• June 22, 2017

    Steel Caucus urges President Trump to support use of US steel in naval builds

    The Congressional Steel Caucus, joined by other members of Congress, has sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump requesting full support for the use of American-made steel in any expansion of national naval shipbuilding.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, serves as co-chair of the Steel Caucus.

  • June 12, 2017

    Flooding reduction eyed in Calumet Township project

    A front-end loader moved around sections of cement sewer line at 41st Avenue and Chase Street as federal and local officials gathered Monday to mark the start of a $1 million Calumet Township drainage improvement project.

    "This project is a great example of our state and federal partners working together to benefit this community and the nation," Col. Christopher Drew, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

    Drew was joined by U.S. Rep Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, Lake County Commissioner Michael Repay, D-Hammond, and Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr., to launch the project.

  • June 7, 2017

    Council approves double-track funding

    MICHIGAN CITY — Members of the Michigan City Common Council approved the city's funding portion of the $290 million South Shore double-track project on Tuesday night with a 6-3 vote.

    The approved resolution allows the city to take money from the South Side Tax Increment Fund (TIF) and apply it to the double-track project. 

    The decision was made after the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission decided to pay the remaining $6.7 million in cash and $5.39 million in a bond toward the project, satisfying the city's contribution of a little more than $12 million. That $12 million is a part of the $18.25 million in total funds that La Porte County would be responsible for. The balance was previously approved by the county. Included in the project for the city is a proposed parking structure with an estimated cost of $10 million.

  • June 1, 2017

    EDITORIAL: 'Buy American' clause is worthy push

    The phrase, "Buy American," gets used so often, it has become cliche in our economic dialog.

    Thankfully, we have state and Region congressional delegates with a penchant for putting worthy worn phrases into actual practice.

    During a visit last week to Indiana University Northwest in Gary, U.S. House Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., vowed to push for "Buy American" clauses in any infrastructure bills that come before Congress.

  • June 1, 2017

    Congressional Steel Caucus backs import probe

    The Congressional Steel Caucus is backing the U.S. Department of Commerce's Section 232 investigation into whether imports threaten national security.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, vice chairman of the caucus, and its bipartisan membership sent a letter of support saying that it was necessary for American steelworkers to make metal for aircraft carriers, armored vehicles, submarines and other military uses. They argued the United States could be vulnerable to foreign pressure in wartime if it failed to sustain its domestic steel industry.

  • May 30, 2017

    East Chicago lakefront prepares for facelift

    The first glimpse of a revitalized lakefront in East Chicago should be visible by next year, in the form of some rock reef to adorn the shoreline and the introduction of new plants and wildlife.

    East Chicago kicked off the $2.4 million project at Jeorse Park on Tuesday with a groundbreaking ceremony. Dozens of people were on hand at the ceremony including U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville; Rep. Earl Harris Jr., D-East Chicago; and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland.

  • May 30, 2017

    Gary, Lake Station kick off joint sewer project

    Gary and Lake Station — two cash-challenged cities — have come together with assistance from U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky to build a new $2.4 million sewer improvement project along Clay Street, which spans both cities.

    On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, D-Merrillville, joined Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Lake Station Mayor Christopher Anderson, to break ground on the project.

    The Gary Sanitary District portion of the project includes construction of a new 24-inch steel sanitary sewer force main that officials said would alleviate frequent breaks that occurred in the old piping.

  • May 28, 2017

    Residents honor fallen veterans at Calumet Park Cemetery

    MERRILLVILLE — More than one hundred residents gathered at Calumet Park Cemetery Sunday to honor the men and women of the military who found final respite after sacrifice and service to the nation.

    American flags fluttering in the mid-afternoon sun marked the graves of the veterans buried at the cemetery as the Merrillville High School band performed patriotic songs.

  • May 26, 2017

    Donnelly, Visclosky meet with steel leaders

    GARY — Two Democratic federal legislators vowed they will fight in the U.S. House and Senate to protect steelworkers' jobs from international trade manipulations.

    "All we need is a fair playing field," U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, said.

    He and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, were at Indiana University Northwest on Friday afternoon to meet with union and management leaders of ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel to discuss strategies in upcoming congressional votes on federal spending and regulation.

  • May 18, 2017

    Visclosky testifes on imports of steel rebar

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st testified today before the International Trade Commission (ITC) in a hearing on rebar from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey.


    Excerpts from Visclosky’s testimony:


    “It is timely that the Commission is hearing this case during National Infrastructure Week, since rebar is such an essential component of our infrastructure. . . . The product we are talking about today is a long-rolled steel product that is primarily consumed by the construction industry and used to provide strength to concrete. Rebar is used in many types of structures, from skyscrapers to bridges. Without it, we could not do the work of building this nation. . . .

