The blog.

7
Dec

VIDEO – Rep. Doug Collins: What’s Right is Right

Your Washington – GA 9 – Desk

From Congressman Doug Collins 

What’s Right is Right

Thursday afternoon, we passed H.R. 5759, the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act.  This bill would stop President Obama’s executive action granting legal status to millions of people who broke our immigration laws.

Immigration is an important issue, and this is the time for debate. This is the time for solving problems. President Obama defied the public and the process through his executive actions, and with this bill, the People’s House acted on the People’s will. There’s nothing symbolic or politically motivated about that, and the Congress the American people elected will work on a solution to our immigration problem despite President Obama’s efforts to poison the well.

I spoke about this bill on the House floor before the vote. Video of that speech is below.

We heard from a lot of you about this issue this week. Please remember, you can always contact me with your thoughts.

Continue Reading..

7
Dec

Rep. Austin Scott: Important Legislation Passed

Your Washington – GA 8 – Desk

From Congressman Austin Scott 

Austin Scott

Important Legislation Passed

Last week, the House passed two important pieces of legislation.  The FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act passed by a vote of 300-119.  This legislation is vital to providing resources for our men and women in uniform and addressing the numerous national security challenges our country faces.

While the bipartisan manner in which this bill was accomplished is commendable, this legislation is not perfect.  We had to make tough choices to avoid further reductions of personnel, but I am thankful to have prevented retirement of the A-10C Warthog flown out of Moody Air Force Base, avoided a BRAC for 2015, and provided funding for the Next Generation JSTARS.  I look forward to building upon this positive momentum next year by further addressing the uncertainty in the defense budget and ending sequestration on our military.  Read more about what I had to say about the NDAA here.

The House also passed H.R. 5759, the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act.  Continue Reading..

7
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal – U S Rep Gingrey donates papers to Kennesaw State

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) donated his congressional papers, which encompass a wide range of issues including the Affordable Care Act and National Defense Authorization Act, to Kennesaw State University on Friday.

Gingrey’s gift is the university’s first congressional collection to be added to its archives.

The congressman, who took office in 2003, will officially step down from office on Jan. 6 at noon after leaving his seat in an unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate nomination.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – U S Rep Gingrey donates papers to Kennesaw State.

7
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb lawmakers weigh in on pre filed bills

MARIETTA — The 26 bills that have been pre-filed in the Georgia House and Senate are garnering mixed reactions from Cobb legislators.

“Pre-filing them just gets publicity for the bills. It doesn’t give them any other advantage because they have to be, in essence, re-filed for them to become official bills for consideration when the Legislature starts. The only advantage that would be gained would be if the press picks up on them, and they get extra press,” [State Rep. Sharon] Cooper said.

Cooper added it’s difficult to give a hard stance on an issue or a pre-filed bill because the actual bill could execute a good idea in a bad way. Additionally, as a part of the legislative process, add-ons to the bills can turn a supporter away.

“It is extremely important that you don’t make a final decision on any bill until you’ve watched it go through the political process,” Cooper said. “A concept may be interesting, but the way that ends up in the bill that goes up for a vote may be totally different or have aspects in it that are just unacceptable.”

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb lawmakers weigh in on pre filed bills.

7
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb GOP breakfast Outgoing Rep Gingrey honored

MARIETTA — The room was full of appreciation for U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) during the Cobb GOP’s monthly breakfast Saturday morning.

After eating eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, the standing-room only crowd turned their attention to the speakers — including U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and Gov. Nathan Deal — who each expressed gratitude for Gingrey’s service and told stories to demonstrate his character.

Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy called Gingrey a “great American.”

Gingrey, a six-term congressman who took office in 2003, will officially step down from office on Jan. 5 at noon after leaving his seat for an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate.

Gingrey spoke last and told the crowd how grateful he was to hear those he referred to as his “heroes” say all the nice things about him during the breakfast.

“This is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received,” he said. “And it’s one of the greatest days of my life,” behind only his wedding day and the births of his four children.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb GOP breakfast Outgoing Rep Gingrey honored.

7
Dec

NRA push on mental health: Solution or diversion? | www.myajc.com

One week after a horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the country’s top gun lobbyist called for an aggressive reaction – against people with mental illness.

“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters,” Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and chief executive of the National Rifle Association, said in a Dec. 21, 2012, speech. The threat, LaPierre said, comes from “people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.”

In the weeks afterward, LaPierre repeatedly cited a looming menace from people he called “lunatics” and “maniacs.” A nationwide database of mentally ill people, he said, would keep guns out of dangerous hands. He also suggested indicting the mentally ill, if necessary, to force them into psychiatric treatment.

At the same time, the NRA was waging a very different battle. It was pushing state legislatures, including Georgia’s, to ensure the right of gun ownership for a group normally excluded from firearms possession: the mentally ill.

