Rob Woodall

Rob Woodall

GEORGIA's 7th DISTRICT

Washington Watch - 3/20/17

2017/03/20

BUDGET COMMITTEE MOVES OBAMACARE REPEAL AND REPLACE ONE STEP CLOSER TO FINISH LINE 

Last week the House Budget Committee, on which I sit, became the third House committee to advance the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which represents another step in a multi-step approach of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with patient-centered health care reforms.  Before the end of this week, I expect the AHCA will make its way to the House floor for debate and a final passage vote. 

As I said, moving the AHCA is one step of many involved in restoring health care markets and choices and making patient-centered care a reality.  As you will see in The Week Ahead section at the bottom of the newsletter, the House will consider several additional stand-alone health care reform bills that will complement the many reforms in the AHCA. If you have not done so already, I hope that you will visit www.readthebill.gop to find out more about the AHCA and our multi-step approach to health care reform. 

 

GEORGIA’S INNOVATIVE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING SYSTEM IS A MODEL FOR AMERICA

Georgia has emerged as a model in transportation policy discussions across the nation. That’s why the Chairman of my Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA), invited Georgia’s Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry to come to Capitol Hill and tell our state’s story. You may have recently noticed new lanes being built, long-neglected roads being resurfaced, and solutions being implemented all across our community to reduce congestion and make getting around town a little less frustrating. That’s exactly why I helped author the FAST Act, which is going to deliver almost $7 billion for transportation projects in Georgia over the next several years, and I am so glad to see that legislation working in conjunction with a number of state and local solutions to improve our quality of life.  I appreciate Commissioner McMurry making the trip to Washington to tout our strong federal, state, and local partnerships and demonstrate what we can achieve when we work together to make a difference.

 

HOUSE PASSES THREE BILLS TO SUPPORT AMERICA’S VETERANS

Last week in the House we passed three bills aimed at improving the lives of American veterans that were crafted by listening to their concerns. We’ve heard that a number of veterans were having their Second Amendment rights revoked due to unrelated VA processes. For instance, if it is determined that a veteran needs a fiduciary to help manage his or her benefits, the FBI could strip that veteran of the right to purchase or own a firearm—even when the veteran poses no threat to anyone. The bill we passed, H.R. 1181, ensures that this policy will only apply to individuals who are legitimate threats to themselves or others, and even then, only after the individual in question has an opportunity to make his or her case before a judge or magistrate. As the bill’s author noted, we should not force our veterans to choose between the benefits they’ve earned and the constitutional rights they have sacrificed so much to protect. Two other important bills, H.R. 1259 and H.R. 1367, are designed to improve the VA’s service to our veterans. These bills will make it easier to fire the bad employees at the VA, reward the good employees, and make sure we are recruiting the best and brightest to serve our nation’s veterans for many years to come. 

The early days of this new Administration have been focused on streamlining and fixing the many bloated and broken Federal agencies. I am very excited to see the House embrace this agenda and provide bills like this that empower us to get America's house in order.

 

PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

The tremendous influence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has had in shaping our nation and ensuring that the rights of every American are guaranteed regardless of race should never be underestimated. That is why I am proud the House passed H.R. 267, the “Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act,” sponsored by my fellow Georgian, friend, and civil rights icon Representative John Lewis (D-GA). The bill expands the current boundary of the site to include the Prince Hall Masonic Building, which served as the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which trained civil rights leaders and for which Dr. King served as the first president. It also provides the site with a “Historical Park” designation, reflecting the physical complexity of the site and granting it the resources of the National Park Service so it may provide expertise in continued maintenance and restoration. At a time when our political climate has become particularly divisive, I relish the opportunity to come together with my colleagues from all walks of life, regions of the country, and ideological passions to support legislation preserving our local civil rights history for future generations.

 

GWINNETT STUDENTS RECOGNIZED FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AND BUSINESS SAVVY

One of the most encouraging things I get to see when I visit high schools throughout the Seventh District is the vibrant sense of entrepreneurship that exists with our young people. Strong leadership skills go hand-in-hand with this drive, and it is absolutely alive and well in our community.  In fact, several local high school students were among Georgia’s top finishers in the DECA State Career Development Conference held last month. DECA is an international organization focused on preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in high school and college for careers in business, marketing, and finance. Georgia’s top finishers are now headed to the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California, in April.

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently honored these bright young students for their accomplishments, and I add my congratulations – as well as gratitude – to the mix!  Their vision and ingenuity are not only impressive, but also provide the building blocks for America’s continued success for generations to come.  From economic growth, to humanitarian aid, to technological innovation, they are putting their big brains to work crafting solutions, and I’m confident great things are yet to come for them and those served by their efforts.  

 

NEIGHBORS SERVING NEIGHBORS IN SOUTH FORSYTH

“I’d never built a greenhouse, don’t really know how they operate … so I said, ‘I guess we’ll build a greenhouse.’”  Those are the words of South Forsyth Rotary Club President James Daniel, and as you and I know so well, that’s just the way things are in the Seventh District. If it needs doing, we have a community full of folks who will figure it out if they don’t already know how to get it done. Mr. Daniel and fellow members of the civic group recently dedicated the greenhouse they built for Creative Enterprises – a center for adults with disabilities – as a service project, and clients of this wonderful organization will soon be putting it to use. Why a greenhouse, you might ask? Well, simple; it was at the top of Creative Enterprises’ wish-list.  So the good folks of South Forsyth Rotary got to work and there you have it.  I love that about our community. If you have any passion or expertise in this field, I encourage you to reach out to Creative Enterprises. They’re doing great work and are looking for volunteers! 

 

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TOWN HALL MEETING

On Tuesday night, I was heartened that so many Seventh District residents took the time to call-in to my most recent town hall meeting. I’ve said it a lot, and I’ll say it again – I know how hard it is to take time out of your busy day to spend some time with me – and I greatly appreciate it. I do my job as your representative better when I can hear from you directly. If you weren’t able to participate in last week’s town hall meeting, please be sure to continue reading my newsletter and visiting my website at http://woodall.house.gov to learn when I’ll be holding my next town hall meeting. Thanks again to all of you who participated! 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week in the House of Representatives, it’s Health Care Week! House Republicans are moving forward with three bills that will replace the failing Obamacare law. But rest assured, these three bills are only one more step in the long process to ensure that affordable and appropriate health care choices are available to all Americans. 

H.R. 1101, the “Small Business health Fairness Act of 2017,” promotes the creation of Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs would be created when a number of small businesses are allowed to pool together across state lines to purchase health insurance plans for their employees. Instead of forcing employers to provide insurance that they can’t afford, limiting salaries and hours, and laying off workers, small businesses can use AHPs to keep health insurance costs low for themselves and their employees. 

