Getting Started in 2018
By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)
On Monday, January 8, 2018, we reconvened for the second session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly, which many anticipate will be very fast-paced. The Georgia Senate began our business with leadership changes and three new members. We will also welcome another new member next week who won a special election on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
In addition to welcoming three new members, Sen. David Shafer, who served as the Senate President Pro Tempore since 2013, resigned his position and the Georgia Senate nominated and elected Sen. Butch Miller to serve in this role. Sen. Miller is a fellow North Georgian and we are honored to have him as our next Pro Temp. The Senate Committee on Assignments also announced chairmen and committee assignments for the upcoming year.
In addition to my duties as Senate Majority Whip, I will continue to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Secretary of the Appropriations Committee, as a member of the Finance, MARTOC, Regulated Industries and Utilities committees and as ex-officio on the Senate Assignments and Rules committees.
As we draw near to the second week of session, we will begin budget hearings as we craft the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets. During these meetings and agency presentations, I will keep the prosperity of all Georgians in mind as we finely comb through proposals. Our focus will be on saving tax payers’ dollars while ensuring economic growth and job creation continues to grow in our great state.
Something new here at the Georgia Senate is livestreaming of standing committees that meet in one of the five rooms wired during the Senate Transparency Project. This is in addition to the Senate Chamber being livestreamed during session days. The goal of this project is to bring transparency to standing committee meetings, where legislation is discussed and vetted before moving forward in the legislative process. Another objective is to provide access to our process for those who do not live in the metro area and cannot get to Senate committee meetings quickly. I truly encourage you all to take the time to watch these livestreams. But, if you can’t get to a computer during the meeting time, each and every meeting video is archived to be watched during any time—day or night.
On day four of the session, Gov. Deal gave his last State of the State address. Within his address, Gov. Deal focused on the growth across the board within the state of Georgia. For the past five years, Georgia has been named the number one place to do business. Overall, we have a very busy session calendar ahead of us as we work on the Governor’s budget proposals, legislation pending from last year and other issues that may arise.
I would like to say thank you to all of my constituents for your encouragement and care for the 51st District of Georgia. Please call or email me with any questions, comments or concerns you have and I look forward to hearing from you.
Senator David Perdue Recaps This Year’s Results, Previews 2018 on Fox News
ATLANTA, GA – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) spoke with Mike Emanuel on Fox News’ Special Report about President Trump’s significant accomplishments during his first year in office and the priorities heading into 2018.
Delivering Results: “President Trump laid out four agenda items this year. We accomplished most of them. President Trump wants to continue to get results. The economy is going to move now that we started regulatory work and with the tax bill we just passed.”
Early Success: “The President is working diligently to get ready for 2018, but he is very happy with the results of 2017. His first year in office we saw 2 million new jobs created, 860 rules and regulations being reversed, illegal crossings down 60%, 500 people have been fired at the Veterans Administration for non-performance. The President is very excited about the future of our country now that we’re moving to get the economy going again.”
Business Focus: “We have a business guy in the White House for a change. He is moving at a business place, not a bureaucratic pace. Look, 2018 is an election year, but we have different leadership in the White House. He is not going to waive off his priorities for an election process.”
Immigration Solution: “President Trump, Senator Tom Cotton, and I have been consistently saying that any solution for DACA has to include an end to this archaic chain migration and money for border security and the wall at our southern border.”
Helping American Workers: “That’s what’s wrong with Washington, career politicians don’t understand how the free enterprise system works. The best thing we can do for the American worker, the American consumer, for anyone who works in America is to help our businesses, large and small, become competitive again with the rest of the world.”
Breaking The Gridlock: “The problem in Washington is gridlock. The minority party is causing that right now, but there are signs of encouragement. Frankly, the immigration issue is one that should have a bipartisan solution. We believe we can do that early in the new year. The President is going to keep focused on that as we get back to work next week.”
What’s In It for Local Politics?