The seemingly contradictory stances illustrates the fine line that faces the NRA and other gun-rights advocates: They feel compelled to offer solutions following mass shootings, while their reason for being is to promote and expand gun rights and gun ownership.

via NRA push on mental health: Solution or diversion? | www.myajc.com.

7
Dec

Lee votes to fund wife’s employer | www.myajc.com

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee will ask his fellow commissioners this week for a do-over, so he can change a vote he cast in favor of giving his wife’s employer, the non-profit MUST Ministries, an $85,000 year-end grant.

The county’s ethics law says elected officials can’t “participate, directly or indirectly,” in “any proceeding … vote … or any other matter involving an immediate relative or any interest of an immediate relative.”

After The Atlanta Journal-Constitution questioned Lee about the issue last week, the chairman announced he would ask the commission for a re-vote at its Dec. 9 meeting. Lee would not grant the AJC an interview for this story, but issued a statement that said he realized he should have abstained after the Nov. 25 vote, which provided MUST with unused HUD grant money in county coffers from the 2006-09 fiscal years.

via Lee votes to fund wife’s employer | www.myajc.com.

7
Dec

Business leaders to push agenda at Gold Dome | www.myajc.com

Atlanta’s top business leaders are flexing their muscles ahead of the coming legislative session.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber, the driving force behind a failed regional transportation sales tax vote in 2012, is reviving a push for major infrastructure improvements. Some corporate giants are again opposing a “religious liberty” push they see as discriminatory. And business leaders want it known that metro Atlanta is welcome to foreigners and millennials.

“If something is going on in the public policy arena, we owe it to our members to take a stance, and hopefully in a very constructive and respectful way,” said Larry Gellerstedt, the Cousins Properties CEO and the Chamber’s incoming chairman.

The chamber has long been a bastion of fiscal conservatism, and Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republican leaders have enjoyed outspoken support from its leaders. It’s also been successful in changing the state’s flag and helping save Grady Memorial Hospital.

But the group’s clout has limits, especially in a statehouse where a tea party-influenced strain of conservatism has made it difficult to back anything that would raise new revenue.

Some GOP lawmakers say the Chamber misread the political dynamic when its powerful outgoing chairman, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson, said this week that Georgia shouldn’t be “chicken” about tackling tough solutions, and that the business community should “stand up” to legislative leaders who threaten Georgia’s image.

Others are quick to note the business community’s power at the Gold Dome took a hit with the resounding defeat of the 2012 special transportation sales tax. An odd coalition of environmentalists, the NAACP and tea party types rallied voters against the bill in metro Atlanta.

via Business leaders to push agenda at Gold Dome | www.myajc.com.

7
Dec

More changes ahead for Georgia’s ethics agency | www.ajc.com

fter a stinging audit and a staffing overhaul, the state ethics commission looks to a new year that could bring even more significant changes.

It’s been a tumultuous time at the state ethics commission, which has been mired in recent years by a number of lawsuits filed by former employees, personnel issues and allegations of outside influence with questions raised about its ability to ensure candidates, campaign committees, lobbyists and others are disclosing their financial activities as required by law.

Meanwhile, the commission has had 216 open complaints that have been pending an average of three years and has failed to consider a single complaint for a year and a half amid an employee turnover rate of 46 percent in the last two years.

That was all noted in an October audit conducted by the state that found the commission was not achieving its mission and noted commissioners had not provided adequate oversight of key personnel who, in turn, failed to ensure employees operated effectively. The audit describes the agency as an “unprofessional work environment” that was unable to ensure those required to file disclosures and campaign finance reports actually did so, that such filings were reviewed for accuracy and that cases were handled in a timely, consistent and thorough manner.

via More changes ahead for Georgia’s ethics agency | www.ajc.com.

7
Dec

Court ruling deals blow to welfare drug-testing law | Political Insider blog

An Atlanta federal appeals court struck down a Florida law mandating the blanket drug-testing of all welfare recipients, raising fresh legal doubts about a similar Georgia law.

A three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday concluded that Florida failed to prove any “concrete danger” justifying the need for suspicion-less drug testing for poverty aid recipients.

Georgia lawmakers this year passed their own bill that built in a screen for reasonable suspicion rather than attempt to test every welfare recipient. Critics called it political grandstanding and said it was doomed to fail a legal challenge.

Gov. Nathan Deal quickly signed the proposal, House Bill 772, into law. But his office immediately delayed the implementation until the appeals court ruled on the Florida case. At the time, Deal’s aides said they wanted to await guidance from the courts rather than risk another legal battle before the Florida case was settled.

It’s unclear what the state’s next move is now that the decision has been issued.

A separate part of Georgia’s law, which would have applied drug tests to food stamp recipients, has already been thrown out. The part of the law that applies to Georgia’s 16,000 welfare recipients has not.

The three-judge panel didn’t mince words when it came to the Florida law. It concluded that the suspicion-less drug-testing requirement for welfare recipients “offends the Fourth Amendment,” which protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.

via Court ruling deals blow to welfare drug-testing law | Political Insider blog.