By Brian Graves, News Editor
Sunday, August 11, 2013 —
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson toured the Stanly County Airport and pledged his support for helping the airport continue its growth.
Hudson was escorted through the facility by Airport Director David Griffin and Airport Authority Chairman Mike Harwood during the 90-minute stop Thursday during a district tour.
“The architects wanted to have a Stanly County feel and we think we’ve accomplished that,” Harwood told Hudson. “Every opportunity we have to bring someone here who has never been to Stanly County, when they walk in the door from the ramp they say, ‘We’ve arrived somewhere.’”
Hudson recalled he had spent a lot of time in the area as a district director for former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes.
“We were able to help with a lot of improvements,” Hudson said. “That was Robin’s influence, but I was proud to help with it. I have an affinity for this place.”
Hudson said he wanted to be a partner with the community’s airport and is “excited about the future here.”
“There have been some tough times, but the future is so bright mainly because of the people here,” Hudson said. “The airport board here has always been one of the most active and is one of the best airport boards I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m just amazed at what you have accomplished.”
He also noted the county’s Prime Power Park located across from the airport and how important that space can be in conjunction with the airport.
“Robin used to say these weren’t airports but job ports,” Hudson said. “I think the general public doesn’t understand the value of this, not only the tax value but companies these days need good airports to get executives in and out. This is one of the jewels in the crown of this county.”
In an interview with the SNAP during his visit, Hudson spoke about two issues currently pressing members of Congress.
The congressman had just returned from touring the border region between California and Mexico and flew in Blackhawk helicopters observing the border security.
Hudson said he believes the House will present some form of immigration reform before the current session is out.
“The Senate passed there 1,000 page bill that went too far too fast,” Hudson said. “It had amnesty now and the promise of security later. We heard that in 1986 and never got the secured border.”
He said there were some good things being done on the border “in a piecemeal and patchwork way.”
“The border is not secured, but we have the technology and the ability to secure it if we have the resources. But, utlimately, if you had a mile-wide moat with alligators people are still going to come in,” Hudson said.
“We have to reform the system and how to obtain visas and fixing the electronic verification system so a person can’t get a job if they are here illegally.”
He said there was no immediate need to deal with the 11 million who are currently in the country illegally.
“We can do that once we secure the border and have the internal enforcements so the pressure is reversed and I don’t think it will be that difficult,” Hudson said.
He also spoke about the government’s sequester of the federal budget and how it has hurt the defenses of the country.
“The only thing the president has ever wanted to cut if the military,” Hudson said. “He cut $500 billion three years ago before the sequester and the current freeze cuts another $500 billion.”
He said another problem has been getting the Senate to pass appropriation bills.
“The continuing resolution still spends ful funding in Iraq even though we’re out of there,” Hudson said.
He said the House forced to Senate to give the military some programming flexibility in order to move funds where they feel they are most needed.
“That’s helped alleviate a little bit of the pressure,” Hudson said. “But, the military is really taking the brunt of the spending cuts.”
He said he feels sequestering is the wrong way to cut spending.
“What we need to do is be strategic and surgical because there are plenty of ways to cut spending,” Hudson said. “But, the only thing worse than sequester is no cuts at all.”
He said he appreciated the president’s recent visit with House Republicans.
“His main point was we disagree on a lot of things, but there are things we do agree on we can work together on and I think he’s exactly right,” Hudson said.
“But, he was asked if he would support our initiative to balance the budget in 10 years and he said that was not a priority because there were needs that required funding. Here’s a guy that doesn’t think we need to cut spending.”
To submit story ideas, contact Brian Graves at (704) 982-2121 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.