Letter From Congressman Wilson

Dear Friends,

It was a big week in Washington. On Tuesday night President Obama clearly and honestly laid out the grave challenges we face as a nation. He thoughtfully outlined a plan that includes tough choices. He believes our great country is up to the challenge. Like him, I believe we have been through worse and come out better. We can do it again. The only real danger we face is doing too little.

When the President released his FY2010 budget on Thursday, I was very encouraged with how he plans to deal with the deficits and debt we inherited. President Obama will cut our annual spending deficit in half by the end of his term. More importantly he didn’t sugar coat the budget and honestly accounted for real expenses like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, President Obama’s budget emphasizes our shared values and will make long term investments in energy, healthcare and education, which I believe will lay the proper foundation for our economic recovery and long term economic growth. I believe this is a solid blueprint on which Congress can build its budget and I look forward to starting that process.

Speaking of budgets, I’m proud to announce that Congress is close to finishing the leftover budget work of last year for FY2009. $7,937,643 in federal dollars could soon be headed directly to Ohio’s Sixth District. The federal funds are part of the $410 billion Omnibus spending bill which passed the House this week and now heads to the Senate.

This legislation eliminates programs that haven’t performed the way they should, and includes strict accountability measures to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely.  In addition, earmarks have been further reduced by 5% below last year’s levels, building on last year’s 43% reduction.

I’m proud of this spending bill. We’ve made responsible cuts, but are spending money where it needs to be spent. If there’s one thing I hear a lot from people all along the Ohio River and up into Mahoning and Columbiana Counties is that they feel Ohio doesn’t always get its fair share. I’m proud to bring nearly $8 million back home in federal investment. Each of these projects will help our district; these aren’t bridges to nowhere.

Programs Back Home Slate to Receive Funding in the 2009 Spending Bill:

  • $295,000 for an initiative known as “From Steel to Scholars” for Mahoning County.
  • Along with Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17), I secured $245,643 for Mahoning County’s “Salute to Success” program, an entrepreneurship development initiative.
  • Along with Sen. George Voinovich, I successfully secured $951,500 for an advanced carbon capture and storage project at the R.E. Burger Power Plant in Belmont County.
  • $86,000 for the Dillonvale Senior Center in Jefferson County.
  • Along with Congressman Zack Space (OH-18) I secured $688,000 for crucial infrastructure improvements at Ohio University Airport in Athens County.
  • Along with Sen. George Voinovich, I also secured $238,000 to expand the Southeast Ohio Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science in Athens County.
  • Along with Rep. Space, Sen. Voinovich and Sen. Sherrod Brown, I secured $232,750 to expand Ohio University’s Economic Development through Entrepreneurship in Appalachia program.
  • $475,000 for the Chesapeake By-Pass in Lawrence County.
  • Along with Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-4) and Sen. George Voinovich, I also secured $335,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers’ project at Greenup Lock and Dams in Scioto County.
  • $250,000 for the Gallipolis Communication Interoperability Project and the development of a city-wide first responders’ radio communication system.
  • $50,000 each for Mahoning, Columbiana, Belmont, Noble, Athens and the Scioto County Sheriff Departments for much needed equipment. (Total of $300,000)
  • Finally, the total for the 2009 appropriations that I secured for the Sixth Congressional District reflects two projects previously announced when the Defense bill was signed into law in December 2008. Those previously announced projects include $2.24 million for an alternative energy project at Ohio University and $1.6 million awarded for continuing research at OU on lightweight heat exchangers for airplanes and spacecraft.

Sincerely,


Charlie Wilson
Member of Congress
Ohio’s Sixth District

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