H.R. 372, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act,” would largely eliminate federal anti-trust protection for health and dental insurance providers. While they would retain the exemption for certain collaborative activities, like sharing claims data to ensure that plans cann be appropriately priced, the federal government would be able to prosecute non-competitive and collusive activities that drive up costs on American consumers. 

Finally, this week, the House is going to pass the “American Health Care Act.” This reconciliation bill is another step in a long process to repeal and replace Obamacare with a more patient-centered health care law that increases consumer choice and drives down long-term health care costs. Our health care system has certainly been in flux in recent years, and I know that it’s concerning for many of you to see the system being changed again, but my colleagues and I are unwilling to allow hard-working Americans to be harmed by the current failing system.  
                     

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Washington Watch - 3/13/17

2017/03/13

LEGISLATION TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE MOVES FORWARD

I have heard from so many of you over the past six years that health care reform should be one of Congress’ top priorities, and Congress is listening. Last week, two House committees met to consider and amend the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Their work will be sent this week to the House Budget Committee – on which I’m proud to serve – where we will consider the work of the other committees. After that, the bill will move on to another committee of mine – the House Rules Committee – where we will again debate the bill and consider even more amendments. Finally, by the end of the month, I expect that the House will have a full and robust debate on the House floor. 

This open and inclusive process is the opposite of how Obamacare was passed by President Obama and Congress back in 2010. At that time, there was no opportunity to make the bill better or amend it at all. I’m proud that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and all of my colleagues are working through this process in a collaborative manner. President Trump gave his national radio address in support of the House plan on Saturday, but he also made clear that he was open to changes as the bill moves forward. After all, collaboration and consultation is how our American government works best.

 

ENDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS

It is absolutely vital that our nation’s courts are able to adjudicate cases fairly, openly, and efficiently, which is why I was happy to join my House colleagues in supporting legislation that targets the fraud that is plaguing our judicial system. First, we passed H.R. 725, the “Innocent Party Protection Act,” which would prevent litigants from suing an innocent party just so they can choose the venue where the case can be heard. Lawyers should not be able to fraudulently join innocent people and businesses to a case just so the case can be heard in a court that is most likely to provide them with a favorable judgment, and H.R. 725 corrects that issue. 

The House also passed, with my support, H.R. 985, the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act.” The bill creates a standard ensuring that all those attached to a class action have been injured to the same extent. Some lawyers have abused class actions by inflating the numbers of people affected as a means to force parties to pay out larger sums that they then use to line their pockets rather than pay those who were actually injured. Ensuring that real victims are properly compensated is the right thing to do. 

The House has also taken steps to cut down on frivolous, predatory lawsuits filed by those seeking to extort money from innocent people and businesses. H.R. 720, the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act,” creates a uniform standard to penalize those who knowingly file false claims and threaten endless litigation to force innocent parties to settle out of court. 

Our courts are already mired in backlogs, and it is important that we continue to make changes to combat dishonest lawyers from filing frivolous cases that waste taxpayer money in federal courts, defraud parties for their own interest, and abuse our judicial system.

 

SUPPORTING LOCALLY FUNDED INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS 

Last week I joined many of my colleagues in sending a letter to House Ways and Means Committee leadership asking that as the tax reform debate moves forward, that they consider the value of tax-exempt municipal bonds to our state and local governments. As you all may know, the majority of our nation’s infrastructure projects, including those for schools, hospitals, roads, and more, are financed by tax-exempt municipal bonds. We’ve seen the value of local bond initiatives right here in our district in recent years, with projects like the widening and improvement of Georgia 400 coming to mind.  It’s been my experience that folks are more willing to invest their hard-earned money locally where they are more confident that they will get a dollars’ worth of value in return for a dollars’ worth of investment. The added local control offered by municipal bonds allows state and local governments to avoid having to come to Washington for financing opportunities, many of which come with added red-tape which adds an average of four years to project delivery times.  Without question, a decision to alter the current federal tax treatment of municipal bonds should not be made without due consideration, and I was pleased to add the 7th District’s voice to this important conversation.

 

PATRICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: HOME OF TOMORROW’S LEADERS

Whenever possible, I try to begin the day by visiting with young people in schools across the 7th District, and last week I had the chance to join a group of 4th grade students at Patrick Elementary in Buford before flying back to Washington.  

You can always count on a renewed perspective when you spend time with the next generation to talk about America’s future – as well as our past. This particular group had been studying social studies, and let me tell you, their expertise showed. They were engaged, knowledgeable, and eager to ask questions. We had a wonderful conversation, and I’m very grateful to Principal Steward and all the teachers and staff who are so committed to cultivating these bright young minds. 


Rep. Rob Woodall meets with Patrick Elementary School 4th graders on March 6th

Named after fallen Gwinnett County firefighter Bobby Patrick, this is a school with very close ties to community service. Its importance is an underlying theme throughout the hallways and classrooms, and I can’t think of a better cornerstone around which to build. They build upon it each day at Patrick Elementary; we build upon it in our communities and throughout the 7th District; and we build upon it across America. Irrespective of our differences, it’s a shared value – one of many – that brings us together. As I shared with these students, we certainly don’t always agree in Washington, but there is in fact much more common ground than many might believe. Even where drastic policy differences exist – and there are plenty – the disagreement isn’t about if we should serve our neighbors and fellow Americans, it’s about how we serve them. It is absolutely possible to disagree without being disagreeable, and I’m grateful to represent a community that exemplifies that belief.

 

WORKING WITH LAKE LANIER RESIDENTS TO SECURE THEIR PROPERTY

Lake Lanier has been in the news quite a bit recently, and it’s almost all good news!  Late last year, I was able to pass a law that restored local control of the lake. Subsequently, Georgia earned a significant legal victory in the decades-old water dispute with Florida. The bad news is that I’ve heard from many constituents and from media reports that there has been an increase in theft and unwelcome behavior around docks on the lake. If you’re not a dock owner yourself, you may not realize that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the federal agency that manages the lake, prohibits homeowners from installing security cameras on their own dock! That’s why I wrote to the Corps last week to request a change in this policy, which has not been updated for more than a decade. It’s critical that dock owners and the government work together to ensure the safety of all who enjoy Lake Lanier, and I look forward to working with the new Administration to get it done.

 

TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING THIS TUESDAY

On Tuesday, March 14th, I will be hosting another telephone town hall meeting. There is so much happening in Congress and the Administration this year, I hope that you will be able to take some time to join me in the telephone town hall meeting. I value both the opportunity to share with you and to hear from you, so please join me if you can.

Telephone Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday, March 14
7:30pm – 8:30pm
Dial- In Number: (877) 229-8493
Passcode: 17849

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is expected to approve three critically important bills – H.R. 1259, H.R. 1367, and H.R. 1181 – which help America’s veterans better access the benefits and health care that they have earned. 

