Earlier today, hundreds of people who make things in the United States watched House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8) take the stage at the 2013 National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Summit. What message would one of the top congressional lawmakers deliver from Washington? “The people in this room represent so much of our nation’s economic success and frankly, our potential for the future,” Boehner said. Unfortunately, manufacturers experience more obstacles than they should ever have to. “Manufacturing, of course, also represents where we have gone wrong in recent years,” the speaker acknowledged. “Our vision is one of a country where everyone has the opportunity to build something from nothing.”
Without pro-growth policies, manufacturers in the United States will never realize that vision. Neither will the economy. The two are indivisible. Regulatory red tape, an outdated tax code, restrictive energy policies and a broken immigration system are just some of the barriers to growth. Immigration reform, in particular, is one area that would give manufacturers a much-needed boost. “Securing our borders, enforcing our laws and making the process of becoming a legal immigrant fairer will in fact help America remain a magnet for the brightest minds and the hardest workers in the world,” Boehner said.
Sometimes it takes manufacturers from Nevada to Minnesota, Maryland to Oregon to remind members of Congress that what they do impacts a nation. Over the course of the Summit, NAM member companies from across the country delivered the manufacturing message to Capitol Hill. And it is already resounding. “America’s greatness has always rested on our ability to build things and produce things,” Boehner said. “We built the steam engine. We built the Model T. Steel mills. Skyscrapers. Pioneer aerospace. Cyberspace. We’re a nation of builders.”
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