Washington Watch - 5/1/17
Saturday marked the 100th day that President Trump has been our Commander-in-Chief. Though there have been some stumbling blocks along the way so far, I’m proud of what we have already accomplished together. Congress and President Trump have worked together to pass 28 bills into law so far – the largest number since President Truman was in office. We’ve confirmed a new U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice. We’re experiencing the lowest level of illegal border crossings since the year 2000. And it’s been 16 years since our nation’s consumer confidence rating has reached the levels that it is today. These are positive signs for the future, and they give me hope that they will allow us to overcome those issues that are dividing us today so that we can produce results for the American people tomorrow.
CLICK BELOW to watch my floor speech about President Trump’s first 100 days
- Forsyth County News. Woodall takes stock of success in the first 100 days
It’s always gratifying and energizing when I see my friends from Georgia coming to Washington, D.C., and last week, dozens of job-creators and entrepreneurs with the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce came to Congress to advocate for our part of the world. I tell you often that our district has a powerful story to tell—a story of confronting challenges and solving problems together. To help the Chamber get a flavor of Congress and Congress to get a flavor of our district, I arranged visits with several leaders in Congress on committees dealing with the issues that are relevant to us here at home. For example, we discussed health care with Congressman Michael Burgess, Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. We discussed immigration reform with Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee, the man in charge of authoring the House’s immigration reform bill. We even drove down to the U.S. Department of Transportation to talk infrastructure and share insight with U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao herself. That doesn’t begin to cover their entire agenda, but it illustrates the opportunity your neighbors had to influence business in Washington by sharing their expertise with my colleagues and me. I thank the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce for all that they do for the 7th District of Georgia.
You’ve often heard me talk about how I believe that process matters. The legislative process is supposed to allow many voices to be heard, and when the House considered H.R. 1694, the “Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act,” that’s exactly what happened. The bill had a full hearing and mark-up in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and when it came to the House floor, it was enhanced by the inclusion of a number of important amendments, including one from our neighbor Representative Hank Johnson from Georgia’s 4th District. The best legislation is made when many hands from both sides of the aisle are involved, and I’m proud that H.R. 1694 is a product of that type of collaboration.
CLICK BELOW to watch my House floor speech in favor of H.R. 1694.
Though you might not realize it, one of the reasons why the United States is a leader in technological innovation is because of our comprehensive and sophisticated copyright system. The proper recording and legal protection of intellectual property rights is an essential component of our economic success around the world. And the great news is that nearly 400 members of the House recognized the need for ensuring our copyright system is modernized when we passed H.R. 1695 this past week. The bill elevates the Registrar of Copyrights to the level of a Presidentially-nominated and Senate-confirmed position with a ten-year term limit. While this might seem like a minor change in the law, it’s a necessary change to ensure that the Registrar is committed to Congress’ directive to update the copyright system, which has been woefully antiquated for too long. This is good for American businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as for our economic growth.
Finally, the House passed a bill, S. 496, disapproving an Obama Administration regulation that would have forced the unnecessary merging of many Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Most folks don’t know what MPOs do, but they are integral, especially in large urban areas like metro Atlanta, to ensuring appropriate transportation and infrastructure policies are undertaken using federal dollars. Our own Atlanta Regional Commission for instance is working on a project right now to enhance the infrastructure of Old Peachtree Road to increase travel speeds and reduce traffic congestion by optimizing interconnected signals and intersection usage. The Obama Administration directive, while I’m sure well-intentioned, would have cost over $340 million to put into practice and would have taken local transportation investment decisions out of the hands of local administrators. That’s a bad way to govern, but thankfully, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate supported S. 496, and now it’s on its way to President Trump’s desk!
Saturday morning I joined U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue at Georgia’s annual Military Academy Day at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Each year, we bring down admissions officers from all five of the U.S. military academies to meet with our local young people and answer any questions that our students might have. Each year, hundreds of amazing students turn out with their families, and Saturday was no exception. I had a chance to meet with students from across the district, and those students had a chance to interact directly with the leadership of our U.S. service academies.
This past year, our district had a record-setting 22 young men and women accepted to our service academies. Many districts only have three or four accepted. Our high success rate is a testimony to our amazing young leaders, their parents, our schools and our community. I know that you are as proud as I am of all that our young people have accomplished and all that they will accomplish as the next generation of American leaders.
- Marietta Daily Journal. Hundreds of students descend on Dobbins for military service academy day
It’s already impressive to stand out in a place like Forsyth County, or a state like Georgia, or a country like ours, but that wasn’t enough for a talented group of wind and percussion musicians at Forsyth Central High School. These world-renowned performers recently turned heads in the 40th Winter Guard International World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, and took second place overall! This was the first time the school has received a medal in the competition, but something tells me it won’t be the last. If there’s one thing I know about our community, it is that we strive for excellence at everything we do – and through hard work and partnership, we reach our goals. The ability to embrace new challenges, take risks, and aim for the stars while doing it is something that starts at a young age here, and I couldn’t agree more with these students’ director, Mr. Dan Grass, when he says one of the most remarkable things about these young people is their fearlessness in taking on a new challenge. It’s the kind of character we’ve come to expect from our neighbors, but certainly don’t take for granted, and I never tire of seeing all the great things being accomplished by folks here at home. Congratulations, and keep up the great work!
- Forsyth County News. Forsyth Central High musical group places 2nd at world competition
This week the House is expected to pass H.R. 1180, the “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017.” This bill would allow private-sector employers to offer workers a choice when the worker earns overtime pay. The worker could choose to accept the extra money, or the worker could chose to take paid time off in lieu of the money. This bill allows workers to choose what’s most important to them – money or time – and I know that for many people, especially parents, more time at home or on vacation with their families is paramount. I look forward to giving Americans this choice.
The House is also continuing to work on a long-term omnibus spending bill this week. This bill will fund the government through September 30, 2017. You can CLICK HERE to read the full text of the FY17 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
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