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Local business employees humbled after White House meeting

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — Employees of a small eastern Idaho company invited to the White House Thursday say their experience with President Donald Trump and other leaders was “humbling.”

Tim Colling and the staff with Colling Pest Solutions attended a meeting in the Rose Garden called American Workers for Tax Reform. Around 40 other businesses from across the country, along with Vice President Mike Pence, Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch and other politicians, were in attendance as Trump discussed how the tax reform bill is benefiting small companies.

RELATED | Local business owner, staff invited to meet with President Donald Trump

“President Trump said they hand selected these businesses. They found different things they liked about each business and invited them to Washington D.C.,” Marquee Rasmuson, Colling Pest Solutions office manager, tells

Colling Pest Solutions was the only company from Idaho at the meeting. Workers received a call from a White House staffer last week with an invitation and Colling arranged to have six employees travel to the nation’s capital.

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Idaho Senator Jim Risch with employees of Colling Pest Solutions in the White House Rose Garden. | Courtesy Marquee Rasmuson

Risch contacted Colling Thursday morning and asked to meet with them before the president’s remarks.

“He said he was proud of us for representing Idaho and then we were seated in the row right behind all the congress members,” Rasmuson says. “I was right behind (GOP Senator) Ted Cruz and Jared Kushner was a few seats away.”

Rasmuson says Trump walked directly out of the Oval Office into the Rose Garden and began his remarks.

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President Donald Trump speaks to employees of small businesses in the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon. | CNN

“Sometimes it may not look like it, but believe me we are draining the swamp. Every time you see me hit you know that I’m draining the swamp and people don’t like it,” the president said as the crowd laughed.

Several workers spoke about how they have benefited from the tax cuts in the form of pay increases and bonuses. In December, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot issued a challenge for Idaho companies to offer employee bonuses due to the tax bill. Colling Pest Solutions accepted the challenge and, in addition to providing one-time bonuses, announced their business would pay quarterly bonuses and 50 percent of employee child care expenses.

Following Trump’s remarks, Colling and his staff met Pence and other lawmakers before being escorted from the White House on a day they will never forget.

“We learned a lot about other companies and how they are doing. We are all really happy to be out here representing Idaho, Idaho’s work force and everybody in our hometown,” Rasmuson says.

Colling Pest Solutions employee Marquee Rasmuson poses with Vice President Mike Pence. | Courtesy Marquee Rasmuson