WASHINGTON — Rep. Lee Terry will break in his new gavel this week at his first hearing as a House subcommittee chairman.
“Our Nation of Builders: Manufacturing in America” is the name of Thursday’s hearing, where witnesses from the manufacturing sector who will discuss ways the government is helping — or hindering — their efforts.
Terry, an eight-term Republican congressman from Omaha, said the session is the first in what will be a busy 2013 for the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee.
Manufacturing and trade are two areas that can play a major role in economic growth, he said.
Thursday’s hearing will feature a showcase of products manufactured in each subcommittee member’s respective district.
From his Nebraska 2nd District, Terry plans to display various 3M masks, a model of a center pivot made by Valmont and possibly some cereal made by Kellogg’s.
“A lot of people don’t think of making cornflakes as manufacturing, but it is,” Terry said. “So we do have a lot of manufacturing, small and some big worldwide international manufacturing companies ... but we do need more.”
Terry has been meeting with the various government agencies that come under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction; he also has been planning the panel’s agenda for the year.
Subsequent hearings will look at auto companies and the steel industry.
As the year goes on, Terry said, he expects the emphasis to shift more to trade opportunities, particularly with the European Union.
And because the panel has jurisdiction over sports matters, Terry said he wants to look at the danger of concussions in football.
That includes talking to the NFL about what it is doing to limit head injuries and how those efforts trickle down into college football and youth sports.
“The fear of concussion in sports ... that’s a mom-and-dad issue,” Terry said. “It’s not just the NFL issue.”
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