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Peter J. Visclosky

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Congressional Record entries

Entry Title Date
Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations The Right To Appeal Act June 12, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 1314, which allows for fast track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for trade agreements entered into prior to July 1, 2021, including the prospective Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Past trade agreements have outsourced American jobs and caused irreparable harm to our domestic manufacturing base. I believe that TPP, T-TIP, and other potential future agreements will be no different. Throughout my career, I have voted against unfair trade agreements. I voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was sold on the promise of creating 200,000 American jobs. After enactment, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that America lost 682,900 jobs, primarily in the manufacturing sector. I voted against the Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was sold on the promise of creating 70,000 American jobs. After enactment, again the EPI estimates that America lost 60,000 jobs. The future trade agreements we are discussing today are being sold on the promise of creating more American jobs. That argument may continue to work for some. But I am not buying it. There has been a bipartisan failure, administration after administration, to address the effects of unfair trade on domestic manufacturers. Democrat and Republican administrations have been wrong to support irresponsible trade agreements in the past that have exacerbated the problems faced by American workers. President Obama is wrong in this instance. Congress should instead support trade agreements that substantially improve our existing trade laws and enhance our ability to enforce them in a timely fashion. We should only support trade agreements that include strong enforcement procedures, address currency manipulation, provide environmental protections, and protect American manufacturers from competing unfairly with exploited foreign workers. It is wrong to expect American workers to compete against state-owned enterprises that have unlimited government resources and violate our free market trade laws. American manufacturing and the steel industry are struggling every day to keep their footing in the fight against unfair trade. Earlier this year, I co-chaired a Congressional Steel Caucus hearing where industry and labor representatives unanimously agreed that America's steel sector is being systematically targeted by trading partners that use the U.S. market as their dumping ground. Just this month, six American steel producers, including two producers with facilities in my district, filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions against foreign countries engaged in illegal trade practices. While I am pleased that American steel producers are taking action to hold these countries accountable, I am concerned that this case will not stop the ongoing trend of countries dumping their products into U.S. markets. I have frequently testified in front of the International Trade Commission (ITC), and was pleased that in 2009 the ITC ruled against China in an Oil Country Tubular Goods case. However, last year I testified again in a similar case involving these same products. After duties were imposed on China in 2009, other countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, and South Korea, started dumping the same product on our shores. This is a dangerous trend and Congress and the Administration must stop such practices from continuing. I am encouraged that the House has taken some action to address unfair trade practices by including provisions in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 that would strengthen our antidumping and countervailing duty laws. But while these provisions are a step in the right direction, they are not enough. TPA does not include strong, enforceable currency reforms, and instead allows the Administration, without any clear guidelines, to determine how best to address currency manipulators. TPA does nothing to ensure that strong environmental protections will be included in future trade agreements. TPA does not crack down on worker exploitation or lay out a roadmap to ensure countries included in future trade agreements are in compliance with international labor and human rights standards. Such economic inhibitors should be rejected. Instead, we should focus on investing in and encouraging vigorous domestic manufacturing. Mr. Speaker, steel is the economic backbone of the First Congressional District of Indiana, the foundation of our manufacturing base, and an essential element of our national defense. I am proud to represent the workers who make this steel every single day. Today, I ask that my colleagues stand up for American workers and oppose H.R. "
