Rep. Wilson visits Barnwell to unveil goals
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson unveiled his 2018 agenda ahead of his trip back to Washington, D.C.
The Republican congressman, who represents the Second Congressional District of South Carolina, made several stops across his district on Jan. 3. This tour included a stop in Barnwell.
“We had a pretty good year,” he said of 2017.
He is especially proud of the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which is the first comprehensive reform of the tax code since 1986. It also lowers rates for individuals and businesses, as well as eliminates loopholes and complex deductions/credits to simplify the code.
Wilson said businesses have already responded by announcing the creation of new jobs and giving employees pay raises. He cited companies like Wells Fargo, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, American Airlines, Aflac and Bank of America.
The lawmaker has also heard from small business owners, including the owner of an automotive shop near Columbia who plans to add an extra bay due to the tax cut.
Looking at the year ahead, Wilson has four main goals that he hopes to work on. Congress returned to work on Monday, Jan. 8.
Wilson wants to create jobs and economic growth.
“It’s jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump’s economic plan.
He hopes to accomplish this by working with local chambers of commerce and agencies to bring jobs to the state, protecting South Carolina’s Right to Work laws, and repealing and replacing Obamacare, which he believes destroys jobs.
As a former employee of the Savannah River Site, Wilson believes in continuing to advocate for current and future missions at the Savannah River Site and Savannah River National Lab. He was part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers that worked to save the MOX facility at SRS. The site is vital to Barnwell County as it employs a number of local residents and half of the nuclear facility is located in the county.
Reducing regulations that harm jobs is another part of Wilson’s agenda this year.
“This isn’t for Wall Street, it’s for Barnwell,” he said.
This point includes supporting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, supporting conservative budgets, implementing tax cuts proposed by President Trump, and eliminating burdensome government regulations that stifle small businesses and job creation.
His third point is to promote the nation’s alliances.
For example, he said, Barnwell County benefits from alliances, such as Swiss Krono and other foreign-owned companies located here. On a statewide level, he cited BMW, Michelin, Bridgestone and MTU.
He wants to strengthen the nation’s alliances for expanded fair trade, study the nation’s capabilities to grow jobs with foreign investments, promote public private partnerships to grow free enterprise economies worldwide, and support country caucuses for international relationships and parliamentary exchanges of members and staff.
Locally, he said he is working with SouthernCarolina Alliance to try to attract more companies and jobs to Barnwell County and the surrounding region. SCA is a seven-county economic development organization headquartered in Barnwell.
As a veteran, promoting the military and veterans is also important to Wilson.
That’s why he is backing Trump’s pledge to promote peace through strength.
“We are in a long-term war,” he said of the war on terror. “We want to promote peace through strength.”
Wilson, who is on the House Armed Services Committee, also wants to protect TRICARE benefits and sustain the quality of life for military families, reverse defense sequestration, support active Guard and Reserve units, ensure veterans receive quality healthcare, and support reforms to the Veterans Affairs system.
He is encouraged by the fact that more men and women are entering the military. While this is good for the country’s defense, he said it’s also good for the economy as recruits train at local military bases, such as Fort Gordon and Fort Jackson.