MIAMI COUNTY — On Friday, U.S Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio-8th District) talked about government trade and tariffs, the Mexican border crisis, workforce development and welfare reform during the State of the Union luncheon hosted by the Miami County Chambers of Commerce in the Bravo Room at Hobart Arena.
“It is an incredible honor to do this work and to represent us in Washington, D.C., stay in touch and continue to make our communities great,” Davidson said.
Davidson said he plans to visit the Mexican border next month. He said the Mexican border and immigration crisis is “gut wrenching” and “abhorrent” on all sides of the issue and wants to find a way to solve it.
“If you built a Great Wall of China — 40-feet high and 40-feet wide but with a door — it would still be a problem if we don’t fix our asylum laws. So once somebody gets on this side, we got a very broken asylum system and we got people that are training them,” he said.
Davidson said the Mexican cartel system is heavily funding human trafficking and uses violence and bribes to funnel people to the U.S., adding to the $1 trillion black market to the cartel.
Davidson gave an update on the welfare reform program called People CARE Act, which aims to streamline welfare services and poverty assistance programs by establishing a commission to review programs. Davidson is the sponsor of the bill. Davidson said the government spends $900 billion a year in welfare programming and for reference said the U.S. spends $700 billion a year on defense.
When addressing workforce development, Davidson said the People CARE Act is important.
“If we can get these folks off the sidelines into the economy, that’s part of the workforce,” he said.
The proposed CARE Act commission would have eight members, four Democrats and four Republicans to help streamline social services and revise the welfare programs. For example, he said there seven school nutrition programs and the commission would work to streamline those programs. Davidson is currently looking for Democrat support for the People CARE Act to move it forward. The bill would align welfare programs, eliminate welfare cliffs and help caseworkers conserve services.
“One of the big things I hear is the economy is going great, and then you’ll say, ‘but,’” Davidson said. “Workforce is normally the number one thing. We are very fortunate in our area to have a tremendous ways to deal with workforce.”
Davidson said another major issue in D.C. is trade.
“I’ve dealt a lot with trade. The president spoke fondly of his love of tariffs yesterday. I still view tariffs as taxes, but as I say, look, I was in manufacturing so I know we were on the receiving end of the trade policy for a long time,” he said.
President Donald Trump and his administration have imposed tariffs and threats of tariffs against Canada, the European Union, Iran, China and other countries in recent months.
Davidson said he doesn’t agree with the tactics of Peter Navarro, director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and the overall tariffs and trade talks are making more enemies than allies for the U.S. Davidson said he’d like to see the U.S. and other countries agree how to deal with China and work together in resolving the Chinese trade issues.
“I like the overall mission, but I don’t necessarily agree with Navarro’s generalship,” he said.
Davidson also said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA, formerly known as Northern American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA, will likely go to vote in September with bi-partisan support as long as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi doesn’t amend or table the agreement.
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