U.S. Senator Visits East Alabama - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

U.S. Senator Visits East Alabama

Republican Senator Richard Shelby held town hall meetings in five East Alabama counties today, including Russell and Lee counties.

Senator Shelby visits Phenix City every year, but this time, he's trying to get across a very important and timely message--the need to stay the course, and the need for additional troops in Iraq.

He says he feels that his number one responsibility as a lawmaker, is to make sure the U.S. supports its soldiers, both materially and morally.  And he's on a mission to make sure Alabama residents are behind him 100 percent.

"I support 20,000 troops. I wish we had 100,000 to send, we might need 100,000 more," Senator Shelby said.  "But we don't have 100,000 more. We have a small Army, Navy, and Marines, and it might be that we need to beef them up, maybe make larger units in the future. But that will take time, training, and money."

But he knows that won't be easy, especially with the recent shift in power in Washington. This week, Democrats on Capitol Hill say they want to revoke the authorization and funding for the Iraq War.

"I think the Democrats are going to try to do that, I don't know if that will work. It might work in the House, I don't think that will pass in the Senate, that's going be part of the fight this spring," Sjelby said.

Senator Shelby added that despite the division in Congress, he's seeing a lot of support from people  on his trip around Alabama. He says his top priorities are the support of his voters, and the safety of our soldiers.

"They need that funding, they need that support," said Harmony Colby, who is a military wife. "That makes the difference in their mission over there, and the difference when they come home. And it really makes us feel more secure as wives, knowing they're supported."

Senator Shelby says that once those additional troops are sent to Iraq, it will take at least seven or eight months to see if that surge is actually working.  But no matter what happens, he says he will always vote for what he believes is best for the troops.

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