The House Budget Committee is expected to mark-up the American Health Care Act this week. As a member of the committee, I’m enthusiastic about this opportunity to help Americans chose the type of health plan they want for their families. If you have time to tune in to the Budget Committee’s mark-up on Wednesday, you can do so by clicking here

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Washington Watch - 3/6/17

2017/03/06

WORKING TOGETHER TO CUT RED TAPE

Another week in Congress has yielded a new batch of much needed regulatory reforms, helping to alleviate our nation’s economy from politically motivated and unnecessary burdens unilaterally placed on it over the past eight years. Specifically, the three bills the House passed last week will address regulations at every stage of the rule making process. H.R. 998, the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act,” will set up a bipartisan group to look back on regulations issued over the past ten years to see which ones are failing the American people, and it will force agencies to evaluate new rules going forward.  H.R. 1009, the “OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act,” will codify the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and its mission to regulate the regulators – including those at independent agencies – serving as the first line of defense to prevent unjustified, unnecessary, duplicative, and overly burdensome rules from being promulgated. And finally, H.R. 1004, the “Regulatory Integrity Act,” which will mandate that agencies publish information about the drafting of a regulation online in an unbiased way and prevent them from soliciting outside groups to advocate for or against a proposed rule.  

Federal agencies serve a vital role in our nation to make sure our environment is clean, our food and drugs are safe, and our financial system is fair.  No matter who occupies the White House, that important public trust must continue.  No president likes to be told what do by Congress, but that is the system our Constitution created.  I worked to fulfil that duty with President Obama in the White House, and I am working now to accomplish it with President Trump. The bills passed last week will lay the foundation to ensure the transparency, accountability, efficiency, and efficacy of our nation’s regulations and provide needed consistency and predictability for those affected by those rules, regardless of any future president’s ideology. 

 

RETURNING LOCAL WATERS TO LOCAL CONTROL

During the final years of the Obama Administration, the EPA attempted to federalize most of our nation’s water through a regulation called “Waters of the United States (WOTUS).”  It would have meant that in addition to navigable waters – like large lakes, canals, and rivers – we would have seen backyard creeks, golf course ponds, and even farm puddles fall under federal control.  Previous overreaches of this nature had been struck down by the Supreme Court, and I supported multiple legislative attempts to roll back WOTUS as well.  Fortunately, President Trump, in keeping with his promise to un-chain Americans from federal red tape, has directed agencies to scrap this incredibly destructive rule and go back to the drawing board.  Contrary to what the previous Administration believed, America can protect her most precious environmental resources while growing economic opportunity for the families who enjoy them, and under President Trump’s leadership, we are demonstrating just that.  This is a big win for the citizens of Forsyth and Gwinnett and for our local leaders who are such great stewards of local water and all of our natural resources.

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIRST FORMAL ADDRESS TO CONGRESS 

Every year, the President of the United States makes his way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to speak to Congress and the nation about his plans for the upcoming year. This year, President Trump set out a hopeful vision, highlighting how we can work together for the betterment of America, and taking aim at those issues he promised in his campaign to tackle.  Irrespective of your political view, President Trump had a vision to partner with you.  From his commitment to American jobs and infrastructure to his gratitude for and investing in our nation’s armed forces to his focus on doing the incredibly difficult work of lowering health care costs and providing access to those who have been left behind, President Trump let America and the world know that American exceptionalism is alive and well.

 

BUILDING 21ST CENTURY AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world, and of course, we’re all very familiar with this airport.  But did you know there are more than 100 airports across the state of Georgia?  Many of these smaller airports are critical economic life-lines for local communities.  On Wednesday, my Aviation Subcommittee discussed the need to make all of our airports—from Briscoe Field to Hartsfield-Jackson to Savannah/Hilton Head—first-rate facilities that not only match but exceed their competitors.  In 2015, the FAA reported that nine of the country’s largest airports will be capacity constrained by 2030, even if all planned improvements are implemented.  That means we have a lot of work to do to make sure all of our airports can accommodate the expected passenger growth and provide convenient and enjoyable experiences for travelers.  This year, during the upcoming FAA reauthorization process, we will focus on infrastructure, but also on how our improvements impact consumers.  From quieter plane engines to shorter security lines to improved aircraft fuel efficiency and more, FAA reauthorization will give me and the Transportation Committee an opportunity to make the conversations and ideas that we have here at home a reality.

 

OUR COMMUNITY WORKS TOGETHER TO HELP FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

There’s hardly a day that goes by in our part of the world where you won’t find an uplifting story in the papers with folks helping one another in our community.  It’s just a way of life for those of us who call the 7th District home, and I never grow tired of highlighting that service.  Just this week, we heard of Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity completing their 132nd build or restoration, and we heard the new homeowner describing those at Habitat for Humanity who have walked her through the process as “father-figures.”  That’s the kind of one-on-one care that genuinely changes lives, and I’m so proud that it happens daily across our district.  

We also saw local businesses in Forsyth County come together to ensure those serving as foster parents have all the resources they need to care for the children.  As one of those local business owners said, “We’re always looking for a place to make a difference.”  I can’t think of a better way to capture the sentiment, and I’m quite certain it’s working.  I often say one of the most wonderful things about our community is that when it comes to making a difference through service to others, your politics don’t matter, your race doesn’t matter, and your religion or family background doesn’t matter.  All that matters is showing up to help a friend, co-worker, or neighbor.  I’m grateful we have so many who take that to heart time and again, and there’s no doubt that this leadership-by-example approach is directly responsible for our shared success.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is going to move forward on a number of bills that were recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee to ensure that average Americans are better able to avail themselves of our federal judicial system and that high-powered special interests aren’t able to manipulate the system to their benefit, at the expense of the American people. In addition, the House is expected to pass a final version of the FY17 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill that will fund the Pentagon’s needs through the end of September 2017. 

You can see a comprehensive list of every bill that the House will consider this week at http://docs.house.gov/floor. The website is updated regularly throughout the week, so as events change, you’ll know exactly what the House is considering in real-time.  

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

 

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Woodall Statement on President Trump’s First Joint Address to Congress

2017/03/01

WASHINGTON, DC – Tonight, President Trump made his first speech before a joint session of Congress, outlining a robust agenda ranging from national security to health care to tax reform.  U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (GA 07) – who attended the event – issued the following statement.

“From his first day in office, the President has gone about doing the things he told the American people he would do.  Tonight, we heard the President describe his promises in a positive, bold vision for tackling the big challenges we as Americans are facing together.  From ensuring the safety and security of our great country, to providing a patient-centered health care system that offers affordable choices for all Americans, to a tax code that unleashes the power of the American economy, nothing is beyond the grasp of the American people and our great nation when we work together.  We’ve made significant progress to this point, and the heavy lifting has just begun.  I look forward to partnering with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress, the White House, and all of you as we work towards these shared goals.”

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee. 

