing:
“After weeks of unnecessary delay, critical funding to fight coronavirus and save Main Street jobs is now on its way to the president’s desk. It’s shameful that Speaker Pelosi blocked additional Paycheck Protection Program funding for two weeks, wasting precious time our small businesses don’t have and putting countless American jobs in jeopardy.
“Thankfully we’ve overcome this partisan gridlock, and these resources will soon be going where they’re needed most – to help small businesses make payroll and keep the lights on, to support hospitals on the front lines of this fight, and to expand testing so we can be ready to safely restart our economy soon.
“These are challenging times, but by working together we are going to defeat this invisible enemy, and we’ll be even stronger when this crisis is over.”
Ahead of today’s vote, Congresswoman Walorski spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Video of her remarks can be found here.
The House passed H.R. 266 by a vote of 388 to 5. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act includes:
- $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program
- $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with less than $10 billion in assets
- $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with $10 billion to $50 billion in assets
- $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- $50 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance grants
- Clarifies that farmers with fewer than 500 employees can receive EIDL grants and loans
- $25 billion to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests
- $11 billion for states and local governments to expand testing capacity and contact tracing and support employer testing
- $1 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for laboratory capacity expansion, contact tracing, and public health data surveillance
- $1.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop, validate, improve, and implement testing and associated technologies
- $1 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for advanced research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of diagnostic, serologic, or other COVID-19 tests or related supplies
- $22 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support activities associated with diagnostic, serological, antigen, and other tests
- $825 million for Community Health Centers and rural health clinics
- Up to $1 billion may be used to cover costs of testing for the uninsured
- $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers fighting COVID-19
Walorski Applauds Federal Grants for Hoosier Small Businesses to Save Jobs
Community Development Grants Will Help Small Businesses in Fulton County, Knox, North Manchester to Retain Employees
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on federal grant funding through the new COVID-19 Response Program to help small businesses in Fulton County, Knox, and North Manchester retain employees:
“As Hoosiers continue doing our part to slow the spread of coronavirus, our Main Street job creators need emergency assistance so they can save jobs and keep the lights on. This funding will provide a critical lifeline to small businesses and their employees in Fulton County, Knox, and North Manchester. I’m grateful to Governor Holcomb, Lieutenant Governor Crouch, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the new COVID-19 Response Program for getting these vital resources to our communities.
“I’ll continue working to support the fight against this invisible enemy and make sure small businesses can get through this unprecedented crisis. As part of these efforts, I look forward to voting to further aid Hoosier businesses and workers by adding $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program.”
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs on Wednesday announced the federal Community Development Block Grant funding, which was redirected through the new COVID-19 Response Program. Grant awards in Indiana’s 2nd District include:
- The Town of North Manchester is awarded $250,000 to build upon an existing Revolving Loan Fund to provide grants to local businesses with employees who have low-and-moderate income households impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis.
- Fulton County is awarded $250,000 to provide Grants to small businesses in order to retain employees.
- The City of Knox is awarded $250,000 to provide working capital to local businesses for job retention.
Walorski Requests Information on Expansion of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs to Derivative Articles
Expresses Concern Over Uncertainty and Impact on U.S. Businesses
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressing concerns over the recent expansion of section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum to include certain derivative articles. She requested information about the legal justification for the expansion, how the new tariffs will address Chinese overcapacity, how it was determined which articles to include, and whether the Department has adequate staff to process additional exclusion requests.
“A sudden announcement on a Friday evening is not befitting such a dramatic paradigm shift from tariffs only on raw materials to now include downstream products as well,” Congresswoman Walorski wrote. “Even more concerning, there remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the new tariffs more than a month after they were announced.”
The new tariffs were announced January 24 in a Presidential Proclamation and took effect on February 8, 2020. However, it remains unclear how the Commerce Department determined which products should be included and whether there will be a product exclusion process to allow U.S. businesses to petition for tariff relief.
