EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: WBRC’s Jonathan Hardison sits down with Senator-elect Katie Britt
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBRC) - As Senate leaders pay tribute to longtime Alabama Senator Richard Shelby who is retiring from the Senate in January, WBRC’s Jonathan Hardison sat down in an exclusive interview with Senator-elect Katie Britt in Washington, D.C.
Senator-elect Britt is keenly aware of the influence and the billions of dollars that have flowed to Alabama because of Senator Shelby’s decades of seniority in Washington. There are miles of roads, hundreds of buildings, and dozens of runways you use every day that might not exist if it were not for Senator Shelby and his influence. So, how do you replace that? That’s where Hardison and Britt’s conversation began today.
Watch the full interview below.
Hardison: “How do you and Senator Tuberville try and make up the gap in what has been significant federal funding that our state has benefited from that we won’t have anymore?”
Britt: “When Sen. Shelby walks off the floor of the Senate, our state and this nation will be losing a giant and a great statesman. It is not lost on me that I will be #100 out of 100, so that means we’re going to have to work that much harder and that much smarter to really work to get things done. That’s not going to happen overnight, that will come with building those relationships---those relationships that are built on trust and respect so that we can have tough conversations to try and reach solutions to the problems in front of our nation and our state.”
Senator-elect Britt says finding ways to provide more and better mental health treatment, securing the border to stop the flow of deadly drugs like fentanyl that’s killed more than 300 people in Jefferson County alone this year, and bringing down inflation are core issues she wants to focus on.
Hardison: “That’s a tabletop issue for most Alabamians, what can folks in this District do to help them?”
Britt: “One thing we have to do is, I believe it goes back to not only being energy independent but energy dominant. You look at that effect on inflation and it’s real. We’re seeing everything from the gas station to the grocery store and plastics and everything in between. Hardworking families – they’re having to make tough decisions. Another thing we can do is rein in spending. Right now, we’re $31-$32 trillion in debt, that effects every American. And the more we pour out into the economy, the tougher it’s going to be to dig ourselves out of this inflation. So, we’ve got to do what’s right and smart for Alabamians to dig out of this and get back on their feet.”
Senator-elect Britt also wants to see the surge in broadband access continue.
Britt: “Mommas shouldn’t be having to drive to McDonalds for their babies to do their homework. And if you are trying to run a business whether it is big or small, you have to have connectivity.”
Staying connected to her family is a challenge for Senator-elect Britt, like every newly-elected lawmaker, is working to adjust to.
Britt: “Ultimately, my husband and I believe if we don’t fight for the American dream, if we don’t fight to get our country back on track, there’s not gonna be anything left for our children. So, making sure we approach this with knowing that we are doing what’s best for them, also getting me as much time as possible when I’m home, being really home. I’m still driving carpool when I’m home and attending the middle school basketball games.”
Britt: “They ultimately said “mom, I mean why would you do this, why would you schedule this election night when we have basketball games?” So, their life - we have worked as hard as we can to make sure their life remains as normal as possible, and realizing my husband and I are a team and we’re getting up every day and doing what we need to do to make this country and this state better for them, and making sure Alabama is a place where our kids wanna raise their kids.”
Senator-Elect Britt says she feels prepared for this challenge and plans to hit the ground running when she’s sworn in on January 3.
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