Rob Woodall

Rob Woodall

GEORGIA's 7th DISTRICT

Woodall Hosts Service Academy Appointee Reception

2016/05/05

(Lawrenceville, GA) – Last Saturday, Rep. Rob Woodall (GA 07) joined the Georgia delegation at Dobbins Air Reserve Base for the annual Academy Day kick off of a new nomination season, and on Wednesday he hosted a reception for the 7th District students he nominated last year who were subsequently accepted and received appointments.  They will soon begin their time at America’s Service Academies, but first they celebrated with family during a visit with the Congressman. 

“Every year I look forward to this day and the opportunity to personally congratulate these remarkable young leaders for their accomplishment.  The application process – not to mention the years of hard work required to get them to this point – is lengthy and demanding, and they have all earned their place at institutions second to none.  I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve accomplished, and under their leadership I’m confident America’s best days are ahead.”

The 7th District is a perennial leader in the number of Service Academy appointees each year and will now send 12 more to three different academies.  The 2016 Service Academy appointees include: David Abbott (North Gwinnett HS/Naval Academy), Kyle Vargas (Lambert High School/Naval Academy),  Diego Manrique (Mill Creek HS/Naval Academy), Justin Jang (Peachtree Ridge HS/West Point Military Academy), Andrew Murphy (Hebron Christian Academy/Naval Academy), Tricia Dang (North Gwinnett HS/Air Force Academy), Connor Mannion (Lambert HS/Naval Academy), Sally Varner (St. Pius HS, Gwinnett resident/West Point Military Academy), Ashton Barnes (Lanier HS/Air Force Academy), Matthew Herbig (Collins Hill HS/Air Force Academy), Richard Ford Higgins (Greater Atlanta Christian School/Naval Academy), and Ernando Manrique (Mill Creek HS/Naval Academy).

For more information on the Service Academy nomination process, visit http://woodall.house.gov or contact Debra Poirot in the Congressman’s district office at (770) 232-3032.

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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U.S. Chamber Recognizes Rep. Woodall with Spirit of Enterprise Award

2016/05/04

(Duluth, GA) – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Seventh District Representative Rob Woodall with the Spirit of Enterprise Award in recognition of his pro-economic growth voting record fostering small business and entrepreneurship.  Each year the Chamber tracks Members of Congress on key votes to the business community, and Woodall has become a perennial recipient of the award with the highest percentage ranking of the entire Georgia delegation.

“The Seventh District is a community of folks that get things done,” said Rep. Woodall.  “From start-up entrepreneurs to established corporate citizens, we have expertise in just about every field right here at home, and all they need from Washington is a regulatory climate that allows them to do what they do best.  Their partnership is the driving force behind our success, and it makes our voice in Congress that much more effective.”

During the first session of the 114th Congress, the Chamber scored Members on 20 House votes, including votes to make permanent tax provisions that would have regularly expired, and the first long-term transportation law in a decade (H.R. 22 ).  Rep. Woodall serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee responsible for crafting H.R. 22, which was ultimately passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

Also in attendance at today’s presentation were members of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and local business community.

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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Washington Watch - 5/2/16

2016/05/02

HOUSE APPROVES PRIVACY PROTECTIONS FOR EMAIL

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 699, the “Email Privacy Act,” which guarantees digital communications (e.g., emails) the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical communications (e.g., letters). If this seems like common sense; it's only because it is. The problem is that the current law governing electronic privacy protections was passed in 1986—well before email became a critical and ubiquitous communication tool. Because Congress hasn’t updated this law, emails have been accessible to law enforcement authorities without a warrant. Under H.R. 699, the authorities must get a warrant to access emails or other digital communications that are more than 180 days old. This is legislation I have been pushing for more than two years, and I am thrilled to see that the efforts of my colleagues and I have finally paid off and brought this measure one step closer to becoming the law of the land. 

 

GWINNETT CHAMBER BRINGS 7TH DISTRICT VALUES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO WASHINGTON

Last week I had the privilege of spending time with dozens of Gwinnettians for the annual Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce meeting in Washington, D.C. These folks are small business owners and distinguished members of our community, and thankfully for all of us, they are willing to take time away from their families and their businesses to share with me the needs of the 7th District and how the government can do a better job serving our friends and neighbors.

