Sunday, April 12, 2009

Burris learns about Metro East issues in visit to area

Suburban Journals:
From Monday to Wednesday, Burris took part in a three-day "Main Street" tour of the Metro East and surrounding areas.

His stops included Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Mascoutah High School, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Lewis and Clark Community College and Granite City.

Wherever he went, questions about his appointment and candidacy followed.

"We're dealing with all these major problems, it's not my being a senator. I am a United States senator," he said Wednesday after talking to steelworkers and others at the Granite City Labor Temple. "I've got problems out here that my constituents are suffering with.

"I'm out here trying to hear and learn, so that when I go back into the Senate, I can be effective because I now have first-hand knowledge about what my position should be for my constituents," he added.
He met with steelworkers in Granite City. Most of the conversation was about free and fair trade, and his support of the Employee Free Choice Act, pending legislation that would make it easier to establish unions in businesses.

Burris said he supported "made in America" provisions of the recently passed federal stimulus bill, and emphasized that manufacturing is vitally important to the American economy.

"We know that manufacturing is the bloodline of the economic base of our economy," he said. "Value added to products creates jobs, jobs, jobs, and that is what we must continue to do."

Other major concerns among the steelworkers were foreign subsidies for steel production that put American steel plants at a disadvantage.

After the meeting, Burris said that such subsidies, as well as programs like universal health care, have not been supported by voters or legislators in the past.

"When we've put forth those types of programs, we end up losing," he said.

While agreeing with the principles behind free trade, he said there has to be a balance between exports and imports.

"We cannot continue to ship more dollars out," he said, adding that leads to a number of problems, including deficit spending.
Read the whole thing a lot of questions involving not only the issues that he's discovered on his swing across the state, but also issues involving his appointment to the US Senate by Rod Blagojevich.

While you're at it, here's another item that's been in the news as of late.

AP: Funeral directors subpoena Burris

You know I think I should bring back the Burris headlines.

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