It seems that Democrats believe they can turn Georgia, and other “Red” states, “Blue” by challenging Republican incumbents on the basis that everybody really hates Trump. Democrats are shocked that Obama’s legacy is being exposed for the dangerous fraud it was and is being dismantled. For Democrats, it’s not that it was a fraud but that it was exposed.
As a campaign plan, I supposed It could work because the voters that Democrats hope to entice, have been dumbed down by a barely adequate education to the point democrats must feel that challenging a successful conservative political party, led by the hated Donald Trump, could be a workable plan. “Those Bad Republicans will take away all your benefits.”
Democrat do so without offering any plan of their own except the old Leftist doggerel about how racist, Islamophobic and homophobic the Republicans are. That’s an exercise in “hope”, which is no plan at all. But, they could be partially right because Georgia establishment Republicans still stubbornly cling to supporting their elites instead of recruiting new young conservatives, men and women, and grooming them for public office.
For Georgia’s Governor, who is the GOP’s candidate? We’re told it’s Casey Cagle’s race to lose. Why? What has he done? Somebody must believe it because they said it. Do you believe it? The Democrat Left doesn’t. They’re on the attack regardless of a lack of viable candidates or leadership. Their constant and multiple appeals for cash donations fills my email box daily and their only message is a constant: “Impeach Trump!” Their appeals are ludicrous, but I get little or nothing from Republicans or GOP pacs except the occasional fuzzy idea that it’s the old establishment for which they would appreciate my contribution. Nope! I donate only to the candidate of my choice and, If I feel that way, and I know I’m not alone, then local GOP politics are not going to be very successful in either collecting money or keeping offices. Look what happened in Cobb County, Ga,. It’s turning “Blue” A failure of GOP leadership.
Why should Ga. voters be expected to support Casey Cable simply because he is Lt. Governor? That’s no recommendation. He’s old GOP and claims no accomplishments except that he is Lt. Gov. Now, the field is under challenge by several younger, more conservative candidates, any of whom could actually win by embracing the changes that Trump has brought. Michael Williams, Hunter Hill and Mike Neely immediately come to mind as great GOP contenders to support.
Lt. Governors are not entitled to advancement simply because of seniority. For the GOP it’s time for real change. Trump has shown us the way by his active significant achievements that has discombobulated what has long been considered normal politics. There is no better argument than success and the Democrats don’t have it. GOP candidates, if they expect to stay in power, had better get on board the “Trump Train” or at least follow his example.
Local political contests, like in Georgia, concerned with their own local problems, are still a reflection of the national party that’s in power. It’s not the Socialist Democrats and, it’s not really the Republicans either. If there is to be a Republican party and keep that name, the occupiers in it should realize that a fellow named Donald Trump changed the battle plans.
In the grand sweep of history, only a few have made significant difference to popular trends. I reckon Lincoln, Roosevelt, Churchill, Reagan, Thatcher and now Donald Trump as those trend setters. Everything before Trump is history. The decades Democrats have spent introducing socialism into American culture as the norm, are being shredded by the common sense of a pragmatic billionaire businessman. He made promises and he’s keeping them. He’s proving his worth and the elites of both parties, who feel their absolute entitlement to political leadership is being threatened, have been sent reeling in confusion and disorder.
The Democrats are coming after Georgia with gobs of money. They are fixated on socializing America and will continue to dash themselves against the cracked and crumbling wall of long standing civilized customs and traditions until it falls. They were succeeding, until Trump came along, but they haven’t stopped. We have!
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (27Dec17)
ICYMI: A Second Special Counsel Would Boost the DOJ’s Credibility
WASHINGTON—This op ed by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) first appeared in RealClearPolicy on December 5, 2017.
Recently, the House Judiciary Committee conducted an oversight hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that allowed representatives from both parties to question Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In response, some have asserted that appointing a second special counsel to investigate decisions made by the DOJ in 2016 would be a partisan maneuver, damaging the independence of the Department.
