U.S. Senate candidate Byrne holds town hall here

Published 3:23 am Saturday, June 1, 2019

U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne addressed concerns ranging from aid to victims of Hurricane Michael to world peace in a town hall meeting in Andalusia Friday.

Byrne is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones, a Democrat, in the 2020 election cycle.

Cindy Howard questioned why seven months after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida, victims are still waiting for federal assistance and asked Byrne what he could do to help.

Byrne explained that the funding should have been completed long ago, but said it go caught up in disputes about overall spending and specifically, the amount of money sent to Puerto Rico.

The Senate approved the funding on the Thursday before Memorial Day, he said, after the House had adjourned for a week-long break.

“To pass something when we’re not there, we need unanimous consent,” he said. “Three different members opposed it, but we will be there in force on Monday. On Monday or Tuesday, I will vote for it.”

Asked about hopes for fewer troops in the Middle East, Byrne, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he recently has sat in on two classified briefings about an elevated threat from Iran in Iraq and Syria.

“I think the president responded appropriately, and there is a reduction of threat,” he said.

Byrne said also believes drawing down troops in Syria and Iraq was the right thing to do.

“We should be under no illusions, it will always be bad over there,” he said.

He also said he is hopeful that funding that will help rural hospitals will be released soon.