STEUBENVILLE - U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, said Tuesday he will hold a series of townhall meetings in August to discuss, "the importance of education and to find sane solutions."
Johnson made his announcement during a tour of the PrimeTime senior citizen center on Lovers Lane that is set to officially open later this month.
"You should all be very concerned about something called the common core program," Johnson told a small group of invited guests that included senior citizen center volunteers, the three Jefferson County commissioners and several Steubenville officials during a brief question-and-answer period.
VISITING NEW CENTER — U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, visited the new PrimeTime senior citizen center on Lovers Lane in Steubenville Tuesday afternoon. Taking a moment to chat were, from left, Johnson, Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci and Tony Pasquarella, the city’s director of environmental health. — Dave Gossett
"The common core program is establishing standards by which young people will be educated in the future. People on the outside are dictating how our children will be educated. We need to get the federal government out of education and take the money spent on the federal education bureaucracy and give it to the states. That's why I will hold five townhall meetings throughout my district in August to talk about education," Johnson declared.
Johnson said one of the meetings will be held in Jefferson County.
"We need to look at putting education decisions at the local level," he added.
Johnson also said the Congress has sent President Barack Obama legislation to make student loans market driven.
"The student loans will not be as low as they were, but they won't be as high as they are now going to be without presidential action. We have given the president the legislation and have asked him to take steps to address the issue," Johnson noted.
Johnson said he was impressed with the new senior citizen center that became a reality after Tri-State Health Services Inc. purchased the Temple Beth Israel earlier this year.
"Wow. This is great. I have already reserved a spot here in 10 years. I am going to make this senior citizen center a routine stop to talk to folks," Johnson told the crowd.
He also used the occasion to discuss issues he said were of importance to the residents of his 6th Congressional district in Eastern Ohio.
"We recently held a telephone townhall meeting and asked the participants what they were concerned about. Many people said they were still concerned about jobs and the economy. They want jobs for their kids, their grand kids as well as themselves. People are also concerned about the out of control federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency. They have very real concerns about protecting their constitutional rights. But health care tops the list," related Johnson.
Johnson said he will reintroduce legislation in the U. S. House of Representatives, "to stop the war on coal."
"The president only wants to use above ground natural resources. But from what I have seen is we can solve the problems of coal and be environmentally responsible. I have learned what you already know. When the American people are confronted with a problem and get the government out of the way we can solve the problem. I will continue to fight to stop the war on coal and the next war on gas and oil because we can't harness enough solar power and store it in enough quantities to make it practical," stated Johnson.
Responding to questions from his audience Johnson said immigration reform must start with border security.
"And we need a legal immigration system that works the right way. Amnesty is out of the question. We have to handle the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country the right way. To let those people jump to the head of the line is not the proper thing to do," Johnson said.