Honoring Major General R. Martin Umbarger May 21, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is an honor to recognize Major General R. Martin Umbarger and wish him well upon his retirement from the Indiana National Guard. Since his initial appointment on March 11, 2004, Major General Umbarger has undertaken great responsibility as Adjutant General of Indiana, commanding the Indiana Army and Air National Guard and the Indiana Guard Reserve, as well as more than 15,800 state employees. In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and distinguished career, a retirement reception in his honor will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana. Major General Umbarger began his remarkable military career with the Indiana Army National Guard in 1969. Upon graduating from the Indiana Military Academy in June 1971, where he earned the Distinguished Graduate Erickson Trophy, Major General Umbarger was commissioned as a second lieutenant, infantry branch. Prior to his present position, he served as deputy commanding general for the reserve component, United States Forces Command. Other significant assignments include the assistant division commander for training, 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized), and commanding general of the 76th Infantry Brigade (Separate). Major General Umbarger is also a graduate of the University of Evansville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business. He also completed studies at the United States Command and General Staff College, as well as the United States Army War College. A testament to his commitment to his duties, Major General Umbarger has been honored with many prestigious awards and accolades. He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit (2nd Award), the Meritorious Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (7th Award), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with one hourglass device), the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Components Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, the Army Staff Identification Badge, the Indiana Long Service Medal, the Indiana Emergency Service Medal, and the Indiana Distinguished Service Medal (Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster). In 2007, Major General Umbarger was also presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the University of Evansville. Major General Umbarger has also exhibited his extraordinary leadership abilities in serving as a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board and the National Guard Association of the United States, which he chaired from 2006 until 2008. He has also served as a principal member of the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee and is a member of the Association of the United States Army, Indiana Chapter. Major General Umbarger's civilian achievements are no less noteworthy. He is president of Roy Umbarger and Sons, a fourth generation, family-owned and operated business located in central Indiana that provides custom services to the local agricultural community. In conjunction with his civilian career and passion for his community, Major General Umbarger has participated on numerous boards within the community including the Johnson County Animal Shelter Advisory Board and the Indiana Feed and Grain Association, for which he is a past director and chairman. He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for both Johnson Memorial Hospital and Franklin College. Major General Umbarger's exceptional military and civilian career and passionate dedication to his community are exceeded only by his devotion to his family. The General and his loving wife of many years, Rowana, have one son, Jackson, two daughters, Erica and Trista, and eight beautiful grandchildren. I have been privileged to work with Marty over these many years. He is a man of unsurpassed talent who is guided by a strong moral compass and a profound sense of duty. His work has enriched each of us and I am doubly fortunate because he is also my friend. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I ask that you and my other colleagues join me in honoring Major General R. Martin Umbarger for his outstanding contributions and unwavering dedication to the State of Indiana. He has served the state with distinction, and for this he is to be commended."
Honoring The Northwest Indiana Business And Industry Hall Of Fame Inductees April 28, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with deep respect and admiration that I rise to commend five exceptional leaders from Indiana who were honored as the Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. The Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame was created by The Times and BusINess magazine, and inductees are determined by a panel of local civic and business leaders. While there were many deserving nominees, the individuals selected as the 2015 Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame inductees include Richard Schepel, Michael E. Schrage, Roy Berlin, Beth Wrobel, and Joe Coar, who was honored with the Partners in Progress Award. For their many contributions to the enhancement of Northwest Indiana, these honorees were recognized at a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel Celebrity Ballroom in Merrillville, Indiana, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Roland Parrish, president, owner, and chief executive officer of 24 Parrish McDonald's Restaurants Ltd., was the guest speaker at this year's event. Richard Schepel is the president of Schepel Buick-GMC, Inc. Although he has retired from the dealership's daily operations, Richard remains connected to the foundation of superior customer service upon which he built the dealership. In 1970, Richard built Schepel Buick on Route 30 in Merrillville. Within a few years, he was the number one Buick dealer in the Chicago zone. Under his outstanding direction, Schepel Buick-GMC, Inc. has succeeded for over 45 years. Richard devotes much of his time, effort, and