The Chamber members met with a number of my colleagues, including Chairman John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who spoke with us about how their committees are working to protect our homeland from terrorism and ensure that we have a strong and growing economy. Hearing the perspectives of members of Congress from other parts of the country is a great way for those of us in the 7th District to learn how we can work together across state and ideological lines to make American better tomorrow than it is today.

 

COMING TOGETHER FOR HARD-WORKING AMERICANS 

Last week the House exercised its authority under the Congressional Review Act to formally disapprove of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rewrite of the fiduciary rule. I’m sure by now you all are familiar with this new rule, as I’ve discussed it in previous newsletters and town hall meetings. The Obama Administration has portrayed the new rule as a necessary change to protect Americans from dishonest retirement planners, but I take issue with that characterization for a number of reasons.  

The first is that I believe the best way to protect hard-working Americans is to put policies in place that foster competition and increase choices, and I’ve heard from retirement advisors in our area at companies like State Farm who have told me the new rules will end up limiting choices for folks who are trying to save for retirement. Limiting choices and making it harder to save for retirement hurts Americans; it doesn't protect them. It’s also troubling to me that the Obama Administration believes folks in our area can trust bureaucrats at the DOL more than we can trust our friends and neighbors who serve our community as financial advisors. Maybe folks in other parts of the nation have those concerns. But I don’t believe that’s the case in the Seventh District, and I was pleased to join a majority of my House colleagues in support of the disapproval resolution.

 

SUPPORTING AMERICA’S MANUFACTURERS AND WORKERS

The House also took action last week to promote U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in what is increasingly becoming a global marketplace.  The bill, H.R. 4923, the “American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act,” will reduce costs on domestic manufacturers by establishing a process to reduce tariff rates on certain imports that are not readily available in the U.S. Right now, those tariff rates are operating as border taxes on our manufacturers and making it harder for them to sell American-made products, grow their business, and create more jobs right here at home. While the House is working on additional solutions to help U.S. manufacturers compete, like reforming our corporate tax code and streamlining our excessive regulatory structure, I’m pleased that an overwhelming number of members agreed that H.R. 4923 was a common-sense, first step towards creating a more level playing field for U.S. manufactures and workers, and I look forward to seeing move through the Senate and receive a Presidential signature.  

 

ENSURING GROWTH AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 

Before I boarded a plane to head back to D.C. for last week’s business on Capitol Hill, I had the pleasure of speaking with a dedicated group of local leaders here in the 7th District through the Council for Quality Growth. I appreciate the partnership of the Council in all of my work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and I appreciate the invitation to speak with their members. Jackson EMC was a great host, and we had a great exchange of ideas about how to move America's infrastructure forward. 


Rep. Rob Woodall joins James Touchton, the Director of Policy and Government Affairs, with the Gwinnett Council for Quality Growth

From transportation issues, water infrastructure, to healthcare, no one works together to achieve excellence better than the 7th District, and that’s because we’re a community of individuals that show up – time and again – for whatever the issue at hand may be. We’re successful not because our politics are always aligned, but because our goals are. The message I am able to share in Washington on your behalf carries weight because of the results here at home that validate our local approach and partnership. Thanks again for all you do. 

 

SUPPORTING OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee approved one of the most important bills that Congress will consider all year—the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It’s no secret that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place, with the persistence of terror groups like ISIS and myriad other threats and challenges facing America and her allies. That stark reality makes this annual defense authorization bill, which provides our men and women in uniform with the equipment, resources, weapons systems, and training they need to successfully complete their missions around the world, all the more important.  

While this legislation benefits our nation’s military as a whole, it also protects two programs that are important to the State of Georgia: it prevents the retirement of the A-10 Warthog, a crucial close air support aircraft which flies out of Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, and, in an amendment approved in Committee offered by fellow Georgia Representative Austin Scott, it also prevents the retirement of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), a vital battlefield intelligence aircraft that is based out of Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. These two programs are no doubt important to these two Georgia military installations, the servicemen and women that serve on them, and their families, but I’m very glad that the Committee as a whole recognized their importance and unique role in our nation’s broader military posture.

Because this is such an important bill, it is also very important that we get the process for considering it right. With a base bill that is the product of extensive collaboration between both sides of the aisle on the Committee and over 300 amendments debated, it’s no wonder this year’s NDAA was approved by the Committee on resounding 60-2 vote. While Congress is divided on a number of different issues, and I am always very proud of the Committee’s robust and inclusive drafting and amendment process—the result is a victory for our nation’s military and American democracy, and I could not be more excited for the full House to take up this important measure in the coming weeks.  

