- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina legislature’s most powerful senator is leading a charge to demand the U.S. Senate scrutinize closely why his hometown’s brewery is closing soon, causing the direct loss of 500 jobs.

Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden and fellow Rockingham County resident Rep. Bert Jones signed a letter released Monday by Berger’s office to North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis. Tillis is on a subcommittee meeting Tuesday to discuss Anheuser-Busch InBev’s deal to buy SABMiller.

The MillerCoors plant in Eden opened in 1978 and is expected to close next year.

Berger and Jones questioned September’s closing announcement just before merger talks surfaced. They say the merger shouldn’t go through until reasonable steps are taken to protect brewery jobs.

More than 110 additional lawmakers put their names on the letter.

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