“As always, I stand ready to work with you to address unfair trade practices and overcapacity,” Walorski added. “However, we also must ensure that any tariffs or other actions are targeted correctly and based on rigorous analysis that includes a transparent opportunity for input from all stakeholders so as to minimize the effects on domestic manufacturers.”
A copy of Walorski’s letter is available here.
In the letter, Walorski asked the Commerce Department to explain what legal authority is being used to justify the expansion of Section 232 tariffs, how the expansion will address Chinese overcapacity and increase domestic capacity utilization, and what process was used to determine which derivative articles to include. Walorski also requested a copy of the Department’s most recent report on the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs, including on downstream sectors.
Finally, Walorski asked whether the Department is confident it has adequate staff to handle a higher volume of product exclusion requests as a result of the expansion into derivatives. Walorski has repeatedly pressed the Commerce Department to fix problems faced by U.S. manufacturers and small businesses requesting relief from Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. In 2019, she sent three letters to Secretary Ross outlining her concerns that the product exclusion process lacks transparency, consistency, and fairness.
Walorski: Phase One Agreement Will Hold China Accountable
Applauds President Trump’s Commitment to Cracking Down on China’s Unfair Trade Practices
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today applauded the Trump administration’s Phase One agreement with China, highlighting in a Ways and Means Committee hearing the importance of holding China accountable for unfair trade practices such as intellectual property theft, agricultural trade barriers, and forced technology transfers.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that China has been predatory in its trade practices,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “President Trump promised, like others, that he’d be tough on China. Unlike others, President Trump has kept that promise. We couldn’t continue to let China play this game of making promises with one hand, while stealing American technology, jobs, blood, sweat, and tears with the other. It’s not a sustainable strategy for our economy, and with the Phase One deal, they’re not going to get away with it any longer.”
Video of Walorski’s comments at the hearing can be found here.
Walorski Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address:
“President Trump delivered an optimistic message about our country’s future and renewed his commitment to preserving and strengthening the American Dream.
“Our economy is booming, with more jobs and higher wages for hardworking Americans and new opportunities for our farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses. I stand ready to work with the president to continue building on that momentum and ensure working families have every opportunity to thrive, including by expanding access to paid family leave.
“President Trump has been steadfast as commander-in-chief in the face of national security threats from terrorists and rogue regimes, and his leadership in rebuilding our military has made our country safer. I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our national security, support our servicemembers, and ensure our veterans get the care and services they earned.
“The president’s agenda is one that puts the American people first and keeps our country on the path to a better, stronger, and more prosperous future. It’s time for Congress to put divisiveness and partisanship aside so we can make this bold vision a reality.”
Republicans in Congress and President Trump have worked together to achieve key victories for the American people, including:
- Setting the stage for the strongest economy and job market in decades through historic tax cuts for working families and small businesses;
- Passing USMCA, a historic deal to modernize North American trade and level the
- playing field for American workers, farmers, and manufacturers;
- Continuing the rebuilding of our military and giving servicemembers their biggest pay raise in a decade;
- Repealing Obamacare taxes that were driving up the cost of health care, including the job-killing medical device tax and the burdensome health insurance tax;
- Overhauling the IRS to hold its leaders accountable, modernize its IT systems, and put service to taxpayers first; and
- Providing states the resources and flexibility needed to transform the nation’s foster care systems and put families first.
Congresswoman Walorski is committed to continuing to work with President Trump to find commonsense solutions for Hoosiers, including:
- Helping working families thrive by passing pro-worker, pro-family legislation to expand paid family leave benefits without raising taxes or imposing inflexible mandates;
- Investing in our nation’s infrastructure through innovative, cost-effective financing mechanisms;
- Lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs while expanding patient choice and supporting innovative research to find new cures;
- Standing up for the sanctity of life and defending the unborn, including by passing the Dignity for Aborted Children Act; and
- Ensuring our brave veterans get the care, benefits, and services they earned.
