INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Messer distanced himself even further from middle class Hoosiers yesterday when he called a plan to keep good-paying jobs in Indiana that the president himself views positively a “political pet project.”
When asked by WHAS about Joe Donnelly’s dinner with the president Tuesday night at the White House, Congressman Messer claimed that Joe’s appearance with Democratic and Republican Senators somehow wasn’t bipartisan. Further, he said that Joe’s meeting with the president, where Joe’s End Outsourcing Act was discussed, was nothing more than an effort to “leverage the president to get his political pet projects passed.”
The “pet project” that Congressman Messer is referring to is crucial legislation supported by the AFL-CIO, UAW, USW, and CWA that would strengthen Indiana’s manufacturing industry, the backbone of the state’s economy. The End Outsourcing Act would incentivize companies to keep good-paying jobs in America by creating new tax incentives for companies that relocate foreign jobs to rural or impoverished areas in the U.S. Meanwhile, companies that ship jobs to other countries would move to the back of the line when bidding for federal contracts and would lose tax breaks when moving jobs or factories out of the U.S.
Notably, President Trump has also signaled his own support for the End Outsourcing Act during a February meeting when Joe previously brought it up.
The bill the president has supported is only one aspect of Joe’s strong record fighting for manufacturing and Indiana jobs. The End Outsourcing Act would help to prevent the next Carrier, but when the layoff of hundreds of Carrier workers was announced, no official stood by the side of the workers more closely than Joe. From his appearance at the workers’ first union meeting just days after the layoff announcement, Joe began “waging war” against Carrier’s decision, according to the Washington Post, “a crusade that Trump later joined.”
Meanwhile, despite representing a district that includes some of the cities hardest hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs, Congressman Messer’s record on outsourcing and jobs has been woeful. To great fanfare, Congressman Messer unveiled a new “Task Force for the American Worker” that would hold “a series of hearings,” on workforce issues and manufacturing. The task force has yet to meet again publicly since its initial hearing more than five months ago. Congressman Messer also voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance by nearly $1 billion, which would have harmed the nearly 30,000 Hoosiers who relied on the program after their jobs were outsourced between 2010 and 2014.
“Millions of Hoosiers are wondering this week why Congressman Messer seems to think protecting their jobs is a worthless task, but they can’t be surprised by his comments,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “While Joe has fought every day to stop the next Carrier, Congressman Messer has twiddled his thumbs and watched as the district he represents has faced brutal losses of manufacturing jobs. Protecting good-paying Hoosier jobs isn’t a pet project, and if Congressman Messer is truly out-of-touch enough to think it is, he should find a new line of work.”