Rep. Southerland's Voting Record Draws Concerns

By  | 

PANAMA CITY - Former Democratic congressional candidate Alvin Peters is talking about the thousands of jobs at the new General Dynamics call center in Lynn Haven.

Thursday afternoon Peters told the Democratic Women's Club of Bay County that the call center's main task right now is helping people through the open enrollment process.

Had Republicans been successful in de-funding Obamacare, Peters claims those jobs could be lost and he's blaming local Congressman Steve Southerland.

"He has voted repeatedly to cancel Obamacare and those jobs are now busy handling Obamacare applications," said Alvin Peters, a Bay County resident.

Ironically Southerland is in Washington in-part because of Obamacare and the call center's past.

The original Affordable Healthcare Act included an amendment that essentially shutdown Sallie Mae's student loan calling center, costing the area about 800 jobs.

Because of that, voters kicked Democrat Alan Boyd out of office in 2010, and elected Southerland.

Now Democrats are accusing Southerland of putting call center jobs in jeopardy again.

Southerland issued a statement Thursday, saying he's been fighting hard to protect local jobs, and believes government-run healthcare will destroy the job market.

Obamacare opponents claim it will place an extreme burden on small business owners, but supporters don't see it that way.

"Hopefully it works, but let's not suffocate it in the cradle and let's not tell those 1400 people in Lynn Haven and Bay County that they are unemployed," said Peters.

Tea Party leaders in Congress say they're not going to give up the fight to repeal or de-fund Obamacare.