On Tuesday, the U.S. House gave final approval to a $5.7 billion bill that would encourage volunteers and other forms of public service.
The measure triples the number of positions in the Clinton-era AmeriCorps program, its largest expansion since the agency’s creation in 1993, and establishes a fund to help nonprofit organizations recruit and manage more volunteers.
As mentioned in yesterday’s’ post few conservative groups have condemned it as encouraging “statism.”
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss voted for the measure last week. But in the House, the Georgia delegation was thoroughly split along party lines.
Democrats John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, Jim Marshall, and David Scott all voted yes.
Republicans Paul Broun, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, John Linder, and Tom Price voted no. Lynn Westmoreland was absent.
There is an informal rule among Georgia Republicans in Washington. If they disagree on a topic, they ignore the issue and move on.
Though quick to brag about other votes, not a single House Republican has issued a press release on Tuesday’s national service bill.
Another sign that Republicans aren’t on the same page: In the state Capitol, on its 39th day, H.B. 493, a measure to create a Georgia Youth Conservation Corps, still lives. The lead sponsor is state Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta). But other sponsors include House Speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek), Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island) and state Rep. Larry O’Neal (R-Bonaire).
Other items of interest, found while perusing ajc.com this morning:
Budget cuts cause Fulton inmates to be released before trials. Cash-strapped Atlanta eyes $10 million a year in sales tax cash from DeKalb. Oxendine cries politics over plan to shift consumer division. How Senate, House bills would affect transportation. Creative Loafing’s owner retains control of papers. Posthumous publication of a book that looks at the power struggle between UGA President Michael Adams and football legend Vince Dooley.
Jerry Gonzalez on the inhospitable drivers license bill. Wendell Willard and Stacey Abrams on the demands of the billboard industry in Georgia.
Elsewhere in Georgia:
MT: Lucid Idiocy writes that House Republicans will give Democrats one more shot at H.R. 1, which calls for a statewide referendum to add annual limits in property value reassessments.
And the nation:
NPR: Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens’ conviction to be voided. POLITICO: No winner in New York District 20 race yet, but GOP is the clear loser. WSJ:Facing a tough Washington climate, abortion foes move debate online. WP: High court to weigh relevance of Voting Rights Act in the Obama era.
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