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

I’m happy to be back in Georgia this week and spending time listening to and learning from all corners of the 7th District. I’ll be visiting local small businesses, meeting with community leaders, and doing what I love best about this job – talking with the young people of our community about how they can be the future leaders of America. 

If you'd like to invite me to visit your group, tour your business, or meet with your students during a future District Work Week, please contact me. You can call me at (202) 225-4272 or email me at woodall@mail.house.gov. Together, we are making a difference.

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Conservatives in U.S. Congress urge shutdown of tax-collecting IRS

2016/05/02

WASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) - It's a U.S. taxpayer's dream: make the Internal Revenue Service go away, and the largest conservative group in Congress is endorsing just that.

The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its members, called recently for "the complete elimination of the IRS."

The committee's support for this idea, once confined to the fringes of conservative ideology, suggests it is more widely accepted on Capitol Hill than ever. But many in Washington, including some Republicans, have trouble taking it seriously.

Calls to abolish the IRS have not been well thought through, said Republican Representative Charles Boustany in an interview.

"Before we start making blanket statements about abolishing the IRS, I think it's important to focus on what the tax code for the 21st century should look like," said Boustany, who does not belong to the 172-member study committee.

In an election year of dramatic rhetoric that is often short on details, the committee's proposal, released April 22 and echoing language from a March budget plan, is brief.

As part of a wider appeal for federal tax reform, the committee says simply: "This proposal takes the bold step of calling for the complete elimination of the IRS. Tax collection and enforcement activities would be moved to a new, smaller and more accountable department at the Treasury."

No further specifics were offered for how to replace an agency that is already part of Treasury, collected $3.3 trillion in revenue in 2015, and processed 240 million tax returns.

Texas Representative Bill Flores, chairman of the study committee, was not available for comment. His spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll said the IRS closure proposal should be seen as part of a larger push for comprehensive tax reform.

Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a think tank , said, "We are in an election year, and bashing the IRS is particularly attractive in an election year."

From a global perspective, the IRS does a good job, Rosenthal said, noting that U.S. income tax compliance is about 82 percent, one of the highest levels in the world.

Still, in the United States, antipathy for the IRS is widespread and long-standing. One of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's biggest applause lines on the campaign trail is, "Imagine abolishing the IRS!"

'SOUNDS TRUMPISH'

Asked recently about Cruz's line and calls to close the agency, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said: "If you want to call it something other than the IRS and that makes you feel better, that's okay with me. But ultimately you got to have somebody somewhere who collects the information, audits it and makes sure it's accurate and valid and collects the funding."

Some Democrats scoff at the IRS closure proposal. "If there are problems at the IRS ... we can straighten it out," said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, adding Republicans should be wary of advocating an idea that "sounds Trumpish."

Donald Trump, the anti-establishment front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has not called for the abolition of the IRS.

Congress has cut the IRS's budget 17 percent in real terms since 2010. In mid-April, the House approved several IRS-bashing bills, including one to prevent it from making new hires until Treasury certifies no agency employees are seriously delinquent on taxes themselves.

The IRS is a long-time congressional punching bag but Republicans have been hitting it harder since the IRS several years ago applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012 and came under attack for it from Republicans.

Republican Representative Rob Woodall of Georgia has introduced a bill every year since he entered Congress in 2011 to eliminate income taxes and abolish the IRS.

Support for Woodall's bill has grown to 73 co-sponsors, including the heads of the House tax and budget committees, but it has never advanced. Nor has a similar bill in the Senate.

It was unclear how House Speaker Paul Ryan would treat the study committee's proposal in drafting a party policy agenda ahead of the Republican convention in Cleveland in July.

"The speaker welcomes input from the RSC and all members of our conference," said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Ryan has sidestepped calls for abolishing the IRS in the past, while frequently criticizing the agency.

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Washington Watch - 4/25/16

2016/04/25

HOLDING THE IRS ACCOUNTABLE

In the few short years that I’ve been entrusted with your voting card, many of you have contacted me about the IRS, and most of you used the opportunity to share your concerns and frustrations about the agency.  These concerns typically include things such as the IRS targeting scandal, tax refund checks being stolen, or the lack of assistance offered by IRS taxpayer service representatives.   As it turns out, those concerns and stories you all were sharing with me were also being shared with Members from Congressional districts across the nation, and during Tax Week in America, the House took action on a number of bills inspired by those many constituent emails, phone calls, and office meetings. 

