There is little doubt that 2010 will be a busy and tough year in Washington. We have a lot of work to do this year to make sure our economy is on the right track for recovery, and how best to put America back to work.
We have many challenges, but as I have said before, I believe in the spirit of the American people. Those of us who’ve asked for the honor to represent you in Washington must be ever mindful of what we’ve been charged with by those we represent. I take my responsibility seriously. During the last few months, I’ve focused a great deal of attention on working with our local elected officials, business leaders and stakeholders to find solutions to the high unemployment numbers so many of our counties face and on strategies to make sure the economic recovery doesn’t pass us by, but there is still work to be done.
I joined Congressman Mike McIntyre in hosting a federal resources summit for an eight-county region including Anson, Montgomery, Richmond and Scotland. We had more than 200 folks on hand to meet with federal agency representatives to discuss what our region has to offer and what our region can do to benefit from federal programs.
Last week I invited business and community leaders from Mecklenburg, Union and Cabarrus to a regional economic summit at UNCC to discuss what we can do to make sure our area is ready to take full advantage of the recovery. I know that we need to have state, federal and local stakeholders all at the table if we are going to succeed.
I also hosted a Federal Contracting Symposium at the Stanly County Agri-Center to make sure local businesses had the opportunity to meet first-hand with federal contract decision makers.
We spent much of 2009 concentrating on stopping the economic freefall our nation was experiencing. It was important work, and had to be done to make sure our economy did not collapse. In 2010, we must refocus our efforts on recovery. The biggest component of turning our economy back in a positive direction is putting our people back to work. We must stem the tide of escalating unemployment and do whatever we can to bring economic opportunity to the Eighth District.
As I have said many times, I am an ardent supporter of “Buy American” provisions. I believe the best way to shore up our manufacturing sector and get our people working again is to promote products made in America. I will continue to work to implement “Buy American” provisions.
As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, please know that I also make national security a top priority. We must be ever diligent in our work to protect our nation’s security. The threats to the United States are real, and we can never lose sight of our duty to protect our citizens from acts of terror. We must continue to improve on agency communications, security measures and emergency preparation. It is imperative that we learn from the past and continue to be cognizant that the threats are ever changing. There is no room for complacency.
2010 will offer us many challenges and many opportunities. I will do all I can to represent you well in Washington this new year.
Congressman Larry Kissell (D-N.C. -8) offices include Rockingham: 230 East Franklin St., Rockingham, NC 28379, Phone: 997-2070; Concord number (704) 786-1612; Fayetteville number (910) 920-2070; Washington office: 512 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; phone (202) 225-3715. Web site, kissell.house.gov