Archive for the ‘Hank Johnson’ Category

Debt-ceiling measure clears; Phil Gingrey shifts to ‘no’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House this afternoon passed a measure to put off hitting the nation’s borrowing limit until May 18. More background from today’s paper is here.

Most of Georgia’s delegation supported the proposal — which also withholds senators’ paychecks after April 15 if they do not pass a budget — with the following members voting no (full results here): Democrats John Barrow of Augusta and Hank Johnson of DeKalb County; Republicans Paul Broun of Athens, Doug Collins of Gainesville and Phil Gingrey of Marietta.

Gingrey’s position on the matter has shifted in the last couple of days. At the Georgia Society gala in Washington on Sunday night, he told the AJC, “I think it’s a good plan,” and described the wisdom in his eyes of “resequencing” fiscal fights – putting March’s across-the-board “sequester” cuts and expiration of federal funding for the year ahead of the debt ceiling deadline. He added, in reference to the no-budget-no-pay part of the bill: …

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Paul Broun on Saxby Chambliss challenge: ‘How can you not think about it?’

However coyly, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, this morning admitted he’s thinking about a 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

“I don’t know. I’m honored that a lot of people are asking me to run. I’ve not made that decision,” Broun told Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens. “It’s not time to think about it.”

But when Bryant pressed him, Broun said this: “When people encourage you to run, how can you not think about it?”

Part of keeping the powder dry: Broun said he’ll oppose the new House resolution that postpones a confrontation over the debt ceiling until May.

The Athens congressman, who proudly boycotted the 2008 presidential inauguration, didn’t go to this one, either. “I had a lot of folks who wanted my tickets, so I didn’t go,” the congressman said.

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So now we see why the organizers of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration were so anxious to be shed of the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta – who was originally …

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Hank Johnson: NRA has “invoked racist sensitivities”

The big news in Washington today is President Barack Obama’s roll-out of executive orders and proposed Congressional actions in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre last month.

The proposals are being met with an aggressive counterattack from the National Rifle Association, which called Obama a hypocrite for not calling for armed guards in all schools when his own daughters are protected by armed guards at all times. That being the Secret Service. Here’s the ad:

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, didn’t like this one bit. In a conversation with Your Washington Correspondent today, Johnson said the NRA’s opposition to the Obama proposals — read them all here — is personal and, in part, racially motivated. Said Johnson:

“They are a tool of the free enterprise system and they, like many of their philosophical friends, don’t want any regulations on anything, and they don’t want the federal government to be involved in any area other than the defense of the nation …

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Fiscal cliff deal passes House; Ga. GOP’ers vote no

Crisis averted. Let the countdown to the next crisis begin.

After a day of remarkable swings, House Republican leaders folded and brought to the floor a bill they knew they needed Democrats to pass. The final tally was 257-167, with 172 Democrats joining 85 Republicans in favor. This broke House Speaker John Boehner’s practice (named for ex-Speaker Denny Hastert) that bills must pass with “the majority of the majority.” It will be interesting to see whether conservative members’ ire remains focused on the Senate or whether it will shift to Boehner with the Speaker’s re-election coming up on Thursday.

Georgia Republicans lined up unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act: Reps. Tom Price of Roswell, Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Paul Broun of Athens, Austin Scott of Tifton and Tom Graves of Ranger all voted no.

That’s a major break from the state’s Republican senators — Johnny …

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Hank Johnson’s mea culpa on the ‘m-word’

DeKalb County Democratic U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson sought to register his indignation on the new right-to-work law in Michigan, so he strode to the floor of the House on Wednesday to make a grand metaphor about labor unions in a half-hour speech.

“What happens when you put in a cage fight a giant in with a midget? Well, the midget will not win the fight, I’m going to tell you that. Why? It just doesn’t carry enough weight to do so. But if you put 30 midgets in with that giant, then the midgets have a chance.”

That’s why America needs organized labor, see? Because the midgets need to team up and collectively bargain, or fight the giant.

