Shelby speaks at event

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., came to Troy to hear from Pike County residents on Tuesday.

Shelby was the guest speaker at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, joining more than 100 community members as he stopped in Pike County during his statewide tour.

“I wanted to give a report to the people from the perspective of a U.S. Senator and also hear the concerns of Washington and the concerns about the state because I get a lot out of that,” Shelby said. “I’m accountable to the people. The people ought to have access to me and that’s why I’m here.”

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Shelby has made more than 1,800 statewide visits since he was elected to office in 1987 and said it was a way for him to be able to hear back from his constituents.

Shelby said his hopes for the upcoming Congress were high and he anticipated it to be a productive session.

“There are a lot of things coming up on the agenda that face us,” Shelby said. “One thing is the turmoil in the Middle East and how to address that. Is it even addressable? And how much power to give the president? I think a lot of people are a little suspect about that, and rightly so.”

Shelby also weighed in on the same-sex marriage issue.

“I’m a traditional man,” Shelby said. “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I have voted that way, I have advocated that, but what the courts have done is disturbing to a lot of people including me so there is resistance to it everywhere. We’ll have to see ultimately what the Supreme Court rules on that.”

During his many visits with constituents, Shelby said he has learned the middle class family is feeling “under attack.”

“The president says it’s the Republicans, and it’s the Democrats,” Shelby said. “We brought forth the savings account trying to encourage people to save for their children’s education, (but the president) wanted to tax that. That was crazy… He is attacking the middle class. We ought to be helping and bolstering the middle class, which is most of the people in the country who work every day and who that care about this country.”

Chamber President Kathy Sauer said the breakfast was a great success.

“It is a great opportunity for us to host Senator Shelby because our citizens can hear first hand the updates he brings to us, and we can interact with him on a one-on-one basis,” Sauer said. “Another thing that is important for these sorts of events is that he gets a chance to understand and sees the business side and what citizens are saying when he has chance to visit with his constituents.”