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District Connection - 2/27/17

2017/02/27

AMERICAN MANUFACTURING MOVES OUR NATION FORWARD

Just about 1 out of every 12 employed Georgians works in the manufacturing industry. Those folks alone accounted for more than $54 billion of Georgia’s economic output in 2015, despite the onslaught of federal red tape that we’ve seen in the past decade. Just imagine how many more Georgians could find good-paying jobs with stable benefits in American manufacturing, and how much those Georgians could contribute to our community’s economy, if only we dealt with the mind-numbing piles of federal paperwork and punishing tax code provisions they face today.  As you know, these obstacles punish American workers and advantage manufacturing overseas.

Having worked hard on these issues, I was honored last week to receive the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.  NAM gave me the award for work that I have done in the past, but I commit to you that the work is still going on right now and will continue into the future.  American manufacturing can help to lead our American economic renewal, and we must free it up to do so. We have already sent two red tape repeal bills to President Trump’s desk that he has signed into law. We have nearly a dozen more that are awaiting Senate action. And that is all in just 30 days of a new Administration! Over the next weeks and months, you can count on many more problem-solving measures to be signed into law, and you can count on a Herculean effort to put American families back on track for a once-in-a-generation economic revival.


Rep. Rob Woodall accepts the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence at Oldcastle Products and Distribution in Atlanta 

 

A FANTASTIC DAY IN YOUR SEVENTH DISTRICT OFFICE

While there are fewer opportunities for me to work from the 7th District this first session of the 115th Congress than there have been in the recent past, I am still more than happy to fill my days meeting with constituents and speaking about issues that are most important to you. For example, this week I had the opportunity to meet with many of our friends and neighbors to talk about balancing environmental protections with economic development, addressing the problems with the Affordable Care Act so it can work for all Americans, making higher education more affordable, and figuring out our role in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, among myriad of other topics. These meetings give me a chance not only to tell you about the great work being done back in Washington, but also to hear your solutions to issues still facing our nation today. While we may not always see eye-to-eye on every topic, we still share a common desire to do good. I’m proud to partner with you all as we continue in our common mission to make our country even better, and I hope you too will take up the opportunity to meet with me in the future. 

 

FEDERAL AND LOCAL PARTNERSHIP SUCCESS: OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

The Seventh District excels in so many ways, and the dedication of the men and women in our community health care centers is certainly representative of that excellence. Our district has a history of success from our community-minded health care providers, but in recent years they have carried an even larger load than usual. Long before Obamacare, our community health centers (CHCs) were a place that any of our neighbors could go and receive high quality health care at an affordable price. Health centers use sliding scales for fees based on income and ability to pay to ensure that while no one is turned away, every patient has skin in the game and is contributing financially to their own care.

While CHCs have always had a big role to play, with tens of millions of Americans displaced or left behind by the Affordable Care Act, we need our CHCs to be even more successful today…and they are!

Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of those community health care centers – the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) Health Center – and was again inspired by the compassion and dedication I saw. Founded to ensure affordable health services for low income Asian-American families in our community, CPACS serves absolutely everyone in our community. They are unique in the breadth of the multi-lingual staff they offer, but they are “common” in that they are committed to the shared goal of self-sufficiency. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they do and the community leaders who do it.


Rep. Rob Woodall visits the Center for Pan Asian Community Services Health Center in Norcross

Community health centers can’t handle all of America’s health challenges alone, however. I know that skyrocketing premiums, ever-increasing deductibles, and fewer health care choices are a problem for many families, and the new Administration continues to work to get its arms around our options to put forward a patient-centered solution. I recently wrote in more detail about how we can work together to provide real choices for everyone. I’m quite confident that our community will always be a leader in innovative ways to better serve our neighbors in need, and by applying those same patient-centered principles to Washington’s policies ,we can spread that leadership around the nation.

 

AMERICA’S NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS:  SPOTLIGHT ON LAMBERT HIGH SCHOOL

I often tell people that my best days as your Congressman happen when I start my day at a local school, and when the day starts with student leaders focused on service to others above self, you know that it will be a great day. Last week I had the pleasure of attending a student meeting at Lambert High School that highlighted the school's student service and leadership organizations, and these students are absolutely amazing. They are committed to helping their fellow Georgians through small, simple acts of volunteerism and caring for their neighbors. It’s remarkable to see how our community’s young people are energized by the zeal to serve, and I can tell you that their commitment to service is making the 7th District of Georgia a better place to live and work.

While I was there, I presented an award to a great student-led group, Change4Georgia, that has been making a difference in the lives of students and adults for years. From its work serving veterans to its work promoting literacy, you can be certain this group and the young people who lead it make our entire community proud.

 

GROWING JOBS: FORSYTH COUNTY CHAMBER ANNOUNCES BIG NEWS

For years, those of us in the 7th District have known that our community is a beacon of economic opportunity for the metro Atlanta region. The great news is that companies from around the country are now learning the same thing! Last week, Sports Warehouse from California announced that it was moving to Forsyth County, opening a $14 million East Coast distribution center, and brining over 300 new jobs with it. This partnership between the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Sports Warehouse is exactly the kind of innovative thinking and deal-making that comes out of a cutting-edge area like Forsyth County.

 

WORKING TOGETHER WITH YOU

Whether in a one-on-one meeting in my office or in a small group with your club, I am grateful for all of the work on policy and issues that we are able to do together. In the office last week, meetings focused on transportation, health care, the environment, Social Security, national security, and more. Outside the office, with civic groups like the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett, we talked about jobs and the economy, the new Administration, our options for repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and more.

I never know exactly where the next good idea or important opportunity will come from, but I am certain that constituent meetings like these are fertile ground. Inevitably, someone will have an experience, an expertise, or an unexplored solution that can make a difference. I am grateful for your partnership and honored to be your voice in the House.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is back in session and we’re moving forward on four important pieces of legislation: H.J.Res. 83, H.R. 998, H.R. 1004, and H.R. 1009. I hear from small business owners regularly that they could innovate and grow if only the government would craft cooperative, common-sense regulations instead of ideological, punitive ones. These bills above continue our reform of the regulatory state so that we can unleash the full power and creativity of the American entrepreneur. 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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WOODALL: Broken promises should not be end of story

2017/02/23


Washington Watch - 2/21/17

2017/02/21

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN TOWN HALL MEETING

Last Wednesday, just after I finished voting on the House floor, I hosted a Telephone Town Hall Meeting. More than 600 people took part in the phone call, and we discussed the issues that are on everyone’s mind – immigration, Obamacare, Russia, Medicare, Social Security, taxes, and more. I know of course that it’s difficult to carve time out of your busy schedules to participate in a town hall meeting, but I am grateful to you when you do.  If you have a friend or neighbor who you think would like to participate in a future town hall, please encourage them to sign up for this newsletter at http://woodall.house.gov, and I will make sure that they get all of the details.  And if you have an issue that you would like raise one-on-one, please share it with me on email at woodall@mail.house.gov or reach out to me by phone. I value hearing from you.

