MONONGAHELA, Pa.—Whether by design or out of necessity, the decision of House Republican leaders to launch their commitment to America in this river town on the outskirts of Allegheny County was fitting.
There’s no easy way to get here from Pittsburgh, or from the airport, or from our nation’s capital. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana laughed, saying the very purpose of the Pledge to America is to reach the people and places that Congress neglects to the point that it needs a GPS to find them and a dictionary to spell them. The goal for Republicans, he said, is to show up and hear people’s concerns in places like this and engage as a party to find solutions.
Scalise told the Washington Examiner that Republicans want to go to the center of America, to a community that really has to live with the consequences of President Joe Biden’s policies, as well as the legislation presented to Congress by the Democratic House Speaker. Nancy Pelosi. They wanted to do more than just criticize Democrats, he said, they wanted to offer their own solutions.
“You may have heard it from the families who asked questions today, they are struggling under the weight of Biden’s inflation,” he said. “Families are struggling to put food on the table.” He also pointed to the local sheriff, who asked lawmakers what they would do about escalating crime and fentanyl overdoses, in addition to families asking what their solution was to soaring energy prices. .
During a visit from Ductmate Industries, Scalise and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy got some lessons in welding and high-tech fabrication. After that, House Republicans held a town hall event, rolling out their agenda for the country. Twenty-eight House members were in attendance as Republican House leaders rolled out their plan to control inflation, secure the southern border and tackle escalating crime in this country.
McCarthy said the plan includes cutting out of control spending, moving supply chains away from China and increasing domestic energy production.
DMI CEO Ray Yeager, who lives in neighboring Washington County, said the western Pennsylvania family business has been in the Mon Valley for nearly 50 years. “We have factories across the United States, but our headquarters are in Charleroi,” he said of the facility down the road in Washington County.
Yeager said it makes sense for Republicans to come here, despite the winding roads and deep dips, you have to navigate whichever direction you’re coming from. “There is a very deep sense of community here, and the people who work here and live here embody everything that is good about the country in terms of work ethic and giving back to the community,” he said. he declares. “I will add that it is the residents of towns like Monongahela who are suffering the most from the effects of inflation, rising energy costs and the fentanyl crisis.”
DMI manufactures accessories primarily for commercial duct systems for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. More than 400 people worked at the facility last Friday. Many of them told me they had been here for over 10 years, several said for over two decades. Almost all said they lived within 20 minutes of their job or just down the street. Most workers said they acquired their skills for work in a trade school, in workshops or as apprentices.
Scalise said DMI is emblematic of so many other small businesses in America: “They have to live with the consequences of Pelosi’s far-left agenda,” he said. “So when they push the Green New Deal, it crushes American manufacturers who actually have the best environmental standards in the world, and it emboldens countries like China. Because when Pelosi stops manufacturing in America, those jobs don’t just go away, they go to countries like China and India.
Scalise said the left is really good at beating America for doing the work and freeing up the shows, but fails to recognize that Americans are doing it better and with less environmental damage than anyone else in the world. the world. “Frankly, we should be doing more things in America,” he said. “We should be producing more energy in America, not less. It shows that they live in this parallel universe that is detached from the reality of small businesses, hard work and families that make America great.
Monongahela is in the center of Appalachia. It’s the second smallest town in Pennsylvania – a key meeting place during the Whiskey Rebellion and the birthplace of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. It’s also where NFL great Joe Montana learned to throw a football with his father.
During the decades of declining coal and industry, the city lost half its population; the median income hovers around $30,000, with nearly 14% of the population living below the poverty line.
Scalise says inflation hits people the hardest in towns and villages like this. That’s why it’s one of the top priorities House Republicans need to address if they take control of the House in November. “It’s incredibly important for us to listen to the families we represent who are struggling, and then go and bring those concerns back to Washington and pass bills that address their issues,” he said.
The immediate reaction from House Democrats was swift, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all other Democrats immediately calling it an “extreme MAGA agenda.”
“It shows how out of touch she is with average Americans,” Scalise said, “because those are the big complaints I hear when I go to communities across the country. So I don’t know with what group of people she hangs around, but if she thinks it’s extremist to cut inflation and lower energy prices and involve parents more in their children’s education, then maybe she’s so out of touch that it’s time for her to be fired as Speaker of the House I think the country will have its say in November.
In the latest ABC News poll, Republicans are favored by voters heading into the midterm elections to manage inflation, the broader economy and crime; 76% of respondents say inflation is a major problem, 84% say the economy and 69% say crime.
Scalise said that as Republicans, they simply cannot issue a document and not respect it if they win; in fact, he says he expects voters to keep their feet on fire on all of these issues.
“Each of the elements of the Pledge to America represents issues that will be brought before committees and Congress in open view on CSPAN; bills that will eventually come to the House to carry out the articles and the undertaking,” he explained. “We’re going to get these bills through the House, and that’s where public engagement is really important. Because they’re not going anywhere after that if everyone leaves. We need people to then call their senators and demand that their senators pass the bills we will get out of the House to reduce inflation, lower gas prices and secure the border.
That commitment only works if the public stays engaged and holds everyone accountable, Scalise said. “Including Joe Biden, who will have the choice to sign or veto these bills,” he added.
As for convincing Democrats to sign on, the eternal optimist says he’s ready to help make that happen.
“I urge everyone who believes in the great principles of America to vote for these bills and voice their support for the commitment to America,” he said. “It’s going to be a referendum during the election, but also after the election, on what people think of America. Do you want a declining America? Where inflation is just a new standard and where the border does not exist? Or do you want to return to the principles that made this country the greatest nation in the history of the world? It is in danger right now. We can restore it.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.