Senator speaks out in Greenville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2001

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions was in Greenville last week, and spoke to approximately 50 citizens in a town-hall styled meeting.

Regarding the nation's economy, Sessions was optimistic.

"I believe our economy will turn aroundnI don't think we are in a deep-down' recession," he said. "We (Republicans) believe in the private, individual strength of the American citizen, instead of a socialistic way of life."

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Sessions said the economy has been growing in Washington, D.C. at an incredible rate.

"I think President Bush's goal to reduce the tax burden is realistic," he said. "The ten-year projection looks great."

Sessions then discussed President Bush's Faith-based Initiative'.

"I think we as Americans have gone to excessive lengths to adhere to separation of church and state, unnecessarily," he said. "By utilizing the President's initiative, we can eliminate much of the hostility that comes from universal discrimination against all religion.

"Right now, church-based services cannot receive any federal funding, but studies have proven that government projects can be up to 10 times less effective. For example, take Alcoholics Anonymousn that program worked via faith-based motivation, and the federal government had no other plan that was remotely as effective, so in that respect, the government began supporting faith-based services," Sessions said. "The President is reaching out in a bi-partisan way to help those that are hurtingnbut money does not go deep enough into the people's needs, without the spiritual aspect."

Sessions said the plan is that any program that supports a need, such as YMCA, and can meet that need more effectively than a government program, will qualify for federal funding for its operating costs.