 

CELEBRATING PRESIDENTS’ DAY ACROSS AMERICA

Yesterday, as we do each year on Presidents’ Day, we celebrated the legacy of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln embodied the most American of traits: civilian leadership with a servant’s heart. They were citizens who believed in the promise of America and worked tirelessly at great personal cost to make that promise a reality. Washington led the U.S. Army during the American Revolution and was the first at the helm of a system of government that has become the greatest experiment in self-governance the world has ever known. President Lincoln led our great country through perhaps our most turbulent time as a nation, but his leadership and legacy lives on today. From our earliest days, the United States has always relied on the leadership of Americans such as these, but never relinquished our voice as a people in the process. It is that balance that President Lincoln spoke of in the Gettysburg Address when he said, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

 

WORKING TOGETHER TO CRAFT A BETTER HEALTH CARE FUTURE FOR AMERICA

Americans have been debating how to reform health care for decades, and the Affordable Care Act in particular has dominated the discussion for the past eight years. Regardless of whether you support or oppose this law, we have to face the facts: it’s more expensive than anyone thought it would be, it’s covering fewer Americans than anyone thought that it would, and it’s collapsing under its own weight. We can do better for America. 

Last week, I went to the House floor yet again to try to focus the discussion on common ground and common concerns. Some people in the media or politics will try to stoke fear and anxiety around new Congressional solutions. I will work to allay those concerns. President Obama brought the American people together around ideas of helping those who are uninsured—but his federally-mandated solution is failing even as 20 million Americans continue not to have coverage. Congress will now try to bring America together around patient-centered solutions that put families back in control. Dealing with issues of cost and access have never been easy—and damage done to families and to markets by the Affordable Care Act has only made the job harder—but we are at work in Congress right now trying to deliver.

 

FOUR MORE CABINET SECRETARIES CONFIRMED LAST WEEK

Last week the Senate confirmed three more Cabinet secretaries to serve the American people: Linda McMahon as Secretary of the Small Business Administration, Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury, and Mick Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I’m especially proud that the Senate supported a well-known business leader, Ms. McMahon, in a strong bipartisan manner. She has a track record in business that will serve our nation’s small business owners well in the next four years. She understands their needs, and I’m sure that she will use her new role as SBA Secretary to help our small businesses across the nation revitalize the American economy. The Senate still has more work to do to allow President Trump to fully staff his team, but assuming that no Senator chooses to engage in any more delay tactics, the White House should soon have all of its key leaders in place.

 

HOUSE PASSES RESOLUTION TO PROTECT RETIREMENT SECURITY OF PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS 

The effort to eliminate economically harmful regulations continues to move forward. The President has already begun to sign bills to eliminate needless burdens, and the House is continuing to work to put more repeal bills on his desk. This past week, the House passed two disapproval resolutions to block a set of Obama-era regulations that could have forced certain private sector employees into government-run retirement accounts without the long-standing retiree safeguards offered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As most of you have likely heard, in many other parts of the country state and city pension plans are severely underfunded. While I would always welcome these plans to invite private sector employees to join them, the federal government should not use its heavy hand to require hard-working private sector employees enroll and to turn their money over to these failing plans. While I absolutely support the goal of encouraging and even incentivizing more Americans to save for retirement, I’m certain that mandating that more Americans enter into underfunded plans is not the solution.     

 

CONGRESS ENABLES GEORGIA TO PROTECT UNEMPLOYMENT FUNDS

The House also moved a disapproval resolution last week to roll-back a rule issued last year by the U.S. Department of Labor that would place restrictions on states’ ability to drug test individuals collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Under current law, states have the option to require drug testing for both UI benefit applicants who were terminated from a job for drug use and applicants who are seeking employment in occupations that regularly conduct drug testing. Unfortunately, on his way out the door, President Obama moved to restrict drug testing. I was pleased to support a resolution that will provide Georgia the flexibility to design a UI benefit drug testing program that best serves its citizens, and I hope that the Senate will approve this common-sense resolution and send it to President Trump’s desk.  

 

STOPPING AN UNLAWFUL FEDERAL POWER GRAB OF ALASKAN WILDERNESS

On Thursday, the House passed Representative Don Young’s (R-AK) H.J.Res. 69, a joint resolution of disapproval to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule that clearly oversteps the agency’s authority.  The rule sought to dictate to Alaska how to implement predator control methods in wildlife refuges within the state, but such dictates are specifically prohibited in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) and the Alaska Statehood Compact. That’s right, Alaska only agree to be a state with the guarantee that it would have the right to manage local fish and wildlife. This is another example of an overzealous regulatory authority implementing its wishes instead of implementing the law, and I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this resolution, correct this illegal overreach by FWS, and return authority back to the people of Alaska. 

 

HOUSE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE REVIEWS AMERICA’S OPEN SKIES AGREEMENT

Protecting America’s opportunity to compete globally is a top priority of mine, and aviation is a key industry for the Seventh District and Metro Atlanta area. We are blessed to have one of America’s biggest airlines serving America’s busiest airport right in our own backyard, and it’s critical that we make sure both Delta and Hartsfield-Jackson are competing for business on a level playing field. Unfortunately, the fairness of that playing field has been called into question in recent years. It stems from the fact that America has international agreements with other nations to ensure access to global airspace—these are collectively called “Open Skies” policies. Our nation enters these agreements with other nations with the expectation that they will stay true to the free market principles that form the foundation of these agreements. Last week, I highlighted my concerns about the enforcement of these Open Skies agreements in a Transportation and Infrastructure committee hearing. Competition is good for any industry, including commercial airlines. However, we must make sure the competition is fair, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to uphold the letter and spirit of America’s Open Skies agreements. 

 

EMPOWERING STATES TO PROVIDE HIGH-QUALITY HEALTH CARE

Like so many of you, I am proud to support federal funding initiatives like the Title X grant program so that states can direct federal funding to health centers dedicated to low-income individuals seeking assistance for family planning services. I believe states are best equipped to identify the health centers that are most effective in addressing the needs of their communities, which is why I voted in favor of H.J.Res. 43, disapproving of a rule drafted by the Obama Administration to require states to use that grant to fund abortion clinics. That rule sought to infringe on the states’ right to prioritize health funding in ways that best serve local families. I was happy to support the bill when it passed the House on Thursday, and am hopeful the Senate will take it up quickly and get it to the president’s desk for his signature.

 

HOUSE MEMBERS URGE SUPPORT FOR JUDGE GORSUCH

It’s been over a year since the U.S. Supreme Court has had a complete bench of nine justices, which is why I was pleased when President Donald Trump announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his intended nominee. It would be impossible to fill the incredibly big shoes left by Justice Antonin Scalia, but I believe Judge Gorsuch is a great choice to return ideological balance to the highest court in the land. His academic and professional background alone can demonstrate how supremely qualified he is for this position, however, I am pleased to have the potential of Judge Gorsuch’s originalist understanding of the Constitution and textualist interpretation of law back in the SCOTUS chamber. That’s why I was happy to sign on to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. I am hopeful the confirmation hearings – scheduled to begin March 20th – will be swift and seamless so that the Supreme Court will be able to fulfill its Constitutional duties.

