Davis opens congressional office in Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Also, "we’ve got to find some way to make sure that all the children sitting in these school rooms right now have a reason and incentive to come to work in Marengo County."

Davis officially opened his Demopolis office with a reception Thursday afternoon. He also spoke to area political and industrial leaders, education and social service leaders and members of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce in separate sessions Thursday morning.

Beginning March 3, the office located in the Webb (Chamber of Commerce) Building downtown will be open four days a week. "This is the first time to my knowledge that there has been a congressional office in Marengo County," he told those gathered at the reception. The office will also serve Choctaw and Clarke Counties.

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People feel they have been neglected, particularly Marengo, Choctaw and Clarke, he said, the southwest part of the district. "People in Choctaw County might as well been in Mississippi, as far as they were concerned."

Davis is also holding town meetings every month. He had one in Greene County in January and Perry County in February. He said the majority of the audiences at this meeting were citizens who were "enormously informed…and were interested in everything from Iraq and North Korea to Head Start and getting money for a youth center.

During Thursday’s reception Congressman Davis also addressed some national issues in an interview with The Demopolis Times.

One critical issue he has faced in his first month in office is "what should our national priorities be when it comes to spending…when it comes to fiscal policy? I think that the president’s budget – and I serve on the budget committee – fails to make the investments that we need to make in a whole host of areas, from healthcare to transportation, to education, housing.

The country is faced with the prospect of war, he said. "The CIA estimates a 90 percent probability that there will be a terrorist counter attack if we go to war."

He said that it was crucial that homeland security is funded properly and the American people are educated. "The threat is a constant one," Davis said.

The money has not made it’s way to the first responders such as policemen, paramedics and firefighters who Davis said would "be on the front lines of dealing with a terrorist attack. They have not gotten the funding they deserve."

Davis believed that a number of people in Congress are aware of the wrong priorities in President Bush’s budget. He said they would try to make the budget fair and more equitable.

He was also disappointed by two things that happened in his first month in Congress. "The Senate voted down in a party line vote an amendment that would have stopped the next round of Medicare cutbacks as far as reimbursement formulas go,"

he said. Rural hospitals such as Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial have received what they feel are inadequate reimbursements.