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KY's Guthrie finds voice in jobs debate

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 7:15 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 11:45 PM

About to begin his second year as a freshman Republican Congressman, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie appears to be finding his voice in the national economic debate.  At a news conference with several Republican Congressional leaders, Guthrie spoke of how federal policies on taxes, health care and the environment have a direct affect on businesses back home. 

Guthrie is a former Vice-President of the automotive parts supplier his father founded , Trace Die Cast  in Bowling Green.  In May, the company announced it was laying off 135 workers. 

“…And the uncertainty that is coming out of Washington, I think is really holding people back,"  Guthrie said at the news conference, "The uncertainty of how much an employee is going to cost and how much other things are going to cost, but particularly in our industry, energy, where aluminum boundary is very energy intensive."

Here's a news release from Guthrie's office:

 Congressman Guthrie, Chairman Price and Republican Whip Cantor Hold Press Conference on Jobs

GUTHRIE: ‘We need to give American workers the opportunity to produce and to move forward’
 
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) participated in a press conference today, Tuesday, December 8, 2009, with Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), as well as fellow RSC members of the freshman class who are small business owners.
 
During the press conference, Congressman Guthrie and other experienced job creators outlined common sense economic solutions and called on the President to work in a bipartisan manner to put Americans back to work
 
Excerpts of his remarks are below:
 
“My father began his career as a union auto worker, and worked his way into management at the Ford plant. They closed the plant down, he lost his job and started a business supplying for the parts that he was making when he worked for Ford…
 
“…And the uncertainty that is coming out of Washington, I think is really holding people back. The uncertainty of how much an employee is going to cost and how much other things are going to cost, but particularly in our industry, energy, where aluminum boundary is very energy intensive.
 
“When the big three automotive companies went into global pricing and world-wide pricing, we had to wake up every day just this last year, every time I woke up and went to work – we thought about how we’re going to compete with places like India and China.  So it’s real to me.
 
“And one of our advantages was energy costs. Energy cost in Kentucky is one of the lowest in the country; we are at a big disadvantage if the Cap and Trade bill passes. We are far better positioned in this country than countries that people move to because of low cost labor because of our energy prices, particularly in our industry.
 
“So I believe we need to move towards energy independence, we have to move forward in that direction. We have supplies of energy in our country that we need to develop and move forward or we are going to be at a disadvantage.
 
“And the one asset that we have greater than our energy prices is our workers. We need to give American workers the opportunity to produce and to move forward.
 
“And if we tax, through an energy tax, companies like ours, and companies in the automotive supply business, out of existence, than those people are going to lose those jobs.”

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