 

FORSYTH COUNTY STUDENTS LEAD THE WAY IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

I never get tired of seeing the great things our young people are doing here at home throughout the Seventh District.  We are blessed to have such bright young minds and committed parents, educators, and mentors to help them cultivate their talents.  Just last week, Forsyth County students were taking part in the Northwest Georgia Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and it comes as no surprise they did very well – with 22 students now moving on to the state level competition.  I have no doubt they’ll make us all proud there and beyond, and look forward to seeing what comes next for them.  Good luck! 

 

SERVING THE GWINNETT COUNTY COMMUNITY

With all the politics and partisan rancor that you see on the news every night, it’s easy to forget that we have heroes right here at home who serve our community without regard for their own safety. One of those heroes is Detective Justin Von Behren of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

With Americans living longer and requiring more specialized at-home health care, many of us take for granted that we’ll be able to find quality care for our parents or grandparents – or even for ourselves. Unfortunately, the reality is that unscrupulous individuals often times try to take advantage of senior citizens who are in vulnerable health. In December 2015, Detective Von Behren busted an unlicensed home care ring that was abusing patients, and last week, he was recognized in the Georgia General Assembly by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for his work.

We all know that seniors living on fixed incomes rely on their hard-earned Social Security, Medicare, and retirement benefits to pay for their health care needs – including home care needs. With the financial pressures that Social Security and Medicare are facing at the federal level, we can’t allow a penny of that money to go to waste, especially if it’s wasted on caregivers who are abusive. Seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and thanks to the great work of the Gwinnett County Police Department, seniors in our area are going to be protected and cared for and their benefits are going to be used on high-quality care from licensed professionals.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

Both the House and the White House are hard at work on the 2018 budget.  This past week my friend and former Congressman Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina was sworn in to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  If you haven’t heard of this agency, you are not alone, but it is the gatekeeper for all of the money that the Administration will spend.  It is also responsible for crafting the President’s budget and sending it to Capitol Hill.  Ordinarily that happens by the first week of February, but he couldn’t release a budget until after he was sworn in.  Mr. Mulvaney made a name for himself on Capitol Hill as a budget cutter, and I was proud to work with him on a number of Congressional initiatives.  If we are to continue our push for a balanced budget, we will need Mick Mulvaney as a partner.  I will keep you up to date on both our House budget numbers and the White House budget numbers as they become final, but I wanted to give you the encouragement of knowing that for the first time in a long time, we have a fiscal hawk partner in the White House budget office.  This week will be a pivotal one in the OMB process.

I hope that you and your family are having a great week so far, and I thank you for the privilege of serving you.

                                         
Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Washington Watch - 2/13/17

2017/02/13

PROMISES KEPT: HOUSE OVERTURNS LAME DUCK RULE FEDERALIZING EDUCATION STANDARDS

Last week, the House voted to overturn two more Obama-era regulations that would have significantly expanded the federal role in K-12 education. The first resolution, H.J.Res. 57, nullifies a federal Department of Education (ED) regulation that would have imposed new requirements on states as they work to develop education accountability plans. As you all may know, state and local education leaders in Georgia, including representatives from Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, have been working diligently since last summer to develop an education accountability plan that will serve the interests of students in our state. Unfortunately, ED’s accountability plan regulation, which was issued in closing lame duck weeks of President Obama’s administration, proposes to substitute the judgement of federal bureaucrats in Washington for that of the best and brightest education minds in our district and state. That’s contrary to the core principles of the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bill which devolved much of the K-12 decision making authority to state and local education leaders and the bill that the regulations were inexplicably purported to implement. I’m glad the House took a stand on this issue, and I expect to see the Senate follow suit in the coming days. 

The second resolution, H.J.Res. 58, nullifies a federal regulation that mandates certain requirements that states must use when evaluating the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Ensuring that our classrooms are filled with highly qualified educators is an idea that we can all get behind, but we don’t need one-size-fits-all Washington metrics to determine whether our teachers are being adequately prepared to serve our students. The continued educational successes we’ve enjoyed in our part of the world are proof that what we are doing in the Seventh District is working, and our successes are not thanks to federal rules and regulations. They are in spite of those rules and regulations, and I will continue to do what I can to keep as much local control over K-12 decisions right here in our state and local communities.

 

PROMISES KEPT: HOUSE OVERTURNS LAME DUCK FEDERAL LAND GRAB

Much of what the House of Representatives has been doing since the start of the 115th Congress is to ensure stakeholders at the local level, who have the knowledge and expertise regarding a certain issue area, have their input considered and implemented in the rules by which they are governed. The House vote on H.J.Res. 44 to reject the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “Planning 2.0” rule was a move to do just that. Planning 2.0 sought to strip much of the power reserved to state and local authorities in land planning and management and give it to unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. and special interest groups with deep pockets across the nation. It also neglected to establish a process for these local entities to discuss or challenge BLM’s decision on how the land can be used. I absolutely support efforts to protect our land and safeguard our environment, but efforts to do so should not be at the expense of people’s livelihoods. Sharing authority between the federal government and those closest to the land is how we will ensure a balanced approach to environmentalism and responsible land development. 

 

SENATE CONFIRMS THREE MORE CABINET SECRETARIES 

Last week, the Senate voted to confirm Ms. Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education, Senator Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General, and Dr. Tom Price as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. I truly believe that all of these talented individuals will serve our nation proudly and will give all Americans the opportunity to succeed. I’m of course especially proud of my good friend, Dr. Price. Tom Price has been a friend and mentor for many years, and as the long-time representative from the neighboring 6th Congressional District, I’ve learned so much from him about how to serve constituents and be your voice in Washington. I’m sure that all Georgians wish him well in his new position, and I know that I will certainly be doing all that I can to support him and ensure that the most important issues facing the Department of Health and Human Services – how best to repair Obamacare, how to ensure that Medicare is available for future generations of Americans, how to promote our public health agencies, and how to bolster health research and innovation – receive the kind of attention that they deserve. 

 

AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER

As you may know, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling made by federal district judge James L. Robart who blocked key parts of President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily restricting travel from countries identified first by the Obama Administration as security threats. The 9th Circuit’s ruling did not decide on the legality of the Executive Order, but it does restrict its enforcement until a final decision is made at the lower court. While some may be dismayed at the 9th Circuit’s decision, it is important to remember that this process is exactly what our Founding Fathers intended when establishing our constitutional republic. To that end, I have faith that our court system will rule in a way that upholds our laws.  After all, during the Obama Administration, I sought help from the courts to restrict actions of President Obama that I thought were contrary to the law or his authority, so it is no surprise to me that opponents of President Trump are seeking judicial action today.

