Issue Report ● Make It In America
For Immediate Release: 
February 26, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Last week, Whip Hoyer led House Democrats on the second Make It In America Listening Tour, visiting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Toledo, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana to hear from Americans about the economic pressures they face, economic initiatives that have worked in their communities, and persistent economic challenges that need to be addressed. Here is a look at the coverage:

Roll Call: Hoyer Heads to Rust Belt on Second ‘Listening Tour’
“As Democrats try to fine tune their economic message heading into this year’s midterms, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer is hitting the road this weekend for his second ‘Make It in America’ listening tour.”

“Starting Saturday and continuing through Tuesday, the Maryland Democrat will travel to Pittsburgh, followed by Toledo, Ohio, and finally Indianapolis with members of his House caucus. He’ll be meeting with small groups to talk about entrepreneurship, infrastructure and education.”

“Hoyer launched his ‘Make It In America’ plan in 2010, which he now sees as a subset of the Democrats’ ‘A Better Deal’ agenda that party leaders rolled out last summer. The goal of this trip, as it was with the first listening tour last fall, is to better understand the economic struggles of Americans and learn from them.”

“Hoyer is adamant about the ‘listening’ part of this venture. ‘I don’t talk much, and I make it clear to people we’re here to hear your ideas,’ he said.”

“Hoyer is most eager to hear what audiences think about infrastructure. ‘But also how they think we ought to pay for it,’ he said. He wants to hear from local leaders whether they think they can shoulder the spending burden called for in Trump’s recently unveiled infrastructure plan.”

Washington Post: Hoyer ventures into Rust Belt, honing Democratic economic message
“With the 2018 midterm elections approaching and control of Congress at stake, Democrats have yet to settle on an economic message that the whole party can get behind. The No. 2 House Democrat, Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, set out to try to hone one this past week on a listening tour with stops in Pittsburgh, Toledo and Indianapolis.”

“‘I think the Democrats have always had a strong economic policy, of investing in education, investing in research, investing in infrastructure,’ Hoyer said in an interview between a fundraiser for an Indiana congressional candidate and meetings with local officials at the airport. ‘But it’s clear, particularly in middle America, that message has not resonated as strongly as it needs to. And so not only are we talking about it, but we’re bringing it to middle America.’”

“…In sessions on topics including entrepreneurship, the education skills gap and infrastructure, Hoyer gathered suggestions from local officials and others on everything from how to improve technology at local airports to how to move forward with improving aging infrastructure.”

“In a discussion on infrastructure in Indianapolis, participants soundly rejected as impractical the Trump administration’s plan for an infrastructure bill involving a federal down payment of $200 billion that could be leveraged to produce $1 trillion or even $1.5 trillion of private, state and local spending. In Toledo, a discussion on the skills gap ranged from the sometimes prohibitive cost of training programs to the need for a vision for the rapidly changing future and the skills it will demand.”

Toledo Blade: Roundtable Highlights Challenges, Opportunities in Local Manufacturing Economy
“Technical and job skills training has allowed northwest Ohio’s production economy to rebound, but more assistance is necessary, according to educators, employers, union representatives, and U.S. House members gathered at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center on the University of Toledo’s Scott Park campus.”

“U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) brought U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer (D., Maryland) and Nanette Diaz Barragan (D., California) to the heartland to show two coastal representatives how the economy in northwest Ohio differs from their home districts.”

“‘I just wanted to sensitize my colleagues to the unique needs of major regions like our own where we have heavy industry,’ Miss Kaptur said. ‘We aren’t so much a Google or an Amazon. We use those technologies, but in fact we make and grow things here.’”

“Despite its successes, the discussion brought up several things holding back the region’s economy, such as the failure of many jobs to pay a decent hourly wage that would give employees the available time to go through more training.”

“‘Somebody’s got to make the robots,’ Miss Kaptur said. ‘I want to be the robot capital of the world.’”

