Georgia politicians react to State of the Union

Political Notebook

Senior Writer

Gwinnett's senior congressman thinks Democrats won't deny President Bush a chance at a new Iraq strategy, but some of his domestic policy announcements during the State of Union won't be considered.

U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, said he wants to see the increase in troops that Bush plugged during Tuesday's speech.

"We're putting too much strain on our guard and our reserve right now," he said. The increase in military will reduce that strain.

While Linder said he expects some of Bush's health care proposals to be "dead on arrival" in the Democrat-controlled Congress, he said the Dems may soften on the war.

"They are scared to death they'll be accused of not supporting the troops," he said. "They'll make a lot of noise, but they won't stop it."

Hank Johnson, the freshman lawmaker who represents a portion of Gwinnett, said

he wants to bring the

troops home.

"The time for talk has passed. Americans deserve real leadership, not more of the same rhetoric," said Johnson, a Democrat. "It is time for President Bush to face the music and respond to the urgent demands of a frustrated country. I hope he will explain how he plans to push for a political settlement, not an escalation of violence, in Iraq. And I hope he will tell the American people how and when he intends to bring our brave men and women home to their families."

Sen. Johnny Isakson said he hopes leaders can find a bipartisan solution to the situation.

"I think we're in very difficult and trying times, but very important times for the peace and security of our country," he said. "It's time we all got under the same tent, working for the same cause. I think the president is right to call on that bipartisan approach, and I think he'll receive a good response."

Sen. Saxby Chambliss agreed, and said he was pleased that Bush addressed domestic issues that are on the minds of Georgians.

"We must secure the border; we must balance the budget; and we must reduce our country's dependence on foreign sources of oil so that Americans have access to abundant and affordable sources of energy," the Republican from Moultrie said. "Whether it is providing affordable health care for our families or quality education for our children, Georgians are looking for action and results. I look forward to supporting the president on the issues where we agree."

Hear from the politicians

If you want to hear more from Linder about the goings-on in Washington, the congressman has scheduled a teleconference to speak with constituents.

His first tele-town hall meeting of the year is scheduled for 7:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday

To join in, call toll free, 1-888-316-9406, at 7:30 p.m. with the pass-code, "Linder Town Hall," and you will be placed immediately into the call.

And don't forget to find out the State of the County today.

Chairman Charles Bannister will deliver at noon today the annual keynote speech at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce event at the Gwinnett Place Marriott.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.