Campaign

  • May 3, 2017

    Federal spending plan opens path for South Shore expansion funding

    INDIANAPOLIS — South Shore Line expansion supporters consider the five-month federal spending plan approved Wednesday by the U.S. House to be a win for their cause, even though the West Lake and double-tracking projects weren't yet eligible to be funded.

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, expected to be signed into law Friday, includes $2.5 billion in grants for transit system capital projects across the country, including $100 million to modernize the Red and Purple "L" lines in Chicago and $50 million for an Indianapolis bus rapid transit system.

  • April 24, 2017

    Hobart Marsh mitigation project decades in the making

    Eric Bird recalled picking up trash in a farm field on Hobart's northwest side while a student working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

    "I thought back then, 'This will be something some day,'" said Bird, now stewardship manager for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, of the field he was working in.

  • April 23, 2017

    Buying American could create 400 jobs in Indiana, but will the feds do it?

    A local manufacturer is gunning for a defense contract it says would result in up to 400 jobs over the next decade in East Chicago.

    Industrial forklift maker Hoist Liftruck is hoping to ride a wave of Buy American sentiment into a lucrative contract to make container handlers that U.S. military forces could use on rough terrain. It hopes to win a federal contract currently held by a Swedish company whose patents expire next year, Hoist Liftruck President Vince Flaska said.

  • April 21, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Honor rail commitments

    We all can agree Northwest Indiana needs an economic jump-start. How we accomplish that universal goal is something on which reasonable minds might disagree, but I think it is safe to say by a wide margin, people agree the best available option is double-tracking the South Shore and extending the line to the Munster-Dyer border.

  • April 12, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Rally around commuter rail expansion in NWI

    Northwest Indiana has before it one of the greatest economic development opportunities since the founding of U.S. Steel. Elected officials across the Region will be tasked with political obstacles at all levels of government. But as the stars slowly align, it is time to double down on double tracking the South Shore Line.

  • March 30, 2017

    Steel rebounding but caucus still concerned with imports, overcapacity

    The U.S. Congressional Steel Caucus held its most optimistic annual hearing in years in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

    Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, and Vice Chairman Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, hosted “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond” to hear from steelmakers and union officials on the state of the U.S. steel industry.

    "As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries," Visclsoky said in his opening remarks. "This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China."

  • March 30, 2017

    Visclosky speaks on the future of steel at Congressional hearing today

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st--Vice-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus--testified spoke at today’s caucus hearing on “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond.”

     

    Excerpts from his speech:

     

    “I believe that steelworkers in Northwest Indiana and across our country make the best steel in the world, and we must do all that we can to ensure that they can continue to do so.

     

    As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries. This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China. These countries operate in economies that involve state-owned enterprises that utilize illegal subsidies and preferential policies. I believe that these practices violate international trading standards, and as we move forward I will continue to testify before the ITC and ensure that our trade laws are fully enforced. . . .

  • March 29, 2017

    EDITORIAL: Commuter rail builds firm foundation for growth

    Northwest Indiana stands to benefit greatly from twin commuter rail projects planned for the Region.

    The West Lake Corridor project will extend commuter rail service beyond the existing east-west route for the first time in more than a century.

    The double-tracking project will speed and improve service along the existing route, making the commute by train quicker and more pleasant.

  • March 29, 2017

    EDITORIAL: Commuter rail builds firm foundation for growth

    Northwest Indiana stands to benefit greatly from twin commuter rail projects planned for the Region.

    The West Lake Corridor project will extend commuter rail service beyond the existing east-west route for the first time in more than a century.

    The double-tracking project will speed and improve service along the existing route, making the commute by train quicker and more pleasant.

  • March 24, 2017

    Visclosky speaks on House floor against GOP healthcare bill

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, spoke on the House floor today in opposition to the GOP’s American Health Care Act.
     

    The text of Visclosky’s comments:
     

    “Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act.
     

    “I believe that the purpose of any health care legislation should be to improve the health and well-being of our nation’s citizens, and to allow for access to quality and affordable health care for all.

  • March 21, 2017

    EDITORIAL EDITORIAL: Dunes deserve full park status

    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a crown jewel at the apex of our Region's quality of life and a major economic foundation for tourism.

    We've long argued anything that can enhance the social and economic benefit of the Dunes can and should be pursued.

