U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski visited Bass Lake Monday, to tout some of her accomplishments to members of the Starke and Pulaski County chambers of commerce. Walorski said that over the past few years, House Republicans have been making progress on their agenda, in spite of a president Walorski says has not been supportive of their positions. She says Republicans have been getting things done in Washington both through persistence and compromise with Democrats.
While she didn’t go into detail about this year’s presidential election, she promised to continue these efforts, no matter who the next president is. Whether the next president is a Republican or a Democrat, Walorski hopes Congress will take away some of his or her powers.
Right now, Walorski says the president and the various agencies under his administration’s jurisdiction get too much freedom when it comes to creating rules and generating revenue, “We literally just passed a bill in the Republican House; it was a bipartisan bill that passed that said that any entity or the president himself that brings down a bill or a rule that would cost more than $150 million has to come to the Congress itself and stand for an up-and-down vote. And we passed that through the House; we’re waiting on the Senate to pass that.”
While discussing the accomplishments of House Republicans, Walorski focused on her goals of national, economic, and family security.
On the issue of national security, she said a lack of leadership from President Obama has put American interests in jeopardy around the world. The congresswoman also reaffirmed her opposition to the closure of Guantanamo Bay, saying the House is already prepared to file legal challenges to any executive action that Obama might take. Walorski says she and other Republicans have been working to fight against the president’s efforts to decrease the size of the U.S. military.
She says the size of the military not only affects national security, but also has implications for the local economy. “Indiana has become a leader, just in the past couple of years,” she said. “The defense industry now in the State of Indiana is more than a $2 billion and growing every single week, employing Hoosiers in places and high-paying jobs that didn’t exist 10, 15 years ago.”
When it comes to economic issues, Walorski says the U.S. House has made significant progress in the area of tax reform. She says thanks to their efforts, taxes have become more predictable for local businesses, “In the past, every single year, we’d have to extend these tax extenders every year, which means if you own a small business and you want to know about deducting R & D expenses – research and development – you’d have to wait to see what Congress is going to do in February and do it retroactively from last year. We provided permanent R & D tax credit coverage from now, permanent. We no longer have to go in and look at it. We’ve also got Section 179 which became permanent for capital expenditures. Sales tax became permanent for those companies that qualified.”
Walorski said she also continues to try to help small businesses by repealing the Affordable Care Act along with its regulations, in spite of the ridicule those efforts have generated. “While folks are over there, both on the left and the right, laughing about the House trying to repeal Obamacare, don’t forget we’re only representatives of the people we represent,” she said. “We have been crushed in our office with phone calls and texts and emails and visits from CEOs and from small companies, saying, ‘Just give us certainty. Just do something to get this off our back.'”
Walorski also discussed efforts being taken to ensure veterans are being given their proper services. She also touted her work to increase oversight of the Veterans Administration, to prevent VA dispensaries from over-prescribing narcotics and to require them to keep records of those prescriptions and report them to state databases. She says this legislation helps prevent these drugs from getting out into the community.