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4-16-2016 Rokita Report
Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the work of the 114th Congress. I trust this finds you and your family well, as we work together to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington.
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In this week's Rokita Report
Goodwill National Policymaker Award
On Tuesday, I was one of five members of Congress to be honored by Goodwill Industries International. I received the National Policymaker Award for my commitment to helping individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency. I was honored to be nominated for the award by Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana.
Receiving the National Policymaker Award
Goodwill Industries International has long been an advocate for genuine solutions to lifting individuals out of poverty. In Indiana and across the country, the organization provides education, training, and career services for people with economic disadvantages as well as those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.
As Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee, I recognize that we need to solve our fiscal crisis. Our national debt is now over $19 trillion and all government spending should be thoroughly examined. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty" and since that time government has spent over $22 trillion to fight poverty. Unfortunately, this initiative has failed to move the needle of the poverty rate because the federal government's approach has failed to address the root causes of poverty. The work of organizations like Goodwill offer genuine solutions, by providing the opportunity for people to become self-sufficient and not dependent on government.
Protecting Hoosier Manufacturers
This week, I was part of a bipartisan coalition of members that introduced H.R. 4923, the American Manufacturer Competitiveness Act. This bill restores a process that allows American manufacturers to request waivers on tariffs for products not found or produced in the United States for which there is no domestically available counterpart.
The introduction of H.R. 4923 is an important step to protecting the competitiveness of Hoosier manufacturers. Indiana is a state that works and produces in-demand goods. The American Manufacturers Competitiveness Act provides Indiana businesses and job creators with needed tax relief. This bill would protect industries like textiles, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing from $750 million in onerous annual taxes that other nations are already waiving. At a hearing in the Ways& Means Committee, cases were highlighted where because of our tax system there are higher tariffs to import the raw materials than some finished products. By leveling the playing field with foreign competitors, our American job creators can invest more at home.
Under H.R. 4923, any products considered for tariff waivers will be vetted by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ensure that the product really has no domestic production or alternatives. After this has been verified, a list of proposed tariff waivers will be made publicly available for review before being considered by Congress.
Already the bill is supported by many important organizations including:
Welcoming Representative Gowdy to Indiana
Last weekend, I had the great honor of introducing my friend and colleague Congressman Trey Gowdy at the Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner. I have gotten to know Representative Gowdy serving with him. We were both first elected in 2010. He serves as the Chairman of the Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in our embassy in Libya.
Representative Rokita and Trey Gowdy meeting with Boy Scouts
Trey spoke on a very important issue, that we have to be good messengers for conservative values. We should present our views in an inclusive and a positive manner. As conservatives we should not be insulting or hypocritical, but carry our ideas out in words and respectful action.
At my public events, I often urge Hoosiers to use their sphere of influence by reaching out to people they know about the issues that matter. We should be talking to our friends, family, and neighbors about our ideas. We believe in limited government because people know best. We should fight for all people so they can build better lives for themselves and their families.
Thank you for your continued interest in Congress and for supporting my efforts to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington. Take care.