Rob Woodall

Rob Woodall

GEORGIA's 7th DISTRICT

Washington Watch - 7/15/19

2019/07/15

THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT: HISTORY OF PARTNERSHIP DETOURING TO PARTISANSHIP

Over the past 58 years, Republicans and Democrats alike have been able to come together to pass one of the most important bills of any Congress, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Rightfully so, the NDAA authorizes all of our national security programs to protect our country and the world—something that normally transcends any political affiliation. This year things went radically differently.

Instead of passing the NDAA out of the Armed Services Committee nearly unanimously—as it has year after year because of hard bipartisan work on both sides—the Committee passed the bill on almost a straight party line vote. When the bill came to the floor last week, rather than giving Republicans an equal opportunity to improve the bill, the Democratic Leadership denied Republicans the opportunity to have our ideas heard. Of the amendments allowed on the House floor, only 15% were Republican amendments, which is just a small fraction of the ideas Republicans offered to restore bipartisanship to the bill.

This year’s House NDAA fails to invest in areas such as modernizing our nuclear capabilities, upgrading our Navy, and other innovations that are critical to deterring threats around the globe from China and Russia. Further, Democrats inserted several “gotcha” amendments designed to divide rather than unite, such as one to limit the President’s ability to respond to threats and protect our country, another to push social policies through the military, and yet another to stop the military’s efforts to address the crisis on our southern border.

Eventually, the NDAA was forced through the House by a partisan vote of 220 to 197, with only Democrats voting yes, but with many Democrats voting with Republicans against the divisive bill. I hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the House take note of the Senate’s NDAA, which passed 86 to 8. Now the bill goes to conference where Speaker Pelosi will have an opportunity to either follow the Senate model of bipartisanship or bow to the new radical left’s demand for partisanship. America needs and deserves the former. 

 

WHITE HOUSE HALTS RULE; WORKS TO PROTECT SENIORS FROM PART D PREMIUM INCREASES; WILL CONTINUE WORKING TO LOWER DRUG PRICES

As I’ve pointed out in previous newsletters, fixing our nation’s broken healthcare system is not an easy task. Last week’s decision by the Administration to rescind the proposed “Rebate Rule” exemplifies the very difficulties and hurdles that ensue when such efforts are undertaken. As many of you may have heard or read about, the President chose not to advance the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed “Rebate Rule,” a rule to eliminate rebates to pharmacy benefit managers in Medicare Part D plans, as White House actuaries determined that the rule would likely not work as was initially intended to lower premiums, but instead might raise Part D premiums for Medicare beneficiaries.

While many are taking this opportunity to label the White House’s initial effort a failure, I see it as a necessary part of the rulemaking process. The process is supposed to vet proposals, and that’s exactly what is happening. A solution gets introduced, it gets debated and studied, and depending on how the vetting process and number crunching goes, the proposal either gets the greenlight or it gets stopped in its tracks. Too often, the latter outcome is frowned upon as a political loss or failure, but I’d much rather a proposal be shelved than get pushed through for the sake of claiming a win. I believe the White House’s decision reinforces the Administration’s commitment to lowering drug prices by showing that it’s not afraid to go back to the drawing board and work with Congress to consider more narrow and targeted solutions. As such, you can be sure that I will continue to keep you updated on efforts to lower drug prices, and that I will support those efforts that can achieve our shared goal of making healthcare more affordable.

 

REP. WOODALL ON AMERICA’S NEWS HEADQUARTERS: “IT WILL TAKE BIPARTISAN LEADERSHIP TO SECURE OUR BORDER.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is tasked with carrying out the law as it is written, not with targeting families that have been here for decades or refugees who came across the border yesterday.

In this weekend’s raids, ICE is pursuing those who came into our country without permission and were apprehended. Those who had their day in court, and who were court-ordered to be removed.

Instead of encouraging ICE to ignore the rulings of our nation’s immigration judges, I encourage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to work with House Republicans to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border and find bipartisan solutions that reflect our American values. Click on the image below to watch my entire interview with America's News Headquarters below.

Rep. Woodall discusses border security with America’s News Headquarters host, Kristin Fisher

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: SKILLS-BASED IMMIGRATION

Last week, Congress considered H.R. 1044, the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act,” a bill to address the decades-long backlog for high-skilled workers. As one of the over three hundred cosponsors, I joined my colleagues to pass the bill 365-65, and I hope to see it advance quickly in the Senate.

I received mail regarding some misconceptions about this bill, so I want to take the time to address those concerns.

Emily from Suwanee

Rep Woodall, Please do not vote for HR 1044, our young American graduates should have an opportunity to be hired for jobs before foreign immigrants are given green cards to come to America to compete. I know you're not planning to run again for your seat representing Gwinnett County citizens, but please consider the futures of those young men and women who have worked hard to get through college and deserve to have first consideration. If you can persuade some of your colleagues to vote NO as well tomorrow, maybe a bill like this needs to be done publicly with hearings and debates before a vote is called. Thank you for your service, Emily

Sherry from Lawrenceville

Please reconsider your support of The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This bill will take jobs away from technology graduates of the US in favor of Indian and Chinese workers. I believe you should adopt an America First attitude on all legislation. Not only will it replace American workers but will allow the chain migration of the families of all these workers. I urge you to reconsider your support.


I recognize the concerns expressed by Sherry and Emily above, but they are misapplied to H.R. 1044. H.R. 1044 doesn’t have anything to do with who can come into this country to work. H.R. 1044 only affects families who have already been allowed to legally enter this country and who are already working.
 
Right now, thousands of immigrant families are legally present in the U.S. through the H-1B high-skilled worker visa program. H-1B visas are for individuals with skills that cannot be found in the United States, and before any visa is issued the employer much prove that it has looked aggressively for but has been unable to find a U.S. citizen to fill the job. A debate over the H-1B program and how large it should be would be appropriate, but that is not what H.R. 1044 is.
 
Some of these H-1B visa families, including many right here in the Seventh District, have lived and worked legally in the U.S. for decades. They’ve complied with all our laws, made their homes here, made their work here, paid their taxes here, and contribute to the richness of our community. For decades, immigration law has allowed these folks—if they have done everything right—to apply for a green card to attain U.S. citizenship. H.R. 1044 doesn’t do anything to change that either.
 
Unfortunately, there is another provision in U.S. law today that caps applications from certain countries, like India, for example. Even if green cards are available, even if a family does everything right, because current law caps applications by country of origin, a decades long backlog now exists for countries like India. H.R. 1044 addresses those country of origin caps and addresses President Trump’s desire to have our immigration system focus more on merit.
 
While H.R. 1044 doesn’t impact H1-B visa numbers as Sherry and Emily feared, I do want to address that issue briefly. The truth is that in today’s booming economy every labor expert recognizes that the U.S simply does not have enough high-skilled workers to fill the number of jobs available. As you have heard many times recently, our nation has more job openings than there are job seekers available to fill those vacancies. Again, before an employer can sponsor an H-1B immigrant, the employer must certify that there are no American workers available to fill that job and that the visa holder would receive the average prevailing wage that an American citizen would. Those protections are in place to ensure that no citizen’s job is taken, and that visa-holders are not undercutting salaries of American workers.  Reforming and improving the H1-B program is a worthy goal, and I will remember Sherry and Emily’s concerns if the effort is undertaken, but H.R. 1044 is not a part of that effort.

 

RECOGNIZING EXCEPTIONAL VOLUNTEERISM IN OUR COMMUNITY

While there are so many who do so much across our state in service to our friends and neighbors, time and again I see residents of our community go above and beyond. They don’t do it for the recognition, but I am sure none of us are surprised that when those efforts are highlighted, it is for the work that is being done in our area. Charla Summers was awarded the HCA Healthcare’s Frist Humanitarian Award for her more than seven years of volunteer service at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville. This award is only given to three individuals – a physician, an employee, and a volunteer – across the country who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to spreading kindness and serving others in the healthcare space. Thank you for your service, Charla!