 

FROM SCIENCE FICTION TO REALITY: WOODALL ADDRESSES COMMERCIAL SPACE CONFERENCE 

Just a few years ago, there were no commercial space launches from the United States, and it looked as though we would fall behind our global competitors in the race to return to space. Now, America leads the world in commercial space launches and America, specifically Georgia, is working hard to capitalize on this $300 billion industry. Last June, my Subcommittee on Aviation held its first hearing dedicated solely to commercial space transportation in many years, and on Wednesday, I had a chance to speak at the 20th annual Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Conference.

When you hear folks talk about the “next big thing,” you can’t help but put commercial space transportation in that category. We are living in a historic moment, and our great great grandchildren will one day read about the foundation that we will have laid for the next great American industry. Before long, we’re going to be moving people and things from one side of the planet to the other in a matter of hours.  Folks will be booking commercial space flights the way we book train tickets and flights today.  As commercial space transportation continues to mature and evolve, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will continue to exercise its oversight responsibilities while ensuring that Congress and the Executive Branch facilitate the growth and expansion of this promising new mode of transportation.

 

TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING THIS WEDNESDAY

As you know, the 115th Congress is already working hard for the American people, and part of my service to you is taking time to hear directly from you on a regular basis. This Wednesday, February 15th at 6:35pm, I will be hosting another telephone town hall meeting. This is an opportunity for us to talk about the important issues facing our nation and our 7th District community. I hope that you will be able to take some time to call in and talk with me. 

Telephone Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
6:35pm – 7:05pm
Dial-In: (877) 229-8493
Passcode: 17849

I do realize how difficult it is to make time out of a busy day, so if you can’t make it this Wednesday, please know that there will certainly be additional opportunities for us to gather in the future. And as always, if you have an issue that you’d like to discuss with me in a more personal setting, I hope that you will contact my office at (770) 232-3005 or at woodall@mail.house.gov and schedule a one-on-one meeting. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is expected to complete consideration of our package of regulatory disapproval resolutions.  We will vote on 5 more resolutions that disapprove of unnecessarily burdensome regulations from the last few weeks of the Obama Administration: H.J.Res. 42, H.J.Res. 43, H.J. Res. 66, H.J.Res. 67, and H.J.Res. 69. All of these regulations were passed at the 11th hour, and instead of doing good for the American people, they harm our economic growth and make life more difficult for American families. 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Washington Watch - 2/6/17

2017/02/06

KEEPING PROMISES: CURBING BURDERSOME REGULATIONS

The House acted last week to nullify a regulation handed down by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that is completely unrelated to the agency’s mission and would put American businesses at a disadvantage against foreign competitors. The Obama era regulation was simply another not so-veiled attempt to end mining and energy exploration around the world. The regulation, which was reissued last summer after the initial draft was struck down by a federal court, requires American oil, gas, and mining companies to report payments made to foreign governments for things like development licenses and permits.  According to a cost analysis performed by the SEC, the regulation would cost American businesses $600 million per year. That’s $600 million that could not be used to invest in new employees or new equipment or anything else that companies need to expand. And it's $600 million that won't be wasted by our international competitors who won't have to abide by the new, unnecessary regulation. After passing the House with my support last Wednesday, H.J. Res. 37, which overturns this burdensome rule, was approved by the Senate last Friday, and I expect President Trump to sign it in the coming days.

 

KEEPING PROMISES: UPHOLDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES 

The House also voted to invalidate a rule jointly issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that would impose additional, unnecessary layers of red tape on businesses vying for federal contracts at an estimated cost $458 million in year one alone. Under the regulation, which was issued in an effort to carry out two Executive Orders issued by President Obama, prospective federal contractors would have been required to disclose alleged violations of fourteen different federal labor laws from the previous three years, among other things. The regulation was recently stayed by a federal judge who noted that it presents an “imminent and non-speculative threat” to the First Amendment rights of affected businesses, which “will likely suffer increased costs, loss of customers, and loss of goodwill, regardless of whether they are actually disqualified from government contracts, by being labeled labor law violators.” Let’s be clear, blacklisting businesses and excluding them from being able to do business with the federal government over allegations of misconduct – not proof, but simply allegations – is wrong. Small businesses without armies of lawyers were especially threatened by this rule, as were the millions of Americans who work for those small businesses. I was pleased to join my colleagues in voting to roll back this costly, redundant regulation, and I hope to see the Senate follow suit very soon.

 

KEEPING PROMISES: UPHOLDING THE SECOND AMENDMENT

While it is imperative that our country continues to support our existing criminal background check system to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, I am actively engaged in protecting Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens throughout the United States. During the Obama Administration, the Social Security Administration promulgated a rule indicating it would share information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System on beneficiaries who receive a mental health status determination. While well intentioned, the broadness of the rule would group beneficiaries who simply have someone help with their finances into a category of individuals whose mental health makes them a potential danger to themselves or others. I was happy to support H.J.Res. 40 on the House floor disapproving of this rule to ensure the Constitutional rights of responsible gun owners would not be infringed upon by unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

 

KEEPING PROMISES: ROLLING BACK THE WAR ON COAL AND COAL MINING FAMILIES

In 2008, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement within the Department of the Interior decided to revise a preexisting regulation on the interaction between surface coal mining operations and streams and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with state agencies that would be impacted by the rule. However, this cooperation was short-lived. State agencies were repeatedly ignored and their input omitted from the drafting process, forcing 11 states to withdraw from the process entirely. The resulting rule – costing $10 million over 8 years to rewrite without necessary state and local input – indicated the potential loss of one-third of the U.S. coal mining workforce and drastic reduction of coal production in 22 states. When federal agencies draft regulations, it is paramount that they consult the affected stakeholders, not only to understand how the proposed rule would impact the targeted industry, but also to seek advice for how best to implement the rule. That is why I decided to cosponsor H.J.Res. 38 to reject this grossly mismanaged and poorly drafted regulation. 

 

KEEPING PROMISES: PROMOTING AMERICAN ENERGY EXPLORATION

On Friday, I joined my colleagues in supporting H.J.Res. 36 to disapprove of a rule proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that sought to regulate the oil and gas industry’s venting and flaring of gas byproducts. While I absolutely believe in the importance of protecting our environment, this was simply another cloaked effort to slow and restrict American energy exploration. BLM, in fact, doesn’t have any jurisdiction in this area. Rather, the responsibility lies with the Environmental Protection Agency and the states to enforce existing regulations authorized by the Clean Air Act – which they already do. Moreover, a current EPA report suggests existing regulations are sufficient as methane emissions in the energy sector have dropped over the last decade, even as the industry has grown over that same period. I’m pleased we were able to pass this resolution, and I am hopeful we will continue to eliminate onerous regulations that threaten our nation’s energy independence. 

