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Rep. Tim Walberg talks jobs, economy, voting during meeting in Hudson


HUDSON — Stressing the importance of manufacturing jobs and keeping the labor market in the United States as opposed to outsourcing jobs to other countries, is what US Rep. Tim Walberg said Thursday.

America, the Tipton Republican said, addressing a crowd of at least 20 people at the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry in Hudson, which was built as a manufacturing country and was at one time the face of innovation to the rest of the world.

“We need more of that same ideal instead of outsourcing these types of jobs to foreign countries,” he said. “…It’s great to have a place here (in Lenawee County) that trains people for the jobs that we need today. Jobs that provide better opportunities for a living wage, a lifetime profession, and opportunities for expansion in the trades.

“I’m looking at the leadership here at CSI to assist in numerous manufacturing operations.”

While home in Lenawee County for the Easter weekend, Walberg said he has also addressed the communities of Jonesville and Brooklyn with similar community gatherings.

The 7th District will soon be changing, he said, because of the redistricting of the state, which was approved in December by Michigan’s new redistricting commission. Walberg, who is running for reelection, would serve in Michigan’s new 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan, if he is reelected. It includes all of the southern tier of Michigan’s counties plus Jackson County, most of Calhoun County and the southern part of Kalamazoo County. It does not include the cities of Kalamazoo, Portage or Battle Creek.

Changes from the current 7th District that Walberg serves include removing Eaton County and parts of Washtenaw County and adding the southwestern counties. Lenawee County remains under Walberg’s jurisdiction in the new maps.

“It will be a long district,” he said. “But until then, I still have the 7th District to represent for the rest of the year.”

Stressing the importance of manufacturing, jobs and keeping the labor market here in the United States as opposed to outsourcing jobs to other countries, US Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, speaks Thursday at the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry in Hudson.

Walberg hit on several topics during his one-hour gathering. He said polices currently in place by President Joe Biden’s administration are hurting the US and turning it into a “country in crisis.” Walberg said the US is experiencing an economic, crime, border, national security, and energy crisis.

The US currently has its highest inflation rate in more than 40 years, he said, at 8.5% as of last week. Inflation, he said, is caused by frivolous government spending.

“Inflation comes as a result of bad policy and too much government spending,” he said.

Poor policy decisions have been a constant, Walberg said, since Biden took over the presidency Jan. 20, 2021.

Americans, he said, are feeling the effects of bad policy decisions while at the gas pumps. The national average for a gallon of gas, he said, was $4.11 as of last week. The fault for the high gas prices, Walberg said, does not fall unto the shoulders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the current war with Ukraine.

“The fact of the matter is … reinvestment efforts are not taking place because of the chilling effect of the Biden administration. We experienced the same thing during the Obama/Biden administration, and that was ended during the Trump administration when we got (gas prices) down before COVID hit to a $1.79/gallon.”

Before Biden took office, one gallon of gas, Walberg said, was $2.38. The Biden administration is not doing enough to tap into the available oil resources in the country, he said.

“Sadly, the Trump administration did not continue on for another four more years to keep up on the policies that were working,” Walberg said.

The challenge ahead, Walberg said, is to show the country that Republicans in charge can make a positive difference. With a Republican-led effort, continuation of the border wall along the Mexican border would be reinstated, Walberg said. The stoppage of work on the border wall was enacted by Biden when he took office.

Nearly 20 people attended a community gathering Thursday morning in Hudson at the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry to hear US Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, speak.

Having the wall, Walberg said, would ensure foreigners would be able to enter the country through legal means. Without a wall, the legal process cannot take place, he said.

“What is currently happening at the border is because of terrible policies,” he said. “…What we were attempting to do, to make a border policy, was working. And it was working well. That’s all changed now. Elections have consequences, sadly, and this is what we are living with.”

That said, Walberg stressed the importance of voters heading to the polls during each election. He responded to several questions from residents regarding how elections can be operated in a safe and secure manner. Asking tough questions of clerks and poll workers, making sure there are no signs of illegality taking place, and having voter and picture identification as a requirement, can cut down on the possibility of potential voter fraud from happening, he said.

“Those are the things we have to be doing. We also need to show up the polls,” he said. “We cannot be discouraged about showing up to the polls. We have to get more people into the voting process.”

Poll watchers, supervisors and ballot counters need to be properly trained for their roles, he said, and there needs to be a near even number of Democratic and Republican officials at each voting location. Law enforcement, he said, needs to be readily available in the event voter fraud is taking place.

As for absentee ballots, those, he said, should be requested by the voter alone. When being submitted, ballots should have that voter’s identification and signature included with the ballot for verification purposes. Because of COVID-19 concerns during the 2020 election, clerks were put into a “frustrating” and “confusing” system, Walberg said.

Walberg, who has co-sponsored legislation with Democrats in the past, praised the level of bipartisanship that takes place in politics. It is something that not many people are able to see, he said, due to 24-hour news networks, the internet and social media, which tend to show the political conflicts instead. Conflict, he said, is what drives up ratings and maintains viewership.

“I have a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle. I try not to make enemies,” he said. “When I vote or speak strongly against an issue, I try to do it in such a way that is based on facts and reasoning. There’s a lot of that that still goes on in politics.”


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