District Connection - 8/6/18
For those of you who are regular subscribers to my newsletter, you know all about the legislative success we have had here in Congress and the great economic news that has developed since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law – and this week is no different! The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its new jobs report, showing a dip in unemployment to 3.9% after adding 157,000 jobs to the economy in fields like business services, technology, and manufacturing. A recent study has also come out breaking down the benefits of the tax package by state and Congressional district. It shows that all filers in the Seventh District will see an average decrease of 10% in their income tax in 2018, and that includes a family of four who will save, on average, more than $2,400 this year and almost $40,000 over ten years!
I was able to share this good news with the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber this past Friday and talk with them about the great bipartisan successes we have had in Washington, like the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Program, which was just recently signed into law by President Trump and will train our workforce for the jobs available today and tomorrow.
Rep. Rob Woodall speaks with the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
While I will always strive to make sure I keep you up to date with the latest news through my newsletter and social media, there is now an additional resource you can utilize called Better Off Now to delve further into the way Congress has improved conditions for businesses, law enforcement, the military, and families like yours. The website even has interactive features for visitors to see the bills we have passed to put America first, deliver results for those living in rural America, and make our communities safer, amongst others. It also includes a survey so that we can hear from you about how you think we are doing.
If you are like me and want to keep up with the latest news about the House Republican agenda, text BETTER to 50589, and, of course, you can have your family and friends subscribe to my newsletter here.
- New York Times. U.S. Added 157,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate Slips to 3.9%
- Washington Post. President Trump signs bipartisan technical-education bill into law
If you haven't heard enough great economic news already, then I'm happy to share some more with you. On Sunday, I was so pleased that the Gwinnett Daily Post published my most recent editorial highlighting what Congress is doing to help businesses find the workers they need and help students -- both traditional students and adults who are returning to school -- find the jobs that are going to help them provide for their families.
- Gwinnett Daily Post. Growing economy means a growing need for skilled workers
Last week the Trump Administration expanded its rules for short-term health insurance coverage such that insurers can offer time-limited plans for one year instead of the original 3 months, and, should they wish to do so, extend the plan for a maximum of 36 months. But what is a short-term health insurance plan? Well, it is a less generous health insurance plan than what is offered on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange – meaning that it doesn’t have to comply with all the ACA’s rules and regulations – but it’s also a much less expensive plan. The government estimates that premiums for these short-term plans will be roughly half the cost of those sold on the ACA exchanges. For folks who may need short-term insurance because they are in between jobs, they’re unhappy with their ACA plan, or they can’t afford the high premiums and high deductibles of plans on the ACA exchanges, these short-term plans offer a choice. Now, to be clear, these plans aren’t comprehensive. They don’t cover everything that the high cost plans cover, so you have to be careful and read the fine print, but for those folks who don’t want or need an expensive, comprehensive health insurance plan, these short-term plans are a great alternative.
- The Hill. Trump expands non-ObamaCare plans in effort to open up cheaper options
- New York Times. Short term health insurance? Up to 3 years under new Trump policy
Last week, I joined the United Kingdom’s new Consul General in Atlanta, Andrew Staunton, and the UK’s new Minister of Trade Policy, George Hollingbery, to discuss US/UK trade, particularly as it impacts Georgia. The United States is the United Kingdom’s single largest trade partner, and the U.K. is Georgia’s 7th largest trade partner. And though our two countries have long had a special relationship where we have supported each other in wartime and in peacetime, President Trump and the Brexit process have created new opportunities for us to work together. Joining us at breakfast to discuss these new opportunities were several Georgia economic development officials, and I am optimistic about the ideas that were exchanged and the relationships that were developed. I can tell you that the deepening relationship between Georgia and the U.K. and a new bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. can put American businesses and American workers on a level playing field that will lead to even greater economic success here at home and allow our great companies to expand and thrive!
For those of you who were able to join me this past Thursday during my telephone town hall meeting, please know how much I appreciated your participation and your questions. I know many of the issues we discussed during this meeting − from Social Security and healthcare reform to funding our military and tackling our national debt − remain a top concern for many in our state, and I want to assure you that they remain a top priority of mine as well.
If you were not able to join me for my latest telephone town hall, there will absolutely be more going forward, so please keep a look out for those details. You can always find those on my website or in my weekly newsletter as soon as those events are announced. One of my main focuses as I meet with families and businesses these next few weeks is to learn more about what you believe we are doing right and how you think we can do better, and your partnership is invaluable in that effort. I look forward to more great town halls like we had last week in the future, and in the meantime, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and ideas with me.
The pride that you and I take in the rich diversity of our community is no secret. But when the rest of the nation, and even the world takes notice of that pride, I particularly enjoy it! This past week, the Federation of Bangladeshi Associations of North America (FOBANA) held its national convention in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. The selection of Atlanta for this event says so much about our community and the Bangladeshi American leaders who are such a big part of it. FOBANA 2018 brought together Bangladeshi Americans from across the country and many from overseas. Even the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the United States, Mohammad Ziauddin, traveled down from D.C. to be a part of the festivities. I was honored to receive, along with the Ambassador, the FOBANA 2018 community service award. To those in the FOBANA community, thank you!