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week the House is going to consider three measures, but unfortunately, only one of them has any bipartisan support.

H.R. 582 would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. While I absolutely thrilled by the wage growth that is supported by our growing economy, I am very concerned about the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis that says the bill could cause 1.3 million Americans to lose their jobs. The last time Congress raised the minimum wage, job losses were so severe for those earning less than $7.50 per hour that net earnings declined for that group. Artificially increasing wages sometimes has a detrimental effect on those who it is designed to help. For millions of Americans, this could put them deeper into poverty.

Another problematic bill this week is a contempt resolution from the Committee on Oversight and Reform. In a move dripping with partisan animus, this measure holds Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for, in the opinion of Speaker Pelosi, not cooperating fully with the Committee’s investigation into the origin of the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census.  As the Trump Administration has provided over 30,000 documents to the Committee since the subpoenas were issued in April 2019, this resolution is intended simply to score political points with the most radical left of the Democratic party.

Thankfully, the House will also consider H.R. 3494, which reauthorizes our nation’s intelligence activities for the upcoming year. This critical authorization allows our Intelligence Community – the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and more – to carry-out those missions which keep Americans safe and which protect us from adversaries and enemies abroad. The bill was approved by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously, and I hope that as the measure moves through the Rules Committee and across the House floor, that we do all we can to ensure that the final bill remains as bipartisan as it can be.

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall

Member of Congress

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District Connection - 7/8/19

2019/07/08

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

In 1776, our Founding Fathers looked to establish a government which would represent the people, and last week, we celebrated 243 years of America as a successful democratic experiment.

Although it’s true we see partisan disagreements, it is also true that we see prosperity, peace, and cooperation. That is the legacy of our Founding Fathers; a nation where people with vastly different backgrounds, races, faiths, and political ideals can work together.

I encourage you to take a moment to think about this legacy. A legacy where we, our friends, and our neighbors can come together, have our voices heard, and take part in strengthening our Republic. I hope you and your family had a Happy 4th of July!

 

REP. WOODALL MEETS WITH VIETNAM VETERANS

Some gave all. All gave some.

Founded in 1978, Vietnam Veterans of America is the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

Thank you to Vietnam Veterans of America-Cumming GA, Chapter 1030 for inviting me to listen to issues that are important to Vietnam veterans and discuss how I can help the 7th District’s heroes.

 

STRONG JOB GROWTH IN JUNE

I am so proud of all that we have done to make our economy competitive and uplift the people of the 7th District!

Here are the biggest takeaways from June’s jobs report:

  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 224,000 in June, well above market expectations of 165,000
  • 5.6 million new jobs since January 2017
  • 3.1% wage growth, which is the 11th straight month at or above 3%

Our economy is back on track and we are focused on ensuring that people have the skills to take on new opportunities, and on updating our trade agreements, like the USMCA, so American workers are on a level playing field once again.

 

REP. WOODALL RECEIVES POLICYMAKER AWARD

Since its founding over a hundred years ago, Goodwill Industries International, Inc. has made a difference by providing employment, job skills training, and educational opportunities for underserved populations.

It is a humbling honor to receive Goodwill’s 2019 Policymaker Leader Award. Goodwill has done – and continues to do – great work for the 7th District, and I am proud to partner with in ensuring that everyone with the desire to work and contribute to their community has the tools to do so.

Thank you Goodwill of North Georgia, especially for your commitment to hiring our neighbors with disabilities.

 

POLITICS SHOULD NOT TRUMP THE CONSTITUTION

Our Founding Fathers created the Constitution to safeguard all of our liberties. However, our nations’ Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch have fallen dangerously out of balance. While both parties in Congress have expressed a need to rein in the Executive Branch, time and time again, politics and partisanship have undermined this goal.

In my op-ed in the Forsyth County News, I highlight how Congress has regrettably ceded its authority over the years and how Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have unintentionally weakened the Legislative Branch through some of their recent actions.

My full opinion piece below:

 

REP. WOODALL MEETS WITH LOCAL ROBOTICS TEAM

Ignite Robotics’ mission is to help high school students develop strong technical, business, and leadership skills by exposing them to hands-on engineering projects and pairing students with experienced mentors. It emphasizes collaboration, innovation, and outreach to the community as fundamental elements of the organization.

Last week, I visited Ignite Robotics’ headquarters at Geekspace Gwinnett and heard directly from students about what FIRST Robotics means to them and how they overcame the engineering challenges they faced when designing their robot, Fahrenheit. The most thrilling aspect of co-chairing the House Robotics Caucus is seeing firsthand the incredible endeavors that these bright young minds from our community undertake in developing their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Ignite Robotics, and similar programs, teach students to think creatively and find innovative solutions to outside the box problems.

 

REP. WOODALL VISITS SKILLED NURSING FACILITY

Salude Transitional Care and Rehab Facility ranks among the top Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) in the United States and is the preeminent facility in the Atlanta metropolitan area for transitional care, physical recovery, and rehabilitation.

Thank you for inviting me to discuss how Salude differs from other SNFs in the 7th District and what Congress can do to remove regulatory burdens that inhibit both patients and operators across the country.

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: BOLSTERING OUR VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

During the 4th of July celebrations, President Trump paid tribute to our nation's armed forces and recounted the storied histories of each of our military branches, and their successes in the major conflicts that have shaped our country. We owe so much to those who fought and sacrificed during these epic history-defining events, but there are many more who have served in our armed forces and made similar sacrifices in conflicts not written about in the news or in textbooks. There have been 12 known eras of conflict where the United States has sent troops and incurred combat casualties. Conflicts ranging from the Greek Civil War in the late 1940s to the Iran Hostage Crisis, sent Americans into harm's way under orders of their Commander-in-Chief, and with the consent of Congress, but have yet to be recognized as official hostilities with Americans actively serving. As I have learned from some constituents writing in, that carries with it some repercussions:

David from Lawrenceville:

The LEGION ACT, S. 504 is important to me as a constituent and an American Legion member because it impacts veterans that have been unable to join The American Legion. These veterans are unable to receive some of the benefits and recognition available to their counterparts who served during official wartime periods. Because The American Legion is congressionally chartered, we are unable to welcome many of these veterans as members of the nation's largest veterans organization. Today, I need your help to encourage house leadership to bring the LEGION ACT (S. 504) to the floor for a vote, and to promise to vote for this legislation, to ensure all veterans are able to be recognized for their contributions and sacrifice in service to this country. This bill, passed unanimously through the Senate ensures this recognition. Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoint on this matter. I believe it is an important issue, and would like to see the LEGION Act, S. 504 pass to ensure all veteran voices may be heard.

Dennis from Cumming:

Today I am writing to you about an issue that is very important to me: The LEGION Act.

I need your help to Co-Sponsor and pass S. 504 and H.R. 1641.Because The American Legion's membership periods are congressionally chartered, the organization is prevented from expanding membership eligibility without an act of Congress. These bills would expand membership eligibility to honorably discharged veterans that have served on federal orders in unrecognized times of war since World War II.

Since the end of World War II, the Federal Government has designated specific periods of war, the dates of which are important for qualification for certain benefits or membership in veterans organizations established by Congress. In between those recognized periods of war, during so-called peacetime eras, the US military has been involved in not fewer than 12 known eras, which are unrecognized by the US Government as periods of war, resulting in numerous combat casualties. In the spirit of our 100th celebration, we need Congress to take immediate action so we may welcome and recognize through membership all of our fellow veteran brothers and sisters.

A select number of members of Congress have come together in bipartisan fashion to introduce S. 504 and H.R. 1641. Please show your patriotism and dedication to this great organization by supporting The American Legion by passing The LEGION Act.


For those who have not had the pleasure of interacting with groups like the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, or any other veterans service organizations (VSOs), they are a crucial part of supporting our veterans and our community. Congressionally-chartered, VSOs are "federally recognized or approved by the VA Secretary for purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs." Not only do they play an important role in helping veterans get their benefits and support them in variety of ways, they also support the community through programs like youth mentorships, career fairs, and other service activities. However, as David and Dennis said in their letters, membership in a VSO is determined by its charter. For an organization like the Vietnam Veterans of America, naturally, it is for those who served in the Vietnam Era. For the American Legion, the largest VSO in the country, one must have served at least one day of active duty service during periods determined by the federal government, and because it is Congressionally-chartered, that requirement can only be changed by Congress.

That's where the “Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act” or "LEGION Act" comes in. This bill would recognize the honorable service of those who served during unrecognized periods of conflict and allow them to be members of the American Legion, allowing access the organizations benefits and programs that can be so essential to veterans. The Senate has already passed its version of the bill, and it is my hope that the bill will soon be considered by the House. The VA can be a wonderful resource to our veterans, but it can only assist our veterans when they know what benefits they receive and how to get them. Our VSOs play a very important role in ensuring that veterans get every bit of what they earned, and I am eager to support the "LEGION Act" when it is considered by the House.

 

FOR STUDENTS: FREE CHECK-UPS AHEAD OF UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR

There’s a clear reason why thousands of people are moving into Forsyth County every year: our education system is one of the best in the nation. On top of Forsyth’s talented teachers, who challenge our students to be the best version of themselves, our school board is filled with community leaders who want to make education accessible and affordable.

On Wednesday, July 24, there will be a free health screening for Forsyth County students at the Almon C. Hill Educational Center. Screenings will be provided by professionals from Highlands Pediatrics, Advanced Dental Associates and Dental Town Orthodontics and will include everything that is required for school enrollment. Registration is not required to attend the screening event.

 

GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CENTERS TO OPEN IN GWINNETT COUNTY

Access to quality health care is something that Washington lawmakers have sought to address for decades. While political posturing and ferocious debates have captured our nation’s attention, I would like to highlight important work being done to address this issue on the local level.

This July and September, Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett will open two “quick clinics” in HomeFirst Gwinnett’s Norcross homeless shelter and assessment center and in the North Gwinnett Co-op’s new Buford building.

The clinics, which will function similarly to a CVS Minute Clinic where a provider will be able to prescribe medication and help with other non-emergency medical needs, are intended to help meet Gwinnett’s demand for low-cost healthcare, while also ultimately allowing Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett to provide more services for the community.

Health care is expensive, and while there is much more work to be done, I would like to applaud this effort to help provide medical assistance to those who need it the most.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed Congress on a bipartisan basis for nearly 60 years. Recently, the NDAA soared through the Senate by a vote of 86-8. Unfortunately, you can count on Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to politicize the NDAA this week.

The House version of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2020 cuts $17 billion from the President’s budget request. These proposed cuts directly impact readiness recovery, military personnel, and our nation’s ability to deter foreign adversaries like Russia and China. To add insult to injury, Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee pushed for a $1.2 billion military personnel funding cuts, making it more difficult for the military to meet its obligations to our service members and their families.

The U.S. military is vital to the defense of our country and should not be subject to petty politics, yet that’s exactly how House Democrats are treating our national security. It’s time for the Speaker Pelosi to stop using the NDAA to score cheap political points among her far-left base. I will oppose any legislation that cuts the military’s budget and weakens American nuclear capabilities.

Sincerely,



Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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Congressman Woodall Meets with Local Robotics Team

2019/07/03

SUWANEE, GA – U.S. Representative Rob Woodall visited FIRST Robotics Team 6829, Ignite Robotics on Monday. Ignite Robotics’ mission is to help high school students develop strong technical, business, and leadership skills by exposing them to hands-on engineering projects and pairing students with experienced mentors. It emphasizes collaboration, innovation, and outreach to the community as fundamental elements of the organization.

At Ignite Robotics’ headquarters, Representative Woodall heard from Steve Smith, the President of Geekspace Gwinnett, a community makerspace that provides shop and classroom space to Ignite as well training for local teams. Representative Woodall then heard directly from students about what FIRST means to them and how they overcame the engineering challenges they faced when designing their robot, Fahrenheit. In addition, Representative Woodall witnessed students operate and demonstrate how Fahrenheit performed in the FRC Destination Deep Space competition.

“The most thrilling aspect of co-chairing the House Robotics Caucus is seeing firsthand the incredible endeavors these bright young minds from our community undertake to develop their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM),” said Congressman Woodall. “Ignite Robotics, and programs like it, teach students to think creatively and find innovative solutions to outside the box problems.”

“Founded in the Summer of 2017 by veteran robotics students, Ignite Robotics has created an inclusive, community-based competition team that seeks to promote STEM and provide an environment to create, innovate, and inspire,” said Brian Carlson, FIRST Robotics Mentor of Ignite Robotics. “We are grateful for Congressman Woodall’s continued support of STEM and work to bolster technology education for students in Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.”

Background:

  • Georgia FIRST Robotics challenges 9th-12th grade students to compete in high-intensity events which allow them to discover the challenges and opportunities of a career in STEM.
  • In Georgia’s FIRST Robotics Competition, high school aged teams compete with robots they designed, built, and programmed under a six-week time limit, limited resources, and strict rules.
  • In the Houston FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in April, Ignite Robotics came in first place in their sub-division, becoming the sixth Georgia team in history to win their sub-division.
  • The final Georgia rankings had North Gwinnett High School placed 6th, Ignite Robotics placed 10th, Peachtree Ridge High School placed 21st, South Forsyth High School placed 28th, Meadow Creek High School placed 66th, North Forsyth High School placed 73rd, and West Forsyth High School placed 80th.

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes significant portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. He currently serves on the Rules Committee, the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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Washington Watch - 7/1/19

2019/07/01

FY20 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE

House Democrats passed the second funding package that I first mentioned in last week’s newsletter. Again, this spending package included funding for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, Defense, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development as well as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, and it passed the House by a vote of 227 to 194, with one Democrat joining Republicans in opposition. Just like the first spending package, the second package irresponsibly puts taxpayer dollars towards programs and activities that do nothing more than peddle partisan politics at the expense of funding the priorities of the American people.

For instance, the package included provisions that over-regulate already burdened industries in the name of pushing the Green New Deal.  Other provisions restrict the President’s ability to use funds to address a national emergency.  I offered an amendment to the bill to remove some offending provisions, as did others, but all were defeated on party-line votes. Thus, as with the first spending package, I had to oppose this second partisan spending bill.

Rep. Woodall fights to protect funding for small community transportation projects

 

Following passage of this spending package, the Democratic majority brought a third bill, H.R. 3351-- the FY20 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, to the floor. This appropriations bill provides funding for the Department of the Treasury, Executive Office of the President, District of Columbia, and several independent agencies, including the Small Business Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission. As with each spending bill brought to the floor by the new majority so far this year, this bill violates federal spending caps, increasing federal spending in this category by nearly eight percent.  Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, H.R. 3351 also passed the House on a party line vote.

 

WHITE HOUSE ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY IN HEALTH CARE COSTS

The President issued an Executive Order last week in the name of improving price and quality transparency in our nation’s health care system. In the absence of a dramatic overhaul of health care in America, I’ve long believed that one of the most important steps we can take to alleviate the burden of high health care costs is to increase consumer access to the actual costs associated with health care services and procedures. Medical care is the only industry I know of where the consumer and the provider are entirely unaware of the cost of the service at the point of sale. As such, I am pleased that the White House is taking vital steps to bring more transparency to costs and quality of care, which I am confident will allow patients the opportunity to make more informed choices as they navigate their health care needs. The Executive Order directs federal agencies and departments to work together as they enforce the President’s directive to put patients first, and you can be certain that I will monitor the agencies’ work on this front and keep you updated.

 

FUNDING THE CRISIS ON THE BORDER

Undoubtedly the 7th District has benefited from and been enriched by our immigrant community. Those who have come from around the world to make their home here strengthen our economy, diversify our culture, and reinforce our values. While there is a clear need to reform our nation’s immigration system, members of our community have still taken the time to go through the process the right way and be here legally. That is why I was disappointed last week when the House Budget Committee Democrats held a hearing regarding the economic benefits of immigration and yet squandered the opportunity by focusing on political talking points rather than shared goals.

 

Rep. Woodall questions witnesses during the House Budget Committee hearing entitled “Building a More Dynamic Economy: The Benefits of Immigration”

 

While I wanted to focus on the future of legal immigration, given the crisis at the southern border today, it is not surprising that border issues took up much of the hearing.  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over 132,000 individuals were apprehended at our southern border in the month of May alone, and more than 11,000 of them were unaccompanied children. We’ve reached critical mass. CBP agents are overworked and facilities are over capacity. Our agents are in desperate need of resources, and for months, the Administration has requested Congress act to provide emergency funding, but House Democrats have refused to come to the table.

However, with money set to run out in a week, Speaker Pelosi finally dropped the demands made by the far-left fringe of her caucus and yielded at the urging of both Democrats and Republicans to take up a bipartisan emergency package from the Senate. The bipartisan measure funds immigration judges and essential law enforcement personnel along with housing, transportation, and medical care for migrants.

I’m pleased the House was able to put partisanship aside, and I am happy to have joined my colleagues to pass this long overdue measure to address our border crisis.

 

7TH DISTRICT LEADER OPENS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN PRAYER

I had the honor of welcoming Dr. James Merritt and his wife Theresa to open the House of Representatives in prayer. All too often, we focus on what divides us instead of what unites us, and today I’m reminded how fortunate we are to live in a district that shares the values of faith, family, and community. Thank you, Dr. Merritt, for leading not only Cross Pointe Church but also our community and our nation.  Click on the image below to watch the opening prayer.

 

Dr. James Merritt leads the House of Representatives in prayer

 

REP. WOODALL HONORED FOR COMMITMENT TO AMERICAN WORKERS

The Associated Builders and Contractors’ mission is to provide construction workers in our community with opportunities to grow professionally and thrive in Georgia’s commercial and industrial construction markets.

Thank you for honoring me with the Champion of the Merit Shop Award, and I want to especially thank you for the service you provide the 7th District through the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia.

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: COMBATING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

In last week’s newsletter, I shared that I had the honor of speaking on the House floor about the importance of federal investments in Alzheimer’s disease research in June as part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, and I have since received many more messages on this devastating disease.

Sally from Norcross:

As a member of the Alzheimer’s community and your constituent, I am writing to urge your support of a $350 million increase in Alzheimer’s funding at the National Institutes of Health in the FY 2020 budget.

Over the last five years, funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health has increased over 400%. Our community appreciates the current $60 million increase in funding approved by the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, but this number is not commensurate with the magnitude of the Alzheimer’s crisis we face. With Alzheimer’s deaths increasing 147% since 2000 and nearly 14 million Americans expected to be suffering from the disease by 2050, we urge our champions in Congress to continue efforts to increase federal funding for Alzheimer’s research, bringing it in line with other critical diseases of our time like cancer and HIV/AIDS. Please do the right thing and increase the funding.

Emerging science is showing us there are pathways beyond the pharmacological to treat Alzheimer’s through risk reduction, early detection, early intervention and possibly even prevention. While the NIH has 140 research studies currently underway on Alzheimer’s and dementia, including 62 focused on non-pharmacological interventions, they continue to lack the resources to fund all the necessary studies. With the rising costs and impact of this disease, we simply cannot leave any stone unturned. Investing in research is critical to meeting our national goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s and related dementias by 2025. Please support a $350 million increase in Alzheimer’s funding at the National Institutes of Health in the FY2020 budget.

 

Sharon from Cumming:

Please join over 50 other bipartisan Representatives in supporting HB 1903 to add those with young onset dementia to the Older Americans Act so they have access to much needed services now denied to them due to age. The Georgia GARD has an initiative to make sure all young onset dementias are part of their education on dementia in the state. I would like to be proud to say Georgia is a leader, not a laggard, in dementia support and care. Young onset dementia is devastating to a family. Jobs are lost in the prime of life, 401k's are depleted for care so children are left with no funds for college, SSDI is awarded as a compassionate allowance but the wait for Medicare is 2 full years. This leaves families with a fatal, costly diagnosis (double that of Alzheimer's in an older population), and no health insurance. Please consider your Georgia constituents with young onset dementia and put your support on this bill. If you care to meet these constituents, please contact me, as I run a support group in Cumming.

 

Michael from Suwanee:

As a one of your constituents, I’m asking you to PLEASE support the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act (H.R. 1903/S. 901)! This important bill will allow individuals living with dementia under the age of 60 to access supports and services from programs under the Older Americans Act (OAA). I’ve personally have seen the heartbreak and devastation this terrible disease inflicts on very close friends and family. These sufferers and caregivers, as CITIZENS, need all the support we can provide. Again, PLEASE support this critical bill.


We have discovered all sorts of ways to overcome many of the disabilities that typically come with old age, yet Alzheimer’s remains especially devastating. This progressive disease leads to worsening memory loss as one gets older and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The number of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias has grown to 5.8 million in 2019, from 4.7 million in 2010, a 23% increase, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. To put the cost of Alzheimer’s in perspective, one out of five Medicare dollars is spent on a person with Alzheimer’s – and the costs are growing. I agree we must continue to adequately fund Alzheimer’s research and find better treatments for those who have it, as costs associated with caring for those Americans battling Alzheimer’s will overwhelm our health care system if we do nothing.

Michael and many others will be pleased to learn that I have added my name as a cosponsor to H.R. 1903 to better assist every American grappling with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias regardless of age. While Alzheimer’s is known primarily as a disease associated with old age, five percent of Americans living with Alzheimer’s – approximately 200,000 people – have younger-onset Alzheimer’s, for which symptoms usually begin in a person’s 50s, but can start as early as their 30s or 40s.  Further, Congress has shown its commitment to combating Alzheimer’s by providing an increase of $5 million over last year’s funding, for a total $10.5 million, to CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to build a robust Alzheimer’s and other dementias public health infrastructure across the country, as authorized by last year’s Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. That new law makes targeted efforts toward supporting early detection, reducing the risk of hospitalization, and reducing health disparities for those with Alzheimer’s. I share these accomplishments with you so that you will know that as we are all affected by the scourge of Alzheimer’s, we are all together invested in the fight to defeat it. You can be sure that I will continue to look for ways to build on these efforts, and I appreciate your support as my colleagues in Congress work to do so.

 

RECOGNIZING OUR EDUCATORS FOR THEIR EFFORTS TO BETTER SERVE STUDENTS

Last fall, Denmark High School in Alpharetta opened its doors as the newest addition to the Forsyth County Public School system, and I recently had the pleasure of visiting with two of Denmark’s AP teachers, Lindsay and Christin, during their trip to Washington. The fact that so many folks from the 7th District choose to explore America’s capital city every year speaks for itself, but it is equally inspiring that folks like Lindsay and Christin are looking for ways to bring their experiences in D.C. back to the classroom and “bring history to life” by integrating their unique experiences and learned insights into their lessons to better foster student engagement.

In the 7th District, we are proud to continually be recognized among the best schools in the country. Undeniably, that success would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our educators back home, and I know we are all thankful for our teachers’ hard work to ensure our students’ success in scholastics is a pillar of our community for years to come.

 

GWINNETT ANIMAL WELFARE WORKING TO INCREASE ANIMAL ADOPTIONS THIS SUMMER

We are a community, which time and again, comes together to uplift one another, and that spirit of service is not just limited to our friends and neighbors. I am continually inspired by the stories I hear from folks back home who are committed to ensuring that every animal has a loving home, and if you are looking to adopt a pet this summer, Gwinnett Animal Welfare is working to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to do so. From July 1-6, Gwinnett Animal Welfare is hosting its IndePETdence Week with $4 adoption fees, along with waiving adoption fees on all pets every Friday for the entire month. You can read more about their work below, and you can CLICK HERE to learn about those animals who are in need of loving homes.

 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

This week I want to wish all of you a very happy Independence Day! Every year, the 4th of July is marked by cook-outs, baseball games, family vacations, and of course, fireworks. But we all know what’s most important about the 4th, and that’s the country-wide celebration of America’s birthday and her 243 years as a successful democratic experiment. In 1776, our Founding Fathers had a radical idea: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, as our 16th President so remarkably stated during the darkest time of America’s life. When I look around our community here in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties, I see, as I hope you do too, exactly the America that I expect our Founding Fathers would be proud to see as the result of their collective legacy. I don’t think our very own Button Gwinnett, who signed the Declaration of Independence, could have ever imagined a community like ours today where immigrants from every continent on Earth come together to make America and the 7th District of Georgia their home, but I hope he’s be pleased. And while it is true that we sometimes have deeply partisan disagreements on public policy, it’s also undeniably true that there is peace and prosperity throughout this great country.

Just last week we watched the first round of debates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. Whether you liked what you saw or not, it was certainly remarkable. Not because of how many people were on the stage over two nights of debates, but because the debates occurred between candidates from vastly disparate backgrounds, different races, different creeds, and different political ideals, and without massive protests, without violence, and without malice at all. That’s the real legacy of our Founding Fathers. They were divinely inspired and established a nation that would eventually allow immigrants from countries that hadn’t yet been created to come here, contribute to our collective wisdom, and take part in strengthening our Republic. 

As you celebrate America’s Independence Day with your friends and families, I hope you take a moment to think about our friends and neighbors – nearly all of us immigrants ourselves or the descendants of brave immigrants – and how we have come together to build this great nation. I wish you all a Happy 4th of July! 

 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall

Member of Congress

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Congressman Woodall Votes to Aid Humanitarian Crisis at the Southern Border

2019/06/28

WASHINGTON, DC – In a vote of 305 to 102, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3401. Representative Rob Woodall supported the $4.6 billion emergency supplemental funding package, which will protect Americans at the southern border and provide critical humanitarian relief funding.

“I am glad to see Speaker Pelosi abandon partisan politics and her radical caucus and join House Republicans to finish the work done by the Senate to address the dire situation on our southern border. The bipartisan measure we passed will fund immigration judges and essential law enforcement personnel, along with housing, transportation, and medical care for migrants,” said Congressman Woodall. “When politics stops and governing begins, Congress can deliver results on behalf of the American people.”  

 

Background

  • On Wednesday, the Senate passed an amended version of H.R. 3401 and sent it back to the House for final consideration.
  • On Thursday, a group of moderate Democrats partnered with Republican lawmakers to urge Speaker Pelosi to consider the Senate’s bipartisan legislation.
  • After the bill passed the House, it was sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
  • Key provisions of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act can be found here.

 

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes significant portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. He currently serves on the Rules Committee, the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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Washington Watch - 6/24/19

2019/06/24

FY20 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE: SECOND SPENDING BILL COMES TO THE HOUSE FLOOR

As you read in last week’s newsletter, the House continued its work on the FY20 appropriations process. On Tuesday, we completed the amendment process for H.R. 2740 (the first package of spending bills) and voted on its final passage. Following H.R. 2740, the House began consideration of H.R. 3055 (the second spending package).

Before getting into the details of H.R. 3055, I want to provide you with an update on the outcome of H.R. 2740. The bill passed the House on a vote of 226-203, with seven Democrats joining all Republican members in opposition. As I shared with you last week, H.R. 2740 was an almost $1 trillion spending bill that provided no funding to address the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border, rolled back pro-life provisions, and perpetuated duplicative and unnecessary spending for many programs. As such, I could not support the bill.

Immediately following passage of the first spending bill, House Democrats brought the second spending package, which includes funding bills for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, Defense, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development as well as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Similar to H.R. 2740, the second spending package also violates current law mandating federal spending levels. In fact, H.R. 3055 would put the federal government on track to add nearly $2 trillion to our annual deficits over 10 years. I have supported several efforts to rein in spending during the amendment process, but the Democratic majority has defeated these attempts.

That said, I expect the House to continue the amendment process for H.R 3055 when we gavel into session today. I will work to advance the funding priorities of our friends and neighbors throughout the duration of the FY20 spending process.

 

ON FOX BUSINESS, REP. WOODALL PUSHES FOR A VOTE ON THE USMCA

Last Wednesday, Mexico’s Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), making it the first country to ratify the new North American trade pact. If passed, the USMCA will:

• Increase GDP by $68.2 billion

• Create 176,000 jobs in the U.S.

• Support farmers and ranchers

• Protect innovators

Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to end her partisan obstruction and bring the USMCA to the floor for a vote. Click on the image below to watch my interview with Varney & Co.

From the Cannon Rotunda, Rep. Woodall discusses why Speaker Pelosi should work with President Trump on a 21st Century trade deal

 

REP. WOODALL MEETS WITH FUTURE LEADERS

Last week, the Electric Membership Co-Ops of Georgia brought 115 students from across Georgia to Washington to visit our nation’s capital, where these young adults experienced democracy and governance first hand.

Thank you, Georgia EMC, for inviting me to speak at your Electric Cooperative Youth Tour town hall and for arranging my meeting with the next generation of leaders from the Seventh Congressional District. I hope it was a fun and productive trip!

Rep. Woodall meets with the some of the brightest minds from Gwinnett and Forsyth counties

 

RETAINING AND DIVERSIFYING CONGRESSIONAL STAFF

The 116th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse in our nation’s history, and that’s great news for developing public policies that serve the vast and disparate communities we are blessed to have in America. However, it is also important to consider the diversity of Congressional staff who do much of the groundwork for policy making, which is why the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held a hearing last week titled “Cultivating Diversity and Improving Retention Among Congressional Staff.” At the hearing, we spoke about what diversity means and how we gauge success in diversifying our staff. One of the witnesses, Ms. Laura Liswood, spoke about factors of diversity that are beyond race and ethnicity that can offer value to one’s team, including socioeconomic status, marital status, military service, educational background, and even age. We also heard from Dr. Kwasi Mitchell who shared with the Committee best practices for recruitment of diverse staff, and Dr. Alexander Alonso who talked about how Congress could make changes that would help retain staff and preserve institutional knowledge.

These issues are not unique to Congress, and I’m sure many of you have addressed similar challenges in your own businesses. I believe there is a great deal we can learn from these experts that will move us a step closer to having more perspectives represented in the legislative process. If you’d like to watch a clip from the hearing, click the photo below.

Rep. Woodall questions witnesses at the House Select Committee on Modernization of Congress Hearing entitled “Cultivating Diversity and Improving Retention Among Congressional Staff”

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: CRACKING DOWN ON UNSOLICITED ROBOCALLS

Many of you have contacted me to share your frustration about receiving unsolicited robocalls.

Hugh from Duluth:

I’m urging you to pass the strongest possible legislation to end robocalls, and to make sure that any anti-robocall technology is offered FREE to consumers. I don’t want robocalls, and I shouldn’t have to pay to not get them!

Deborah from Norcross:

What can be done about the telemarketers, that start calling at 8:00 AM up to 10:00 PM regularly, for the most part? I’ve gotten calls as early as 5:00 AM. I don’t know what the answer is, but something needs to be done, as these calls/texts are very annoying.


Like Hugh and Deborah, I think it is important we take steps to curb unlawful phone intrusions, specifically those calls where bad actors seek to defraud and harm families by robbing them of their hard-earned dollars or personal information. If you would like to learn more about how this issue is being handled in Congress, you can CLICK HERE

What’s more, you will be pleased to hear that I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2015, the “TRACED Act,” which not only works to improve enforcement actions against bad actors, but also requires providers adopt call authentication technologies to enable a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones in the first place. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has also taken steps in this area, recently issuing a declaratory ruling ensuring that providers may aggressively block calls based on reasonable call analytics.

We are taking steps in the right direction, and I will keep you updated as Congress, the FCC, and the private sector develop innovative ways to curb the invasiveness of unlawful robocalls.

 

REP. WOODALL PRESENTS LOCAL STUDENT WITH CONGRESSIONAL AWARD

I had the pleasure of presenting Manas Mudunuri with the Congressional Award last Thursday. Congressional Award recipients are among America’s top student leaders and Manas embodies the very best of Forsyth County. Through perseverance, dedication, and an eagerness to better himself and his home in Cumming, his hard work has improved the lives of his friends, family, and community.

The Congressional Award is the only award Congress gives to young Americans. Participants in the program set and meet goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Based on time commitments, each participant can earn Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold Congressional Medals and Certificates. I know that the entire 7th District is proud of Manas’s service. Congratulations!

Manas Mudunuri and his father Raju meet with Rep. Woodall

 

CONGRESS-BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM VISITS CAPITOL HILL

Going to high school can certainly be a challenge, but going to high school in another country is an adventure! Will Dent from Suwanee came up to our office this week and met our staff.  Will has just returned from Germany where he was enrolled in a German high school and stayed with a host family. Will did this through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), which is a program for motivated high school students who want to be fully immersed in German culture. Will gained many great traits from his 10 months overseas, and I know our community is going to be better for his experience. Welcome home Will! 

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

As you read at the beginning of this week’s newsletter, the House is going to complete consideration of H.R. 3055. After that, we will move on to debating and voting on H.R. 3351, the “Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act,” which will be the 10th appropriations bill that the House will consider this month. While that’s good news, the bad news is that Speaker Pelosi still hasn’t come to the negotiating table with the Senate and the White House to work out a spending caps deal that will allow any of these bills to be considered in the Senate or signed by the President.

And after nearly a month of begging from the White House and from the Republican side of the aisle, Speaker Pelosi is expected to finally bring up an emergency funding bill that will provide critical resources to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. While I am pleased that she is finally spending time on this issue, it’s unfortunate that the Speaker is doing so absent bipartisan consensus. The Senate passed its bipartisan bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 30-1. This House bill hasn’t been marked-up at all in the House Appropriations Committee and doesn’t give nearly enough money to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ensure that we are stopping future humanitarian crises. Moving a bill to solve the humanitarian struggle at our border is important, but what’s more important in the long-term is to keep it from happening again, and I fear this bill falls far short of that goal.

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall

Member of Congress

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Congressman Woodall Presents Local Student with Congressional Award

2019/06/20

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall presented the Congressional Award to Manas Mudunuri from Cumming, Georgia.

The Congressional Award Foundation is a public-private partnership created by Congress to promote and recognize service, initiative and achievement in America’s youth. Participants in the program set and meet goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Based on time commitments, each participant can earn Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold Congressional Medals and Certificates.

Manas Mudunuri earned the Congressional Gold Award by completing a combined 400 hours in community service projects, mastering the tabla for personal development, learning golf for physical fitness, and traveling to India for a two-week service trip.

“Congressional Award Gold Medalists are among America’s top student leaders. Manas’ accomplishment illustrates that goal-setting is the bedrock for personal success and growth,” said Congressman Woodall. “Manas embodies the very best of Forsyth County. Through perseverance, dedication, and an eagerness to better himself and Cumming, his hard work has improved the lives of his friends, family, and community.”

Background:

  • The Congressional Award is the only award Congress gives to young Americans and was established by Congress in 1979.
  • The 2019 Gold Medal class is the largest in the program’s 40-year history.

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes significant portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. He currently serves on the Rules Committee, the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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Washington Watch - 6/17/19

2019/06/17

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

With each Father’s Day, we make time to reminisce and appreciate the memories and lessons taught by our fathers.  For many of us, if it wasn’t their tough love and tender strength to pick us up and dust us off, we may not have developed into who we are today. Whether you are a biological father, a step-father, a grandfather, or someone who has stepped-up in a child’s life to take on the role of a father, I wish you a Happy Father’s Day.

 

REP. WOODALL URGES COLLEAGUES TO FUND ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH

As most of you know, June is National Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. Statistics suggest that each one of us is going to know someone or have a family member who will be affected by Alzheimer's or brain health in one way or another.

If you've been following Alzheimer's research over the past year, you know that our scientists have hit some dead-ends with research that seemed promising but has turned out another way. That’s the way it goes with fundamental scientific research. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m proud to say America is undeterred. We must continue funding those scientists and that fundamental health research because one day – hopefully one day soon – we’ll find the cure.

From the House floor, Rep. Woodall urges his colleagues to not give up hope

 

BUILDING CONSENSUS ON “ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE” CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS

Last week, the House Budget Committee held a hearing to examine the risks climate change poses to the U.S. economy and federal budget. One proposal the Democratic Majority has put forward to combat climate change – and yet failed to address directly during this hearing – is the Green New Deal. This radical legislation would threaten to upend every sector of the American economy, from energy to transportation to health care. Although this policy proposal is marketed as a solution to climate change, it mainly introduces expensive government-run programs that would impose job-killing tax hikes on low-income and working-class families.

At the hearing, both Democrats and Republicans voiced their concerns with the Green New Deal, recognizing it as an unworkable proposal intended to promote a political agenda. Even so, both sides of aisle know there are absolutely things on which we can all agree and partner on today to begin making a difference immediately. We need an “all-of-the-above” strategy when it comes to addressing climate change and investing in renewables like nuclear energy, hydroelectric power, and biofuels. I am hopeful we can get past ideas that will move America nowhere and begin to take up serious policy ideas that will help us mitigate the effects of climate change.

Rep. Woodall questions witnesses during the House Budget Committee hearing entitled “The Costs of Climate Change: Risks to the U.S. Economy and the Federal Budget”

 

FY2020 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE: WORKING TO PROTECT THE SANCTITY OF LIFE AND FIGHTING TO SECURE THE BORDER

Last week, the House began consideration of the first package of appropriation bills to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2020, which begins on October 1, 2019. This spending package, H.R. 2740, the “Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act,” includes four of the twelve must-pass spending bills and totals nearly $1 trillion. Unfortunately, the Democratic majority in the House put forward these spending bills with no consensus on a budget agreement, included no funds to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border, and eliminated bipartisan pro-life protections that have been included in the yearly appropriations process for decades.

In an attempt to improve the bill, I offered an amendment that would have provided essential funding for the humanitarian crisis at the border. But my Democratic colleagues voted against it. My Republican colleagues and I tried again to make the bill better by offering pro-life amendments that would have upheld conscience protections at the Department of Health and Human Services and removed language preventing the implementation of the Administration's rule requiring all Title X grant recipients to be physically and financially separate from abortion-providing facilities. Again, my Democratic friends voted against these common-sense reforms. The good news is that I am confident this isn’t the last time we’ll be able to affect this necessary change. My Republican colleagues in the Senate are committed to upholding the sanctity of life and ensuring operations at the southern border are adequately funded.

As Congress continues the FY20 appropriations process, you can count on me to keep you updated and to fight for those issues that matter most to the residents of the 7th District. Click on the image below to watch my closing remarks after House Democrats defeated my motion for border security.

 

REP. WOODALL: “WE CANNOT REWARD LAWLESSNESS”

The "Rule of Law" is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, it's an American issue. There are many things that Congress may disagree on, but solving the crisis at our southern border should not be one of them.

Thank you, Fox News, for inviting me to appear on America's News Headquarters. Watch my entire interview below.

Rep. Woodall Discusses Border Security and Humanitarian Crisis with Molly Line

 

REP. WOODALL OFFERS SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND DISCUSSES MUELLER REPORT WITH CBS NEWS

There are so many issues on which Republicans and Democrats agree. In Congress, I’m focusing on consensus-driven solutions that can pass in the House, in the Senate, and be signed into law.

Last week, I participated in a lengthy interview with CBS News’ Reena Ninan about the House Budget Committee’s hearing on the risks posed by climate change as well as Volume I of the Mueller Report. Watch our full interview below.

From Statuary Hall, Rep. Woodall speaks with CBS News

 

FORSYTH STUDENT SELECTED AS YMCA “YOUTH GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA” VISITS WASHINGTON

It is always my pleasure to recognize the incredible achievements of our students here at home. It undeniable that our future success is dependent on our next generation of leaders. I know a great many of those will hail from the 7th District of Georgia, and this past week in Washington I had the pleasure of meeting with Forsyth County Central High’s Jake Gant, who has been chosen to serve as Georgia’s 75th Youth Governor. YMCA’s Youth Assembly program allows high school students to gain experience and knowledge about the legislative processes, and Jake was in Washington to visit with elected officials and work with other Youth Governors from across the county as he prepares for his upcoming term as Governor of the Youth Assembly to be held at the Georgia State Capitol this fall. Good luck Jake!

 

GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA PARTNER WITH REP. WOODALL ON CIVICS LEARNING ACT

The role our local community organizations and non-profits play in encouraging young people to be active learners and citizens of the world is indisputable, and as I’m sure you know, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has a long history of contributing to that important mission. Though the Girl Scouts’ very successful 38th Lilburn Day Camp recently ended, there will certainly be more opportunities to get involved in the future. If you know a current or future Girl Scout who could benefit from the programs this great organization runs, you can check out more events in our area by CLICKING HERE.

What’s more, I am proud to have the Girl Scouts’ partnership in promoting the importance of civics education through the Civics Learning Act, a bill that my friend and colleague Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and I introduced earlier this year to provide schools with opportunities to implement innovative and evidence-based civic learning and teaching programs. Our successes here in Congress are a result of local support, and it is by this advocacy that we can achieve more.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 2740, and will begin debating H.R. 3055, the appropriations package for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Food and Drug Administration. While I am pleased that the House is moving forward with the appropriations process, I am still concerned that the Democratic leadership has no plan for changing the statutory budget caps. I’m also very concerned that the Democratic leadership is ignoring the most important funding issue facing us right now; the humanitarian crisis on our southern border. The Senate is planning to bring up a $4.5 billion emergency humanitarian funding bill to care for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children that have been brought to the U.S., but the House refuses to address this critical issue. I hope that Speaker Pelosi will soon change her mind and allow the House to bring up this important bill.

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall

Member of Congress

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At Climate Change Hearing, Rep. Woodall Seeks to Build Consensus on All-of-the-Above Energy Solutions

2019/06/12

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the House Budget Committee held a hearing to examine the risks climate change poses to the U.S. Economy and Federal Budget. One proposal the Democratic Majority has put forward to address climate change is the Green New Deal. This radical legislation would threaten to upend every sector of the American economy, from energy to transportation to health care. Although this policy proposal is marketed as a solution to climate change, it mainly introduces expensive government-run programs that would impose job-killing tax hikes on low-income and working-class families.

“The Green New Deal isn’t a climate proposal, it’s a political agenda, and both Democrats and Republicans understand that to be the case,” said Congressman Woodall. “That said, there are absolutely things on which we can all agree and partner on today to begin making a difference immediately. We need an all-of-the-above strategy when it comes to addressing climate change and investing in renewables like nuclear energy, hydroelectric power, and biofuels. I am hopeful we can get past ideas that will move America nowhere and begin to take up serious policy ideas that will help us mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Click here or on the image below to watch Congressman Woodall’s questioning with the panel.

Background:

  • The Green New Deal is estimated to cost $93 trillion over the next 10 years. That is over 4.6 times the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2018.
  • 80 percent of our nation’s power supply come from fossil fuels and nuclear power, which would be affected by the Green New Deal.
  • Nuclear energy provides over 25% of the energy of in Georgia.  
  • Georgia’s solar power capacity increased more than thirteen-fold between 2013 and 2017.

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes significant portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. He currently serves on the Rules Committee, the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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Washington Watch - 6/10/19

2019/06/10

CELEBRATING D-DAY AND OUR HEROES

The United States was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We remain a free country because we have valiant men and women who are willing to lay down their lives to protect our nation.

On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, I attended a Veterans Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony in the city of Sugar Hill. Thank you to the Sugar Hill City Council and Mayor Steve Edwards for inviting me to celebrate the brave soldiers who gave everything as they stormed the beaches of Normandy to fight against tyranny. Click here to read the Gwinnett Daily Post’s coverage of the event.

Rep. Woodall participates in the Sugar Hill Veterans Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony

 

REP. WOODALL RECOGNIZED FOR ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF CRIME VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS

Protecting victims of violent crimes from the very criminals who perpetrated the crime is our responsibility, and I worked to make that happen.

On Friday, I was honored by “Marsy’s Law for Georgia” for my work in support of crime victims’ rights. Last November, Georgians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 4, Marsy’s Law. Before the vote, I worked to bring awareness of the issue and push Marsy’s Law across the finish line, which expands legal rights for survivors and victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and gang violence.

This law is a win for all Georgians, especially those who know what it’s like to live in fear, and I am grateful to the many hands that helped push this issue to the forefront and bring Marsy’s Law to fruition.

Rep. Woodall was an early supporter of Marsy’s Law for Georgia which passed by one of the highest margins in state history

 

HOUSE LEADERSHIP REJECTS BIPARTISAN SOLUTIONS ON IMMIGRATION

One party cannot go it alone when it comes to immigration reform. That holds as true today as it has in the past. And yet, rather than take up the myriad immigration bills we know both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, my friends on the other side of the aisle chose to instead take up H.R. 6, the “American Dream and Promise Act,” effectively weaponizing a vote on DACA recipients to use as a partisan messaging tool that has no chance of becoming law.

In the Judiciary Committee, the majority rejected every Republican amendment that would have made it harder for undocumented criminals and gang members to access a pathway to citizenship, and on the House floor, they made sure to prohibit any amendments, even one that would give children of lawfully present visa-holders a pathway to citizenship as they age out of their programs. More importantly, the bill did nothing to address our crisis at the southern border, putting at risk a whole new generation to be caught up in the very same legal limbo facing current DACA recipients.

From the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Woodall urges Democratic Leadership to take up serious bipartisan immigration solutions

We cannot deliver real results to difficult issues facing our country if we continue down this ineffectual path of hyper-partisanship. It is my hope that we come together this Congress to take another shot at addressing immigration reform and find a solution that will finally reach the President’s desk.

After H.R. 6 passed in the House, Rep. Woodall talks about how the bill fails to secure the border and help legal immigrants

 

REP. WOODALL DISCUSSES TRADE AND THE US-MEXICO-CANADA TRADE AGREEMENT

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting with Nouryon, a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) with operations right here in the Seventh District of Georgia.

One of the ACC’s top priorities this Congress is working to ensure ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In Georgia, this is especially true, as chemicals ranked among the top three exports to Canada and Mexico in 2017, accounting for $1.1 billion. That said, I’m not just hearing about the desire to responsibly replace NAFTA from the chemicals industry, I’m hearing about it from a whole host of industries, from large multinational corporations down to main street job creators.

As many of you know, the USMCA would restructure the more than two decade-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by making long overdue updates to better serve each nation’s citizens. I’ve long been a big supporter of our free trade agreements and I do believe there’s always room to modernize them and make them even better for American workers, companies, and consumers. While I was pleased to see the Office of the United States Trade Representative move forward with sending a draft Statement of Administrative Action on the USMCA to Congress at the end of last month, which is simply a required procedural step that moves us one step closer towards ratification, there is still much debate to be had, both in the halls of Congress and between official trade negotiators, and I’m optimistic that this Congress can and will move forward with ratifying a deal in the months to come. That’s because lawmakers, regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on, recognize that trade advantages all their constituents – consumers and companies alike – while trade wars advantage no one. I discussed this very notion on Fox Business last week, and you can click the image below to hear more.

Rep. Rob Woodall discusses USMCA and disaster relief for Georgia farmers with Connell McShane

 

CONNECTING WITH CONSTITUENTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

One of the most important duties of a Member of Congress is engaging with his or her constituents. That responsibility exists to hold the Member accountable to the voters, but also for the Member to educate constituents about what is happening in Washington, D.C. The way Congressional offices do this currently is through mail, emails, phone calls, town halls, office meetings, and newsletters like this one. However, as technology evolves, it becomes more difficult not only to respond to constituents in a timely manner but also to engage with constituents as effectively as possible. That poses questions like “are constituents reading their Member’s response,” “are Members building trust with their constituents,” and “is the overall conversation constructive to the policy process.”

To evaluate these issues, the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held a hearing last week entitled “Improving Constituent Engagement,” where we discussed how Congress has evolved over the years to be more responsive to the constituency and areas that are still in need of improvement.

I had a chance to speak with witnesses on the panel about how Members can improve constituent engagement in the most effective way given our limited time and resources. You can watch are exchange by clicking on the thumbnail below.

Rep. Woodall questions witnesses at the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress hearing on Improving Constituent Engagement.

 

REP. WOODALL:  BOYCOTT THREATS FROM HOLLYWOOD HIGHLIGHT HYPOCRISY OF THE RADICAL LEFT

By now you’ve probably heard on local talk radio or read in the local paper how some Hollywood actors and companies are considering boycotting movie and TV production in Georgia should the “heartbeat” law go into effect. I don’t believe our state legislature is trying to control women’s bodies, instead, it’s trying to protect the lives of unborn infants. It’s sad that Hollywood entertainment companies can’t understand why we are against abortion, yet, they’re willing to film in countries that support dictatorial regimes and that commit human rights violations.

It was a pleasure to appear on Varney & Co. last week to discuss this issue. Click on the image below to watch our interview.

From the Cannon Rotunda, Rep. Woodall discusses Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill and Netflix boycott with Stuart Varney

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: SUPPORTING OUR EUROPEAN ALLIES

President Trump spent last week visiting with our allies the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France in an effort to maintain our close relationships and to honor the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings to liberate Europe from Nazi control. These three countries represent some of our closest friends in the world; the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K., the strong cultural ties and heritage that so many Americans have to Ireland, and the recognition that France has been an important partner since fighting alongside the U.S. for our independence. It is important that we maintain the close diplomatic and economic ties that we have forged over the years to our mutual benefit. That is why I wanted to respond to some constituents who wrote to my office about a bill the House passed recently to support those allies.

Donald from Suwanee:

Mr. Woodall, why did you support the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019?

Lucile from Duluth:

Dear Rep. Woodall I am writing as your constituent, to say how disappointed I am that you voted in favor of HR 1616, the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019. This bill would increase global dependence on fossil fuels by investing billions of dollars in dirty and dangerous fracked gas infrastructure. We can't afford to spend a penny more on fossil fuels and should instead focus on transitioning our country and the global economy to clean, renewable energy.

We are facing a climate crisis and should not be building any new fossil fuel infrastructure, nor should we be supporting the fossil fuel industry in Europe. I am particularly concerned that if this bill becomes law, it would create more of a demand for fracking here in the United States. Fracking has poisoned people's air and water and is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. An increased demand for fracking would require even more dangerous pipelines, compressor stations and other infrastructure that would lock in our dependence on fossil fuels for decades to come. We need to align our policy and spending priorities with the reality of climate change. That means no more fossil fuels.

Please change your position on this bill and publicly OPPOSE the final passage of HR 1616/S. 704 before it is voted on by the Senate.


I appreciate Donald, Lucile, and others for writing in about this bill, but I can tell Lucile that the bipartisan passage of H.R. 1616, the “European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019,” had little to do with the fossil fuel industry or climate change, but rather everything to do with countering Russia’s influence in Europe. As you can read in the bill, it aims to assist “European and Eurasian countries to reduce their dependence on energy resources from countries that use energy dependence for undue political influence, such as the Russian Federation, which has used natural gas to coerce, intimidate, and influence other countries.”  This bill would direct the State Department to prioritize and expedite its efforts to provide support to countries in Central and Eastern Europe to diversify their energy sources and supply routes and increase their energy security.

While many European countries have made huge strides in pursuing green or clean energy, many still depend on Russian energy sources, especially natural gas. In fact, natural gas from Russia alone accounted for roughly 40% of total natural gas imports from outside the EU in 2017. This has become a source of contention as this gives Russia leverage over many European countries, notably Germany and the Baltic states, as Europe’s demand for natural gas increases and existing supplies diminish. This has been exemplified by the conflict in Ukraine where Russia has retaliated against the country by diverting exports through the Baltic Sea and by planning to build a second Liquid Natural Gas pipeline directly to Germany, reducing profits for gas transit in Ukraine by almost 50%. U.S. policy has been to oppose Russian influence in Europe and its efforts to expand its natural gas pipelines, such as the Nord Stream 2. I was pleased to vote in support of this bill in order to help our European allies lessen their dependence on Russia energy sources.

 

TRIPLETS NAMED CO-VALEDICTORIANS FOR WEST FORSYTH HIGH’S CLASS OF 2019

The path to success is paved with a lifelong commitment to learning, and as I have often said, that ideal could not be more representative of the students in the Seventh District. The role our families, friends, teachers, play in contributing to our students’ scholastic success is critical, and as evidenced by our proven track record of excellence in education, it is certainly a responsibility that we as a community do not take lightly. That is why it is so incredible to hear stories, like that of triplets Rommi, Adam, and Zane Kashlan, whose hard work not only led to graduating early at West Forsyth High School, but also being named co-Valedictorians! The Kashlan siblings are set to attend college together at Georgia Tech beginning this summer, and I’m sure we will hear more of their good work in the future.

 

GWINNETT AREA NON-PROFITS RECEIVE $425,000 TO SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY

Our community would not be the beacon of generosity and leader in service that it is without the work our non-profits do to ensure we are best serving one another. It is impossible for our non-profits to excel in that mission without local support and individual contributions, and the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia’s grant awards, totaling more than $425,000 for education initiatives and curbing food insecurity in our area, will surely go a long way toward meeting that goal. The Foundation has a long track record of supporting our community for over thirty years, and I know we are all grateful for their support which ensures others can continue offering theirs.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

The full House of Representatives will be considering a massive, 5-bill package of FY20 appropriations measures including bills for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Defense, and State, as well as the annual funding resolution for the Legislative Branch. This $1 trillion package represents nearly half of the annual appropriations bills that Congress must pass in order to keep the government running. While I don’t agree with everything in each of these bills – and in fact, there are number of very large problems in these bills – what is most concerning is that the House is moving forward entirely independent of the U.S. Senate. That’s right, without what most people are assuming will need to be a two-year budget caps deal, House Democratic leaders are moving forward with trying to spend money at levels that the Senate and White House haven’t agreed to, and most likely won’t agree to. Once again, instead of working together to pass a bill that could actually become law, Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team are going it alone with a package that highlights partisan barbs and talking points. I hope that the House will change its direction soon and get back to the business of serving the American people.

Unfortunately, the other measure making waves this week is H.Res. 430, which would allow Democratic committee chairmen in the House to initiate or intervene in civil judicial proceedings to enforce subpoenas. While I’m pleased that Speaker Pelosi and Judiciary Chairman Nadler have seemingly paused the breakneck speed at which they were hurdling toward bringing a contempt resolution to the floor regarding Attorney General Barr and former White House Counsel McGahn, this brand-new resolution is still deeply concerning. Instead of working with the Department of Justice to come to a mutually agreeable solution, one that provides Congress with the documents that it needs yet respects the separation of powers inherent in our Constitution, this measure allows committee chairman to take a “my way or the highway” approach to oversight. Threats and recriminations aren’t useful; negotiation and compromise are. 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall
Member of Congress

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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

Drew Ferguson

GEORGIA's 3rd 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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