Congressman Jordan Stops By Diamond Manufacturing During Quick Visit To Bluffton

by Paula McKibben   “Sorry, we were running a few minutes late. We were down in St. Marys,” were the first words spoken by U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan of the Ohio 4th District as he circled the foyer at Diamond, shaking hands with the media. But Bluffton was not going to be the end of his day. After Bluffton, he had stops south in Lima and then north again to Fostoria. What a day!
   He was at Diamond on Thursday, July 6, to acknowledge the success of Anthony Cook, a May graduate of Perry High School who, with the help of Ohio Means Jobs and Diamond Manufacturing, is making a life for himself and his brothers. Cook told WLIO, “I didn’t have anybody here for me, and I had to step up and do it myself and make money for me and my brothers.”
   Jordan also acknowledged Diamond’s help in giving Cook the tools to become self-supporting. One of Jordan’s goals is to achieve tax reform and welfare reform this year to allow more people to get jobs and to build their self-esteem by putting them to work. “It’s good to help people who are stuck in the system,” he said.
   He wants to attach work requirements that vary with the number of dependents to the food stamp program. “We should measure success by how many people we are able to get into a better position in life.”
   According to Jordan, the working population includes only 61 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 64. “Welfare reform is every bit as important as the tax changes,” he emphasized, which is why he believes that welfare and tax reform need to happen simultaneously.
   Then, there was discussion among Jordan, Tom Langhals (CEO of Diamond) and Gene Heitmeyer (general manager of Diamond) about the business climate in the area. Heitmeyer commented, “Rules and regulations don’t always make good common sense,” and Langhals agreed, “Too many times it feels like a wrestling meet, and you have your hands tied behind your back.”
   Jordan nodded, “It’s the government, right?” with frustration in his voice.
   His frustration was particularly evident when he said that he supported a “clean repeal” of Obama Care six months ago and now Congress has finally come back to that topic after other options were not faring well.
   Before leaving, he took time for a few more photos, smiling, as he headed out for two more stops in the day.