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Leah Pappas Porner:

Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining Calfee. This is Leah Pappas Porner from Columbus, our Columbus office. I'm sitting across the street from our state capitol, and with me is my colleague, Christine Hesse. Hello, Christine, from D.C. Joining us is our special guest, Congressman Troy Balderson. Troy, thanks so much for joining us today. Would you like to make a couple of opening comments before we kick it off with some questions?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Good afternoon, Leah. Thank you for having me. I apologize for the delay. As I was sharing with Leah, we just had a little moment of silence on the floor for Congressmen Lewis, so pretty, pretty neat man, so I met him once here but pretty interesting. Speaker Pelosi spoke and several members of Congress spoke on his behalf, but thank you for having me again, as I said, and looking forward to answering your questions. I can also talk about a couple other things.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

We had a Small Business Committee hearing on Friday here in D.C. and I flew over Friday morning just because we had the administrator of the Small Business Committee. Small Business Administration, excuse me, and then Mr. Mnuchin, so very exciting committee. So, thank you.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Thank you. Christine, you want to kick us off?

Christine Hesse:

Yes. So, thank you, Congressman. It's a pleasure to have you with us this afternoon. You raised an issue that I wanted to talk to you about first, which is your important membership on the House Small Business Committee and talking about the Paycheck Protection Program, which I think almost everyone that's tuned in today knows about the importance and the popularity of that program. I believe to date, more than 110 billion has been authorized, and over five million loans have been made. I think in Ohio, 60,000 businesses have received more than $14 billion in PPP loans.

Christine Hesse:

You were very helpful a few weeks ago in passing legislation to extend that program into August because there was still some money leftover in the program, but we do know that some businesses are now reaching the end of the money. They were able to meet their last payroll obligations, and so in particular, they are interested in whether you could comment if there's going to be an extension of PPP again, and is there any conversation around the house about allowing companies that took a first round of a PPP loan, would they be able to receive a second PPP loan? Interested in what you are hearing around there in terms of something like that for the fall if it can't get done in the next three weeks?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Great question, and yes, those conversations are definitely happening for everything that you asked right there. The PPP has been a very successful program. In the 12th congressional district, there were 4,700 businesses that received that. So, I believe the leadership team was meeting with the administration in the White House today. Then, we were given information that Mr. Mnuchin and the Chief of Staff for the President, Mr. Meadows, will be back up on the Hill here late this afternoon, early this evening to have more of those conversations. I'm looking forward to making sure that we can continue with the PPP. I know there's a lot of things we need to talk about in the fourth package, but to me, still, the number one priority is making sure that we keep this economy going and making sure that we are capable or able to keep small businesses moving forward with the PPP.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I had an opportunity ... It actually was one of my most fun Zoom calls while we were all doing Zoom like we are right now, but I did with a group. They were predominantly micro lending, so minority-owned businesses and female-owned businesses. We were so excited. We actually went and met with them for about two hours, hour and a half on Thursday and had a great time with them and talking about some of the issues, not necessarily issues but just some of the bumps along the way with the PPP and the EIDL program. So, we're going to look into that.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Another thing that it's been brought to our attention, Ohio only has one micro lender. So, their cap is at six million. We'd like to try to get that raised to 10 million. I like to see us start focusing on some more entrepreneurial. It's a really great opportunity for us to be a little bit bigger incubator than what ... make it a regional type, so those are some of the things that we're going to have conversations about in the next package.

Christine Hesse:

