Palazzo makes Picayune visit

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, December 23, 2010

U.S. Rep.-elect Steven Palazzo visited on Tuesday with local firefighters and state legislators during a lunch at the Italian Grill and Pizzeria, 1702 Hwy. 11 No., Picayune.

The meeting, which began shortly after noon on Tuesday, lasted about an hour and a half, and came after Palazzo drove up from Biloxi where he had just met with Coast chamber members.

State Rep. Mark Formby, who attended the Tuesday noon meeting, said it was “a meeting to let local officials and emergency responders meet our new congressman and discuss some local issues.”

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Palazzo, at the Biloxi meeting, blasted the Democratic lame-duck session now underway just before the new batch of Republicans arrive in early January and assume control of the House.

However, he spoke mostly about local issues at the Italian Grill get-together and not much on national politics, said local officials who attended the meeting.

GOP challenger Palazzo on Nov. 2 defeated incumbent Democrat Gene Taylor, after successfully tying Taylor to House liberals such as Pelosi, although Taylor had a reputation of being a conservative Blue Dog Democrat.

Taylor had served 21 years in the post as a congressman from the fourth district, which includes Pearl River County.

Palazzo will be sworn in on Jan. 5 when the new Congress convenes.

He has already gotten his committee assignments on the Armed Services and the Science and Technology committees in the U.S. House when he takes office on Jan. 5.

Palazzo has said that the committees he has been appointed to are “critical to South Mississippi and the regional economy.”

Palazzo said that the House Armed Services Committee is responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Defense and the armed forces. Palazzo has served in the military since 1988, is a veteran of Desert Storm and re-enlisted last year.

He said the House Science and Technology Committee has jurisdiction over NASA, marine research and science education.

(Reports from the Associated Press were used in compilation of this story.)