History of nation at pivotal point|Opinion column

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

By Staff
Jo Bonner
U.S. House of Representatives
Earlier this month, the House adjourned for two weeks in observance of the Passover and Easter holidays.  This break from Washington, which afforded me the opportunity to travel to all six counties of Alabama’s First District, comes during a pivotal time in our nation’s history.
For certain, the coming weeks and months will set the course for future generations.
I had the opportunity to meet with community leaders in Clarke, Escambia, Monroe and Washington counties where they shared stories of hard-working families in their communities losing jobs and small businesses struggling to keep their doors open.
With 663,000 jobs lost nationwide in March, the national unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent.  While these statistics are dismal, promising signs are beginning to emerge.
According to CNN, “Orders placed with U.S. factories actually rose in February, ending six straight months of declines.”
Although Alabama’s February unemployment rate jumped to 8.4 percent in February, the state’s rate remains better than our neighbors, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee all posting above 9.1 percent.
In fact, a February CNN newscast named Alabama as the Best Southeastern State in Keeping People Employed during Economic Crisis.
While there may be better times on the horizon, for so many the damage has been done.  Families have watched their 401(k)s, college savings plans, and others savings disappear.
This week, my Republican colleagues and I will join Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) in pushing the Savings Recovery Act, which will help Americans protect and rebuild their hard-earned savings as quickly as possible.
Sadly, what we have seen so far from this new Congress is not very encouraging.
The truth of the matter is that the Democratic Party has the majority in Congress, and they are working hard to see their priorities become reality – empowering a government that controls virtually every aspect of our lives, from the education our children receive to the doctor you visit and the retirement you enjoy.
I am hopeful that protecting and rebuilding the savings of so many Americans will rank as high on the priority list of the Democratic House leadership as well.
My staff and I work for you.  If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721.
Jo Bonner serves as a membr of the house of

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