Great. Well, you hit upon EIDL, and I was going to ask you a question because obviously, a lot of small businesses not only took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, but they also submitted and received money through EIDL. I know that the House Small Business Committee had a hearing about EIDL some time ago, a few months ago, I think, and there were some delays with EIDL and some frustrations, but I was curious how you think EIDL is performing now, and what other small business related initiatives you think still may be passed this year? We touched obviously on PPP and an extension there already.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yeah. EDIL was definitely got off to a rough start. A lot of constituents and friends of ours had applied for that, didn't hear back, didn't hear back. We feel pretty good that those are now ironed out. As you said, that last hearing probably a couple of months ago now, talking about the bumps that were along with the EIDL program, so that seems to be back on track now. It's been fun.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, in the congressional district in the 12th, we have done a back-to-business tour. We did it for about three weeks. Going to businesses, I had an opportunity to take some of the SBA folks with me. Everett M. Woodel attended a lot of the businesses with me, and they were not only excited to see me, but they were more excited to see somebody from the SBA so they could put a face with the name. So, they had a really good time with that. They were able to ask them questions. Everett was passing out cards with his staff. It gave them a sense of comfort, knowing that, "I got a business card now. I don't have to wait on hold for two hours." They don't wait on two hours, but it was nice doing that.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, when we did that, we got some really great suggestions of what they would like to see. There's still a big fear out there right now amongst small business owners and entrepreneurs of what's happening and what the potential was. Obviously, COVID cases are starting to rapidly increase. I think I heard on Squawk Box, I think we're up to 40 states now are seeing significant wave of numbers hit.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, last week, before Governor DeWine went on for his abnormal presser ... He normally was doing it at 2:00. He did it at 5:30. I mean, I can't tell you, I couldn't even keep up with my phone and texts and everything because it was so overwhelming of people and not wanting to have the government shut down again, but there's just this uncertainty. Those are some of the things that we can do here in Congress with the next COVID package and with PPP and whether we look into more EIDL funding that we need to do here in Congress to make sure that we keep the economy going, and just give people some sort of sense.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Our restaurants and bars are really being impacted by this. We're going to do a call with the Ohio Restaurant Association on Wednesday, I believe. I mean, I can say Leah and I have mutual friends that I spoke with on Friday that have restaurants in Central Ohio. It's not so much what the governor's going to do, but what they're going to do moving forward. We're going to take some of the ideas that they have, so that would be a good call on Wednesday.

Christine Hesse:

Sounds like some good news for folks.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yes.

Christine Hesse:

So, I did want to turn to the subcommittee where you're the ranking Republican. A lot of folks may not know that you're the most senior ranking Republican on the Innovation and Workforce Subcommittee, which is really doing a tremendous work right now, and you're able to examine and promote policies that foster small business, job growth through innovation and the creation and adoption of advanced technologies. You also are able to review the broad scope of workforce issues that affect the ability of small businesses to obtain and maintain qualified employees, such as reducing burdensome taxes and so forth. We would love to hear what you're specifically working on in that subcommittee, and maybe you could share some of those things with us today.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I will. I do. You brought up something that I was working on. There is one big thing I was working on that I want all of you, because I even said something to Mr. Mnuchin about it on Friday, and that is a tax relief for PPE, a tax credit for PPE. Brenda Lawrence and I introduced that bill, but it's tax credit up to $25,000 for the purchase of protective equipment that businesses have had to purchase. So, I asked Mr. Mnuchin, had him on the spot right there, and I just said that, "I would like it to be something that you would consider." We exchanged emails with his office on Friday afternoon, so we're going to work real hard to get that into bill.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Workforce and the workforce development, something that I'm very passionate about. Most of Central Ohio and the 12th congressional district, and you can go throughout the whole country, everybody's talking about workforce development. Prior to the COVID, we had unemployment at a record low of 3.6% unemployment. It was hard for people then to find people to work. It was a very competitive market. The only way you could really get somebody that was trained and ready to go was to steal them from somebody else, and that's not really something that we should be practicing, but so, what better time now?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I mean, some of the things that we can deal with when we're dealing with this pandemic is education. It's a top priority of mine and has been for a very long time, but putting more emphasis on the vocational education, the skilled trade education. I know that apprentices of whether it's a private union ... I mean, we visited a couple before end of last year that didn't have enough people to do the jobs just in Columbus, Ohio alone for the building trades.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, those are some of the things that we need to encourage. C-TEC, which is located in Licking County, it's a vocational school and also a community college type, Rick Platt From The Licking County Port Authority gave some money to C-TEC and trying to encourage ... They're doing some workshops, and they're doing some certificate training specific, so what better opportunity to do that now while people, they still may be laid off or they haven't gone back to work yet, or they were still looking for work pre-COVID? So, it's a great opportunity for them to take an advantage of this. Licking County Port Authority is paying for it, and they put the money in, so we're really excited that Rick took that on, and we're going to help him in any way we can. C-TEC is very well-recognized throughout Central Ohio but also at the state house. It's one of the top community tech colleges, high schools in the state.

Christine Hesse:

Yeah. That's great. I know that's really important to your specific district as well as the state of Ohio in figuring out how to train our next generation of workers, and they don't necessarily need to go to a four-year school. They could go to a tech school. They can learn on machinery and equipment, and we look forward to talking to you a little bit more about some of those issues that you're passionate about in that subcommittee.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

We tried to get ... One other thing-

Christine Hesse:

Sorry.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you.