I too am concerned about preserving the independence of the Justice Department — which is precisely why Judiciary Committee Republicans have called for a special counsel to investigate matters outside the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The Judiciary Committee’s letters have been belittled as “a laundry list of Republican grievances about Clinton and former FBI director James B. Comey.” But they document persistent and unanswered questions about the independence of the DOJ, and specifically whether it may have been compromised under the Obama administration. These letters are themselves tools of oversight to be used on behalf of the millions of Americans whose democratic government owes them answers.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s independent e-mail server warranted a DOJ investigation, even if former Attorney General Loretta Lynch provided one in name only. (Actually, she failed to deliver even that, instructing former FBI Director James Comey to call the investigation a “matter.”) Americans are well-stocked with outstanding questions about how the DOJ handled these issues, and the specter of favoritism still looms over the Obama DOJ. The possibility that the department made decisions to aid a political candidate is a potential threat to democracy — one that deserves a DOJ investigation today just as it did in 2016.
At the same time, I recognize that some of my friends across the aisle lack confidence that a Republican-appointed DOJ would conduct such an investigation impartially. Hearing those concerns, I submit that a second special counsel offers Americans the opportunity to pursue answers to these questions without even the appearance of partisan impropriety. After all, independent counsels are like dentists: They scare everyone who hasn’t flossed.
Concerns about DOJ investigations and appointing special counsels too often come to us frosted in hyper-partisan language. This obscures the crux of the liberal argument against the move: Neither the DOJ under Attorney General Jeff Sessions nor an independent special counsel is capable of investigating Clinton. According to this logic, there exists no credible path for investigating potential favoritism on the part of America’s chief law enforcement officials. It would follow that the world’s strongest democracy is impotent when it comes to pursuing objective, unfettered, non-partisan accountability of its own federal agencies.
As a member of the committee charged with exercising oversight of the entire Department of Justice and the representative of approximately 700,000 Georgian voices, I have a bit more faith in the checks and balances that undergird our justice system — including the utility of the special counsel position.
Party loyalty aside, the DOJ made many decisions last year that have led to a host of unresolved questions, and the American people deserve answers. For example, why did former Attorney General Lynch direct former FBI Director Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation? Why did Mr. Comey prepare a statement ending the investigation into former Secretary Clinton before interviewing 17 key witnesses, including the former secretary herself?
These and other questions about the independence of the DOJ continue to cast a shadow on our nation’s justice system. By addressing them directly, a second special counsel could strengthen the DOJ’s credibility, reestablishing its reputation as a non-partisan agent of justice.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Fact vs. Fiction: Senator Perdue Lays Out The Facts About Tax On Fox News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) spoke with Shannon Bream on Fox News @ Night to clear up the misinformation about the U.S. Senate’s plan to fix the tax code, help middle-class families, and make America more competitive again.
Fiction: The GOP tax plan will add $1 trillion to the national debt.
Fact: “I am more optimistic that this plan is going to ignite our economy. President Trump said job one was getting our economy going again. We pulled back on regulations, unleashed our energy potential, and now we have an historic opportunity to change the tax code and make American companies and workers competitive again with the rest of the world.”
Fiction: This tax plan is only going to help the wealthy and hurt lower and middle-income Americans.
Fact: “Real Americans are going to benefit from this. A family of four, making the median income of $73,000 a year, will have their taxes cut almost 60%. A single mom with one child, making $41,000 a year, which is the median income for a single worker, will get a 75% tax cut. More importantly, between 3-6 million people are estimated to have their taxes go to zero. The greatest beneficiary of this plan is the person who will get a job because the economy is going to be ignited.”
Fiction: There has been no transparency to this process. The entire process was hidden from the American people and pushed through at the last minute.
Fact: “Over the last few years, there have been over 70 open hearings in the Senate about changing the tax code. This has been a fully transparent process. I hear the rhetoric from the other side. This is all coming from the side who a few years ago had then-Speaker Pelosi say ‘you’ve got to pass the bill to see what’s in it.’ This has been an open process the entire time. This is regular order. It went through committee, where we had amendments offered. We’ll have amendments added to it tonight. All of this has been done in the light of day.”
