Says the education of the nation's youth will be key to future of economy
Melissa Cason, FCT Writer
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby visited Franklin County Monday afternoon for a town meeting at the Russellville City Hall.
The three hot topics of the day were the situation in Iraq, immigration reform and the economy.
"Our economy is better than many other nations in the world today but we can't continue to lose our industrial base and still compete," Shelby said as he started the meeting.
Shelby insisted that our country needs young people educated in science, math and engineering to stay on top of technology. He also recognized a need for those in technical fields in addition to those attending universities.
"The skills needed in the world today are different from 50 years ago, but we still need people with skills," Shelby said.
Shelby credits our trade imbalance and our nation's debt to our economic problems now and future problems to come.
"Our dependency of foreign oil makes us weak," Shelby said. "We need a genius to come up with an alternate energy source."
The state's senior Senator addressed the situation in Iraq by saying that regardless of where they are located, he supports our troops and their efforts.
"If we don't support our troops, we undermine them and their sacrifices," Shelby said.
Shelby admitted that we are challenged in Iraq but added he feels if we pull out, we will become a target for future acts of terrorism. Last Saturday, he voted against the motion to stop troop surges in Iraq, which did not receive the votes needed to pass.
"I will not vote for any measure to cut off support for our troops," Shelby said.
On the topic of immigration reform, Shelby forcefully voiced his opinion that there should be no amnesty to those who entered into our country illegally.
"I disagree with the President on this matter," Shelby said. "Why should we grant amnesty for someone who has broken the law by entering into our country in the first place."