Christine Hesse:

No. Go ahead.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, in the T&I for the resurfacing reauthorization that came out of the House a couple of weeks ago now, we did try to put an amendment in dealing with ... It's something very similar in all of ... You may not know what the DRIVE-Safe Act is, but it's a piece of legislation that we introduced and co-sponsored that allows ... Right now, driving across state lines, be a CDL driver. You can't drive across that state line. So, [inaudible 00:13:37], once you leave the state of Ohio, you can't drive anymore. You hear that a lot about CDL driving, truck drivers and how they can't continue, and whether it's a business in up Arlington or a business in Zanesville or Newark, they can only go so far.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, what we introduced is an apprenticeship program that allows 19 and 20-year-olds that have a CDL license to get another 400 hours of training with someone in that vehicle, so they can now go across the state line and continue doing that because that's a big demand for trucking companies to have that. So, it didn't make it into the bill this time, but we're still going to work real hard on that one so ...

Christine Hesse:

Great. I love the creativity there. We're going to keep it moving along and turn to USMCA. Another very important issue to the state of Ohio and the 12th congressional district is the renegotiation, obviously, the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, which just went into effect three weeks ago. So, I was hoping you could spend a minute talking about the USMCA and the positive impacts that will have for your district in state of Ohio as well as the country.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yes. In fact, my good friend who I've known for a long time, he's probably one of the largest pork producers east of the Mississippi, and he's right in Johnstown, Ohio in Licking County. His name's Jimmy Heimerl. He made The Columbus Dispatch this morning for his opinion of the USMCA, so I called him. I knew he'd be up, so I had to call him about about quarter 6:00 or 6:00 this morning to tell him, "Well done."

Congressman Troy Balderson:

This is huge. Mexico and Canada, everyone talks about the China piece and everything, but Mexico and Canada are our trading partners, and they have been. There are other countries that we can work with, and I think that's very encouraging to be able to do this. The dairy part of this whole thing with USMCA and opening that market up to Canada will be hugely helpful to the dairy producers in this country. That is probably one of the hardest hit industries right now from the ag community, so that's very, very important that we were able to get that done, continue with the corn and the wheat and the soybeans, but the livestock, I mean, we need to talk about that livestock, cattle, large portion of it.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Just like I said with Jim this morning, talking to him, and he was the past president for the National Pork Producers. So, Jim's been to China. He's been the Canada and Mexico, so he's got a really good insight on what this means for them. Also talked to him about the pork production is back up. The processing facilities are about 90% now. So, you're really going to see the USMCA start engaging and seeing a real effect to what's happening right now.

Christine Hesse:

Yeah. It'll be interesting. I know a lot of work, a lot of time went into renegotiating that. We're going to turn to another big committee membership that you sit on, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has been very busy this year as you're marking up legislation to invest in roads, bridges, transit, rail, and broadband, very important sectors in our country. I know the Senate is also working on its own version of a Surface Transportation Bill. I wanted you to comment, if you would, on the current status of the legislation in the House and possibly, if you could, on the Senate side as well and what the prospects are overall for getting this done before the end of the year.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Prospects are probably pretty good. I'm leaning that it will be the Senate side legislation that will probably happen. We passed the House version. It was not something that I supported for numerous reasons. I thought it was very unfortunate that it came out in a very partisan bill. They didn't take very many of our amendments, as I said, with the DRIVE-Safe Act, some of the amendment that we tried to put in. I thought that was really unfortunate that here we are in our infrastructure, and one of the main reasons I want it on T&I is because it's a committee that can ... supposed to get things done. Everybody wants to get roads and bridges. You brought up another big one, and that's the rural broadband, which I would love to see some of that get into the next package and making sure that we can provide the broadband to rural and urban areas that are out there.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, the House passed a version, but it was pretty ... It was all partisan, so that was an unfortunate piece and even when we did the pipeline reauthorization. This is kind of how I work. I mean, this is what I do, so we had a couple amendments that initially got into the pipeline safety reauthorization. Woke up one morning, the next morning, we're going to do the bill, and it was completely different. They took everything out, all the amendments from Republicans out. So, I'm in the committee and I'm looking over there, and there's 77 people on this committee, so I'm trying to find somebody that, who can I text or call or see upfront or something to get some of these amendments? I mean, a couple of them were very good amendments.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Lo and behold, I came across, and Lizzie Fletcher's on that committee. Lizzie lives in Houston, Texas, understands pipelines. She's a gas attorney down ... not a gas attorney but an attorney does some of that work there. So, I thought she'd be a good one. Here's the main thing that kicked me off. One time on the floor, she came, we connected, and she just said, "I graduated from Kenyon College. She says, "Is that your district?" I said, "No, that's Bob Gibbs' district in Knox County, but that's good enough for me because it's real close. So, what a great way to talk to her about amendments? She got two of my amendments then.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, you don't hear those stories in Congress, and I think it's really unfortunate, but then I think it's even more unfortunate that we start out as this partisan. It's good for us as members of Congress because it puts us the task to figure something out, think outside the box, and see how you're going to do this. We didn't have enough time really for the reauthorization to resurface, but just keep thinking of ideas.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Warren Davidson, I was one of his first co-sponsors in Ohio that part of the ... I've talked to Warren. We'll try to get it into the COVID package also, but it's allowing these ... So, the local governments are telling you all this funding they have is all tied to restrictions to the COVID, and they can't do anything else with it. I've got a really aggressive mayor in Dublin, and she says, "I can do so much with this money," and it's about economic development, is what she would do with it, and several of those communities. New Albany is the same way. If they could use this money other than COVID, but when you look at it, the economics have been affected by COVID, but we can't use those strengths. So, Warren did a bill, and it will allow the monies to be used for infrastructure projects in local governments and local communities. I think that's a big deal.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

