The News and Tribune
by: Danielle Grady
June Kruer, the director of the Charlestown-Clark County Public Library, knew where U.S. Rep Trey Hollingsworth stood on certain issues, but hearing the Republican 9th District congressman discuss them in person was a different experience.
“…It’s his personality that came through in his talk, and when you do research, you don’t have that,” she said.
Kruer was one of the local government, education and business officials who paid $25 to attend One Southern Indiana’s “Lunch with Congressman Trey Hollingsworth” event Thursday at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg, where the representative discussed regulations, the Affordable Care Act, taxes and term limits.
The event was one of six 1si conducts each year, allowing elected officials to meet with their members and hold a conversation.
This particular politician meet-and-greet was a little different than most, however. Hollingsworth is a freshman congressman and demand for tickets to the event was significant. Over 100 people attended, including Jeff Shireman, a project manager at Shireman Construction in Corydon.
“[I] just want to hear what [Hollingsworth’s] agenda is and what he’s doing and to get together with the local business community and talk about those kinds of issues,” Shireman said in an interview with the News and Tribune before Hollingsworth spoke.
And the issues affecting Shireman Construction and other American businesses, such as healthcare reform and infrastructure investment, are poised to see action in Washington this year, said Justin Lumadoe, a representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which partnered with 1si on the event.
“It’s an interesting opportunity for the business community,” he said.
Here’s what Hollingsworth had to say about some of those issues:
Hollingsworth believes that regulations have become too invasive in the business world.
Every minute a business owner spends on paperwork is a minute they’re not serving a customer or working on a new project, he said.
“I want to free those minutes up,” he said.
The “regulatory framework” needs to be smarter and more flexible, he said. Regulations should fit the situation to which they’re being applied.
Hollingsworth has three wishes for the U.S. tax code: make it simpler, flatter and lower.
“..So we have the opportunity to grow,” he said.
Hollingsworth wants the tax code to be overhauled to reflect the world today and a “pro-growth” agenda.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Hollingsworth believes that the Affordable Care Act is broken, and he was one of the House Republicans to vote to start its repeal process.
“We continue to see from ACA, a command-and-control approach that comes out of Washington that says, ‘we know better than insurance companies. We know better than people. We know better markets, and we’re going to try and force a solution,'” he said.
Hollingsworth wants to go back to free-market health care.
“Ultimately what I want to see is companies competing to earn your business,” he said. “Companies competing to sell you products, not you forced to give companies dollars. Because you're never going to get the best outcome that way, right?”
Hollingsworth is determined to serve no more than eight years in the House. He introduced a term limits bill in Congress this January, proposing two six-year terms for senators and four two-year terms for House members.
“I’m tired of our government reflecting the narrow experiences of very few people instead of the vast array of the diversity of our experiences that the country has,” he said.
Hollingsworth also said he encourages constituents to keep him accountable.
“If I say this is what I believe in and then I vote a different way, then you ought to be able to call and yell at me,” he said.
Congress should represent the people, he said, and right now, that might be happening more than it has in past years.
“You have these people afraid,” he told luncheon attendees, alluding to the recent rise of non-establishment candidates.
This article originally appeared in The News and Tribune and was written by Danielle Grady.