The time has come for unity

Published 7:16 pm Monday, November 13, 2006

By By now, you no doubt know that the results from last week's elections gave control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Democrats. For the first time in 12 years, House Republicans will be in the minority. Additionally, the balance of power in the U.S. Senate will also be changing hands.
First off, allow me to congratulate the Speaker-designate, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. By becoming the first female speaker of the House, Mrs. Pelosi is making history in a number of ways.
Since election night, pundits from all across the country have been debating why the election turned out the way it did. While post-election analysis is nothing new to the political process, what is really important now is to see if the members of the two parties can put past differences aside and find common ground toward solving some of the many challenges facing our nation.
Make no mistake, differences of opinion and political ideology are important in this country and, if expressed in a constructive way, can contribute as part of the spirited debate on key issues to making our republic even stronger.
In the weeks ahead, we will hear many members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who have their own plans for tackling some of today's most pressing problems. Already, President Bush and the Democratic House leadership have met to discuss priorities and an agenda for the 110th Congress.
One thing we must all keep in mind is we are a nation at war and there must not be any compromise when it comes to determining who will be the ultimate victor in this battle between good and evil. While there will obviously be heated debates about how the war should be conducted, we cannot forget that we face a ruthless enemy that stands against our very way of life.
We can also expect that with the change of control in both the House and Senate, the roles of responsibility from being in the majority and minority will also be changing. Cooperation – when possible – will be of paramount importance but rest assured, the interests of the American people must always remain our No. 1 priority.
And let me be crystal clear – when a good idea or solution to a problem is presented, whether it comes from a Democrat or a Republican, you can know with certainty that I'll support it. But when an agenda that runs counter to the views and values of the people of south Alabama is offered, I feel I am duty-bound to oppose it.
Speaking of duty, allow me to add how truly honored – and humbled – I am that the people of south Alabama have entrusted me with the opportunity to continue to be your voice in the U.S. Congress.
As I've said many times before, the people of south Alabama - all 635,000 men, women, and children - are my bosses. And while I know I can't always make every one of you happy all of the time, I promise I'll always to work my heart out to make sure you get the kind of constituent service and representation you have come to expect from this office.
Jo Bonner is U.S. representative. He can be reached, toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit at his Web site

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