support to charitable endeavors throughout Northwest Indiana, including area high school driver education programs, work-study programs for students, and American Red Cross blood drives, among others. He also has served as a member of several Chambers of Commerce throughout the community. Through his involvement in his church, Redeemer United Reformed Church, Richard has been able to help serve many families and individuals in need. Richard Schepel believes strongly in giving back to the community that has supported his business throughout the years. For his commitment to the citizens of Northwest Indiana and beyond, he is worthy of the highest praise. Michael Schrage, president and chief executive officer of Centier Bank, became the fourth generation of his family to own and operate the First Bank of Whiting, which was renamed Centier Bank years later. This family-owned bank has grown throughout the years, and today Centier operates over fifty branches in Indiana. Under Mr. Schrage's leadership, Centier established an award-winning lender division, introduced a financial literacy program, and the company has been named one of Indiana's best places to work for the past nine years. This is indisputably due to Mike's value-based work ethic, and the significance he places on Centier's most important resource, its employees. In addition, Mike gives much of his time and effort to charitable endeavors including the Saint Jude House, the American Red Cross, the YMCA, and the Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. Mr. Schrage is truly an inventive business leader, and his commitment to improving the community of Northwest Indiana is noteworthy. Roy Berlin is the president and chief executive officer of Berlin Metals in Hammond. Berlin Metals is a value-added processor and distributor of thin metals, primarily tinplate, light gauge cold-rolled steel, and stainless steel, with much of the steel being manufactured in Northwest Indiana. Roy's career at Berlin Metals began in 1988 as a salesman. He became director of purchasing in 1992, executive vice president in 1995, and president in 1999. The continued success of the company can be credited to Roy's exemplary leadership skills and his focus on the needs of customers, suppliers, and Berlin Metal's employees. In addition, Roy Berlin and Berlin Metals are committed to educational efforts and have made numerous donations to the Acorn Foundation in Hammond, which provides scholarship funds to local high school students who have excelled in math and science. They also support the Metal Service Institute Center, which works to educate employees in the metal distribution business. For his outstanding contributions to the success of the Northwest Indiana community and his commitment to education, Roy Berlin is to be commended. Beth Wrobel has been the chief executive officer of HealthLinc, Inc. since 2002. HealthLinc is a federally qualified health center with facilities in Mishawaka, Michigan City, Valparaiso, Knox, and East Chicago. The organization provides medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health services. Under Beth's direction, HealthLinc has become a leader in the healthcare industry in Northwest Indiana due to her focus on each patient's unique experience. Beth and the exemplary staff at HealthLinc provide outstanding support and guidance to some of the most vulnerable residents of the region. Beth serves on the Indiana University Northwest School of Medicine's advisory board and on the boards of the United Way of Porter County and the Indiana Primary Health Care Association. She is also a member of the Valparaiso Human Relations Council and is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Valparaiso. For her lifetime of service to those in need and her dedication to the healthcare industry, Beth Wrobel is an inspiration to us all. The final inductee, and this year's recipient of the Partners in Progress Award, is Joe Coar. Joe was the vice president of operations at Tonn and Blank Construction for 25 years before retiring in December 2014, and he currently serves as a consultant for the company. Joe began his career in 1967 as a carpenter apprentice and continued to work his way up in the company into supervisory positions including superintendant, manager of operations, and ultimately, vice president of operations. Joe has worked on a variety of projects throughout his career for many companies including Urschel Laboratories, Sisters of Saint Francis, and Computer Services, Inc. Joe's heartfelt passion for the industry has been the driving force throughout his career. Mr. Coar also works very hard to support the community of Northwest Indiana and gives to many charitable organizations. He has served on the boards of the Construction Advancement Foundation, Ready Northwest Indiana Workforce Development, Northwest Indiana Forum, Northwest Indiana Business Round Table, and LaPorte County Redevelopment, among others. For his unwavering commitment to the building trades and to the community of Northwest Indiana, Joe Coar is truly worthy of the prestigious honor bestowed upon him. Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my distinguished colleagues to join me in commending these outstanding leaders upon their induction into the Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame. These individuals are most deserving of this honor, and for their leadership and commitment to the Northwest Indiana community, each of them is worthy of our respect and admiration."
