"Vote 2006" 2nd Congressional District Race Part Two

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Gas prices may be low right now, but the question on everyone's mind is how long will it be before they're back on the rise. Also what can be done to stop them from heading in the upward direction?

Both Republican Rep. Ron Lewis, and his Democratic opponent, Mike Weaver think the United States needs to cut our dependence on foreign oil in order to solve the gas price problem.

"I am just as tired as anyone else of being used and abused by OPEC and by international oil companies," Lewis said. "We need to get to be self sufficient and let me say this, this would go a long way to winning the war on terror."

"I think this new Congress needs to look at that and say, how can we keep them at that level. And I also think, you have to look forward to the day when we are not going to have anymore fossil fuels, not a renewable source," Weaver said.

Another concern on the minds of a lot of voters is homeland security. Five years after Sept. 11 how safe is the United States from another terrorist attack? Lewis believes the country is showing real strides in homeland security, but more can always be done.

"I think going five years out from Sept.11 without another attack on the United States is a pretty good success story. Now does that mean we're safe tomorrow or next year or next month as been said many times we have to be right 100 percent of the time all they have to be able to do is slip through one time," Lewis said.

Weaver said our safety at home should always be a top priority, because there are still a lot of unprotected areas along our border.

"Our border is pretty open and you may have on any given day at any point, 250 people trying to cross that border. And possibly 249 of them are just looking for a job, looking for a better way of life. But if you have one of the 250 that intends to do us harm then our border is too porous and we need to do something about it," Weaver said.

And yet another question on the minds of voters is what should the United States do about the 249 immigrants who are a part of the 12 million immigrants working in the United States illegally. Lewis said a guest worker program that allows them work legally is a popular idea.

"That solves the problem of who stays and who goes, if you don't have that card and the employer knows," Lewis said. "If they have someone working who is illegal that their business could be ruined, then those who are here and they don't have that card will go home."

And what about the 12 million that are already here?

"And I take you back to Katrina when we had about 100,000 people who wanted to get out of New Orleans, and they wanted to leave and we couldn't get them out in time. Does anybody in their right mind think we can move 12 million people out of this country who came here for a job, some paid to get here and you think you could get them to leave voluntarily," Weaver said.

In addition to cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, both Lewis and Weaver said the United States needs to put more emphasis on alternative fuel sources such as ethanol.