My colleagues and I began the week by unanimously passing two bills, one that prevents the use of taxpayer funds to target U.S. citizens for exercising their Constitutional rights, and another that calls on the IRS to provide taxpayers with printed forms that explain general tax laws and rules for filing tax returns.  We also passed bills to ensure IRS employees are paying their taxes just like hard-working Americans, and to require any fees collected by the IRS to be deposited into the Treasury where those funds can be appropriated by Congress with proper oversight. 

We wrapped up the week by moving a bill to prevent the IRS from rehiring former employees who were dismissed for cause, and a final bill to stop the IRS from paying employee bonuses until a comprehensive plan to improve taxpayers services is submitted to Congress and approved by the Treasury Inspector General.  I was pleased to see so many Members from both sides of the aisle come together in support of hard-working American taxpayers, and I hope that the Senate will quickly send these bills to the President’s desk.

Click here for more information about the abovementioned legislation.

The Hill: House Passes Bills to Enhance IRS Oversight

 

BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT AMERICANS

On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing entitled “Small Business and the Federal Government: How Cyber-Attacks Threaten Both.” The era of Americans doing business solely on Main Street is over. Americans from all walks of life are on the internet, and almost every small business in our country has an internet presence. Credit cards, websites, mobile apps, and more make it easier to conduct commerce, but it’s also easier for criminals to infiltrate and attack our small businesses. Sophisticated hackers use technology to go after our bank accounts, Social Security numbers, intellectual property, confidential business data, and anything else they can use for financial gain. Small businesses don’t have the man-power or the money to defend against sophisticated hackers, and that’s why it’s imperative for small businesses and the government to work together to protect Americans. This is a non-partisan issue, and one that I’m convinced we can work together to combat.

 

STANDING WITH ISRAEL

Israel remains our nation’s strongest ally in the Middle East, and with myriad threats and other challenges mounting against its people and very existence as a nation, now more than ever we must stand in solidarity with them.  From the Palestinian incitement of violence or the growing adventurism of Iran emboldened by a dangerous nuclear deal, the persistence of groups like Hezbollah and Hamas that are bent on Israel’s destruction, or the dramatic rise of ISIS in neighboring Syria, the people of Israel face very real threats.  Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss these issues first-hand with a group that was in Washington for AIPAC’s annual policy conference.   Consisting of volunteers – young and old – primarily from our community in the Seventh District, they took time away from their busy schedules to share their passion about Israel and the challenges its people face daily.  

These conversations and the difficult realities behind them are why I decided to sign onto two important letters to President Obama this week.  The first letter requests an increase in our nation’s security assistance contribution in the next Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel.  These crucial assistance dollars aren’t just about ensuring Israel’s safety.  America and Israel face a number of shared strategic goals and common threats such as terrorism and weapons proliferation, and these dollars are just as important to protecting our nation’s troops deployed overseas and people at home as they are to protecting Israel.  With the threats against Israel even stronger than they were when the last MOU was negotiated in 2006, an increase in our contribution isn’t just warranted, it’s absolutely necessary.  

The second letter urges the President to reject any imposed outside solution to the very difficult situation between Israel and the Palestinians, and instead urges him to be an effective mediator and foster an environment for direct negotiations between the two sides.  While of late, the Palestinians have refused to come to the negotiating table and have instead chosen to incite violence against the people of Israel, our nation still must send a clear message that lasting peace will only be achieved if both sides work out their differences in good faith and arrive at a solution together.  Both of these letters weren’t just signed by me, but by dozens of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and it’s my hope that the President hears this powerful message and supports policies that are of upmost importance to one of our greatest friends and allies.  

 

SEVENTH DISTRICT STUDENT EXCELLENCE

After another busy and productive week in Washington, it was great to be back home with the folks of the 7th District on Friday.  I had several great visits to wrap up the week, including the pleasure of presenting Arjun Karanam with the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his work in the Congressional App Challenge.  It's an opportunity for high school students with a wide range of computer coding skills to develop that skill by building an original app from scratch. Arjun is currently a sophomore at South Forsyth High School, and built an app called the Electoral College History that was named the winner for the 7th District! You can view Arjun’s demonstration video here.  Take a look; it's impressive! 

