District Connection - 6/5/17
There are many ways to serve our community, and last week, I had the opportunity to see all kinds of service. From those more formal community organizations like the Buford North Gwinnett Rotary and Georgia Highlands Medical Center that are serving our local community every day, to the dozens of individuals who came to my office last week to speak with me about how they want to partner with the federal government to make our Georgia community more resilient, I know that the spirit of service is strong in our part of the world.
But what was most humbling was the honor I felt in recognizing the brightest and finest young men and women from the 7th District who are headed to our nation’s service academies at our annual Service Academy Appointee Salute. This event is one of my absolute favorites for many reasons, but most of all, it’s a reminder of just how bright America’s future is because it’s in the hands of these tremendous young people.
Rep. Rob Woodall meets with the 7th District's service academy appointees
This year, our community produced a record-breaking number of students headed to our service academies, which serves as a testament to how outstanding our schools and communities are in the 7th District. These exceptional young people are not only pursuing rewarding careers in serving their country, but they will graduate with the academic and life skills to lead the next generation of America. I am excited for these young men and women to embark on this new beginning, and I hope you will join me in wishing them the best as they leave home in the coming weeks to begin their service to our great nation.
Click here to learn more about service academy nominations.
One of the reasons the 7th District is so special is the sheer volume of expertise and passion that we possess right here in our own backyard. You can find a world-class expert on nearly any policy challenge within the borders of our district. Last week, with President Trump’s infrastructure package on the horizon, I sought out experts in transportation in particular. First I visited with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce – an organization that has helped transform our region from a southern metropolis to a booming international hub for business and travel. We discussed broad strategic themes of what it means to have a 21st Century infrastructure plan and the kind of federal support and public-private partnerships we’ll need to achieve it. Next it was on to the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who were more than ready to discuss the tools and policies necessary to actually engineer that infrastructure. I’m blessed to represent a community that sees a problem and sets out to solve that problem, and I can’t wait to join forces with them to help fulfill one of President Trump's main campaign promises to make America’s infrastructure second-to-none in the world.
Rep. Rob Woodall discusses economic growth and infrastructure investment with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
If you’ve ever driven down 400, chances are you’ve seen the giant Siemens tower. What you may not know unless you work underneath it, and what I learned last week, is that the tower represents one of Siemens’ most critical facilities. More than 500 of its employees work right here on projects of national and even global importance. International companies like Siemens that invest in jobs in America are going to be an integral part of our nation’s economy for many years to come. That’s why in Congress I’ve worked to make it easier for these companies to grow, hire, produce, and innovate right here to the great benefit of our community and our state. We’ve cut billions of dollars in federal red tape and saved millions of hours of paperwork already with President Trump’s help, and we’re just getting started.
Rep. Rob Woodall tours the Siemens facility in Alpharetta
We need to support responsible businesses like Siemens that have made truly local commitments. And if you’ve spent any time recently with a Georgia Tech student, you might have heard about Siemens’ recent expansion into Georgia Tech’s “Technology Square” initiative. Combining Georgia’s best and brightest technology students with one of the world’s most innovative companies is a win for our community. Good neighborhood businesses are making big contributions to our district, and I’m so thankful that Siemens is one of those companies that is committed to building a better Georgia.
As you all likely heard, President Trump followed through on a campaign promise to pull America out of the Paris climate accord last week. While the decision was certainly welcome news to many, it was clear that many Americans were disappointed by the announcement. Regardless of where you come down on the President’s decision or the merits of the accord itself, my expectation is that U.S. companies will continue to pursue innovative renewable energy solutions in the decades to come, and as your voice in Washington, I will work to ensure that these companies are able to compete fairly within the renewable energy industry both at home and in the global marketplace.
To that end, my colleague Dan Kildee (D-MI) and I sent a joint letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission last week in support of a global safeguard petition recently filed by Norcross-based solar cell manufacturer, Suniva. As you all will recall, Suniva was recently forced to seek bankruptcy protection after a surge of cheap solar panel imports made it all but impossible for domestic solar panel producers to keep up. As a result, many Americans employed by Suniva, including some of our friends and neighbors in the Seventh District, now find themselves out of work. Ensuring that foreign competitors are playing by the rules is essential to protecting and expanding our American manufacturing sector and to supporting cutting-edge clean energy capabilities. I’m so proud to join hands across the aisle to support American ingenuity, and I hope that this commitment to American clean energy jobs will continue.
- Woodall Website. Woodall-Kildee Letter to ITC
- The Hill. Lawmakers back U.S. solar manufacturer in tariff fight
This week the House is expected to pass a fundamental reform of the over-reaching, over-regulating, economy-depressing Dodd-Frank law that has made it harder for banks to lend money to small businesses and hard-working Americans. H.R. 10, the “Financial CHOICE Act,” will help community banks by rolling back unnecessary red tape that was meant to regulate Wall Street juggernauts, not our local banks in Georgia. It will help consumers by allowing banks and credit unions to bring back consumer perks like free checking accounts. And most of all, it will bring back common-sense financial regulation which treats different types of financial institutions with the deliberate approach necessary to ensure that we’re creating the appropriate regulation for the appropriate institution instead of taking the easy way out – as we’re doing now – with one-size-fits-all policies.
You can learn more about H.R. 10 and watch the Rules Committee hearings on this measure by visiting https://rules.house.gov.
The House is also expected to pass H.R. 2213, the “Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017.” Ensuring that we have a well-trained and properly staffed border is critical to our nation’s border security. Unfortunately, with an understaffed Customs and Border Patrol, we need to find ways to make boosting staff numbers easier. H.R. 2213 does that by allowing CBP to waive the federal polygraph requirement for state and local law enforcement officials who have already passed a polygraph, federal law enforcement officers who have already passed a background investigation, and veterans with at least three consecutive years in the military who have security clearance and passed a background check. This waiver authority will help move possible CBP agents and officers through the hiring process faster and more efficiency so that we can properly keep our nation’s border safe and secure.
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