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Bonner meets with town on issues facing Congress

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
The recommendations of the 911 Commission, appropriations bills, and an energy bill are the largest issues Congress will face when it reconvenes after Labor Day, Congressman Jo Bonner (R-Mobile) told about 40 constituents in a town meeting in East Brewton Thursday afternoon.
Bonner said he supports many but not all of the recommendations of the 911 committee.
Bonner said the House and Senate must also iron out its differences on the Transportation Bill.
He said a federal Energy Bill is long overdue and badly needed.
American refineries are pumping 5.5 million barrels of oil a day, but Americans consume 22 million barrels per day, he said, adding that the country must find a new alternative to gasoline or begin drilling in its reserves.
These issues will be difficult to agree upon in the midst of an election, he said.
Many of Bonner's constituents turned out to tell him about their opposition to gay marriage and support of a Constitutional amendment banning it.
Brewton City Councilman Mervin Huff attended the town hall meeting and was the first to speak out on the issue and encouraged Bonner to support the proposed amendment.
Bonner said the issue has come up at almost every town meeting he's held during Congress's current break. He said he would support the amendment, which allows gay or lesbian couples to live in civil unions without recognizing those unions as marriages. However, he said he doesn't believe the amendment will pass.
Bonner said America is witnessing "an erosion of the values we grew up with" and that the country has moved so far to the left in an effort to protect the rights of minorities that it is infringing on the rights of the majority.
Mike Edwards echoed Huff's support of the amendment, adding, "I believe this is the tip of the iceberg in the breakdown of morality in our country."
He also said he believes Congress should limit the powers of federal judges.
Saying he believes young Americans need to be more focused on service, one resident asked Bonner if he would support reinstatement of the draft.
Bonner said that's a commitment he couldn't make, although he is open to the idea.
Jeff Davis Community College president Dr. Susan McBride thanked Bonner for his support of the Upward Bound and Student Support Services programs, both grant programs in which the college participates.