First on 3: Extended interview with Rep. Drew Ferguson


COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Congressman Drew Ferguson is in Columbus today for a Lockheed Martin cockpit demonstration at Pratt and Whitney, but before the morning event, Rep. Ferguson came by the News 3 studios for a special interview.

The Congressman gave an update on the upcoming elections, legislation he’s working on with Rep. Sanford Bishop, and the Ralston Towers’ ongoing difficulties and actions with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Since his start in Congress, Ferguson has shown himself as ready, willing, and able to work across the aisle with his democratic colleague Sanford Bishop.

“It is absolutely deplorable, what our fellow Americans are living in right now,” Ferguson said, “and the people that own these towers, they should be ashsamed of themselves…Sanford and I recognize this problem together. We have been trying to work on it from a federal standpoint, trying to make sure that the basic services are there.”

The two Congressmen are in a review process with HUD, according to Ferguson, and both representatives are working to ensure every resident has “a decent place to live,” through this issue.

In a bipartisan effort, the congressmen are both “committed to making sure that this doesn’t happen again. We’ve seen that there are some real problems with the private owners, but there are also a lot of problems with HUD. Why has HUD not been inspecting these properties? Because if they had been doing it accurately, they wouldn’t have let it get to this position.”

The ongoing issues at the Ralston are just one of many initiatives that Ferguson and Bishop have worked on together.

“We both wanna see this West Georgia area and Columbus succeed. We’re very committed to our fellow Americans and fellow Georgians that are here,” Ferguson said, “We have been working in a very bipartisan way on issues that directly affect this district. If you look at the work we’ve done on Ralston Towers, the work we’ve both put in to make sure that our agricultural community and farmers in South Georgia got the resources they needed after Hurricane Michael, and doing something like today where we’re both going to be involved in talking about the F-35 fighter and the effect it’s going to have on Pratt and Whitney.”

Ferguson also provided some insights into how his community views the policies coming out of Washington D.C., such as the recent executive order by President Trump to help disabled veterans handle student loan debt.

“I’m always amazed at the courage and commitment that our men and women make to go defend our nation around the world. When they go over seas or whether they’re here and they’re defending our country and they’re disabled, we owe them everything,” Ferguson said. “We owe them our freedom, and the fact that the President was willing to stand up and sign an executive order giving them a benefit that, quite candidly, that I think we can all get behind. Any time that you can take a veteran that has served this country, that has been disabled, and they can become a productive part of this community through education using their expertise and experiences in the military…we’re all for it.”

Overall, Ferguson says things are improving.

“Those in the bottom half of the income spectrum, their wages are rising faster than anyone else’s, they feel – quite candidly – safer from a national security perspective. They know that ISIS has been defeated, that the military is stronger, they want to go about their daily lives,” Ferguson said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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