Rep. Rob Woodall meets with attendees at the FOBANA 2018 National Convention in Atlanta
With school starting last week in Forsyth and this week in Gwinnett, I know that many families are getting back into a routine. I am struck by how fortunate we are that “routine” in our community means frequent and incredible cultural festivals with leaders from all around the globe. Not many communities can say that, but we can. We celebrate it, and we are blessed to be able to do so.
Nowhere is the federal government’s presence and manipulation felt more than when the IRS reaches into your wallets each year for taxes. That is why I have advocated since my first day in office for a simpler tax code that lets you to keep more of what you earn by introducing H.R. 25, the “FairTax Act,” each Congress.
For those who do not know, the FairTax is a revolutionary tax reform proposal that would repeal all Federal corporate and individual income taxes, payroll taxes, self-employment taxes, capital gains taxes, the death tax and gift taxes - and replace them with a revenue-neutral, 23 percent, personal consumption tax. Under the FairTax, workers would take home 100 percent of their paycheck, with no Federal taxes withheld. The only Federal taxes that an American worker would pay is the new 23 percent FairTax on any new goods and services. You can learn more details about the FairTax by visiting my website HERE.
Here is what a few of you have shared on the FairTax in recent weeks:
Tom from Duluth:
When I did my taxes for 2017, the sheer complexity was mind blowing. While I appreciate the latest tax reform, it is still too complicated. The Fair Tax simplifies taxes and eliminates the IRS.
Sandra from Lawrenceville:
Please continue your work on getting Fair Tax passed.
This is one of my favorite topics, so I appreciate that Tom, Sandra, and so many others continue to reach out to me and share their support for such an exciting proposal. The good news is that support for the FairTax continues to grow with the addition of a new cosponsor to H.R. 25 just this past week – Representative Warren Davidson from Ohio!
With all of the excitement of our historic, once-in-a-generation tax reform last year, I can understand how folks can think that the FairTax is being left behind. The truth, though, is that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the largest step towards the FairTax we have taken since I have been in office. It simplified the individual tax brackets, cut most individual tax rates, eliminated a number of loopholes and exemptions, and permanently lowered the corporate income tax rate to a more globally competitive 21 percent—all consistent with the principles of the FairTax.
That said, I agree with Tom. While these were huge steps forward, passing the FairTax would eliminate many of the problems that still exist in our tax code, like the numerous exemptions and carve-outs that remain. Please know that these successes only make me more excited to push for more. In fact, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) recently announced his “Tax Reform 2.0” framework which will continue to build on the successes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by making the middle-class and small business tax cuts permanent, expanding options for families to save, and promoting new entrepreneurs by allowing start-ups to write off more costs—again, all FairTax ideals to simplify the tax code and give people and businesses more freedom. I expect to see legislation covering Mr. Brady’s “Tax Reform 2.0” proposal once we return to Washington, D.C., in September.
I truly am thrilled about this legislation's future as we continue to take these positive steps, but the FairTax will be passed only when the American people demand it. True change comes from grassroots leaders, like Tom and Sandra, who are passionate about seeing true reform implemented. The more people who call their representatives in Washington and voice their support for the FairTax, the better our chances become of seeing the FairTax signed into law.
If you ever need to lift your spirits, just take a look around at the way young people all across our community are excelling. I know I brag a lot about their accomplishments, but it’s such a great indication of the kind of character we have here at home. Just last week, Forsyth County Schools released the results of the 2018 Georgia Milestone assessments, which showed what many of us knew to be true already: students are setting the bar and exceeding expectations! That’s first and foremost a reflection of their intellect and hard work, but beyond that, it points to the love and guidance from parents, mentors, teachers, and more. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into preparing the next generation for all the things they will achieve, but not every place does this as well as the Seventh District, and I’m grateful to all those who make it possible. Congratulations, and keep up the great work!
- Forsyth County News. Forsyth County schools maintain top marks in latest Georgia Milestones
In the Seventh District, we lead rather than follow – time and again in so many different ways. We have a history of it with influential members of our community like Paul Duke, who helped make the notion of a technology park in Peachtree Corners a reality, and we see it still with local leaders creating innovative new ways to offer even more opportunity to those who call the area home. On Thursday, Mayor Mike Mason, a whole host of community leaders, and I gathered in Peachtree Corners to celebrate the announcement of a new partnership between a local business incubator – Prototype Prime – and Georgia Tech to offer a certification program in computer coding, with a focus on front and back-end web design. Once opportunities like this exist, it’s easy to take them for granted, but it’s important to remember that they don’t just happen. It takes visionary leadership and an unrelenting spirit of cooperation to make them a reality. Thankfully we have both in abundance here at home! A growing and robust economy like what we’ve seen over the past year is a wonderful thing, but in order to sustain it, it’s critically important that we have a workforce equipped with a variety of in-demand skills. Initiatives like this are a big part of reaching that goal, and it makes me proud to see our community again leading the way.
- Gwinnett Daily Post. Georgia Tech to offer certificate program in Peachtree Corners
As you know, I have the pleasure of spending August visiting with church groups, civic organizations, businesses, and individual Seventh District constituents, but I always have time for more. And that’s where you come in. If you want me to visit with you at your place of business or worship, or if you want to meet with me at my Lawrenceville office, please contact me. We have an amazing opportunity to work together to move the needle forward for the American people, and I want to seize that opportunity now.
Member of Congress