Walorski Launches Bipartisan Women in STEM Caucus
Bipartisan Caucus Will Focus on Increasing Presence of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) this week launched the first ever Women in STEM Caucus, alongside co-chairs Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), and Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). The bipartisan House caucus was founded to increase the presence of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. The caucus currently has 13 members from both sides of the aisle.
“STEM education is a driving force behind our nation’s 21st century economy, strengthening our workforce through hands-on learning, technical training, and real-world application of the skills required in cutting-edge jobs,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “That’s especially true in northern Indiana, a manufacturing hub that depends on innovation and skill to build made-in-America products. By expanding access and encouraging girls of all ages to explore STEM fields, we can create more jobs and opportunity in our communities and open doors for them to achieve their full potential. I’m excited to help launch the bipartisan Women in STEM Caucus and work with my colleagues to change the landscape of American innovation so all ships can rise.”
“I was one of 10 women in my engineering major,” Congresswoman Houlahan said. “30 years later, the numbers haven’t really changed. That’s why we launched the Women in STEM Caucus. For too long, the STEM community has felt inaccessible to women and underrepresented minorities. I’m proud to stand alongside my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to give STEM a much needed makeover. Our mission is clear: show women, girls, and underrepresented minorities that STEM is for everyone.”
“As a Member of the House Science Committee, and as someone who previously worked in a manufacturing research lab, I have seen and learned about the discrimination and institutional barriers for women in STEM fields,” Congresswoman Stevens said. “Women and girls everywhere need to know that they can succeed in the STEM fields, and that our country and our economy won’t succeed without them. That’s why I am so proud to serve as a co-chair of the new Congressional Women in STEM Caucus. I look forward to working with the other co-chairs to grow this bipartisan caucus into a powerful force for change, and to ensure that women are given equal opportunities to conduct research, innovate, and discover the next great technological breakthrough.”
“Arizona is home to the largest effort in the country by a university to support the entry and success of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” Congresswoman Lesko said. “As a representative of a state that is a leader in the cause to promote women in STEM, I am proud today to celebrate the establishment of the Congressional Women in STEM Caucus, and I am honored to serve as one of its co-chairs. It is important to encourage the success of women and girls in STEM fields and that is what I hope to do through my participation in this caucus.”
“I have seen firsthand how the strong partnership between universities and federal research agencies is essential to supporting women who are passionate about careers in STEM fields,” Melanie Kornides, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, said. “As a result, more women now than ever are entering STEM fields. We should be proud of that accomplishment, but also recognize now is the time to redouble our efforts. Today, we reaffirm that commitment by working with members of this caucus and others to foster the next generation of successful, innovative women researchers.”
“The sting of microaggressions, invisibility, hypervisibility, and presumptions of incompetence have created very dire conditions for STEM women faculty at US higher education institutions,” Dr. Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education; and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope Association of American Colleges and Universities, said. “These lived experiences demand that we have a women in stem caucus like this. But, it’s the commitment of the caucus to ensuring that the mistake of ignoring or excluding women of color from important policy work will not happen that makes me so proud to be a part of this work.”
“Today is a cause for celebration: These leaders are establishing the first-ever congressional caucus to support the next generation of women researchers,” Lauren Brookmeyer, President of the Science Coalition and Director of Government Relations at Stony Brook University, said. “These four lawmakers should be commended for their leadership and tireless advocacy on behalf of women researchers, America’s scientific enterprise, and the unique partnership between our universities and federal research agencies. Strengthening diversity in these research fields is essential to expanding our economy, spurring innovation, and maintaining our nation’s global competitiveness.”
The Women in STEM Caucus is a bipartisan group of members of Congress dedicated to advancing the important role women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields play in boosting our economy, conducting groundbreaking research that leads to life-changing innovations, and furthering our nation’s scientific enterprise.
Members in the caucus include Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Representatives Tim Ryan, Deb Haaland, Seth Moulton, Joe Cunningham, Paul Tonko, Troy Balderson, and Mikie Sherrill, Derek Kilmer, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.