Sen. Shelby to speak to Butler County residents Monday morning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2002

U.S. Senator Richard

Shelby (R.-Ala.) will address the residents of Butler County on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 a.m. at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

Having over 1,000 county meetings since being elected, Shelby said that these meetings are a part of his commitment to serving Alabamians.

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"Over the years, these county meetings have provided an excellent opportunity for area residents to listen and voice their opinions on the activities of our government. This will be a great chance to discuss the important issues facing our state and our nation as we move forward in the Congressional session," said Shelby.

At the meeting, the senator will discuss his

legislative agenda for the remainder of the 107th Congress and important issues that Alabama is facing.

At a meeting in Covington County, Shelby said that $2 trillion of Americans' tax dollars will be spent on federally funded programs in 2002. Specifically, Shelby explained that 23 percent of the funds in the appropriations bill will go toward paying Social Security benefits, while 12 percent of the funds will go toward Medicare coverage throughout the nation. Seven percent of the funds will go toward paying the federal share of Medicaid costs, and the states also contribute toward payment of those costs, he said.

Shelby also said 16

percent of federal appropriations will go toward national defense in 2002.

"This country right now is under attack from terrorist groups," he said, adding the nation's commander-in-chief is leading America well. "I believe our president is providing the kind of leadership we need in America today."

Shelby also said despite war and economic troubles, America is the most powerful nation in the world.

"We are without equal," he said, adding the current war is "not an ordinary war, and it is not a conventional war."

"I believe we are doing well thus far in Afghanistan, and before anyone asks, I don't know where Osama bin Laden is, but I do believe we will find him," Shelby said. "If you sustain your support of our leader and our military, we will win this war. I think we are on the right track."

Shelby also said he believes the foundations of America's economy are good, despite the recession the nation is heading into.

"We are not in a bad recession yet. Our economy is just sputtering a little bit," he said, adding the world's other top economies in Japan and Germany are also facing economic recession. "I believe that by the end of the second quarter, if our economic indices are up, the economy will start climbing fundamentally."

After his remarks on Monday, the senator will open the floor for questions and discussion from Butler County residents.