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Congressman Rob Woodall

Representing the 7th District of Georgia

District Connection - 10/11/16

October 11, 2016
E-Newsletter Archive


Today, as most of us in the 7th District go to work and take our kids to school, we won’t have to contend with what our friends on the east coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are dealing with – the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Last week, Governor Nathan Deal ordered a mandatory evacuation of Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn, and Camden counties in southeastern Georgia, and voluntary evacuations in an additional 24 counties, which affected some 500,000 Georgians. President Obama declared a State of Emergency for these states as they stared down the barrel of a Category 2 hurricane with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour. We all prayed that there would be no casualties from this storm, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Now, as we mourn those who we lost, the clean-up begins of homes, businesses, and schools. Already, it has been estimated that the hurricane has caused at least $6 billion worth of damage to the region, but that number is bound to go up.  And that’s not counting the damage that Hurricane Matthew did in the Caribbean, where it devastated portions of Haiti, the Bahamas, and Cuba, killing hundreds and levelling entire neighborhoods. 

I’ve seen first-hand how generous the people of the 7th District are when tragedy strikes, whether at home or abroad. And now is the time for us to remember how lucky we are and to help those in need. If you would like to help with hurricane recovery efforts, I hope that you’ll reach-out to any one of the dozens of charitable organizations that are working to make life better for those affected.  Whether it’s a monetary donation to an international aid organization or joining with your neighbors in praying for those who have lost their homes and their loved ones, every bit of love and support helps those in need. 



Enabling access to quality healthcare and affordable health insurance for all Americans continues to be a priority for both sides of the aisle across the country, and just last week the issue was brought to the forefront by former President Bill Clinton as he criticized Obamacare’s inability to deliver on its lofty promises.  His criticism – that Obamacare has left many hard-working Americans behind – is accurate, however his proposed solution is misguided.  President Clinton and many on the left have suggested that the solution lies in moving even more Americans to government-controlled programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but in the House Republican Conference, we have a different view.  We believe the solution is to empower individuals with choices while incentivizing competition and innovation in the marketplace.  We believe Washington’s policy should not be to dictate a so-called “solution,” but rather to enable the real thing – which cannot be done through a one-size-fits-all mandate.  We’ve outlined our vision not only for healthcare, but for many challenges facing our country here, and I encourage you to take a look for yourself.  I hope you will also take the time to provide your feedback, ideas, and suggestions on how we can make it better and move America forward.  

From the collapse of 17 of its 23 co-ops – leaving over 800,000 Americans searching for insurance – to the more than doubling premiums in regions across the country, to the drastic reduction in competition leaving some areas with only one insurer, Obamacare has not been the solution America needs or deserves, and taking it a step further towards government-control is certainly not the remedy.  Individual choice, competition, and innovation aren’t just buzzwords; they are the principles that make America second to none, and if we leverage those traits together, we will absolutely overcome any challenge we face. 



More good news came out the 7th District last week as Forsyth County was named the top county in the state for incoming investment for a second straight year.  As you can read here, the honor was the result of a study that examined counties across the nation on the basis of local business growth, gross domestic product growth, new building permits issued, and municipal bond investment.  In addition to placing first in incoming investment, Forsyth County took top honors for the state in new building permits issued and finished second in business growth.  And the good news for 7th District counties didn’t stop there.  Gwinnett County finished ahead of all but one county in the GDP growth category.  I’m truly honored to represent this tremendously vibrant part of the country, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Washington to replicate the successes we are having in our part of the world in more counties across the nation. 



There is nothing that fills me with optimism quite like being back home and spending time with our next generation of leaders. Last week I had the opportunity to visit with a great group at the 21st Century Leaders (21CL) fall summit and was energized by what I saw from these young people.  Whether our U.S. Service Academy nomination process, stopping by a high school social studies class, speaking with organizations like 21CL –  and the list goes on and on – I often say it reassures my belief that America’s best days are ahead.  I’m reassured because I see their passion and am fortunate to witness their commitment in action. 

Rep. Rob Woodall meets with the 21st Century Leaders summit

Their generation is one that has known a difficult time for our country – from the War on Terror to severe economic recession – yet they’ve chosen to set their eyes on how they can make America better as they assume those positions of leadership throughout our communities, businesses, and government.  They understand that America is absolutely still a land of opportunity and remains what we as the American people make it.  These days, there is no shortage of pessimism throughout the media and in the news, and if we let that define our outlook, it would certainly shape a future to match.  The good news, however, is that these young people and so many others know better.  They’re intelligent; they’re driven; and they believe in the promise of America.  From future entrepreneurs, Armed Forces members, public officials and so much more, they’re more than competent, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for them and our great country.  The future is bright!  



Today marks the beginning of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur – also known as the Day of Atonement. As the holiest day of the year in Judaism, it is traditionally observed with fasting and prayer in an effort to ask God for forgiveness for personal sins. It is a solemn day, and one that is being recognized throughout the world by millions of our friends and neighbors. And when Yom Kippur ends at sundown tomorrow, the community will rejoice in thanks and in celebration for all the good things that will happen in the year ahead. I wish everyone in the 7th District a blessed Yom Kippur. 


Rob Woodall
Member of Congress