7th District App Challenge Winner, Arjun Karanam, pictured with Rep. Woodall

 

WORKING TOGETHER TO CRAFT GOOD POLICY

Another item on the agenda when I returned to Georgia was to hear from one of our local businesses, Daimler Trucks North America in Buford.  Like all our job creators here at home, they face myriad federal regulations and burdens that affect how they do business, and consequently how they are able to grow our economy.  In speaking with Plant Manager Anthony Coppola and his team in Buford, it is clear that the federal government can either be a partner - through R&D initiatives like the SuperTruck program to improve freight efficiency - or a millstone around their neck as in the case of ever-increasing EPA fuel regulations and the 12% federal excise tax on the retail sale of heavy-duty trucks.  I've said time and again, but it's true every time: seeing first-hand how Washington policies affect our community - good and bad - is vitally important to our overall success, and your partnership is what makes it possible. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is expected to consider a bill – H.R. 4498 – that cuts unnecessary government red tape to make it easier for American entrepreneurs and innovators to connect with people who want to invest in their companies. The American economy can only grow when the smartest and most innovative among us are allowed to use their brains and their hard work to turn an idea into a business. This bill champions that “can do” American spirit.  

The House will also consider H.J. Res 88 – under the Congressional Review Act – disapproving the “fiduciary rule” recently finalized by the U.S. Department of Labor. I’ve talked about how onerous this rule is in the past and how it will harm Americans and hurt financial advisors in our communities. Now, the House is taking a stand and telling the Obama Administration that it’s wrong to make it more difficult for hard-working Americans to plan, save, and invest for their retirement. 

 Finally, I want to highlight an important oversight hearing this week. The Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing entitled “Transferring Guantanamo Bay Detainees to the Homeland: Implications for States and Local Communities.” The Obama Administration has seemingly cooled on its proposed plan from February to close Guantanamo Bay and potentially move detainees to facilities inside the United States following condemnation of the plan from all sides of the political spectrum. But the plan remains one that President Obama supports, and it’s essential for us to understand the dangers that his plan may carry for our local communities so that we can oppose it together.                                                            

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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WOODALL: The best alternative to Tax Day

2016/04/18

There are few things that can hang a dark cloud over a beautiful spring day in the middle of April, but Tax Day certainly makes the cut. It’s a shame for many reasons, but perhaps none more than the fact that it simply doesn’t have to be this way.

Now we all know the day itself isn’t the real issue; it’s just the culmination of a broken, punitive system we know as the income tax. The good news is, however, we have the ability to fix or — as I prefer — replace it. It’s only a matter of will, and the American people are fed up with our broken system and demanding action.

So what’s the alternative? How do we do better? Some have proposed plans to reduce the complexity of your tax return and shrink the reach of the IRS. But at a time when America is wasting millions of hours and billions of dollars on compliance, and the IRS is more dangerous than it has ever been, nibbling around the edges of a failed system is not the answer. My plan is the FairTax, which would eliminate your tax return entirely, put the IRS out of business for good, and mark the largest transfer of power from Washington back to the American people in our history.

The FairTax, or H.R. 25, is a bill I introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that has far more support than any other major tax reform proposal in Congress. It would completely rip out our existing income tax structure and replace it with a national consumption tax on only new goods and services. Corporate, estate, and personal income taxes would all be gone. The payroll tax, which disproportionately hurts the most vulnerable families who are struggling to make ends meet, would disappear as well.

This means for the first time since World War II, you will be able to take home your entire paycheck. In place of these taxes, we would establish a 23 percent inclusive sales tax shown clearly on your receipt when purchasing new goods and services. Furthermore, because I believe that all taxes should be voluntary, the FairTax provides that every American can purchase essential goods and services tax free up to the national poverty level through a tool called the prebate. The prebate would be a check from the federal government at the beginning of each month sent to every household to cover the tax consequences present in the cost of basic living. The amount of the prebate would be based on the U.S. Health and Human Services report of the federal poverty level estimated at the beginning of each year.

Designed as a revenue-neutral alternative to the income tax, the FairTax levels the playing field by removing all the loopholes, exemptions, and difficulties that exist through the Internal Revenue Service now. It encourages productivity and restores taxpayer anonymity. For far too long we have endured a tax code that does just the opposite. In fact, the current system punishes hard-working Americans twice — once when they earn a paycheck and again when corporations pass their tax-related costs onto those same consumers. American workers are paying a heavy price for a tax code that no one believes is working.

