McHenry visits Timken

Feb. 23, 2013 @ 07:34 AM

A stop at Timken Company in Rutherfordton on Friday was part of a western North Carolina tour for U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina.

“I wanted to see what they are doing here at Timken. They have been a great employer for a long time in Rutherford County and it is great to see manufacturing done here in the United States,” McHenry said. “I have enjoyed meeting the people here and seeing what they do. They have some very sharp people here that have kept this plant going for the last 30 years.”

McHenry stopped by the plant and received a tour after his visit at Gardner-Webb University where he spoke to students in former Lt. Governor Walter Dalton’s American Government class.

“I talked to the students about government and paying attention. Walter has a long history in government and a unique perspective. His students are lucky to have him,” McHenry said. “It was a good discussion. It was nice for students to see a Republican and a Democrat having a rational conversation about issues that matter.”

According to McHenry, businesses in Rutherford County and the

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surrounding areas could be more successful if there was a tax reform, a fair tax code, a healthcare policy that takes the burden off of businesses, an educated workforce and a rational energy policy.

“We need a rational energy policy that allows us to use the minerals out of our ground here in the Unites States and consider that part of our national wealth. That would make us more energy independent and more competitive internationally. It is not workers in Rutherford County competing against workers in Cleveland County, it’s us competing against China, India and around the world,” McHenry said.

McHenry says although Rutherford County has gone through some hard times with high unemployment rates, he is encouraged by the amount of people who are willing to work.

We have folks that want to work, that is why we have had some announcements like Horsehead and Facebook. We have a lot of jobs happening through work done at the Cliffside Plant. We have solid employers like Timken that continue to employ folks and train them along the way. They are doing some very sophisticated and precession oriented products here that require a great deal of training and technical skill,” McHenry said. “I am always encouraged. When you meet good folks, it makes you more encouraged about our prospects for the future.”

When Congress goes back into session, McHenry says they will attempt to develop a “rational” budget.

“We have been operating without a budget for the last five years. We have to have a spending plan to take on our debts. We have a government that is spending a trillion dollars more than it is taking in. We have a national debt that is almost equal to the size of our whole U.S. economy,” McHenry said. “We have to have a rational budget that takes on our budget problems before those problems take us on. That is what we are going to be facing during the next three months in Washington.”