Fiction: The tax plan will generate very little economic growth.
Fact: “President Trump has really pushed us to make sure this plan will make American businesses grow. I believe we have accomplished that. Today, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and the corporate tax rate is a huge penalty on the American worker. I know because I’ve lived in Asia and worked all over the world. We are now going to become more competitive with the rest of the world.”
Senator David Perdue Comments On Budget Committee Approval Of Tax Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. Senate moved one step closer to fixing our tax code this year:
“Changing our tax code for the first time in more than 30 years will increase wages for American workers and make us more competitive with the rest of the world. These tax changes will also increase GDP growth, which is necessary to solve our current debt crisis. If the Senate does not act, the federal government is on track to add $11 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. Approval from the Budget Committee today was one of the final steps needed to get this across the finish line. It is now critical for Republicans and Democrats to put aside any self-interests and operate with a sense of urgency to get these tax changes done now.”
Lessons That Should Be Learned
Apart from the fact that the Democrat Party is in a shambles, and they’ll never admit it, Democrats PAC’s are not necessarily so and are now going all out in funding state and local races, an area dominated by Republicans in recent years, and starting to win some. That is bad for Americanism and the Republican party and good for Socialism.
One lesson we should take away from the Virginia governor’s race is that the Democrats will apply lessons learned to all upcoming state races, while the GOP reads polls. It is clear that the Democrat PAC’s have gone after and energized their base. The scale of their effort even reached into many less reported, smaller state and local races in Red States and are bearing fruit. They are organized and the GOP still haven’t passed a meaningful bill (health care or Tax reform). I’m afraid the Establishment Republicans will once again fumble away the game.
The Republicans sit on their hands and worry only about how to keep “moderates” in office and keep out conservatives. Republicans ignore at their peril, the ferocity of the coming Democrat campaigns for Red State Governorships, Senatorial and Congressional races as well as Secretaries of State and Attorney General’s positions. It is these smaller races where the strength of a party lies for fending off lawsuits against conservative state initiatives and for holding power when redistricting congressional districts comes up every ten years.
Democrat PAC’s bombard my email ten to fifteen times every day pleading for donations, even as low as a $1.00, to combat Republicans who are destroying Obama’s legacy, shredding the Constitution and with other outlandish claims that Trumps impeachment is on hand if they only had only a few dollars more. These are followed up with sad pleas that they missed their goal because I didn’t contribute and yet, I read where the Democrats are gathering donations at a rate that far exceeds the GOP’s efforts.
I can understand that. I no longer donate to the GOP because they have become a money grubbing organization, not to promote the conservative Republican agenda, that they despise by the way, but to fund the elections of moderate candidates willing to become swamp creatures, or to fund Democrats if a Republican candidate doesn’t signal he/she is one of them.
I don’t know about Ed Gillespie except that he falls into the “Moderate Republican” category, gave lip service to Trump but didn’t or wouldn’t embrace Trump’s immigration policy, military buildup policy, and healthcare policy, tax-reform or job creation. Trumps record of success on all of those, except replacing Obamacare, are masterstrokes of managerial efficiency. Reducing the “deep state” is going on apace. The Republicans will be facing a catharsis if they deliver to us any more such losses.
The moderate Republicans will always fail because they don’t realize that Donald Trump is a successful business manager, a promoter of what’s great about America and America’s workers, and not simply an ineffective drone of a president that elite politicians can manipulate to affect domestic and foreign policy to satisfy their corrupt ends.
Trump will never be a tchotchke. Daily he sets the news agenda for the media. and has them chasing rainbows, creating fake stories just to fill space and directing issues where he wants them. In Virginia’s governor race, with Trump away, the GOP did none of these. The GOP is leaderless, adrift on a sea of inaction. Perhaps they should join Trumps party!
Remember, freedom is the goal, the constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (10Nov17)