District Connection - 9/4/13
SAVANNAH HARBOR: MOVING EVEN MORE COMMERCE THROUGH GEORGIA
Last week I visited the Port of Savannah, which is the 4th largest container port in America, and the fastest growing as well.
One of the most important things we can do for Georgia’s economy is continue to grow its infrastructure. We have expanded our roads and railways, and now is the time to expand our ports. In anticipation of the expansion of the Panama Canal, Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been working on a plan called the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) that will expand the Savannah Harbor to accommodate the larger vessels that will be moving through the region when the Panama Canal deepening is complete in 2014.
SHEP is one of the most important civil works projects in the country, and will significantly grow Georgia’s economy and commerce, but it needs one last piece of legislation to begin the construction phase. I have talked to you about the importance and the need to pass a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), not only for the future of our dams, lakes, and rivers, but for our ports as well. I expect to see movement on a bill when Congress reconvenes in September, and I will keep you posted as to its progress. Passing a new WRDA bill this year is critical and will finally allow the expansion of the Port of Savannah to get started.
Savannah may seem like a long way from Forsyth and Gwinnett, but the port touches thousands of jobs in this district every day. If we can secure the growth of the port, we can ensure that we remain as competitive as we can be in this global economy.
The Port of Savannah, Georgia
SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE
Last Monday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) brought local businesses together for a roundtable discussion about how Washington is affecting the success of our business community. Hosted at the offices of Access Computers in Norcross, the primary issues covered were the effect of the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, and tax policy.
I challenged the business owners in attendance to identify those specific rules and regulations in their industries that are the most egregious. If businesses can bring individual challenges to my attention, other business owners across the country are sure to be experiencing the same problems that our local businesses are, and I can create the coalitions in Congress needed to pass a solution.
MEETING WITH YOU – WHERE YOU ARE
Last week I traveled throughout the District listening to you. I was honored to be invited to speak to the members of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA) and the Gwinnett Tea Party about current events in Washington, D.C. In both groups, we had a great discussion about health care, immigration, and much more. I was also onsite with several local businesses and manufacturers learning about their successes and their challenges. Thank you to everyone who invited me out and invested your time and energy in me. I’ve said it many times before because I know it to be true: the more that I am able to hear the stories of 7th District residents, the better job I can do in Washington representing you.
Rep. Rob Woodall meets with the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association on August 26th
VIETNAMESE FALL FESTIVAL
Last Friday I was able to spend a fantastic evening at the Vietnamese Fall Festival in Norcross. This annual event brings our Norcross community and the entire state together as 35,000 people were expected to attend the three-day event. I was honored to be asked to speak to attendees at the opening ceremony.
These community events remind all of us that our American nation is a melting pot of freedom-loving people from around the world who strive every day to build better lives for future generations and who want to pass along important religious and cultural traditions. This festival seems to get bigger every year, and it makes me proud to see their success.
CONSULTING WITH CONGRESS ABOUT SYRIA
There is no doubt that the actions of Bashar al-Assad against the Syrian people are horrific. The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, and the humanitarian crisis that is occuring in Syria is troubling to all freedom loving people around the world.
Our Founding Fathers were wise, and they knew the terror of war. That is why they placed the power to go to war with the Congress, so that the American people -- the ones who do the fighting -- could have their voices heard. I respect the President's authority as our Commander-in-Chief, and I know how difficult the decision to use our Armed Forces is for any president. That is why, when possible, the President should always seek the support of Congress. The collective wisdom of the American people informs Congress and Congress informs the President. That is why I joined a group of my colleagues last week in writing to President Obama and urging him to seek Congressional authorization before taking action against Syria. I am pleased that the President has now agreed to follow that advice.
With the facts that I know today, I do not support an attack on Syria. I returned to Washington to attend the classified briefings and read the Intelligence Community's justifications for military action. While I have no doubt that President Assad has committed crimes against his people, I have grave doubts that America's unilateral "limited involvement," as the President describes it, in Syria's civil war will bring justice to anyone. A threat to America requires an American response. A violation of international rules of warfare requires an international response. I intend to watch the Arab League, the European Union, and the United Nations for their response, but I cannot support the broad granting of unilateral power that the President has asked for in his Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). As America grapples with this issue, I welcome your support and encouragement as well as your alternative ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.