As for anonymity, anyone who has ever filed taxes, much less gone through an audit, knows all too well that the process requires the American taxpayer to provide the federal government with more information than most would want to share with their children. This isn’t necessary, it isn’t productive, and it isn’t consistent with the American principles of freedom and opportunity.

The FairTax embraces these principles rather than undermines them. It doesn’t pick winners and losers or try to manipulate behavior from Washington, D.C. It does, however, reinvigorate the American ideal that by the power of your ideas and sweat of your brow one can make tomorrow better than today. Washington simply needs to get out of the way.

Legislation doesn’t create jobs or economic growth; the American people do. The FairTax understands this, and is counting on it. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses of 20 or fewer people account for approximately 90 percent of all U.S. employers, and employ 20 million people across the country. That being said, it is also estimated that they spend an average of $74 an hour on federal tax code compliance. Clearly that is time and money they are unable to invest in growing their business and hiring our neighbors.

Our tax policy should reflect our economic ambitions, not be a millstone around the neck of the American economy. Our tax code can and should leverage our entrepreneurial spirit and reward our hard work. With Tax Day upon us, millions of Americans are again sorting through the myriad complexities and consequences of IRS regulations, but thankfully we have a clear alternative — the FairTax. Let’s make April 15 just another beautiful spring day.

Rob Woodall, R-Ga., represents the 7th Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Gwinnett and Forsyth 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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The best alternative to Tax Day

2016/04/18

There are few things that can hang a dark cloud over a beautiful spring day in the middle of April, but Tax Day certainly makes the cut. It’s a shame for many reasons, but perhaps none more than the fact that it simply doesn’t have to be this way.

Now we all know the day itself isn’t the real issue; it’s just the culmination of a broken, punitive system we know as the income tax. The good news is, however, we have the ability to fix or — as I prefer — replace it. It’s only a matter of will, and the American people are fed up with our broken system and demanding action.

So what’s the alternative? How do we do better? Some have proposed plans to reduce the complexity of your tax return and shrink the reach of the IRS. But at a time when America is wasting millions of hours and billions of dollars on compliance, and the IRS is more dangerous than it has ever been, nibbling around the edges of a failed system is not the answer. My plan is the FairTax, which would eliminate your tax return entirely, put the IRS out of business for good, and mark the largest transfer of power from Washington back to the American people in our history.

The FairTax, or H.R. 25, is a bill I introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that has far more support than any other major tax reform proposal in Congress. It would completely rip out our existing income tax structure and replace it with a national consumption tax on only new goods and services. Corporate, estate, and personal income taxes would all be gone. The payroll tax, which disproportionately hurts the most vulnerable families who are struggling to make ends meet, would disappear as well.

This means for the first time since World War II, you will be able to take home your entire paycheck. In place of these taxes, we would establish a 23 percent inclusive sales tax shown clearly on your receipt when purchasing new goods and services. Furthermore, because I believe that all taxes should be voluntary, the FairTax provides that every American can purchase essential goods and services tax free up to the national poverty level through a tool called the prebate. The prebate would be a check from the federal government at the beginning of each month sent to every household to cover the tax consequences present in the cost of basic living. The amount of the prebate would be based on the U.S. Health and Human Services report of the federal poverty level estimated at the beginning of each year.

Designed as a revenue-neutral alternative to the income tax, the FairTax levels the playing field by removing all the loopholes, exemptions, and difficulties that exist through the Internal Revenue Service now. It encourages productivity and restores taxpayer anonymity. For far too long we have endured a tax code that does just the opposite. In fact, the current system punishes hard-working Americans twice — once when they earn a paycheck and again when corporations pass their tax-related costs onto those same consumers. American workers are paying a heavy price for a tax code that no one believes is working.

As for anonymity, anyone who has ever filed taxes, much less gone through an audit, knows all too well that the process requires the American taxpayer to provide the federal government with more information than most would want to share with their children. This isn’t necessary, it isn’t productive, and it isn’t consistent with the American principles of freedom and opportunity.

The FairTax embraces these principles rather than undermines them. It doesn’t pick winners and losers or try to manipulate behavior from Washington, D.C. It does, however, reinvigorate the American ideal that by the power of your ideas and sweat of your brow one can make tomorrow better than today. Washington simply needs to get out of the way.

