Sen. Schumer: Any Military Cuts Will Not Affect Fort Drum

by Timothy W. Scee II

Special to
Published November 24
, 2010

Thanksgiving may be just one day away, but for U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the 60-year-old seemed to be celebrating two days early on his birthday, Tuesday afternoon, thanking voters for their support at the Crystal Restaurant, 87 Public Square.

“I got a very good margin in Jefferson County,” Schumer said of the election results. “I was gratified to get the votes, not only of Democrats, but many Independents and Republicans.”

The senator, who has held his current office since 1999, made it clear that Fort Drum would remain operable, despite potential military cuts at the federal level in the future.

“Fort Drum is suited for the 21st Century,” Schumer said. “The 10th Mountain Division, the kind of soldiers, light infantry that we have there are what’s needed more and more.”

He added, “Even if there were military cuts, it would not affect Fort Drum.”

As more proposed housing developments are being eyed, including Creek Wood Apartments and Neighbors of Watertown’s 18-19 family housing area at the former Ogilvie Food site, Schumer said he would “hope to” work with federal authorities to find additional housing for when all Fort Drum brigades are expected to return in 2012.

“We have people who have to live, you know, 50 miles away to find housing they can afford in Oswego, even in Syracuse,” he said. “What I hope to do is get all of the federal authorities who are involved with this- both on the defense side and the civilian side- to come up with new ideas and programs to help us."

Schumer said he plans to begin his next term with two ideas in mind: “My focus the next six years will be like a laser on jobs and the middle class,” Schumer said.

While mentioning a co-sponsored bill with Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Schumer said he expects to create more jobs by its payroll tax breaks for newly-hired employees.

“We passed a law that said any employer, whether it’s a small employer like people here at The Crystal, or a larger employer hire somebody who’s been unemployed, they don’t have to pay the payroll tax for a year,” Schumer said. “We have to get that extended for next year.”

Schumer also blamed China for a loss of “thousands” U.S. manufacturing jobs, claiming the country “doesn’t play fair.”

“By manipulating their currency, China makes it impossible for us to compete,” he said. “That is unfair and it’s got to stop.”

The senior senator said the U.S. Senate would begin work on a bill Monday, Nov. 29, to regulate China’s “manipulating” of currency.

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