The Chipley Kiwanis Club met for its weekly luncheon at Pattillo’s Restaurant at the Washington–Holmes Technical Center (WHTC), Tuesday, April 15. Students of the Technical Center Culinary Program provided lunch.
Del Corbin, Youth Services Chair, presented a check on behalf of Chipley Kiwanis to Donna Guettler and Robin Pemberton in support of Project Graduation.
Paul Goulding introduced Congressman Steve Southerland, Representative of Florida District 2 that is composed of 14 counties including Bay, Washington and Leon. Although 40 per cent of the District population is in Tallahassee, of the 14 counties, 12 are rural.
Congressman Southerland is home this week. After visiting Rex Lumber Company in Graceville and speaking to the Chipley Kiwanis Club, he toured the Washington County Courthouse and visited the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital.
Congressman Southerland is serving his second term. He serves on the following House Committees: Agriculture Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Transportation Committee. While Transportation includes roads, bridges and rail, it also includes the Coast Guard. A little known fact is that shipping containers coming into ports are a large terrorist threat as well as a tool for the illegal drug trade.
Congressman Southerland noted that the last several years have been combative and polarizing in Congress. The Federal Government is not good at saying no to itself and it continues to encroach on state government issues. He noted that FEMA, for example, should assist the local people on the ground rather than trying to take over. When that happens, there is great potential for fraud and abuse.
Southerland noted that 54 per cent, of Republican Congressmen have served less than 40 months. He also noted “Our Founding Fathers made it clear that they didn’t want things to happen fast.” The three branches of government, Legislative, Judicial and Executive were created as a system of checks and balances so that there would be compromise.”
Congressman Southerland believes in the Sovereignty of God. The Founding Fathers believed in the Judeo-Christian Ethic and many government buildings in Washington would have to be demolished in order to remove all of the references to God. He also believes in the Constitution. According to Southerland, “We understand that in order to be politically free we have to sacrifice. We have to get back to ‘service over self’ “.
We are seeing some economic movement now in spite of the economic uncertainty created by Washington. For example, Rex Lumber Company is investing in seven Million dollars worth of new automation equipment.
There are two bills that should be passed before the end of this Congress. They are the WRDA Bill (Water Redevelopment Act, which affects the Corps of Engineers, and the Appropriations Bill).
Congressman noted that Congress has delegated too much authority to the Executive Branch by allowing it to promulgate implementing rules for the laws passed. He noted that the President takes a different oath than Congress. While their oath is to uphold the Constitution, the President’s Oath is to “faithfully execute the Law”. His role is not to make laws.
When asked, Congressman Southerland noted that Obamacare does apply to Congress, but does not apply to the Executive Branch.
Finally, he noted that America’s problems are all our problems, and that we need to all be involved to make a difference. He views the number one problem in America as the destruction of the family.
The Kiwanis club meets every Tuesday at Patillo’s restaurant in the middle of the WHTC campus at noon. For an invitation, contact any Kiwanian or David Solger, Membership Chairperson at 638-1276. For more information about the Kiwanis Club of Chipley, visit: www.ChipleyKiwanis.com