Political Notebook: East Spencer Mayor goes to Washington

  • Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 11:47 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — East Spencer Mayor Barbara Mallett visited the state’s U.S. senators last week as part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.

Mallett spoke with Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC), advocating for a nationwide criminal background check and the Fix Gun Check Act, according to a press release.

Mallett’s visit coincided with the sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007.

“It was memorable for me when my turn came to read my victims’ names and the first person was from Marion, N.C. Each mayor read for three minutes,” Mallett wrote in a press release. “It was an inspired and touching experience that will last a life time.”

Warren: Voter ID bill ‘should be all downhill from here’

RALEIGH — After passing the N.C. House on Wednesday, Rep. Harry Warren said his Voter ID bill is nearing the finish line.

“I felt as if I had pushed it over the top of the mountain and it should be downhill from here,” Warren said Friday. “I feel like the heaviest part of the work is done now.”

Warren spent 10 months crafting the controversial legislation and presented the measure in several committees before taking it to the House floor Wednesday.

“It’s over in the Senate now,” he said. “Next week I anticipate having to present the bill to a Senate committee.”

Hudson supports bill to prevent airport tower closures, FAA furloughs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson said he was “disappointed” with the Concord airport control tower closure and supported a bill to reopen it and others Friday.

The bill overwhelmingly passed Friday and furloughed air traffic controllers will soon be heading back to work, ending a week of coast-to-coast flight delays that left thousands of travelers furious.

The bill allows the Secretary of Transportation full authority to access funds to prevent the Federal Aviation Administration furloughs and contract tower closures, according to a press release. The House took up the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 less than 24 hours after the Senate passed the same measure.

“I’ve been extremely disappointed that the FAA chose to close the contract control towers in 149 airports in this country, including my hometown of Concord, North Carolina,” Hudson said on the House floor Friday.

“This airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina. It was named by the Government Accountability Office as an airport of national significance because it’s a reliever airport for Charlotte Douglas, which is the sixth busiest airport in the world.

“The decision to close these towers at a savings of $50 million is hard to understand when you consider the fact that the FAA requested $15.1 billion for fiscal year 2013 and through sequester is actually receiving $15.9 billion—an actual increase over the amount of money the FAA said they needed to operate. I can only conclude that their goal here is to try to make sequester cuts as painful as possible for the American people.”

The legislation would allow the FAA to transfer up to $253 million from stable accounts into other programs to prevent staff furloughs and reduced operations through the end of the fiscal year. The measure would also prevent the closure of local airport control towers.

Hudson, Roe to host hearing on health care challenges

CONCORD — U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson will host a field hearing next week to discuss issues members of the health care community are facing.

Hudson and fellow congressman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) will hear from workers and employers at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s South Campus.

Lawmakers expect to hear how the Affordable Health Care Act could affect families and employers starting next year.

Hudson has continued to be a staunch opponent of the health care reform measure.

The hearing will be held in Building 1000, Room 106, at 1531 Trinity Church Road in Concord.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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