 

HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE BEGINS WORK ON A 21ST CENTURY INFRATRUCTURE SYSTEM

Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held our first full hearing, and appropriately, it focused on the ways in which we can continue building a 21st Century infrastructure system that ensures America remains a global leader. I’m a big fan of what we do in this committee because transportation is one of those issues that brings people together rather than drives them to one side of the political aisle or the other. We saw proof of that with such major bipartisan accomplishments as the FAST Act and WIIN Act last year, both becoming law just last Congress, and I’m confident we’ll see more of that success going forward. The challenges we face over time may change, but the vision and shared principles that make America great remain the same.  

 

SUPPORTING OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES ACROSS THE WORLD

With the Trump Administration wrapping up just its second week, Congress and the new President have already begun repairing and strengthening critical relationships abroad. Two weeks ago, British Prime Minister Theresa May visited both the Congress and the new White House, and last week we welcomed King Abdullah of Jordan and Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to Washington to discuss how to achieve our shared goals of defeating ISIS and bringing peace to the Middle East. The United States must remain a powerful force for freedom and good in an increasingly dangerous and unstable world, but we can’t achieve all our goals alone. Whether on trade, defense, or myriad other issues, our partnerships with nations like Britain, Jordan, and Israel are absolutely vital, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress with President Trump to continue our open dialogue with America’s friends and allies.

You might be interested to hear that King Abdullah didn’t just come to talk about international issues. He came to celebrate America’s freedom to worship, as well, and attended our National Prayer Breakfast. This breakfast, and the day's many activities, have become so much more than just a morning meal, with King Abdullah of Jordan gave the keynote speech at the prayer lunch.  We hear a great deal about what divides folks, and too often, we hear that religion divides us, but I can tell you there is much more that unites us. A strong friendship between the United States and Jordan makes each country more secure, and I’m grateful for King Abdullah’s commitment to our common goals and his words of wisdom this past week.

 

DISASTER RELIEF: WAYS YOU CAN ASSIST GEORGIA RESIDENTS IN NEED 

When disaster strikes, it never ceases to amaze me how responsive and willing to help folks are, especially when disaster hits close to home. As you know, thousands of Georgians have come together to assist the residents of south Georgia who were affected by severe weather that wreaked havoc on a number of communities in January. I encourage you to join me in continuing our prayers for these folks who are seeking hope in the face of heartbreak and loss. The outpouring of support and large number of volunteer inquiries that my office received from Seventh District residents has prompted me to create a Disaster Relief resources page on my website. Going forward, you will be able to find disaster relief efforts, resources, volunteer opportunities, and donation warehouses on a case-by-case basis on my website. Please do not hesitate to give my office a call if you have any questions, or if you know of any resources available to assist folks when disaster strikes. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

 This week is a short week in the House in order to accommodate the House Democrats annual legislative retreat. But even with a short week, we’re getting a lot done! We will be voting on three more joint resolutions of disapproval to roll-back regulations recently promulgated by the Obama Administration that are killing jobs, harming development, and dampening economic growth: H.J.Res. 44, H.J.Res. 57, H.J.Res. 58. I encourage you to tune into the Rules Committee Monday night at 5pm to learn more about these resolutions and how Congress can do better for our nation. 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress 

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Woodall Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS

2017/02/01

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (GA 07) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court.

“By all accounts of his distinguished legal career, Judge Neil Gorsuch is exactly the kind of Constitutionalist America needs.  His record shows a passion and deep respect for applying the law as it is written – not as he wishes it to be.  His credentials show clear qualification to serve on the Supreme Court, and it is my hope that he will receive prompt consideration by my colleagues in the Senate.”

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee. 

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Obamacare Costs in Georgia

2017-02-17 21:22:22


Rep. Woodall Discusses the ACA on the House Floor

2017-02-17 19:30:49


Rep Woodall Building a 21st century infrastructure

2017-02-02 21:43:29


Rep. Woodall Manages the Rule for the Continuing Resolution and the WIIN Act on the House Floor

2016-12-09 21:53:37


Rep. Woodall Speaks on the Rule for Water Resources Authorization Bill on House Floor

2016-09-30 20:09:11


Rep. Woodall Speaks on Secure Mail Initiative Act on House Floor

2016-09-22 20:46:17


Rep. Woodall Discusses Tax Policy on House Floor

2016-09-09 18:12:51


Rep. Woodall Discusses FairTax with Colleagues on House Floor

2016-09-09 15:26:35


Rep. Woodall Discusses Franking Legislation on House Floor

2016-06-13 14:21:58


Rep. Woodall Speaks on Rule for Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

2016-06-10 21:34:42


Rep. Woodall Discusses FairTax on House Floor

2016-05-16 12:30:49


Rep. Woodall Testifies on the FairTax at Ways and Means Hearing

2016-05-13 17:40:06


Rep. Woodall Discusses Legislative Successes on House Floor

2016-05-02 13:31:33


Rep. Woodall Testifies on FairTax During Tax Reform Hearing

2016-03-23 16:33:51


Rep. Woodall Speaks at Budget Committee Markup

2016-03-21 15:34:08


Rep. Woodall Discusses Economic Growth on House Floor

2016-03-04 21:28:04


Rep. Woodall Discusses Budget and Economic Growth on House Floor

2016-03-03 13:59:52


Rep. Woodall Discusses Debt Ceiling Legislation on House Floor

2016-02-12 18:58:40


Rep. Woodall Discusses Reconciliation Legislation on House Floor

2016-01-11 18:21:28


Rep. Woodall Speaks in Favor of Budget Reconciliation Legislation

2016-01-07 16:46:39


Contact Information

1725 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4272
Fax 202-225-4696
woodall.house.gov

Rob Woodall serves the 7th district of GA in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Rules, the House Budget Committee, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Rob also serves as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee’s Budget and Spending Task Force.

Rob was born and raised in Georgia, graduated from Marist School in 1988, attended Furman University for his undergraduate degree and received his law degree from the University of Georgia

Rob first came to public service as a staffer for then Congressman John Linder serving as his Chief of Staff and was elected to Congress in 2010.

Rob’s political philosophy is guided by the principles of freedom, and his proudest accomplishment is helping Seventh District families one at a time through casework and creating a Congressional office that functions for the people.


Serving With

Buddy Carter

GEORGIA's 1st DISTRICT

Drew Ferguson

GEORGIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Tom Price

GEORGIA's 6th DISTRICT

Austin Scott

GEORGIA's 8th DISTRICT

Doug Collins

GEORGIA's 9th DISTRICT

Jody Hice

GEORGIA's 10th DISTRICT

Barry Loudermilk

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Rick Allen

GEORGIA's 12th DISTRICT

Tom Graves

GEORGIA's 14th DISTRICT

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