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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Congressman McIntyre visits UNCP's Young Democrats

Just minutes after the news of his greatest political victory on October 11, 7th District Congressman Mike McIntyre met with the Young Democrats of UNCP.

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, right, speaks with Thomas Mann, president of the Young Democrats of UNCP, as McIntyre staff member Alicia Oxendine looks on.

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, right, speaks with Thomas Mann, president of the Young Democrats of UNCP, as McIntyre staff member Alicia Oxendine looks on.

U.S. Rep. McIntyre was interviewed by TV News 14 before going into the Dial Building and WTVD-11 was waiting for him after delivering a legislative update on campus.

The Senate had just approved the $10 billion buyout of tobacco farmer’s allotments, and $4 billion is earmarked for North Carolina farmers. Rep. McIntyre, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced the first buy-out bill three years ago.

“A true miracle,” he told the Young Democrats. “I was told eight years ago when I went to Washington that tobacco is a dirty word, and ‘you’ll never get anything.’”

Rep. McIntyre, who is campaigning for his fifth term in Congress, shared his plans for improving the economic and military security of the region.

“When I was elected an African American preacher gave me the advice I follow today: to ‘do something the people here can touch, see and feel,’” he said.

With tobacco buy-out money in the bank, Rep. McIntyre said he is battling to fund the new Interstate 73/74 that passes on an east-west route through his district.

“There is still a fight going on, but this directly affects our economy,” he said. “To have two major interstate corridors intersect here? You can imagine the benefits.”

A member of the Armed Forces Committee, Rep. McIntyre said he is focused on improved pay and benefits for the military and winning construction funds for area military bases.

“We have increased the pay for the military, some of which comes back to our local economy,” he said. “I have won funding for two new veteran outpatient clinics in Robeson and Brunswick counties and expansion of the VA Hospital in Fayetteville, which serves the entire region.”

Rep. McIntyre said a 50-year housing construction plan on military bases would improve the quality of life for military families and pump construction dollars through local communities. Rep. McIntyre, whose district is dotted with military bases, said improving the lives of men and women in the military pays dividends in recruitment and national security.

McIntyre, who said he was a Teen Democrat while in school, said young voters would play an important role in the November election.

“I was asked recently if this election has generated interest among young people, and I said ‘absolutely,’” he said. “It’s your money and your vote that will determine how much of the tax dollars you pay will come back to you.”

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