  • May 15, 2017

    Visclosky: Infrastructure projects drive NWI economy

    MUNSTER — Major infrastructure projects, including the South Shore Rail expansion and Double Tracking, are the next great engine to drive Northwest Indiana’s economy, will stop the population exodus and provide employment and opportunities for generations to come, according to at least one Indiana representative.

    Manufacturing, including the steel industry, also play an important role in the national economy because these jobs pay people living wages, he added. 

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, drove home those points during his keynote address Monday at the Northwest Indiana Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers luncheon meeting at Centennial Park Clubhouse. More than 50 civil engineers and students majoring in civil engineering at Purdue Northwest and Valparaiso University attended the meeting.

  • May 11, 2017

    Steel imports threaten our national security

    American steelworkers, their families, and steel producers across our country have long known two simple truths: 

    • 1 - The strength of our national security is invariable linked to the strength of our domestic steel industry, and;
    • 2 - Illegal steel imports are decimating our steel production capabilities. 

    Because of these two truths, the outcome of the Trump administration’s Section 232 steel import investigation is already well known to steel producing communities. Every extra day that we wait for it to be completed, and for subsequent action to be taken, is another day that illegal steel imports threaten our national security, the strength of our steel industry, and the jobs that are the backbone of our economy.  

  • May 3, 2017

    Federal spending plan opens path for South Shore expansion funding

    INDIANAPOLIS — South Shore Line expansion supporters consider the five-month federal spending plan approved Wednesday by the U.S. House to be a win for their cause, even though the West Lake and double-tracking projects weren't yet eligible to be funded.

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, expected to be signed into law Friday, includes $2.5 billion in grants for transit system capital projects across the country, including $100 million to modernize the Red and Purple "L" lines in Chicago and $50 million for an Indianapolis bus rapid transit system.

  • April 24, 2017

    Hobart Marsh mitigation project decades in the making

    Eric Bird recalled picking up trash in a farm field on Hobart's northwest side while a student working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

    "I thought back then, 'This will be something some day,'" said Bird, now stewardship manager for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, of the field he was working in.

  • April 23, 2017

    Buying American could create 400 jobs in Indiana, but will the feds do it?

    A local manufacturer is gunning for a defense contract it says would result in up to 400 jobs over the next decade in East Chicago.

    Industrial forklift maker Hoist Liftruck is hoping to ride a wave of Buy American sentiment into a lucrative contract to make container handlers that U.S. military forces could use on rough terrain. It hopes to win a federal contract currently held by a Swedish company whose patents expire next year, Hoist Liftruck President Vince Flaska said.

  • April 21, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Honor rail commitments

    We all can agree Northwest Indiana needs an economic jump-start. How we accomplish that universal goal is something on which reasonable minds might disagree, but I think it is safe to say by a wide margin, people agree the best available option is double-tracking the South Shore and extending the line to the Munster-Dyer border.

  • April 12, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Rally around commuter rail expansion in NWI

    Northwest Indiana has before it one of the greatest economic development opportunities since the founding of U.S. Steel. Elected officials across the Region will be tasked with political obstacles at all levels of government. But as the stars slowly align, it is time to double down on double tracking the South Shore Line.

  • March 30, 2017

    Steel rebounding but caucus still concerned with imports, overcapacity

    The U.S. Congressional Steel Caucus held its most optimistic annual hearing in years in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

    Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, and Vice Chairman Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, hosted “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond” to hear from steelmakers and union officials on the state of the U.S. steel industry.

    "As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries," Visclsoky said in his opening remarks. "This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China."

  • March 30, 2017

    Visclosky speaks on the future of steel at Congressional hearing today

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st--Vice-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus--testified spoke at today’s caucus hearing on “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond.”


    Excerpts from his speech:


    “I believe that steelworkers in Northwest Indiana and across our country make the best steel in the world, and we must do all that we can to ensure that they can continue to do so.


    As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries. This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China. These countries operate in economies that involve state-owned enterprises that utilize illegal subsidies and preferential policies. I believe that these practices violate international trading standards, and as we move forward I will continue to testify before the ITC and ensure that our trade laws are fully enforced. . . .

  • March 29, 2017

    EDITORIAL: Commuter rail builds firm foundation for growth

    Northwest Indiana stands to benefit greatly from twin commuter rail projects planned for the Region.

    The West Lake Corridor project will extend commuter rail service beyond the existing east-west route for the first time in more than a century.

    The double-tracking project will speed and improve service along the existing route, making the commute by train quicker and more pleasant.