Archive for the ‘Saxby Chambliss’ Category

Johnny Isakson a sudden insider in the debt-ceiling debate

For the last 18 months, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss has served as Georgia’s lead voice when it comes to the debate over the federal government’s finances – the Gang of Six and all that.

But that may have just changed.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. AJC file

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. AJC file

Committee assignments have just come out, and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is a new member of the Senate Finance Committee – which will serve as that chamber’s venue for debate over the debt ceiling, all revenue issues, plus health care programs under Social Security and Medicare.

All are issues left untouched by this week’s “fiscal cliff” deal – which both Isakson and Chambliss supported.

Lord knows why, but Isakson, who often touts his 33 years of experience in real estate, had pursued the spot. “I am absolutely thrilled to serve on the Senate Finance Committee, and I thank Leader Mitch McConnell for allowing me the opportunity,” the junior senator said in a press release.

You’ll recall that in 2011, Isakson had a chance at a …

Continue reading Johnny Isakson a sudden insider in the debt-ceiling debate »

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 for incomes exceeding $400,000 …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: In Georgia, congressional Republicans split »

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 …

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

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 …

Continue reading Your Daily Jolt: Close to a fiscal cliff deal? »

Broun: ‘This is not about a race in 2014′

Until he gives a firm yes or no, this is what Athens Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s life is going to be like: The first question at a Capitol Hill news conference this afternoon — from National Review’s Robert Costa, who is basically on the Georgia beat these days — was to Broun, asking if he would run a primary against U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss if Chambliss votes to raise taxes in a fiscal cliff deal.

Rep. Paul Broun at a TeaParty.net press conference (AJC/Daniel Malloy)

Rep. Paul Broun at a TeaParty.net press conference (AJC/Daniel Malloy)

“This is not about a race in 2014. This is about the next two weeks. This is about the petitions that are signed here,” said Broun, gesturing toward 160,000 artfully stacked petitions asking lawmakers not to break the no-new-taxes pledge.  “I will not cave in. I am going to vote against raising taxes on anyone. Period. So not looking forward to any particular race. This is all about just what makes sense financially for your children and your grandchildren’s future.”

This of course is a more definitive …

Continue reading Broun: ‘This is not about a race in 2014′ »

Chambliss campaign manager’s thoughts on Deal: “Nothing”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., (right) with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2011. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., (right) with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2011. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By Daniel Malloy

The long-time campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said today that all the hullabaloo around a potential primary race has been “a real net positive” for Chambliss, dismissed the “rumors” and “rumblings” about a big-name primary challenger as nothing more and said the senator is focused on his day job.

I asked Tom Perdue over the phone what he thought of Gov. Nathan Deal’s comment last week that “it’s way too early to be picking winners and losers” in a Chambliss primary. Perdue replied: “Nothing.”

Frosty is an understatement to describe the relationship between Perdue and Team Deal since Perdue said Deal should drop out of the 2010 governor’s race following revelations about Deal’s financial troubles. Charlie Harper of Peach Pundit pointed out that Perdue’s public appearance with Chambliss at a politically fraught Cobb County GOP breakfast Dec. 1 likely …

Continue reading Chambliss campaign manager’s thoughts on Deal: “Nothing” »

Your Daily Jolt: Deal tells legislators money is tight

Closing out the biennial pre-session meeting of state lawmakers in Athens, Gov. Nathan Deal laid out the not-so-pretty picture for state finances. From Walter C. Jones at Morris News Service:

In years past, governors have used their luncheon speech to outline ambitious agendas.

Deal, though, used the occasion to dampen expectations.

“I must tell you it is a rather daunting budget this year. We have some challenges,” he said.

The looming federal budget cuts would offer another blow to Georgia’s budget-writers, and there is little sign of progress toward altering or averting them in any way. President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner apparently traded offers Tuesday that did little to move the ball.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is one new aspect to the closed-door negotiations: Corporate tax reform.

***

The key excerpt from the dead tree version of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s announcement that he backs gay marriage:

Reed is running for re-election next …

Continue reading Your Daily Jolt: Deal tells legislators money is tight »

Poll debunks N.C. senator’s proclaimed peanut superiority

Then-Rep. Jim Marshall, Rep. Jack Kingston and Sen. Johnny Isakson, victorious in the Great American Peanut debate (Courtesy: Georgia Peanut Commission)

Then-Rep. Jim Marshall, Rep. Jack Kingston and Sen. Johnny Isakson, victorious in the Great American Peanut debate (Courtesy: Georgia Peanut Commission)

At the U.S. Senate Secret Santa swap on Monday, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., presented Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., with three jars of peanuts from Bertie County, North Carolina. The Allentown (PA) Morning Call’s ace Washington reporter Colby Itkowitz found this strange and followed up with Hagan’s office, noting Georgia was better known for peanuts.

“Clearly North Carolina has the best peanuts in the country,” Hagan press secretary Chris Moyer told Itkowitz.

Them’s fightin’ words.

Walk into any Georgia Congressional office and you’ll be offered a bag of Georgia Peanuts and a Coke. This is a state that takes its legumes seriously.

When asked for a rebuttal, Lauren Claffey, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss — who’s from Moultrie, where they know peanuts — responded with data. A poll conducted by Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call

Continue reading Poll debunks N.C. senator’s proclaimed peanut superiority »

Your daily jolt: Tom Price for Speaker?

Good morning from inside the Beltway. I’m Daniel Malloy, the DC Correspondent for the AJC and your Insider guest pilot for the next three weeks (or at least until the fiscal cliff drama ends). Galloway handed over the keys reluctantly and made me promise not to scuff it while he’s gone. I’ll do my best. Please send news tips, gripes and corrections to dmalloy@ajc.com.

We begin with a piece from National Review Online’s Robert Costa, impeccably well-sourced in Republican circles, positing a run by Roswell’s own Rep. Tom Price for Speaker of the House if there is a conservative revolt against John Boehner over the fiscal cliff negotiations:

“Price is the person we’re all watching,” says an aide close to House leadership. “We know he’s frustrated, but we don’t know much else.”

In an interview with National Review Online, Price won’t speculate about his future, but he acknowledges his growing uneasiness. “My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Tom Price for Speaker? »

PPP survey: 42% of Ga. Republicans would secede, Nathan Deal job approval at 37%

After declaring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss “theoretically vulnerable” this week, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina has run out the rest of its Georgia poll, with these highlights:

– Apparently bruised by bitter campaigns over transportation (lost) and charter schools (won), Gov. Nathan Deal’s job approval rating stands at 37 percent among voters – one reason why Deal, moving into his crucial third year as governor, needs a smooth and productive legislative session in January.

The PPP survey declares Deal to be vulnerable if Democrats are able to muster the right candidate in 2014 – a very large “if.” Some hypothetical match-ups: U.S. Rep. John Barrow, 44/40; Kasim Reed (never happen), 47/40; State Sen. Jason Carter, 46/38.

– Likewise, the fiscal cliff debate may be taking its toll on U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, whose approval rating also stands at 37 percent. But he isn’t up for re-election until 2016.

– Former President Jimmy Carter approve/disapprove rating stands at …

Continue reading PPP survey: 42% of Ga. Republicans would secede, Nathan Deal job approval at 37% »