Rep. Bob Latta (R - Bowling Green) gets a look at the expanded facility at National Door and Trim on Grill Rd. in Van Wert Tuesday. He was shown around by President Tom Turnwald and Rick Anderson. Latta also stopped at the Times Bulletin for a chat about current governmental issues and milkshakes. (Photo submitted)
Rep. Bob Latta (R - Bowling Green) gets a look at the expanded facility at National Door and Trim on Grill Rd. in Van Wert Tuesday. He was shown around by President Tom Turnwald and Rick Anderson. Latta also stopped at the Times Bulletin for a chat about current governmental issues and milkshakes. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT —Rep. Bob Latta visited Van Wert on Tuesday. The Ohio 5th District Representative made a stop to see the new showroom and facility at National Door and Trim in the Vision Industrial Park, and was shown around by company President Tom Turnwald and Rick Anderson. He also stopped at the offices of the Times Bulletin on the south end of Van Wert to talk current events.

Visits from Latta are nothing new. “The best way for me to do my job is to be out in the district,” Latta declared. “I’ve done probably 525 meetings in the past two years.”

The discussion began with the Van Wert County Fair and milkshakes. Latta annually works a shift in the Farm Bureau tent making milkshakes during the fair.

“It’s hard to believe the fair starts this week,” he said. “I’ll be there Thursday evening about 5:30!”



When the discussion turned to plans for a new Farm Bureau tent in 2015, Latta joked, “I have done such a good job for them that they’ll be able to put up a new tent!”

There is plenty on Latta’s calendar besides an appointment with milk, ice cream, and a mixer. He sponsored an event on cyber-security seminar in Findlay. Tomorrow brings a roundtable discussion in Columbus with Rep. Bill Johnson and many advocate groups to discuss ways that new drugs and treatments can win faster federal approval.

Latta explained, “It’s a look into the future, especially on healthcare issues. What cures can be found today and let’s advance those. We’ve developed better suntan lotion, but we can’t get it approved. Why not? We’re going to hear from them about what we need to be doing.”

He is also doing some farm visits later this week in other areas of the 5th District. “Agriculture is Ohio’s biggest industry,” he reminded. “I represent 60,000 manufacturing jobs, but also I represent the Congressional district that produces the large farm income in the state of Ohio. An we need to listen to our ag producers.

The district Latta represents in Congress stretches from parts of Mercer County to some of the areas near Toledo. He calls it a “good microcosm” of life across America. So whenever possible, Latta takes time out to listen to constituents. He does admit, though, that the differences in concerns between Lake Erie and Van Wert and Mercer counties are not very big.

“No matter where I am, I could be blindfolded and always hear the same four issues: federal regulations, Obamacare, taxes, and energy.” He concentrated first on the burden of federal regulations on businesses. He claims that the government has placed a burden of $1.9 trillion worth of regulations on businesses and people in the country.

He told of the president of a small bank in the district who had to make time to study up on the requirements put forth by the federal government.

“You do shouldn’t hear about people giving up a whole week of work to try to figure out regulations,” he concluded. “Businesses have been struggling to try to keep up with this stuff, and for businesses out there, you either need to get this stuff done or you’re in trouble, and the businesses are trying everything they can to get this stuff figured out. It’s like the old expression, ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it,’ that’s exactly what’s going on. It’s so complicated.”

It’s not all road time for Latta, although he admitted it seems like he is always on his way somewhere. In a week and a half, it’s back to Washington and the latest crises there.

“We go back a week from this coming Monday, and the number one priority will have to be the continuing resolution. Unfortunately, in the House we pass a budget and we pass appropriation bills, but in the Senate they won’t pass a budget, they won’t pass appropriation bills, so now we’ll have to do a continuing resolution. We’ve got to keep the government running. But the last four of these things, since our party has been in control of the House, we’ve actually not just slowed the growth of federal spending, we’ve actually cut it. That’s the first time since the Korean War that anyone has seen it happen, so we’re going to make sure we continue that, and we’ll have a lot of other issues out there too, the I.R.S investigation is still going on, the Benghazi investigation is still going on, the whole issue of what’s happening in Iraq and in Syria. I think you’re going to see a lot of hearings and a lot of discussion going on in Washington in a very short span of time.”

Until then, the Congressman will be logging plenty of miles to and from his Bowling Green home, and on Thursday, making plenty of milkshakes in Van Wert.