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Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS) desperately...

Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS) desperately defends stimulus vote – ‘Doing nothing wasn’t an option’

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 20, 2009

Childers on stimulus: ‘Doing nothing wasn’t an option’

“Doing nothing wasn’t an option,” he said. “I don’t think the people who voted for me wanted me to go up there and do nothing.”

It would have been easier, he said, to press the “no” button, but that wouldn’t have created a job or helped one single family.

He also said his yes vote was the most difficult of his short legislative career. Childers came out on top in 2008 after five special and regular elections to fill the 1st Congressional District seat vacated when then-Rep. Roger Wicker of Tupelo was appointed to replace Trent Lott in the Senate.

Childers later met with about 100 people at the Lee County Justice Center, who came to hear how the stimulus – officially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – would help small businesses.

Childers, a Booneville Democrat aligned with the House’s conservative Blue Dog coalition, said North Mississippi’s soaring unemployment figures, among several issues, brought him to support the proposal after repeated votes against last year’s financial industry bailout bill.

Worry for 1st District
Childers voiced his concern that 10 of the state’s 24 counties with double-digit unemployment are in the 1st District, inching what generally is considered one of the state’s most progressive job environments to near par statistically with the historically struggling Mississippi Delta.

Childers expects political opponents to hammer him because of this vote because, he predicted, the country’s economic difficulties aren’t likely to be reversed by the 2010 election.

“They’re going to say, See, it didn’t work,'” he added.

But the 50-year-old Prentiss County native said he’s been forged by his 2008 campaign experiences, calling himself a survivor.

“I ran five times last year and I never trailed,” he recalled. “Anybody who wants to run against me had better bring their lunch and a sleeping bag.

“I’m prepared.”

NE MS Daily Journal

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Magnolia Tribune

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