U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, called on President Obama Tuesday to address Congress on the United States' involvement with the "no fly zone" in Libya.
"Moammar Gadhafi is an evil man. He is a killer. And for him to attack and perpetrate violence on his own people is totally unacceptable. I would have preferred direct action several weeks ago. But now the American people need to know what exactly is our mission in Libya. I don't think the American people know what the president's plans are. The American people and the Congress need to know who is going to pay for the military mission and who is going to lead the mission," Johnson said during an hour-long visit to Steubenville City Hall. "The president has not addressed the Congress on Libya, and it is time for him to meet with us."
Johnson was in Steubenville to participate in a town hall meeting at Eastern Gateway Community College and requested a tour of the 1-year-old City Hall and a meeting with city leaders. The freshman Republican congressman met with City Manager Cathy Davison, 4th Ward Councilman David Fortunato and 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich.
Photo by Dave Gossett
U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, takes a tour of the new Steubenville City Hall on Tuesday during a visit to the city. Johnson and City Manager Cathy Davison, center, listen while Steubenville Health Commissioner Patty Reda explains how the city health department operates.
During an interview, Johnson discussed international and national issues and said the nuclear disaster in Japan should not halt nuclear power plants in the United States.
"What happened in Japan was a natural disaster. My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Japan. They are a strong ally of the American people. And I pray they get their reactors under control soon. It is a serious, serious problem" Johnson said. "But should what happened in Japan cause the United States to stop our own nuclear energy programs? No. Should we evaluate the safety of our nuclear plants? Absolutely. We need to learn lessons from what has happened in Japan."
He said he is concerned the Obama administration wants to "marginalize our country as far as our natural resources."
"I see fewer permits being approved. That concerns me," Johnson said, noting it also is time for steel to make a comeback in the Ohio Valley and the nation.
He also said plans to cut Community Development Block Grant funds are necessary.
"We all want to see Steubenville receive the CDBG funds. But where is that money coming from? America is broke, and we all need to sacrifice. I am all for economic development, but we also have to be practical," Johnson added.
During the town hall meeting, Johnson addressed concerns about the future of the federal government, possible funding cuts and the local economy. Johnson said the residents of Jefferson County have the same concerns as most of America.
"They were concerned about the budget and fiscal funding," he remarked. "Some believe that we should keep spending, while others believe that we should make massive cuts. However, we have to do this in a way that protects America's future, but stopping major spending in America is paramount."
The congressman has offices in Salem, Marietta and Ironton. A district staff aide said Johnson is preparing to move to Marietta in order to be living in the center of the 6th Congressional District.
For resources and information, visit www.billjohnson.house.gov.