District Connection - 2/27/17
Just about 1 out of every 12 employed Georgians works in the manufacturing industry. Those folks alone accounted for more than $54 billion of Georgia’s economic output in 2015, despite the onslaught of federal red tape that we’ve seen in the past decade. Just imagine how many more Georgians could find good-paying jobs with stable benefits in American manufacturing, and how much those Georgians could contribute to our community’s economy, if only we dealt with the mind-numbing piles of federal paperwork and punishing tax code provisions they face today. As you know, these obstacles punish American workers and advantage manufacturing overseas.
Having worked hard on these issues, I was honored last week to receive the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence. NAM gave me the award for work that I have done in the past, but I commit to you that the work is still going on right now and will continue into the future. American manufacturing can help to lead our American economic renewal, and we must free it up to do so. We have already sent two red tape repeal bills to President Trump’s desk that he has signed into law. We have nearly a dozen more that are awaiting Senate action. And that is all in just 30 days of a new Administration! Over the next weeks and months, you can count on many more problem-solving measures to be signed into law, and you can count on a Herculean effort to put American families back on track for a once-in-a-generation economic revival.
Rep. Rob Woodall accepts the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence at Oldcastle Products and Distribution in Atlanta
While there are fewer opportunities for me to work from the 7th District this first session of the 115th Congress than there have been in the recent past, I am still more than happy to fill my days meeting with constituents and speaking about issues that are most important to you. For example, this week I had the opportunity to meet with many of our friends and neighbors to talk about balancing environmental protections with economic development, addressing the problems with the Affordable Care Act so it can work for all Americans, making higher education more affordable, and figuring out our role in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, among myriad of other topics. These meetings give me a chance not only to tell you about the great work being done back in Washington, but also to hear your solutions to issues still facing our nation today. While we may not always see eye-to-eye on every topic, we still share a common desire to do good. I’m proud to partner with you all as we continue in our common mission to make our country even better, and I hope you too will take up the opportunity to meet with me in the future.
The Seventh District excels in so many ways, and the dedication of the men and women in our community health care centers is certainly representative of that excellence. Our district has a history of success from our community-minded health care providers, but in recent years they have carried an even larger load than usual. Long before Obamacare, our community health centers (CHCs) were a place that any of our neighbors could go and receive high quality health care at an affordable price. Health centers use sliding scales for fees based on income and ability to pay to ensure that while no one is turned away, every patient has skin in the game and is contributing financially to their own care.
While CHCs have always had a big role to play, with tens of millions of Americans displaced or left behind by the Affordable Care Act, we need our CHCs to be even more successful today…and they are!
Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of those community health care centers – the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) Health Center – and was again inspired by the compassion and dedication I saw. Founded to ensure affordable health services for low income Asian-American families in our community, CPACS serves absolutely everyone in our community. They are unique in the breadth of the multi-lingual staff they offer, but they are “common” in that they are committed to the shared goal of self-sufficiency. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they do and the community leaders who do it.
Rep. Rob Woodall visits the Center for Pan Asian Community Services Health Center in Norcross
Community health centers can’t handle all of America’s health challenges alone, however. I know that skyrocketing premiums, ever-increasing deductibles, and fewer health care choices are a problem for many families, and the new Administration continues to work to get its arms around our options to put forward a patient-centered solution. I recently wrote in more detail about how we can work together to provide real choices for everyone. I’m quite confident that our community will always be a leader in innovative ways to better serve our neighbors in need, and by applying those same patient-centered principles to Washington’s policies ,we can spread that leadership around the nation.
I often tell people that my best days as your Congressman happen when I start my day at a local school, and when the day starts with student leaders focused on service to others above self, you know that it will be a great day. Last week I had the pleasure of attending a student meeting at Lambert High School that highlighted the school's student service and leadership organizations, and these students are absolutely amazing. They are committed to helping their fellow Georgians through small, simple acts of volunteerism and caring for their neighbors. It’s remarkable to see how our community’s young people are energized by the zeal to serve, and I can tell you that their commitment to service is making the 7th District of Georgia a better place to live and work.
While I was there, I presented an award to a great student-led group, Change4Georgia, that has been making a difference in the lives of students and adults for years. From its work serving veterans to its work promoting literacy, you can be certain this group and the young people who lead it make our entire community proud.
For years, those of us in the 7th District have known that our community is a beacon of economic opportunity for the metro Atlanta region. The great news is that companies from around the country are now learning the same thing! Last week, Sports Warehouse from California announced that it was moving to Forsyth County, opening a $14 million East Coast distribution center, and brining over 300 new jobs with it. This partnership between the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Sports Warehouse is exactly the kind of innovative thinking and deal-making that comes out of a cutting-edge area like Forsyth County.
- Forsyth County News. Sports Warehouse named as e-commerce company moving to Forsyth County
- NorthFulton.com. Major economic development project moves to Forsyth
Whether in a one-on-one meeting in my office or in a small group with your club, I am grateful for all of the work on policy and issues that we are able to do together. In the office last week, meetings focused on transportation, health care, the environment, Social Security, national security, and more. Outside the office, with civic groups like the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett, we talked about jobs and the economy, the new Administration, our options for repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and more.
I never know exactly where the next good idea or important opportunity will come from, but I am certain that constituent meetings like these are fertile ground. Inevitably, someone will have an experience, an expertise, or an unexplored solution that can make a difference. I am grateful for your partnership and honored to be your voice in the House.
This week the House is back in session and we’re moving forward on four important pieces of legislation: H.J.Res. 83, H.R. 998, H.R. 1004, and H.R. 1009. I hear from small business owners regularly that they could innovate and grow if only the government would craft cooperative, common-sense regulations instead of ideological, punitive ones. These bills above continue our reform of the regulatory state so that we can unleash the full power and creativity of the American entrepreneur.
Member of Congress