ICYMI: Joyce Pushes For Permanent Tax Cuts, Pro-Business Policies During District Work Week
“He’s clearly an advocate for small business.”
Congressman John Joyce (PA-13), a member of the House Committee on Small Business, spent last week in the 13th District meeting with job creators and employees highlighting the need to make the tax reductions from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent for individuals and small companies. Joyce’s commitment to the region’s economy and pro-growth policy ideas were met with rave reviews from business leaders throughout the community.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Blair County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joe Hurd: “85 percent of our chamber membership is small businesses. His comment about doing what he can to help small businesses from the tax perspective is music to our ears.” (Altoona Mirror, 3/21/19)
Somerset Chamber of Commerce President Shawn Kaufman: “(He’s) clearly an advocate for small business. I think he understands how important it is to drive our economy and the issues that we face with manpower being the largest one, but certainly regulation and health care. He’s doing what he can to help us in those areas.” (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, 3/19/19)
JWF Industries Owner Bill Polacek: “For him to want to make a special trip, to tour our facility and talk to the guys on the floor, he is very interested in what we’re doing. And you could tell it was genuine. He wanted to know what are the issues I have as a business and what are the issues in the community.” (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, 3/24/19)
WEEK IN REVIEW
TUESDAY, MARCH 19th
Joyce’s business tour began with a speech and Q&A session with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce where he unveiled his commitment to making the 2017 tax cuts permanent for individuals and small businesses. The 13th District lawmaker also touched on workforce development, the opioid crisis, rural broadband, and improving the healthcare system.
Joyce backs permanent tax cuts during stop in Somerset County
March 19, 2019
Even as U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-Blair County, spoke about a wide range of issues that impact the economy, including regulations, the opioid crisis, rural broadband, health insurance and the proposed completion of U.S. Route 219, he singled out one agenda item as his most important when addressing members of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
The freshman congressman supports legislation that would make permanent the changes for individuals and small businesses established with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Joyce also assessed the local and national economic climate from his own perspective as a small business owner.
“Washington might be new to me, but my knowledge of the business climate in our region and your unique needs are not new to me,” Joyce said. “Working hard on legislation and initiatives to provide the opportunities to drive economic growth and expansion in Pennsylvania 13 is something that I’ve focused a great deal of time on.
Joyce talks about taxes, health care at chamber event
March 19, 2019
He also discussed the importance of broadband internet and skilled labor.
“You will also see me visiting many schools and apprenticeship organizations because I understand we have many skilled labor jobs that need to be filled in our region and I want to figure out how we can get more of our students trained to do them,” he said.
Joyce said that he is also looking for ways to make health care more affordable, which is the main reason he ran for office. He talked about associate health plans, which allow small businesses to band together to purchase coverage. He said that while they are not popular in Pennsylvania, he is working with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to bring them to the state. He said they are often started through chambers of commerce.
“We have to be open to additional ideas,” he said.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th
After a number of visits to small businesses in Somerset County on Tuesday afternoon, Joyce headed over to Altoona on Wednesday morning for a roundtable with the Blair County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to talking about why the 2017 tax cuts need to be made permanent, he also discussed the work he is doing on the House Committee on Small Business that will be of direct benefit to job creators in PA-13.
Joyce discusses struggles with jobs
March 21, 2019
Making sure those tax cuts remain is essential, he added.
“First off, think of the certainty that will allow many of you as you seek to grow and expand your businesses to hire more workers,” he said. “As someone who has had to engage in long-term planning for a small business, I know how important this legislation would be for your peace of mind and your decisions down the road — that’s why we cannot wait and must pass H.R. 22 now for it to have the maximum benefit.”
He said it is also a fairness issue.
“Why in the world would we want to cut taxes for large corporations, but not make sure many of you who operate on main street reap the same rewards?” he asked.
In addition, Joyce said it is hard to overstate how many business owners come to his office to talk about the need to continue with regulatory reform.
“The group I hear from the most on this topic are farmers, and as the recently appointed ranking member on the Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade and Entrepreneurship, I will be spending a lot of time on making sure they see relief,” he said.
He said business owners and farmers would benefit greatly from the State Trade Expansion Program.
“There are millions of dollars in STEP grants that are underutilized,” he said.
The grants enable entrepreneurs to increase their exports.
“There is a lot of red tape discouraging business owners like you from taking advantage of the STEP program, and I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to change that in the coming weeks,” he said.
