Bright future ahead

Published 11:43 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
Regional economic development has a bright future, U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner said Monday during a visit to the city.
Bonner sat down for coffee with Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings and Mabry Cook Monday during a taping of the city's public-access television talk show.
Bonner said last year's announcment that German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp will construct a steel mill just north of Mobile will have a tremendous impact on the region as well as the state.
The Germany-based company recently announced the beginning of the hiring process for professional positions at the $3.7 billion carbon and stainless steel processing facility.
Meanwhile, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company and Northrop Grumman in the Mobile area are working to secure a contact to produce a multibillion-dollar fleet of refueling tanker plans for the United States Air Force, Bonner said.
The program, which could exceed $100 billion, would be a big step in the economy of the area, he said.
During his visit, Bonner related information about work completed by Congress before taking a winter break on Dec. 24.
Brewton pediatrician Dr. Marsha Raulerson has been a proponent of passage of S-CHIP, the state Children's Health Insurance Plan, Bonner said.
Congress voted to put politics aside and extend the popular S-CHIP until March 2009, Bonner said. Democrats in Congress had wanted to expand the program to insure more children, but President Bush vetoed those efforts twice, saying the expansion covered families who could afford health coverage. The December vote allows the program to continue at its current level of assistance.
Approved with a strong bipartisan mandate, the extension ensures full funding of S-CHIP through the coming year, and places it safely out of range of the 2008 elections, Bonner said.
Bonner serves 635,000 residents in the first congressional district, which includes Escambia, Baldwin, Mobile, Monroe, Washington and Clarke counties.
He was elected to office in 2003, replacing Sonny Callahan. Bonner serves on the committees on agriculture, the budget, and science and technology.
He has served on the committees since he first arrived in Congress. At the beginning of the 110th Congress, Bonner was asked to serve on the ethics committee, and the republican policy committee.
Bonner was also named ranking member on the House agriculture committee's department operations, oversight, nutrition and forestry subcommittee.

Email newsletter signup