Legislation doesn’t create jobs or economic growth; the American people do. The FairTax understands this, and is counting on it. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses of 20 or fewer people account for approximately 90 percent of all U.S. employers, and employ 20 million people across the country. That being said, it is also estimated that they spend an average of $74 an hour on federal tax code compliance. Clearly that is time and money they are unable to invest in growing their business and hiring our neighbors.

Our tax policy should reflect our economic ambitions, not be a millstone around the neck of the American economy. Our tax code can and should leverage our entrepreneurial spirit and reward our hard work. With Tax Day upon us, millions of Americans are again sorting through the myriad complexities and consequences of IRS regulations, but thankfully we have a clear alternative — the FairTax. Let’s make April 15 just another beautiful spring day.

Rob Woodall, R-Ga., represents the 7th Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Gwinnett and Forsyth 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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Washington Watch - 4/18/16

2016/04/18

ELIMINATING OUR CURRENT INCOME TAX CODE

As we approached “Tax Day,” I was proud to join House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and many of my colleagues last week for a press conference in support of H.R. 27, the “Tax Code Termination Act.” This legislation is a crucial step towards eliminating our broken federal tax code and replacing it with a simpler, fairer system that actually works for the American people. Under H.R. 27, Congress would have until July 4, 2019, to approve a new federal tax system, and absent a two-thirds majority vote in Congress, our current tax code would expire on December 31, 2019.  


Rep. Rob Woodall joins his House colleagues to support eliminating the Income Tax Code

While H.R. 27 doesn’t endorse a specific tax reform proposal as a replacement for our current system, it’s no secret I believe the FairTax (H.R. 25) is the solution. With Tax Day upon us, millions of Americans have again devoted valuable time, energy, and financial resources to sorting through the myriad complexities and consequences of IRS regulations, but thankfully, we have a clear alternative – the FairTax. I’m grateful to everyone for partnering in that effort, and I’m confident we’re closer than ever to making Tax Day just another beautiful spring day.  

 

ENFORCING CONGRESS’ POWER OF THE PURSE

Last week the House passed a bill to increase transparency and accountability for a very powerful group of unelected bureaucrats at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which were established by the Dodd-Frank Act. Those two agencies are responsible for making financial decisions that could have a major impact on American investments and jobs, but unlike many other powerful federal agencies, they do not have to come to Congress to request funding, which means they operate largely without Congressional oversight.  That’s very dangerous for taxpayers, and that danger was articulated by a federal judge in a recent court case in which an FSOC decision affecting MetLife, which has a strong presence in Georgia, was overturned.  According to the court, FSOC “ignored or, at least, abandoned” two definitions from its own formal guidance without any explanation.  What that means is that FSOC told MetLife to expect one thing during a designation determination process and then did something different.  Complying with regulatory guidance is already an expensive, time-consuming endeavor, and it’s all for nothing if regulators can change their minds like FSOC did.  I was pleased to support H.R. 3340, the “Financial Stability Oversight Council Reform Act,” which will bring much needed Congressional oversight to FSOC, and I hope to see it advance in the Senate very soon. 

 

WORKING TOGETHER TO COMBAT ZIKA

Last week, Republicans and Democrats in the House came together to pass a bill that will spur the development of drugs to combat the Zika virus. S. 2512 adds Zika to the list of tropical diseases under which a drug company can obtain an FDA fast-track voucher. Shepherding a new prescription drug through the FDA’s laborious approval process can take many years and many millions of dollars. Under this voucher procedure, the drug company that produces a drug to combat Zika will have special priority at the FDA for a six-month review process instead of the normal 12-18 month review process. This bill harnesses the power of our nation’s most intelligent scientists to develop a treatment and a cure for this terrible disease that threatens so many unborn babies throughout the Americas. 

I know how distressing the prospect of Zika in the United States is, especially as we move into the notoriously hot and humid summer months in Georgia. That’s why I hope you will take a moment to learn more about what our government’s premier public health agency, Atlanta’s very own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is doing to combat this disease as well as learn more about travel warnings and information for pregnant women and their families. Please visit the CDC’s Zika website to learn more. 

