Archive for the ‘Rob Woodall’ Category

Your daily jolt: In Georgia, congressional Republicans split

Each of Georgia’s House Republicans on Tuesday voted to reject the Senate-passed measure to defuse the “fiscal cliff” debacle – highlighting the “yes” votes cast a day earlier by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

Within the delegation, as a matter of courtesy, such splits rarely receive a public mention. But according to Slate, protocol was almost violated after a House GOP caucus meeting, when alternative legislation was still being pondered:

After he left the room, Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston joked that the deal passed only because “it was way past those senators’ bedtimes and they had blurry eyes when they were reading” it. House Republicans? Why, they were “trying to fill in the gaps they might have missed.”

The reply that Isakson and Chambliss can’t make, but would like to: “We don’t have the luxury of designer districts to guarantee our re-election.”

The bill would boost the top 35 percent income tax rate to nearly 40 percent …

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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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House Republicans balk at cliff deal

U.S. House Republicans emerged from a lengthy caucus meeting this afternoon declaring their opposition to the “fiscal cliff” deal that hastily passed the Senate overnight with an 89-8 vote. After hearing a festivus-style airing of grievances against the deal — struck by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — House leaders are still trying to figure out what to do with it. Many Republicans want to amend it to include more spending cuts.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said: “The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting. Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward.”

Lawrenceville Republican Rep. Rob Woodall was walking the halls clutching a report from the Congressional Budget Office that illustrated members’ concerns. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the deal would add $3.97 trillion to budget deficits in the next …

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Boehner whipping Georgians on ‘Plan B’

As Georgia Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston and Paul Broun sat together on the House floor during a vote this evening, House Speaker John Boehner plopped down in the row behind them and gave them an earful. Boehner, viewed by this reporter through a door a few yards away, appeared pretty intense.

House Speaker John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

John Boehner in June (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Gingrey said the Speaker was making “strong arguments” in favor of his “Plan B” on the fiscal cliff negotiations — a floor vote tentatively scheduled for Thursday to maintain the marginal income tax rates for earnings $1 million and less, as well as the estate tax rates.

“The Speaker feels very, very confident if we don’t do this it’s going to end up at the 250 mark [raising taxes on income above $250,000]. … He said that’s what his great fear is,” Gingrey said.

Still, the Republican from Marietta is unsure about voting effectively to allow some taxes to rise. “My powder’s dry,” Gingrey said.

Several Republican members of …

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Your Daily Jolt: Close to a fiscal cliff deal?

With Christmas one week from today, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner appear to be nearing a fiscal cliff deal. Some details from the Associated Press:

[Obama offered] to drop his long-held insistence that taxes rise on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000. He is now offering a new threshold of $400,000 and lowering his 10-year tax revenue goals from the $1.6 trillion he had argued for a few weeks ago.Obama’s move follows concessions by Boehner on higher tax rates for the wealthy.

In the new proposal, Obama abandoned his demand for permanent borrowing authority. Instead, he is now asking for a new debt limit that would last two years, putting its renewal beyond the politics of a 2014 midterm election.

And in a move sure to create heartburn among some congressional Democrats, Obama is proposing lower cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries, employing an inflation index that would have …

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Your daily jolt: White House warns that ‘fiscal cliff’ fears could freeze Christmas spending

As the country’s tryptophan high wears off, the sobering debate over the fiscal cliff begins. From the Associated Press:

White House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial holiday shopping season.

In a new report that coincides with Congress’ return after the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House says that if lawmakers don’t halt the automatic increase in taxes for households earning less than $250,000, consumers might even curtail their shopping during the current holiday season.

“As we approach the holiday season, which accounts for close to one-fifth of industry sales, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families,” the report says.

The study by President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council and his Council of Economic Advisers also says a sudden increase in taxes for middle-income …

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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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Putting the focus on cuts to Georgia’s military bases

We started the day with an item about U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss calling for one of three presidential debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to focus on a solution to the $16 trillion federal deficit – and recommendations by the Simpson-Bowles Commission to address it.

Chambliss will have to walk a fine line in the next few days, however. My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy says the senator is about to embark on a campaign to shield Georgia from some serious mandatory defense cuts, with an eight-stop tour of military bases:

And lest anyone accuse the Republican Chambliss of politicking – he’s even inviting Democrats.

Albany Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop will join Chambliss at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and at Fort Benning in Columbus on Monday. Later in the month, Augusta Democratic Rep. John Barrow will snag some bipartisan cred in the midst of a tough election year by joining Chambliss at Fort Gordon.

The other stops will be Marietta, Warner Robins, …

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Rick Santorum and the pursuit of happiness

Rick Santorum addresses a overflow crowd of more than 2,300 during a rally at First Redeemer Church, Cumming on Sunday.  Curtis Compton, compton@ajc.com

Rick Santorum addresses a overflow crowd of more than 2,300 during a rally at First Redeemer Church, Cumming on Sunday. Curtis Compton, compton@ajc.com

Cumming, Ga. — The rise of Rick Santorum and the return of social conservatism to the Republican presidential primary is an economic indicator that bodes well for most of the country, though perhaps not for Mitt Romney.

We’ll get to that in a minute. But first a few details from First Redeemer Church, where on Sunday night, Santorum addressed, for 70 minutes, an overflow crowd of 3,300 or so. If Santorum makes a big move in Georgia on Super Tuesday, people will point to this church meeting as the place where it started.

The crowd was littered with Republican activists – always a sign of whether a campaign is poised to take off.

Among those who were there: Tim Echols, chairman of the Public Service Commission, who acted as MC; Chuck Eaton, member of the PSC; Ralph Hudgens, state insurance commissioner; state Sens. David …

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Rob Woodall: ‘South Carolina can persuade me to support Mitt Romney’

This morning, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, was talking about GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and New Hampshire with Tim Bryant of WGAU (1340AM) in Athens.

The import of Woodall’s remarks might be lost if you don’t remember that he was once chief of staff for congressman John Linder – who was one of Newt Gingrich’s top lieutenants during his tenure as U.S. House speaker.

Bryant began the conversation by asking Woodall whether Romney was conservative enough for him. Said the rookie congressman:

“The short answer is no. The longer answer is, he had to build a record in Massachusetts. And you’re not going to find anyone who built a record in Massachusetts who’s conservative enough for me.

“I appreciate folks who listen to their constituents, and I believe that Mitt Romney was listening to his constituents during his time there. That’s why South Carolina is so important to me. Those folks think a lot like I think.

“And if Mitt Romney can come down to …

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