In this fourth package ... and I know the president, the administration's wanting to do this for quite some time now, but this is a grand opportunity. Talk about job development and economic growth. It's to do some sort of infrastructure package in the next COVID package. You're here. You know what the likelihood that is happening, but I like to see that conversation happen, but we'll keep digging and working forward for that.

Christine Hesse:

Great. I'm going to turn to another issue where you have been very active in terms of introducing legislation and seeking an amendment into a larger transportation and infrastructure bill, and that is the bipartisan legislation that you sponsored with Congressman Lynch from Massachusetts that would protect taxpayers on large infrastructure projects so that they're not susceptible to contract failure. I know the bill mirrors what is already an Ohio law, and there's a lot of folks out there that are greatly appreciative of your leadership on this issue. Wanted to see if you wanted to spend a minute talking about the importance of the issue and again, what might be a vehicle this year where we could see its inclusion?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I'm really counting on Steve Lynch to get this done. Now, see, there's another interesting guy. So, you and Leah are the brainstormers behind this thing. As I was doing one day, so I Googled him too. I try to Google a lot of people, but I mean, for the background that he has, I mean, he's got a well [inaudible 00:23:02]. He's kind of come up the same way I have as far as firsthand experience, so I think that is truly great.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

He takes care of ... It's funny because Chairman DeFazio, I think, really enjoys him. His wife, their anniversary, we were here doing the resurfacing reauthorization Steve's from Massachusetts, but Steve came here and kind of held a spot for Chairman DeFazio. He's going back. I don't know if you saw this or not but then flew back that late afternoon, early evening to go spend ... I mean, this is quite a guy here, ladies ... anniversary with his wife and then flew back the next morning. So, I really like him, like him a lot. He's very soft-spoken. He is not ... What's the word I want? He's just a really good guy, and that's when I Googled him, that's what we talked about. I think it's important, but we're excited by this ... I haven't talked to him probably since two weeks ago, but I really do think that we could get this in something, moving forward. He's got such a great respect to get this done, so look forward to it.

Christine Hesse:

Great. Well, again, we appreciate your leadership on the issue. I'm going to kick it over to Leah to talk to you maybe about broadband and drill down a little bit more on that.

Leah Pappas Porner:

So, as you know, that's a hot topic in Ohio, and it has been, Congressman, since you were a member of the Ohio General Assembly in your work on broadband even while a member here, but it's interesting. It has heightened with the pandemic because of all the issues that the internet helps with connectivity with people that can, but those of us that live in Appalachia that can't connect to the internet. You have been very thoughtful and outspoken about this. Talk to us a little bit for those of us that may be aren't in D.C. and don't get to follow you as much. I think you've done some op-ed work on this. I think you've worked with the IRS on this issue. Give the viewing audience a little overview here because a lot of us care about this issue.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Thanks, Leah. We do. We're all passionate about rural broadband. There's just so many stories out there that we could share with you, dealing with those school aged kids that are in Muskingum County. I know a superintendent friend of mine was going to put an antennae up at one of the elementary schools just so parents could drive their cars there so the kids could do their homework. That's true. People think, "You're just saying that," or, "That can't be that bad." It really is.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Bill Johnson introduced, I co-sponsored with him, this whole remapping of how we're going to utilize this to figure out where the gaps are in that, what they so-called the last mile. The other important piece to this is I've been, and Leah's been involved with this too at the state legislature. I know that AEP and some of the utilities, also rural electric companies ... Look, what better place than these infrastructures that are already set up to start doing some rural broadband? So, I know that some local co-ops that we have worked with are definitely doing some testing right now as far as getting that map and a plan out there because they have already got the infrastructure to electricity running to these rural communities and out in these farms. So, doing that, I think, is really important and as I said, AEP.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I brought up Jim Heimerl. I mean, Jim operates, I mean, thousands and thousands of pork operations. As I told you, he's probably the largest one in East Mississippi. He needs connectivity guaranteed all the time, and if he doesn't have that, he's missing a lot. Your orchards, your fruit farms, there's just a lot of things out there in these rural communities that we talk about that need this and are a big deal. There's nothing more important than our kids and making sure that our kids have access to rural broadband, so they're able to do their homework. Look, we're still in flux here about what some places are going to do with schools.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I know a couple of school districts that I've communicated with. Some are going all virtual, and then some are going high school virtual only. The rest of them are going to try and get their kids in a classroom and do a hybrid mode, but if they knew they had a little bit more handle on making sure these kids could get on, it would be much more important. Several teachers that I also spoke to, we have the superintendent in Tri-Valley that's putting the antennae station up at one of the elementary schools. Pull up Adamsville, Ohio on your map some time if you get a chance. We call it A-town. It's in Muskingum County. Great place. It's where our farm was and my 4-H group, but there's nothing out there. So, this is vital.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

As Leah said, we talked about it in the state legislature, and I know that Speaker Householder right now, this is something true to his heart too. I think that's important because he's from that Appalachia region too. Being born and raised down in Perry County, he can appreciate this. So, we've got some good people in Congress. Bob Latta has really taken this up and myself and Bill Johnson. Everybody wants that. So, the other piece that I want to throw in there that we've been very active on and it's been very successful is the telehealth. I don't know if you want me to go into that yet or not, Leah, but again-

Leah Pappas Porner:

Sure. Do it. Yes please.

Christine Hesse:

Yeah, please do.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, this is something I'm really passionate about too because we've been talking about telehealth for several years. We kind of go back to that pandemic thing again. Here's something good that's going to come out of this pandemic. It's we're going to have telehealth. It is up and moving forward. We're going to make it better and better. Three weeks ago, we had 21 docs on a Zoom call. I thought, for sure, they were going to start cheering. I mean, the success of this and for people being able to communicate via their phone online or their laptop or their desktop computer online has been phenomenal. We're trying to expand that. Myself and Cindy Axne ... Cindy is out of Iowa. She represents a very rural area also. We're trying to get this in the fourth package to expand telehealth but spoke with some docs last week, spoke with Children's Hospital last week. Again, Children's Hospital told me last week, they've done more telehealth up to date as of last week than they did in all of 2019, so that's the success of it.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I've built some relationships and communicating with some folks in Central Ohio dealing ... I talked to an emergency room director for Ohio, Ryan Squier. He actually came on. We met online or met, excuse me, via email. He was emailing the office, but he did a town hall with me but talking about how the emergency rooms are dropping off almost 60% because people were scared to come into the hospital. Their great concern was someone who's having a heart attack, they're not getting treated for what condition they may have. Being able to get online and communicating with their doctor is a big deal.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

The other big one that we're getting a lot of conversation with, it's the behavioral health piece of it. It's the mental health. A doctor at Children's Hospital brought something up that you just ... This is stuff that you don't even think about, but he said, "Troy, you will not believe when I go online with them, their dogs are there, their kids may be there, or that kid may be there, his ..." It puts them at a level of comfort so much more than driving an hour or two hours to go to Children's Hospital, sit in an office that they're not familiar with. So, you see a true human being or a kid when they're at their actual house. He was amazed by how big a deal that was and how effective that was. So, we're going to continue marching forward. Occupational therapy is something else that Cindy and I have talked about doing with telehealth, but we're really excited about that.

Leah Pappas Porner:

You hinted [crosstalk 00:32:07].

Christine Hesse:

[crosstalk 00:32:07].

