2 state reps visit White House, bring residents’ concerns
State Reps. Jerry Knowles, D-124, Tamaqua, and Gerald Mull ery,D -119, Newport Twp., were among the bipartisan contingent from the state House of Representatives invited to the White House on Thursday to discuss ways to build stronger relationships between federal and local governments.
“A lot of good stuff is being talked about,” Knowles said in a Thursday afternoon call from Washington, D. C. “When did you ever hear of a president contacting county commissioners and contacting local legislators because he wants to know what’s on their minds and what they want to talk about?”
According to information from the White House, more than 70 members of the state House of Representatives and other local elected officials were invited.
Following a tour of the White House, Knowles said attendees participated in localized policy discussions with White House staffers and heard presentations from a number of federal agencies.
“They talked about health care, about roads and the economy. There was a time to ask questions and have them addressed,” he said.
Legislators also talked about President Trump’ s proposed tax plan.
“It involves fair taxes for hardworking Americans,” Know les explained .“It’ s going to be a break for the average hardworking guy, for the person who packs a lunch can and goes to work every day. It will put more in his pocket, and as a result, it will help the economy.”
Regulations were also a hot topic.
“For example, we all want to protect the environment but we need to be reasonable and we need to be certain that what we do is not damaging the businesses. We want to grow businesses,” he said. “In my district, I have people waiting around for 18 months and more for permits. We have to make a business-friendly Pennsylvania for a business friendly America.”
Knowles noted that the invitation-only event was held a day after Trump’s visit to Harrisburg.
Of the White House visit, Mullery said he was able to meet with many of the officials he needs for help solving constituents’ problems.
“I am often contacted by constituents with issues pertaining to federal programs and impediments encountered with our federal government. As such, I will take advantage of any educational opportunities or cooperation I can foster with federal officials to help those I represent,” Mullery said.