Local congressman eager for Trump’s rebuilding plans in address

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Hours ahead of President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday at 9 p.m., Valley Congressman Bill Johnson says he wants to hear about rebuilding America.

“We’ve got roads, bridges, energy infrastructure that needs to be built out,” Johnson told WKBN Tuesday. “Broadband internet connectivity — that’s part of infrastructure.”

Rep. Johnson spoke through FaceTime about Trump’s plans to spend another $54 billion on defense — which Johnson calls just a starting point.

“We’ve got a long way to go to make up for the neglect,” Johnson said. “And the draw down that has over the last eight years.”

Specifically, Johnson would like to see the Department of Defense find ways to make more use of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna. He wants efforts to go beyond eventually replacing the fleet of C-130s assigned there now.

“Look at the runway capacity. Look at the hanger capacity. Look at the workforce that is already developed there,” Johnson said. “And we need to look at how other missions can be located there.”

As far as coming up with the money needed to buy new C-130 models — which could cost a half-billion dollars just to replace the eight planes now stationed at the 910th — it could take some negotiation and isn’t likely to happen right away.

“We’ve got to have a number that we’re going to get support in the Senate as well,” Johnson said. “So it’s going to be a process. We’re not going to get all of it at one time.”

WYTV will speak again with Johnson this evening after the president’s address. You can hear those comments tonight on 33 WYTV News at 11.