Remembering Earl Harris April 13, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness and sincere admiration that I take this time to remember a dear friend and one of Indiana's finest legislators, State Representative Earl Harris of East Chicago. On Monday, March 23, 2015, Earl, a member of the Indiana House of Representatives for the past thirty-three years, passed away at the age of 73. Remembered by his colleagues and constituency as a consummate gentlemen and champion for Northwest Indiana, Earl will be deeply missed by his devoted family, beloved friends, and the citizens he so faithfully served. Earl Harris was born in Kerrville, Tennessee, on November 8, 1941. Following his graduation from Woodstock High School in 1959, he relocated to Northwest Indiana to further his education. Earl attended both Indiana University Northwest and Purdue University Calumet, located in Northwest Indiana, as well as the Illinois Institute of Technology. Although he was well-known for his career in public office, Mr. Harris's lifetime of service to his fellow citizens predates his election to the Indiana General Assembly. To those who knew him, it is no surprise that, as a young man, Earl spent six years as an enlisted member of the Navy Reserve. Throughout his life, Mr. Harris was also a small business owner, an employee of Inland Steel, and a fixed assets administrator for the School City of East Chicago. Since his election to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1982, Representative Earl Harris proved himself to be, first and foremost, a devoted public servant. His colleagues in Indianapolis will forever remember him as a true visionary, a tireless advocate for the people of Northwest Indiana, and the finest of role models for any young legislator to emulate. Among his legislative accomplishments was the creation of a Lake Michigan marina development commission intended to promote economic development along the lake. This idea later got folded into the Marquette Plan that the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority is now implementing in Lake and Porter Counties. His constituents will remember his kindness and his willingness to help in any way he could. I will miss working with Earl, as I have for many years, but will never forget his warmth and his compassion, as well as his relentless desire to leave Northwest Indiana, and the entire state, better than he found it. While he was tirelessly committed to the people of Indiana, Earl Harris leaves to cherish his memory the most important people in his life, his devoted wife, Donna, and loving son, Earl Jr., as well as his extended family and the many people who were fortunate to call him a friend. Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in paying tribute to one of Indiana's finest, State Representative Earl Harris, for his outstanding leadership, devotion to his community, and commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of Northwest Indiana and throughout the state. His dedication to his family, friends, and those he so faithfully served is worthy of our admiration. I am proud to have called him my friend."
Recognizing Christ Temple Church Of Christ (Holiness) March 16, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and admiration that I congratulate Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. of Gary, Indiana, as its congregation and church leaders join together in celebration of the church's 90th anniversary. The congregation, along with the church's pastor, Bishop Dr. Dale L. Cudjoe, the Executive Board, and the Board of Deacons, commemorated this momentous occasion on Sunday, March 15, 2015, at the church. Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. was organized by Sister Ella Bradley and Elder William A. Nolley when the two met and shared a common goal of starting a church in Gary, Indiana, that reflected the faith they had both known growing up in Mississippi and Missouri. Sister Bradley opened her home in Gary for the very first meeting, and the church was founded on November 25, 1925. Soon after, a lot of land was purchased on Pierce Street for the construction of the church building. Finally, in 1933, under the direction of Elder Johnny James Peterson, the first church was built. Years later, the church's pastor, Elder L. M. Relf, helped to ensure that remodeling work was completed on the church. Due to the growing congregation, a larger place of worship was needed and, in 1980, under the leadership of Elder James K. Mitchell Jr., a bigger church was purchased at its current location on Washington Street in Gary. Bishop O.W. McInnis became the interim pastor in 1988 and worked to pay off the church's mortgage. Bishop McInnis appointed Elder Dale L. Cudjoe as the next pastor of the church in 1989, and he became the full-time pastor in 1993. In 2010, Pastor Cudjoe was elected to the bishopric and became the presiding prelate of the Northern Diocese Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A., which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio. Led by Bishop Cudjoe, Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. continues to be a source of hope and charity for the community of Gary. Every week, members of the church organize a clothing and toy giveaway for those in need within the community. Through the church's youth ministry, children of the community can participate in the Youth Choir, Sunday School, and the Gym Ministry. In addition, the Brotherhood Ministry and the Temple Music Ministry programs are successful in building a spirit of unity throughout the church and the community. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in honoring and congratulating Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. in Gary, Indiana, on its 90th anniversary. For their commitment to service, and for touching the lives of countless individuals, the church leaders, parishioners, and board members are worthy of the blessings that have been bestowed upon them."

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