    It's why an effort by U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, both Indiana Democrats, makes so much sense.

  • March 20, 2017

    Bill would re-brand Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as national park

    U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, R-Ind., and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st--with the support of the entire Indiana Congressional delegation--have introduced respective legislation in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House to designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as a National Park. Specifically, the legislation would retitle the “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore” as the “Indiana Dunes National Park, which would become the first national park in Indiana and the 60th in the U.S., according to a joint statement released on Thursday.

     

  • March 20, 2017

    Hundreds attend meeting with pledge to get involved

    More than a dozen Northwest Indiana groups have joined Indivisible Guide, a national movement tearing a page from the tea party's playbook on political activism to rally against President Donald Trump and his administration.

    One group, Indivisible NWI, drew hundreds of area residents March 4 to the Ironworkers Local 395 in Portage to question longtime U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, a Merrillville Democrat, and learn how to organize against what the group called "the Trump agenda."

  • March 16, 2017

    President's Budget Cuts EPA Funding In Great Lakes States

    President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have created uncertainty about environmental cleanup and restoration efforts in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. 

     

    Although the specific effects of the potential cuts are still unclear, the president’s budget blueprint slashes $2.6 billion from the EPA’s budget, including cuts that could affect Superfund cleanup sites like the one in East Chicago, Ind. It also eliminates all money going toward the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that started in 2010 to restore habitats, wildlife and water quality across eight Great Lakes states including Illinois and Indiana. 

  • March 16, 2017

    Region leaders react to Trump budget plan: 'We all stand to lose quite a bit'

    PORTAGE — The budget blueprint issued Thursday by President Donald Trump's administration calls for substantial cuts in federal spending, including cuts to the Department of Transportation that would eliminate the program that would provide significant funds for the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor and Double Track NWI projects. 

    The proposal limits funding in the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant program to projects that already have full funding grant agreements. Neither South Shore project has reached that level.

  • March 12, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Steel, oil, quality of place drive NWI fortunes

    I believe Northwest Indiana, despite some days in the winter, is the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, we have suffered through some very difficult economic times, and many young people have chosen not to stay in our Region.

    Since 1970, the number of school-aged children in Lake County, Porter County and Michigan City has dropped by more than 72,000 children.

    The key to economic success in Northwest Indiana is to retain and enhance our current manufacturing base, whose foundation is steel and oil, and to make investments in transformational projects to improve our quality of place so that young people will stay and return.

  • March 2, 2017

    Visclosky: Maintain federal transit funding

    Three days after President Donald Trump's administration announced plans to propose deep cuts in federal discretionary spending, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky urged members of the House Budget Committee to leave funding in place for grant programs that would pay half the cost of the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor and Double Track NWI projects.

    In testimony offered Tuesday, Visclosky acknowledged the difficulty in balancing "responsible fiscal policies with the need to make investments to support a strong economy.

  • March 1, 2017

    Great Lakes steel output shoots up by 23,000 tons

    Great Lakes steel production rose to 694,000 tons last week, a 3.4 percent increase from the 671,000 tons of output the previous week.

    So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 13.8 million tons of steel, about 4.7 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016.

    Domestic steelmakers used about 74.7 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended Feb. 25, up from 74.6 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. It was up from 73.1 percent during the same time period in 2016 but remains well below the 90 percent capacity utilization some analysts consider as healthy.

  • February 28, 2017

    DOUG ROSS: How to balance the federal budget

    President Donald Trump’s budget will include a 10 percent increase for military spending and a commensurate cut for social programs, the world was told this week. Last week’s exercise in balancing the federal budget puts that decision in perspective.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and theConcord Coalition, a nonpartisan group promoting fiscal responsibility, asked residents of the 1st Congressional District to make the tough decisions necessary to balance the budget and reduce the national debt.

  • February 23, 2017

    Budget game gives Visclosky look into resident priorities

    The debate by the members of "Congress" over reducing funding for the arts and humanities by $6 billion over 10 years gave U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky a look at what Northwest Indiana residents think about the federal budget.

    "When push comes to shove, I love the arts and humanities but it doesn't put food on the table," said Debra Nelson of Valparaiso, who argued that the arts could be funded by private enterprise, and she preferred seeing the money go toward pre-kindergarten programs.