After three years of politically bruising and economically damaging battles over the federal budget, the bipartisan agreement to fund federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year passed Thursday night. On numerours trips to Washington over the past three years, the Aiken Chamber has advocated for a budget bill so that the uncertainty of funding for the Savannah River Site could be resolved. We have repeatedly asked the South Carolina Legislative Delegation to unite behind a budget bill and to support the Savannah River Site’s needs. Our local economy has suffered with furloughs, layoffs, reduced work for subcontractors, etc. This uncertainty has led to a reduced level of consumer confidence over the last year. Now, hopefully, we can get back to normal.

At right is a statement issued by the South Carolina Ports Authority praising the leadership of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during the appropriations process. Everything that is said about his support of the Ports can be echoed about his support of SRS. Kudos to Graham. Disappointingly, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., voted no. During the U.S. House Representatives vote on Wednesday, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., and Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., supported the measure. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. and Rep. Mark Sanford Sanford, R-S.C., voted no.

I feel that the Aiken Chamber’s advocacy for SRS, along with the energy of many other organizations, has paid off. Now, on to the next battle.

J. David Jameson


Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce