July 19, 2014 06:42AM ET
By Daniel Malloy The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 19--A couple of dominoes had to fall, but the U.S. House leadership shake-up did allow one Georgian to emerge with new prominence: U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall.
The Lawrenceville Republican just took over the Republican Study Committee, the conservative wing of the House GOP caucus. He will have a tough job for the next couple of months.
The RSC is considered the hard-liners of the GOP caucus, and yet more than half of House Republicans belong to the organization. Its previous chief was U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana -- the leadership-backed pick who defeated U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger in a closed-door vote.
Scalise was critiqued by some for being too cozy to leadership and using the post for his own personal gain. Well, it worked.
Now he's the House majority whip, drafting in behind new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who took over after U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's shocking primary loss in Virginia.
That opened the door for Woodall, a wonky member of the Class of 2010 who was a longtime staffer for U.S. Rep. John Linder before taking over the seat. Woodall is a creature of the Rules Committee, the arcane group that often meets late at night and shapes every bill that goes to the floor. With his preacher's cadence, he loves a stirring floor speech but carries a lower profile than many of his colleagues.
In fact, he's setting aside ambition in order to take over the RSC: He agreed not to run for the chairmanship at the end of the year in order to be a caretaker for the post. RSC chairmen are limited to one two-year term anyway. U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell is a former holder of the post.
In a recent interview, Woodall embraced the thorny challenges that the RSC will face in the coming weeks, without taking the kinds of saber-rattling positions some conservatives might like.
On the Export-Import Bank, a tool to subsidize U.S. exports that conservative groups want to end because they see it as a market-distorting giveaway, Woodall said the bank must at least shrink ahead of a reauthorization deadline in September.
"Whether the bank goes away or not may be an open question," he said, "but whether the bank continues as it is, is not an open question."
On the dwindling of the Highway Trust Fund, Woodall said, "This issue is one that begs for a long-term solution." Then last week he voted for a short-term bill -- which was opposed by conservative pressure groups -- to put off the problem until the spring while including Graves-authored language demanding a long-term solution soon.
The new Woodall-led RSC will, for the first time, announce positions on bills. This could bring the group into conflict with GOP leadership, but given its broad membership, the RSC can be a difficult bunch to corral.
The transportation vote could set the stage for similar punts on the Export-Import Bank and funding the government. Woodall acknowledged this while saying he hoped such punts would at least inch toward more conservative policies -- perhaps with a nudge from his group.
"The RSC has always wanted to make a positive difference," Woodall said. "Do you make more by being confrontational or by being collegial? I think that depends on the circumstances."
(c)2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)Read More
Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall issued the following statement regarding being selected as incoming Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group of the most conservative Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Following former Chairman Steve Scalise’s departure to serve as Majority Whip, the RSC has chosen Woodall to serve as Chairman until the regular committee elections later this year. The committee's leadership will officially transition to Woodall on July 16.
“It is both humbling and exciting to have the opportunity to lead this fantastic group of individuals committed to advancing conservative principles,” said Woodall. “Under Chairman Scalise’s leadership the RSC has continued championing the ideals we all share, and I am committed to preserving these values. It is an honor to serve in this capacity.”
Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.
1725 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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