Business is good

Apr 02, 2018 | Communications •

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joins Lars Larson on The Lars Larson Show to discuss how Americans and their families are benefiting from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. At home in Eastern Washingt, Chair McMorris Rodgers toured a local Home Depot to hear from employees about what tax reform — and the bonuses and pay raises they received from their company — mean to them.

For more on tax reform and a map of the more than 400 companies like the Home Depot that are passing tax reform savings onto their employees, visit FairandSimple.gop. And be sure to check out ↓ her interview.

WHAT TAX REFORM MEANS FOR EASTERN WA WORKERS, BUSINESSES

“I’ve been at a couple of companies, even today, I was at Home Depot, I was at Sonderen Packaging here in Spokane. Sonderen Packaging is the last remaining independently owned folding carton manufacturer. So you go to Costco and you’re going to see in the Northwest their packaging for teas and frozen goods. It’s great that they’re third generation now in Spokane and they were talking about what this meant for their employees, anywhere from $70 to $300 per paycheck. More money in their employees’ pockets.

“And they’re also anticipating what it means for them as a company too, that business is good, there’s an optimism, there’s a hope as to what the future is. We’ve seen stagnant wages, stagnant economy for many years and it’s almost like people have got used to that and this is bringing out optimism again which I am most hopeful about that. Unemployment is at a record low, consumer confidence is on the rise, small businesses are starting and expanding and that is so positive for our economy but it’s also positive for every person that’s out there in search of a better life because the job is the key to the opportunity. A job is so much more than a paycheck, it’s what gives your purpose and an opportunity for a better life here in America.

“Nancy Pelosi is the one that called the tax cuts crumbs and there have been several people who have contacted my office, I had a lady call last week and she was so excited about $90 in her paycheck and what that meant as far as providing food. I would encourage Nancy Pelosi to actually get out on the ground and listen to people. Crumbs in Eastern Washington, that’s real money compared to maybe crumbs in San Francisco, but this is real money in Eastern Washington and it’s bringing a hope and an enthusiasm. Another guy, he’s the manager of the Starbucks in downtown Spokane and the day after Starbucks announced that they were raising wages and expanding their family leave program, he and his wife just had a baby four months ago, and he was just so excited. He was bouncing off the walls, he and his employees, because it was giving them hope for the future and that is so positive to see that returning in Americans where they start dreaming again about what’s possible.”


OUR WORK ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES

“When we return after the Easter Break we’re going to be voting on the Balanced Budget Amendment, we’re going to start the budget reforms. We need to fix this broken budget process. The House is very frustrated, me included, just so frustrated with where we found ourselves this year because the federal budget process is broken.

“We need a new budget process that will actually set priorities and hold agencies accountable and so that is the top of mine. We also want to move forward with making some of the tax cut provisions for individuals permanent. We’re looking at infrastructure, workforce development. The president has said that he wants to pass a major infrastructure package. We continue to hear from construction companies that they don’t have the employees, they don’t have the skilled laborers to actually do the job so we need to invest in workforce development, the apprenticeship programs, vocational education. But we also need to get some people off the sidelines that have dropped out of the workforce. We have had the lowest workforce participation rate since 1978.”


KEEPING SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES SAFE

“We had a forum last night about school violence and school safety with high school students. It was the Chase Youth Commission in Spokane. I thought it was a good discussion. Clearly it’s on the forefront of kids’ minds. I was out at East Valley High School this morning, also, and walking around the high school, it’s clear that people are thinking about these shootings and the impact that they have and the reality that it could happen anywhere.

“We had a shooting down at Freeman High School last fall. For me, I just really wanted to focus on that first this is a constitutional right. The 2nd Amendment is a constitutional right and the focus should not be on taking away guns from law abiding citizens. We need to be focusing on making sure that people don’t fall through the cracks, that the system doesn’t fail us, and unfortunately, when you look at so many of these examples, the individuals that were involved should not have had guns.

“Whether it was the shooting down in Parkland, where it was the FBI that really dropped the ball, the Sutherland Springs shooter where he had a domestic violence record and yet the Air Force didn’t get that up to the NICS System at the federal level. So, I think we just got to focus on making sure that the system is working. And that’s where I am proud that we’ve taken action in Congress on the Fix NICS which will take steps to ensure that the federal database is working as intended and then also on the STOP School Violence legislation that is to help schools with resource officers, mental health counselors. I heard a lot about kids being anxious, they were stressed and that they need some place to go and someone to talk to and we want to be able to intervene before they start resorting to violence.”