Berry Unveils "New Direction for America"

August 2, 2006--Posted at 3:30 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD, AR--It's a plan designed to bring economic prosperity and security to middle class families.  Arkansas Congressman Marion Berry unveiled his "New Direction for America" at a town hall meeting Wednesday in Paragould.

The majority of Americans don't agree with the path our country is heading down. The war in Iraq and border security were tackled in the Congressman's new plan. Those problems, plus ever increasing gas prices are issues that hit home with Arkansas residents at the town hall meeting.

"The possibility of us doing something with the fuels, that is something we need to do it before 20 years, while there is still time," said resident Sherry Tobar.

According to Congressman Berry, the implementation of bio-fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel are the key to this problem that starts at the pump but hits our wallets.

"We know how to fix this, turn it into jobs, turn it into prosperity for our farmers, turn it in jobs for people, turn it into a fuel supply that is clean air oriented," said U.S. Representative Marion Berry.

Homeland security is another one of the key issues residents felt needs to be addressed.

"Our security is one of the most important things that came across today. Our southern border is probably more dangerous right now than any other country around the world," said Paragould resident Wilson Wheeler.

In Berry's plan for a "New Direction for America" policing our borders is a high priority.

"Over and over again, we offer amendments that will increase the number of border patrol, build a fence on our southern border, and put technology down there that will provide surveillance for all that area," said Congressman Berry.

The most talked about issue was the global problem that is being discussed all across the country.

"The war...that hits deep with me and unlike some people I don't think we should be there," said Tobar.

After losing more than 2,400 soldiers and spending over $300 billion dollars, Berry agreed something must be done.

"The first thing I think we have to do is bring the world community together. We can't solve that problem by saying we are the big man on the block and if you don't go along with us you are wrong. That didn't work," said Berry.

Also highlighted in Berry's "New Direction for America" were reforms for Social Security and healthcare. In addition, Berry wants outlaw the congressional pay raise until the nation's minimum wage is raised.