Congresswoman Jackie Walorski says she wants to be more proactive when acting on federal regulation that could harm economic growth.
The Jimtown Republican visited Knox on the first of a two-day “Get Regulation Out of the Way” tour. Information released by her offices cites research conducted by the American Action Forum claiming the Obama administration has issued over 500 major federal regulations.
Following her Wednesday tour of Hoosier Custom Plastics in Knox, Walorski said problems involving a manufacturing skills gap along with stalled business expansions can’t be legislated away.
“We’ve passed a lot of bills in the past two, two-and-a-half years on ratcheting back the power of the EPA and ratcheting back some of these agencies that are over-the-top,” says Walorski. “And part of that is, is looking at this and saying: you know, what can we do ahead of time? What are some of the things we can mitigate on behalf of our companies?”
Walorski visited companies in Elkhart, South Bend, Bremen, and Francesville on Wednesday.
Hoosier Custom Plastics specializes in plastic moldings while employing around 50 individuals. Company representatives showcased their golf and social drinking products, but put a focus on a prototype that looks to prevent injuries to sensitive tissue in female athletes and military service members.
The company says a few areas of federal policy have caused frustration, including: changing definitions of what it means to be a small business, and health insurance benefits. Officials with the company say they’re not interested in being insurance agents for their employees.
While perhaps not in total agreement with the sentiments expressed during Wednesday’s tour, Walorski says one of the most disconcerting things she hears traveling Indiana’s 2nd District is the price and regulation of healthcare.
“That uncertainty in itself has kept so many companies in the 2nd District, small businesses, from expanding,” says Walorski. “They’ve cut employees to fall under a threshold instead of expanding to be over a threshold. And those kinds of uncertainties in the healthcare arena are enough to produce a decrease in jobs and productivity.”
Continuing a common theme throughout her time in office, the Congresswoman did not mince words, saying that when healthcare uncertainty is combined with regulations overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, the penalties can cost businesses valuable dollars.
The Congresswoman will continue her G.R.O.W. tour Thursday with visits to Wabash, Macy, and Akron.