But Johnson realized today that he might have insulted some people, so he returned to the floor for an apology. The video is not embeddable yet but can be found here. Johnson compared the formally common use of the “n-word” to that of the “m-word:”

“Just within the last 12 hours or so, I have found that the use of the midget, excuse me, the use of …

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Your morning jolt: Apply charter campaign restrictions to governor, Dems say

Suddenly, the hottest debate in Georgia is over who can say what about charter schools and the November ballot issue.

We told you yesterday about the Glenn Delk lawsuit against the state’s 180 school districts, demanding that a Fulton County judge order public school officials into silence – at least during school hours. See the lawsuit here.

The court petition leans a great deal on a letter of guidance issued by Attorney General Sam Olens to state School Superintendent John Barge last week, reminding those same school systems that public resources aren’t to be used on either side of the argument. Barge, for instance, removed notice of his opposition to the charter school amendment.

Democrats have now demanded that Olens apply the same measure to Gov. Nathan Deal, an advocate of the proposed constitutional amendment to give the state another avenue through which to create charter schools – over the objections of local systems.

From a letter sent to Olens by Mike …

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4th District GOP race: Who’s a Republican, and who isn’t?

My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon says the GOP primary race for the 4th Congressional District is starting to get a little nasty. He sends this report:

In an interview this week, businessman Greg Pallen pointed to a 16-year-old Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed by his opponent, Chris Vaughn.

“How does he expect the American people to put him in office and manage the financial and fiscal issues that he is going to need to manage when he can’t even manage his own fiscal and financial responsibilities?” said Pallen, 43, a businessman from Oxford.

Vaughn said his family has since “rebuilt our life and rebuilt our credit.”

“We took a couple of major hits – and a very hard season in our life,” he said. “We had a family member who was very sick and [we] made some changes to help them and never could catch up.”
Meanwhile, Pallen complained about a postcard that Vaughn’s campaign has been distributing. The card aimed at GOP primary voters declares that Vaughn is “the only …

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John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Common Cause file lawsuit challenging Senate filibuster

My AJC colleague Bill Rankin has sent this copy of a just-filed federal lawsuit challenging the use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Plaintiffs include the watchdog group Common Cause and three members of the U.S. House – including Democrats John Lewis and Hank Johnson of Georgia.

Other plaintiffs include three children of illegal immigrants living in the United States, who would benefit from passage of the DREAM Act – which would allow them to gain citizenship after going through college or serving in the military. The legislation has been blocked by the Senate requirement of 60 votes to begin or end debate in the Senate.

The lead defendant named in the suit is Vice President Joe Biden, who formally presides over the Senate.

Read the suit here. A small taste:

Both political parties have used [the filibuster] when they were in the minority in the Senate to prevent legislation and appointments proposed by the opposing party from being debated or voted on by the …

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Your morning jolt: Joe Biden is fifth Obama rep to visit Georgia in 10 days

Vice President Joe Biden, whose weekend thoughts on gay marriage – he’s comfortable with the idea – are still reverberating, comes to Atlanta this evening for a fund-raiser.

The vice president will spend the night here, and on Tuesday will address a national rabbinical assembly. Given the visit, a well-placed Republican we know ticked off the following:

– Ten days ago, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast;

– Last Friday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke to troops at Fort Benning near Columbus;

– And on Saturday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed graduates of Albany State.

Add those appearances up, says my Republican friend, and you begin to wonder if Obama’s re-elect machine may be casting an eye this way.

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According to Eric Tanenblatt, the chair of Romney’s fundraising effort in Georgia, Ann Romney will appear at a reception Thursday at Sea Island’s Ocean Forest Club, a gated golf …

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Your morning jolt: President Obama headed to Fort Stewart

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will visit Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast this Friday, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s office confirmed this morning. We’ve got a call into the base for details.

But the Savannah Morning News offers this from Chris Crawford, Kingston’s spokesman:

“The congressman is glad the president’s coming,” Crawford said. “It’s a great chance to show off the facility and its suitability for additional missions.”

A major launch pad for U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army installation had been considered as the site for up to two more Army brigades, Crawford said. But mostly for budgetary reasons, that never happened, Crawford said.

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He may have been cleared by the Secret Service, but Ted Nugent now has a problem with Army commanders at Fort Knox in Kentucky, which has cancelled the aging rocker’s June 23 appearance. From USA Today:

“After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public …

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