Bill Johnson provides legislative update at event

By Kalea Hall


U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Marietta, discussed several issues with clients of Chemical Bank on Thursday.

“We gave a little update on what’s happened in the first seven to eight months of the new Congress,” Johnson said.

This is the third year Chemical Bank has invited a member of Congress to give a legislative update at the Holiday Inn in Boardman.

Topics discussed included job creation, military spending, the opioid epidemic and tax reform.

“We talked about the 1 million-plus jobs created,” Johnson said.

Despite the job creation, Johnson said the economy is “limping” along largely because of a broken tax code and burdensome regulations.

Overall, the indications are that the economy is doing well and banks are pretty healthy today, said Bob Kempe, senior vice president for Chemical Bank.

“We still have our share of challenges,” Kempe said.

One of those challenges is competition.

“Every day we compete with a lot of the other banks for the same business,” he said.

This week, talks on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement began and Johnson said he wants to see a deal that makes American workers a priority.

“I do understand the unintended consequences of companies moving to low cost areas of the world,” he said. “We need trade policies that put American workers on a level playing field.”

After the event, Johnson discussed the recent event in Charlottesville, Va. when a woman was killed after a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally. President Donald J. Trump has received criticism for his response to the violence, saying both sides are to blame.

Johnson wouldn’t comment specifically on the president’s response, but did say the event that occurred is not something America should tolerate.

“America is better than this,” he said. “I’m not going to point a finger because I wasn’t there to witness it.”

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