Congressman Dave Loebsack visited the Vermeer of Iowa & Northern Missouri Equipment Dealer on Wednesday as a part of his “Iowa First” tour.
Loebsack talked to employees and toured the facility after listening to some of their concerns about the bills being considered in congress.
The main topics of discussion were healthcare, the infrastructure bill, tax policies and education and training for jobs similar to what is offered at Vermeer.
The infrastructure bill will not only affect the people building the roads, bridges and installing fiber optics, but the people building and selling the equipment used for some of those projects. People like Vermeer's equipment dealers.
“What I found interesting was while we all want a trillion dollar infrastructure package, we have to figure out a way to pay for it,” Loebsack said. “I find that not just Democrats, but Republicans, are very concerned about a proposal that is being offered by the Trump administration, which would really only provide about 20 percent of the funding out there.”
President Donald Trump's administration has proposed an infrastructure bill that would create $1 trillion in infrastructure projects in the U.S., but only a fraction of the cost will be paid by the federal government. The rest will be supplied by the private industry, city and state tax money.
Overall, the infrastructure bill is about jobs, Loebsack said. The jobs provided by Vermeer of Iowa & Northern Missouri Equipment Dealer, and those who buy their equipment, are important. They can't be exported and they pay well, he continued.
On the topic of healthcare, Loebsack said he is unsure of what possible efforts will go toward any bill this year.
“We're talking with people not only in our own party, but across the aisle, in the event that that ever failed, and it did fail,” Loebsack said. “What people tell me is they want us to fix the affordable care act and make it work for all of America. It's worked pretty well for a lot of Americans, but not everyone by any means.”
Congress will need to stabilize the insurance market, Loebsack continued.
“It's just a matter of putting our nose to the grindstone and getting the job done,” Loebsack said. “Sooner rather than later.”
As Loebsack goes back to Washington this fall, he said he plans to take today's information and apply that to the infrastructure bill and stabilizing healthcare.
The “Iowa First” tour is a part of a month-long tour during August where Loebsack will meet with Iowans to hear their concerns. After his visit to Pella, Loebsack would tour the HBC/Pharmacy Warehouse in Chariton later that afternoon.