24 News: "Make it in America" Tour Stops in Toledo
“Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) along with… Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made a stop… in Toledo.”

“The visit included a round table discussion on the importance of skills training.”

“It also showcased the initiative's work to help individuals with skills and job retraining, and to help put people to work in good-paying jobs.”

 WTOL News 11: Marcy Kaptur in Toledo, Discussing Manufacturing Job Training
“Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives spent Monday morning at the Scott Park Campus of the University Toledo [sic]. The topic of the discussion was job training in the changing world of manufacturing and technology. It was a very energetic discussion led by Congresswoman Representative Marcy Kaptur with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer as well as a representative from California. Nearly two dozen people representing many aspects of job placement training, recruitment and employment discussed how to create community partnerships to ensure job readiness.”

“The UAW and Fiat Chrysler representatives spoke about the importance of training future workers at a place like Northwest State Community College and UT, as it has allowed the automotive manufacture to outsource the job training.”

“‘You need to keep training up,’ House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said. ‘There needs to be a partnership between federal state and local there needs to be a partnership between businesses and academics.’”

“Toledo Public Schools also spoke about the need for continued job training for students so they can step right into work after graduation.”

WTVG (ABC): 13abc Action News at 5:00PM
Anchor: “National lawmakers are taking a tour of the Midwest. It's called ‘Make It In America.’ And today they stopped in the ‘Glass City.’ Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur hosted Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer for an event. Members of UT, Toledo Technology Academy, local manufacturers, and the UAW were all part of a panel. Leaders talked about job skills training programs and growing the regional work force. UAW Region 2-B Director Rich Rankin says it all starts with livable wages.”

UAW Region Director Rich Rankin: “Not only do we need to look at the future and look at investing, technology, and training. But the living wage piece is pivotal, because if people don't have enough money to put food on the table and if they have to worry about their health-care and they have to work two or three is the last thing on their minds.”

Indiana Public Broadcasting: Democratic Representatives Visit Indy On 'Make It In America Tour'
“A group of U.S. representatives billing themselves as the ‘Make It In America Tour’ visited Indianapolis Tuesday. The tour aims to connect Democratic leaders with community and business leaders to discuss national infrastructure needs.”

“The discussion suggested recent state efforts to increase funding are not being felt at the local level.”

“Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) joined Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) in his district to discuss transportation with community and business leaders.”

“Hoyer argues [it] does not help local governments fund their infrastructure issues. ‘A hundred billion dollars was for the states,’ Hoyer says. ‘But the problem with that is that it’s an 80-20 match. Not 80 federal, but 80 local and that makes it very tough.’”

“Carson says the president’s plan will actually reduce federal funding to states like Indiana. ‘Not only is he hurting innovation, he’s really crippling the ability of states to work with the federal government,’ Carson says.”

WISH TV 8: Congressman Carson takes part in roundtable focusing on infrastructure
“‘The president’s [infrastructure] proposal cuts millions of dollars to states like Indiana and we’re going to see our rail service from Indy to Chicago hurt significantly,’ Carson said. ‘And so what that really tells me is not only is he hurting innovation, he’s really crippling the state’s ability to work with the federal government to create more light rail opportunities, to create more local entrepreneurs and allow them to have skin in the game.’”

“The meeting was part of the ‘Make it in America’ initiative that began in 2010.”

WRTV (ABC): Make It In America Tour
Anchor: “Congressman Andre Carson is addressing infrastructure needs here in the Circle City. He’s joined the Make It In America Listening Tour. That’s an effort by lawmakers to hear economic challenges communities face and learn about successful projects that can serve as models. So, here in Indy, topics include the I-65 expansion project and a lack of funding for deteriorating roads.

Rep. Carson: “[President Trump’s infrastructure plan] is really crippling the ability of states to work with the federal government in a real way to create more light rail opportunities, to create more local entrepreneurs and allow them to have skin in the game.”

Anchor: “The roundtable comes after President Trump released his infrastructure plan last week which calls for 80% of funding to come from local sources.”
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