Passing year held good news

Published 9:04 pm Monday, December 17, 2007

By Staff
As we celebrate this special time of the year - and look forward to the promises of the coming New Year - allow me to extend my very best wishes - and those of my family and staff - to all of you for a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
2007 brought much good news - especially to southwest Alabama. Last May, ThyssenKrupp chose southwest Alabama as the site for its new $3.7 billion state-of-the-art steel manufacturing and processing facility.
It is one of the largest private industrial development projects in the United States, and it is expected to create upwards of 29,000 jobs during construction with an additional 38,000 to 52,000 indirect jobs over the next 20 years.
Alabama's economy remains strong with historic unemployment rates. Almost five years ago, in January 2003, Alabama's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, and in October of this year, it was 3 percent.
While here at home the news is good, the national picture is not as positive. As I mentioned in this column last week, Congress still has a laundry list of work left to do, and 2007 is quickly drawing to a close.
We are two months into the new fiscal year, and still only one of the 12 regular fiscal 2008 spending bills has been signed into law.
With all of this unfinished work, it should come as no surprise that the American people's opinion of Congress is at an all-time low. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 68 percent of the respondents disapproved of the job Congress is doing, while only 19 percent approved.
At the writing of the column, it still appeared that the majority plans to roll the remaining 11 regular fiscal 2008 spending bills into one package. It is still unclear exactly what the omnibus package will look like, but as I've said previously, I am hopeful it will provide the necessary funding for our troops without strings attached and will not exceed the president's spending request of $933 billion.
Our New Year's Resolution
As is the case every year, this is a time of year for making resolutions. The resolution my staff and I make every year at this time is not new, but it is just as sincere today as it was during our first year in office:
Our offices in Mobile, Foley, and Washington, D.C., are here to serve each person - and their families - that live in Alabama's First Congressional District, and we want to provide you with the best, most prompt and most courteous service possible.
We strive every day to keep this promise to you. I hope you will never hesitate to call on us whenever you feel we can be of assistance.
May 2008 be a year filled with good health, happiness, peace and prosperity. Happy New Year.
Jo Bonner, who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, can be reached toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or at

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