Nick Coltrain

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January 5, 2012
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Heller touts manufacturing during tour of area plant

A purple-blue flame shot in a steady stream out of a furnace at a plant just outside of Carson City, a reminder of the high-heat metal treatment it specializes in.

A few feet away, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller leaned toward Nevada Heat Treating's general manager, Harv Hornung, to hear his explanation of the business over the hum of production.

Nevada Heat Treating specializes in heat-treating, brazing and manufacturing metal products for customers that range from manufacturers of U.S. military weapons to hobbyists needing car parts strengthened.

Heller, a Republican, was swinging through the area to see the diversity of Nevada manufacturing, a tour coordinated with Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Rob Hooper and the NNDA's corporate solutions manager, Maurice Washington. Washington is a former state senator.

"I just think it is incredibly important for America to continue to lead in manufacturing," Heller said after the tour. "And I think if you look at the manufacturers in Northern Nevada, in Carson City, Douglas County and across the state, manufacturing is alive and well."

He cited the local manufacturers as proof that the United States can still push the economy forward - not that he doesn't support government reforms that he says will help manufacturersfurther.

"We discuss (how to help manufacturers) every day back in Washington, D.C.," Heller said. "I think it has a lot to do with the tax structure; it has a lot to do with the size of the government," adding that the U.S. has among the world's highest corporate tax rates and that over-regulation will hurt manufacturing growth.

During a brief question-and-answer session with some of the plant's workers, Hornung took the opportunity to jab at Heller and a mucked-up Congress.

"I think the economy is about to break loose," Hornung said.

Heller said he agreed.

"And no offense, but you guys need to kind of get your act together, also," Hornung finished, eliciting another agreement from Heller.

The senator bashed a lack of proper budgeting and reliance on continuing resolutions that provide only temporary funding. But he also bashed both sides of the aisle for failing to compromise.

"If you get about 80 percent of what you want - and both parties are getting about 80 percent of what they want - then you've won," Heller told the workers. "The problem is, we spend about 90 percent of the time worrying about the other 20 percent!"

After Heller left, Hornung said he was honored that his company was picked for a tour by the senator, and also that he appreciated his answers.

"I think he understands that we work very hard and that we expect them to work very hard for us also," he said.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 6, 2012 03:24AM Published Jan 5, 2012 01:55AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.