Archive for the ‘Tom Price’ Category

Your daily jolt: If Saxby Chambliss is frustrated with Washington, what do his BFFs think?

Neither the transcript nor the video is available as I write this, but on NBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Sunday, Chuck Todd noted one of the many implications of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ decision not to run for a third term.

One of Chambliss’ best friends in Washington, Todd noted, is House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. If Chambliss is frustrated enough to abandon Washington, Boehner may be, too.

There’s another leg to that stool. Chambliss’ other BFF in Washington is U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. The two have been together since their halcyon days at the University of Georgia in Athens. (Where Chambliss will appear today with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.)

Isakson has already declared himself a certainty to run for re-election in 2016. “Absolutely,” said one aide last night. But the man who will soon become Georgia’s senior senator has also just been named to the Senate Finance Committee, which will be at the center of any further negotiations over …

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A broken Washington finally grinds down Saxby Chambliss

A scandalous photo wended its way through Washington last week, documenting a furtive-looking meeting at a dark Capitol Hill bar in Washington.

In the photograph, U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mark Warner of Virginia, one Republican and one Democrat, are engaged in close conversation. Possibly, theirs was yet another bipartisan discussion of D.C.’s terrible fiscal condition. They’ve been beating that drum for the better part of two years – to little effect.


Perhaps Chambliss was chewing over his decision to throw in the towel. According to the time stamp, the photo at The Monocle was snapped on Wednesday, 48 hours before he pulled the plug on a 19-year career in Congress and a third term in the U.S. Senate.

The sight of a Republican and Democrat engaged in civil discourse has become so rare that the moment — like two threatened pandas in a zoo — was worth capturing. In itself, that’s proof that Washington has become an incredibly sick place. A …

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Let the Senate race polling begin

WASHINGTON – Astute reader Jacob Hawkins of Cartersville already got an automated phone poll on the newly open Senate seat, designed to target Republicans — and seemingly to test a crossover candidate.

The poll starts by asking for preference among the following GOP names: U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Herman Cain, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, U.S. Rep. Tom Price and U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

The poll then asks if the caller would “be willing to contribute financially to your candidate.” Then: “If your candidate does not win the primary election, for which of the following potential Democratic candidates would you most consider voting for in the general election?”

The Dems listed are state Rep. Stacey Abrams, former Attorney General Thurbert Baker, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, state Sen. Jason Carter, former Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond, former state Rep. DuBose Porter and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Our friends …

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U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss: Frustration with Washington drove him out

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the leader of a bipartisan effort to address the federal deficit, this morning pointed to gridlock in Washington for his decision not to seek a third term in 2014.

A statement just released by his office includes this:

“I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election. In these difficult political times, I am fortunate to have actually broadened my support around the state and the nation due to the stances I have taken.

“Instead, this is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health. The debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal-cliff vote showed Congress at its worst and, sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon. For our nation to be strong, for our country to prosper, we cannot continue to play …

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Tom Graves: Women in combat ‘on par with reality’

For the second time this week, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, has surprised us with a move that seems downright, well, centrist.

On Wednesday, Graves, one of Georgia’s most conservative members of Congress, voted with House Republican leadership to put off another confrontation with the White House over the federal debt ceiling. It was something that many of his colleagues – Democrats John Barrow and Hank Johnson, Republicans Paul Broun, Doug Collins and Phil Gingrey – couldn’t bring themselves to do.

Then we have the lifting of the Pentagon ban on women in combat, signed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta this morning.

Some Republican reaction has been predictable. “Putting women in combat situations is the latest in a series of moves where political correctness and liberal social policy have trumped sound military practice,” GOP strategist Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said in a Newsmax interview.

Former Florida congressman Allen …

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Your daily jolt: Gingrey open to limits on mag clips, says Todd Akin was ‘partly right’

Schmoozing with constituents in Smyrna on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, had already made news when he said that he was open to some new restrictions on firearms. From the first five paragraphs written by Jon Gillooly of the Marietta Daily Journal:

“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice,’ but do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey asked. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.”

Gingrey, who took the time to praise Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace as the gold standard for running a responsible gun retail business, said he is also open to revisions of the so-called gun show loophole.

But then the Marietta congressman decided to wax eloquent on the most egregious Republican misstep of 2012 – the concept of …

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A North-South split surfaces among Republicans in Congress

To understand the depth of the Republican dilemma that continues to brew in Washington, you only needed to listen to two voices last week.

One belonged to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The primal scream he aimed at his fellow Republicans in the 112th Congress, who on their final day refused to take up a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims, rumbled across the right-left spectrum of cable TV news.

Most outlets focused on Christie’s criticism of John Boehner. The House speaker was to face re-election by his GOP caucus the next day. But the New Jersey governor dropped large hints that his real target was the dominating right wing of the House GOP caucus, peopled primarily by Southern conservatives.

“New Jersey and New Yorkers are tired of being treated as second-class citizens,” Christie said. “New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw displayed last night.”

“[The bill] just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House …

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Your daily jolt: A fix for unintended victims of Ga.’s illegal immigration law

State Rep. Dusty Hightower, R-Carrollton, this morning dropped legislation on behalf of Secretary of State Brian Kemp to unclog the processing of half-million professional licenses – unintended victims of Georgia’s illegal immigration statute.

HB 87, passed in 2011, currently requires all license applicants – from nurses to barbers to plumbers – to submit proof of citizenship before new or renewed licenses are granted.

Wait times for licenses have increased five-fold as a result, Kemp says.

HB 32 will only require applicants to submit proof of citizenship only once. A similar measure was attempted last year, but failed when it became wrapped into legislation that would have barred all undocumented students from public universities.

Meanwhile, the state Senate’s newly configured Committee on Assignments today gets down to the business of doling out chairmanships and committee memberships. The biggest prize: Chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee, through which …

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Tom Price: The U.S. House needs ‘red state’ leadership

Hours before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tore into House Speaker John Boehner for pulling the plug on Hurricane Sandy aid, a Georgia congressman was getting his licks in from the GOP right.

U.S. Rep. Tom Price was on WMAL in Washington this morning, a conservative talk-radio station aimed at the D.C. elite, to discuss Tuesday’s House vote on the fiscal cliff.

Price voted against the measure and his speaker – as did every GOP member of the House from Georgia. But Price, who becomes vice-chairman of the House Budget Committee in the next Congress, is undoubtedly the most ambitious member of the Georgia delegation. And Boehner is up for re-election tomorrow.

Listen to Price’s interview in full here:

A truncated transcript follows:

Price: “At the end of the day these kinds of bills are never all good or all bad. My assessment was that it ultimately raised taxes and didn’t decrease any spending. In fact it increased spending.”

WMAL: “You voted against your …

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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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