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U.S. Senator Stabenow holds meet-and-greet

 

Miranda Anderson/Daily Globe

U.S. SEN. Debbie Stabenow speaks at a meet-and-greet event at the the Ironwood Memorial Building Sunday afternoon.

IRONWOOD - U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow held a meet and greet at the Ironwood Memorial Building Sunday afternoon.

Stabenow, a Democrat, is not up for reelection in Michigan until 2018, but decided to make a stop in Ironwood to meet with community members to discuss different political topics.

Around 25 people attended the event, including Ironwood mayor Kim Corcoran, city manager Scott Erickson and Wakefield city manager Margot Rusinek.

During the event, Stabenow commented on a variety of topics, including the status of the middle class in America, bringing jobs back to the U.S. and health care.

Stabenow said having a middle class in the U.S ., is an "essential challenge." She also spoke about her work on the Bring Jobs Home Act, which is intended to support bringing jobs back from overseas.

The act was unable to get a super majority vote in the Senate, but Stabenow plans to bring the bill back in September for a vote.

During the event, she also discussed the need for increased veterans' health care funding with the crowd.

"We need more doctors; we need more nurses; we need more resources and different kinds of resources," Stabenow said, referring specifically to mental health care.

Stabenow also mentioned a recently passed bill for short-term transportation funding through the month of May to help alleviate the need for transportation funding in the U.S. The goal is to "figure something out longer term," she said.

Another topic of discussion was the recent cuts within the U.S. Postal Service, specifically a proposal to close three mail processing services in Michigan.

For Stabenow, it's something she couldn't have imagined.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams we'd be fighting to keep the post office," Stabenow said. "But we are."

With Michigan in the top 10 percent of the country in student loan debt, Stabenow commented on her plan to help alleviate the debt issue by allowing students to refinance their loans.

She said the weighing student loan debt across the country is a "real drag on our economy."

In addition, Stabenow also commented on retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, also a Democrat from Michigan. Levin served 35 years in the senate.

"We should all be grateful he was willing to serve as long as he did," Stabenow said.

As for Levin's replacement, Stabenow is "strongly supporting" Democrat Gary Peters, a former U.S. Representative. Peters is running against Republican Terri Lynn Land, a former Michigan Secretary of State, during the Nov. 4 election.