“If this program functions like it should, it can help many of you increase your exports and benefit your overall operations.”
The Adams County Chamber of Commerce was Joyce’s next stop on Wednesday for a speech and Q&A session with its members. Much of Joyce’s remarks again focused on tax cuts, but he also touched on his recent legislation to help bolster the dairy workforce and his efforts to retain more homegrown medical talent in PA-13.
Joyce chats it up in Adams
Mary Grace Keller
March 21, 2019
Economic growth tops the list of priorities for freshman U.S. Congressman John Joyce (R-PA).
Joyce met with Adams County constituents and business owners Wednesday at the Agricultural and Natural Resources Center in Gettysburg. He represents 10 counties in the 13th District.
As one of the new faces in the House and a member of the minority, Joyce said he is striving to make friends in all parties. He found common ground with a Democrat from New York and is co-sponsoring House Bill 1778. The bill would amend immigration law to allow dairy farmers to hire employees from other countries as temporary agricultural workers for an extended period through the H-2A program, Joyce said.
Currently, dairy farmers can’t tap into this resource because H-2A workers are only in the U.S. for a short amount of time, according to Joyce. Should the bill pass, dairy farmers could hire foreign workers for three years and be able to renew for another three years, Joyce said.
“We can get things done across the aisle,” Joyce said.
Although Pennsylvania has 11 medical schools, Joyce wants to work with these schools and area hospitals so medical training can be offered in south central Pennsylvania.
Students tend to gravitate toward Philadelphia, Hershey, and Pittsburgh for training and then they don’t come back home to work, Joyce said.
THURSDAY, MARCH 21st
Congressman Joyce was back in the eastern part of the district on Thursday touring JLG Industries and talking to employees there about how they have benefited from the 2017 tax cuts. He then got in the car and made the hours long drive to Johnstown to do the same at JWF Industries. While at JWF, Joyce sat down with the Tribune-Democrat’s Dave Sutor for a wide ranging interview on what his first three months have been like adjusting from being a private citizen and political outsider to a member of Congress.
Joyce adjusts to life in D.C.
March 24, 2019
Located across the Tidal Basin, away from bustling crowds at some other historic monuments on the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial can lend itself to moments of peaceful reflection about citizenship, history and the country’s future.
Freshman U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-Blair – in his early days as a congressman – has found himself drawn to the site that pays tribute to the United States’ third president and principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
“Probably one of my favorite places to go – for just a few minutes of quiet – is the Jefferson Memorial,” Joyce said during an interview, following a recent tour of JWF Industries in Johnstown. “I find it to be very peaceful to me. It’s a beautiful memorial. It’s off of the mainstream. A lot of people go to the Lincoln Memorial, which I absolutely love, or go to the Washington memorial.
Since then, he has lived the life of a congressman with packed schedules, separation from family and friends, and late-night studying of issues.
“There has to be sacrifice involved,” Joyce said. “You have to recognize that. I would never had done this job if my children were young. My children are adults. And I have a granddaughter that many people recognize from the ads from the campaign. I didn’t miss a football game, a basketball game, a swim meet. I was always there.
“And I’m proud of that. I’ve been able to participate in my children’s lives. I’ve served our community as a doctor. This is my time to serve at a different level.”
During his first three months in the House, Joyce has joined the Small Business and Homeland Security committees, backed completion of U.S. Route 219, supported legislation for the dairy industry and frequently backed President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Joyce has also learned firsthand about the political climate in Washington, D.C.
“It has made me understand that we can maintain civility and achieve things, that it’s not as acrimonious as you think when you look on the news, that there are people on both sides of the aisle that want to work together and achieve a common lane to work for the constituents,” Joyce said. “I feel that strongly. I feel that my personal charge is to work for Democrats and Republicans who are throughout south-central and southwestern Pennsylvania. That’s what I take very seriously.”
FRIDAY, MARCH 22nd
Business week concluded for Congressman Joyce with a workforce development meeting with local officials at the Altoona Career and Technology Center. In interviews with WTAJ and WJAC, Joyce discussed how the federal tax cuts have created more job opportunities and that it is now important to make sure students are being given the training necessary to fill these new positions.
- WTAJ: “Congressman John Joyce visits Altoona Career and Technology Center”
- WJAC: “U.S. representative speaks with local leaders about Pa. jobs”
Click HERE to watch Joyce’s WTAJ full interview