Congressman Troy Balderson:

[crosstalk 00:32:07] My hands are going everywhere.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Christine, he hinted at kind of one that's on several people's mind. Maybe if time allows us to ask this question, Troy. COVID four. So, as you know in Ohio, local governments are begging for money, begging for flexibility, the need for that. As you look down the horizon, what do you think the likelihood of the fourth piece of legislation is, is not, if you had to take a guess? Because many Ohioans are asking their state elected officials this question, right? What can the federal government do more for us?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Leah, it is a big conversation, but it's loosening up these ties that these local communities have with this money. So, we'll be in the fourth package. Yes, there are those conversation. I just don't know to what degree they're going to do it. Again, that's why this whole infrastructure piece adds to it. I mean, talking to Brian Burgett last week from Kokosing, I mean, oh God, he's put several projects off now because of what we're dealing with. So, this would be another way to pick up some of the lapse for that. I think that that would be a great opportunity for local governments to use infrastructure.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I guess I haven't done it yet, but I've connected to small town mayors. I mean, God bless them. I mean, they do think outside the box. So, my mayor, Mayor John in Heath, Ohio, he is going to take his money because he can't do anything else with it, he said. So, he's going to put in touch-less sinks and touch-less toilets in his administrative office. He says, "Troy, how big of benefit is that for me? I mean, really? That's what I got to use this money for?"

Congressman Troy Balderson:

So, that's a great example. That's the example I'm using here when I raised my hand in a conference and talk about some of this local government funding, but I think there's a way that we could do something for these local governments. I know the big talking point for the reason not to do those because we'll be bailing out some of these blue states. I can appreciate that, and I know that, but I still think there's more opportunity. We're in Congress it's, and we're dealing with a pandemic, something we never ever thought we deal with it. It's very capable for us to think outside the box and see the success that can come from that of what these local governments can you use that money for.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

It was funny. I was in Home Depot. That's probably been a month ago. This old guy came up to me. I didn't know who he was. I'm masked up, and I can't tell who he is. He says, "Ah, go on, Troy." He says, "I bet you never figured on this, did you?" He said, "You got a government shut down. You had a major [inaudible 00:35:04]. Now, you're dealing with a pandemic." So, I said, "No, sir. I had no idea I was going to do that in Congress, but I'm blessed and honored to be there." So, I mean, look. We can take some opportunities here and do something different and work with these local governments and give them an ability to do some of the things that they need to do.

Leah Pappas Porner:

That's great. We are up against our time. Christine, are there any questions that we haven't covered to your liking?

Christine Hesse:

No, I think we're good. Appreciate that.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Oh, good.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I love that armoire behind her. I have one of those. What is that behind you?

Christine Hesse:

Oh, my?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yeah.

Christine Hesse:

Yeah, that's in my bedroom, my [crosstalk 00:35:45]-

Congressman Troy Balderson:

What is that? What-

Christine Hesse:

Yeah, that's armoire.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yeah. My mom gave me one from her old dress shop. It's in my living room so ...

Christine Hesse:

Very nice.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

It looks exactly like yours.

Christine Hesse:

Good taste.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

I have them on top too.

Christine Hesse:

Good taste, right?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Yes.

Christine Hesse:

Any closing thoughts that you would like to provide to everyone before we close things out?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

No. It's great to work with all of you. We have a great relationship. Count on Leah in Ohio for all of you. She's been very, very helpful to me, starting out back in 2009. It's how far back we go. She is a very, very dear friend of mine that's very close. She's kind of the one that told me to look her up, but so, she's great. She's an advocate for all of you. She works hard, and her respect in Ohio is unbelievable. So, lean on her because then, she leans on me, so we can get those questions answered or whatever we need to do. Thank you.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Well, thank you for the nice-

Christine Hesse:

We appreciate it so ... Go ahead, Leah. Sorry.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Yes. Shout out to Teri Geiger for helping us put this together and the rest of your staff who are just great to work with, Congressman. Thank you to Team Balderson for helping put this together. Great seeing Christine. Great seeing Troy, and thanks to Calfee people for helping us get the invite out, and to all our clients and friends that are watching, thank you for joining us today, and hope you guys are all safe and happy. We miss seeing you, and look forward to the day that we can all hang around the U.S. capitol and the U.S. state house together.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Wear-

Leah Pappas Porner:

What do you have in your hand, Congressman?

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Mask. Wear a mask. Wash your hands, and social distance. Let's not make a big deal.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Right. Right.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Let's not make this more complicated than what it really is. So, everyone, stay healthy and safe.

Leah Pappas Porner:

Thank you all. Bye.

Christine Hesse:

Thank you.

Congressman Troy Balderson:

Bye.

Christine Hesse:

Thank you so much. Bye-bye.

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