Indiana Chamber Endorses Four Members of Congress for Re-Election

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is endorsing four members of the state’s congressional delegation from Central Indiana:

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN, 4th District);
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN, 5th District);
U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN, 6th District); and
U.S. Rep. Todd Young (R-IN, 9th District).

“Good public service deserves to be recognized. These members of Congress continue to demonstrate sound fiscal policy and prudent decision-making on issues that are vital to jobs and economic growth,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

The Indiana Chamber’s nonpartisan congressional PAC determined the endorsements.

At both the state and federal levels, Indiana Chamber support is driven by vote scores on pro-jobs, pro-economy issues. For state endorsements, the Indiana Chamber relies on its Legislative Vote Analysis report. Congressional support is based on the vote tally conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Representatives of the U.S. Chamber, which also is supporting these candidates for re-election, joined the Indiana Chamber in downtown Indianapolis for today’s press conference.

The Indiana Chamber has been the state’s leading business organization for more than 90 years, representing over 800,000 Hoosier workers through nearly 5,000 member companies across Indiana.

U.S. Chamber Honors Pro-Business Members of Congress

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently honored members of Congress (252 in the House; 48 Senators) for their pro-jobs, pro-growth stances with the annual Spirit of Enterprise Award.

“In the face of high-stakes politics and difficult choices, legislators from both parties provided America’s job creators with a strong voice in Congress,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “This award recognizes these men and women for consistently demonstrating their support for pro-growth policies.”

The Chamber’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award, in its 25th year, is given annually to members of Congress based on key business issues outlined in the Chamber publication How They Voted. Members who support the Chamber’s position on at least 70% of those votes qualify to receive the award.

The Chamber scored Congress on 8 Senate and 12 House votes in 2012, including reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the establishment of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia, and the reauthorization of surface transportation legislation. Also scored were votes to repeal onerous provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, improve the process by which regulations are promulgated, and better secure the United States from cyber threats.

To view a complete list of the 2012 Spirit of Enterprise recipients, please visit www.uschamber.com/soe.

Those from Indiana are:

INDIANA
Sen. Dan Coats
Sen. Richard G. Lugar
Rep. Joseph Donnelly (IN-2)
Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman (IN-3)
Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-4)
Rep. Dan Burton (IN-5)
Rep. Mike Pence (IN-6)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN -8)
Rep. Todd Young (IN-9)

Striving to Shrink the Red Tape for Companies

The Indiana Chamber hosted Congressman Todd Rokita (4th District) on Monday for the one-year anniversary of the Red Tape Rollback program. Rokita and the Chamber teamed together in the spring of 2011 to strive to identify and do something about unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations that kill jobs and negatively impact the economy.

In the initial 12 months, 71 Hoosier companies and individuals contacted the congressman’s office about 41 different regulatory issues. The work of Rokita and his staff has yielded 18 Red Tape Rollback victories thus far, with efforts continuing on other issues.

An annual report outlines the concerns and the accomplishments. It’s not too late for you to let us know about federal regulations and their impact on your business.

In case you’re not convinced there is a problem, consider that the most recent edition of the Code of Federal Regulations consists of more than 101 million words. That compares to just over 4,500 words in the U.S. Constitution.

Trying to Eliminate the Education Waste

In my role, I receive a lot of press releases. And many come from Washington, D.C., in the form of comments from our representatives and senators on legislation/news of the day and other worldly developments.

The obligatory "congratulations on killing Osama bin Laden but the terrorist threat is not over" doesn’t generate a great deal of personal interest. But one I received yesterday from Rep. Todd Rokita (R-5th District) about his role on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce was noteworthy — primarily because of the multitude of federal dollars being wasted.

As the congressman said:

Today the House Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up H.R. 1891, the Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act, legislation to eliminate 40 ineffective or duplicative programs from the Department of Education. 
 
“The fact that 40 of the 80 authorized programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education law are ineffective or duplicative is evidence that there are hundreds of billions of dollars worth of programs across the federal government that need to justify their continuation or be eliminated,” Rokita said. 
 
Despite the federal takeover of education and the tripling of funding since 1964, academic performance has remained stagnant, graduation rates have not improved, and American students lag far behind students of other nations in math and science.  For decades, Washington’s involvement has done nothing to improve education, but has contributed to our fiscal crisis.  
 
“Given the grave fiscal crisis our country faces, it is time we looked long and hard at the effectiveness of government programs across the board, including in education.  Identifying and eliminating wasteful and duplicative programs is a positive first step on a long road to reducing the out-of-control federal spending that is bankrupting our country,” Rokita said.

Federal Regs Got You Down? Let Us Know

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that publishes an informative update titled Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State. While much attention has been paid to the rising deficit, yearly regulatory compliance costs are estimated to be AT LEAST $1.7 TRILLION.

Freshman congressman Todd Rokita (R-4th District) and the Indiana Chamber want to do something about that. In an effort to bring to light the harm that many federal regulations do to Hoosier businesses, a new initiaitive has been launched. "Cutting Red Tape, Creating Hoosier Jobs" is a way for business owners and managers to communicate directly to Rokita on issues critical to their business success.

The congressman offers more details in this letter. The Chamber has established a dedicated web site where you can provide feedback on proposed, pending or existing federal regulations. You can also submit through mail to Cam Carter at the Indiana Chamber or via email to [email protected].  

What kind of regulations are we talking about? The EPA trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions through the Clean Air Act is a prominent one. But there are thousands of other "red tape" examples, rules that simply provide additional compliance headaches with little or no benefits.

Rokita needs specific cases (with impacts on business operations or new job creation) in his effort to see a return to limited, common sense government.

For those especially interested in regulatory issues, you may wish to join our D.C. Fly-in in September.

Rokita: Letter Seeking $125 Business Fee is Bogus

Businesses are having a tough enough time. Now there is someone out there trying to bilk companies out of $125 for "recordkeeping and processing of a company’s annual minutes."

Sounds fishy from the start, but the official look of the letter has drawn the attention of Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office. His staff is working with federal law enforcement officials to determine who is responsible. They offer the following:

A letter being mailed to Indiana businesses, that would appear to come from an official government source, should be ignored. Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced the letter is deceptive and does not come from his Business Services Division.

It gives the appearance of coming from a legitimate government agency and cites fictitious state law. It also includes a "return by" date. The return address on some of the recent letters mailed to Indiana businesses goes to a box at a Mailboxes, Etc. store close to the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Secretary Rokita is concerned businesses may be confused and believe responding to the letter takes the place of business entity reporting that is legitimately required by state law. Businesses operating in Indiana can now securely submit these reports online through the INBiz portal found on the Secretary of State’s Web page,

Businesses wishing to check the validity of any mailing from Indiana’s Business Services Division or any division of the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State should contact the Business Services Division Help Line at (317) 232-6576.