Finally, I want to take a moment to applaud the Obama Administration’s recent decision to use all our existing financial resources to help fight Zika. You’ll remember that Congress appropriated money to help fight the Ebola epidemic last year, and thanks to the great work of folks at the CDC, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the American military, we have been able to largely stop the spread of Ebola. There’s still money left in the Ebola account, however, and I’m very happy that President Obama has decided to redirect that emergency funding – over $500 million – to fighting the threat of Zika. While stopping Zika will certainly take a financial investment, I am happy to know that the President is willing to work with Congress in a fiscally responsible way.

 

CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF OBAMACARE IMPLEMENTATION

Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled “Unlawful Reinsurance Payments: CMS Diverting $3.5 Billion from Taxpayer to Pay Insurance Companies.” You’ve probably heard that as part of the President’s health care law, there is a program that collects money from health insurance companies and then redistributes that money to insurers who enroll the highest cost, highest risk individuals. The program is supposed to encourage insurers to take part in Obamacare by ensuring that they don’t lose millions of dollars on insuring patients who are going to use a disproportionately large and expensive amount of health care. 

What’s most important to note, however, is that the law specifically states that part of the money paid by insurers must be deposited into the Treasury and can’t be used to implement the program. Despite the law’s clear direction, the Obama Administration has been diverting the money that was meant for the Treasury into payments to insurers. The Energy and Commerce Committee is doing a tremendous job investigating this potentially unlawful exercise of power by the Obama Administration, and I look forward to following the Committee’s progress and ensuring that we hold the Administration accountable to the American people and the law. 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is expected to consider four important bills from the House Ways and Means Committee that combat abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): H.R. 1206, H.R. 3724, H.R. 4885, and H.R. 4890. While there is much more to be done, with these bills, we will deliver immediate results for the American people and make the IRS more accountable and responsive to their needs. 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Congressman holding Service Academy Day

2016/04/18

FORSYTH COUNTY - Forsyth County high school students interested in attending a military service academy after graduation soon will have the chance to learn more about all five branches in one place.

Service Academy Day, organized by U.S. District 7 Rep. Rob Woodall, U.S Sen. Johnny Isakson and Georgia’s congressional delegation, will be held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base from 10 to 11:30 a.m. April 30.

Students and those accompanying them must register by 5 p.m. on April 22.

The annual event is the largest of its kind in the nation, according to Woodall’s office, and offers Georgia high school students the opportunity to speak with representatives about what is required for admittance to each academy.

Woodall said his district, which includes south Forsyth is “full of remarkable young people, and each year I’m honored to have the opportunity to nominate many of them for appointments to America’s service academies.”

“For years now, the Seventh District has led the state in number of appointments, and that speaks directly to the quality of these young men and women,” he said.

“I’m always inspired by their passion for service and look forward to meeting even more of them in this year’s process.”

Admittance to four service academies — Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.; Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; and Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. — requires a nomination from a member of Congress, the vice president or a service branch secretary.

The Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination.

For more information about the event or the application process, visit woodall.house.gov/services/service-academy-nomination or call Debra Poirot in Woodall’s office at (770) 232-3032.

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Woodall Announces Service Academy Day

2016/04/14

(Washington, DC) – On Saturday, April 30, 2016, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (GA 07) will be partnering with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and Georgia’s Congressional Delegation to host Service Academy Day at Dobbins Air Reserve Base from 10:00AM to 11:30AM. The annual event is the largest of its kind in the country, and offers Georgia high school students an opportunity to speak with representatives from each of the five Service Academies as they learn what is required for admittance.  Students and those accompanying them must register for Academy Day by Friday, April 22, 2016, at 5:00PM in order to attend.

“The Seventh District is full of remarkable young people, and each year I’m honored to have the opportunity to nominate many of them for appointments to America’s Service Academies,” said Rep. Woodall.  “For years now, the Seventh District has led the state in number of appointments, and that speaks directly to the quality of these young men and women.  I’m always inspired by their passion for service, and I look forward to meeting even more of them in this year’s process.”

For any students with additional questions about the event or the application process, information can be found at https://woodall.house.gov/services/service-academy-nominations, or by calling Debra Poirot in Rep. Woodall’s district office at (770) 232-3032.

Service Academy Information Day

Saturday, April 30, 2016

10:00am – 11:30am

Dobbins Air Reserve Base

Hanger 5

1291 Cobb Pkwy S

Marietta, Georgia 30067

The following is a list of all the Service Academies that require a Congressional Nomination:

Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado

Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York

Military Academy at West Point, New York

Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland

*Note that the Coast Guard Academy does not require Congressional nomination.

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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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

Lynn Westmoreland

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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