POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Johnson, Woodall both 'reluctantly support' bill

Possibly more surprising than Georgia's senators taking opposite sides in the debt ceiling vote was the fact that Gwinnett's congressmen voted together.

Both U.S. Reps. Rob Woodall and Hank Johnson voted in favor of the final compromise, despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle. And blaming the opposite party.

Woodall was one of only two Georgia Republican House members to vote for the plan.

In a column in this weekend's Daily Post, the Lawrenceville man equated the battle to a game of inches in football.

"As I assess where our nation stands today, I want the big play, but with President Barack Obama in the White House and Harry Reid in the Senate, America must fight even for inches," he said.

Hank Johnson, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Norcross and Lilburn, said his Tea Party Republicans have taken the American people for ransom.

"For responsible stateswomen and statesmen, default is not an option, but we missed an opportunity to strike a grand bargain," he said. "President Obama turned a bad deal into one I could reluctantly support. Initial cuts spare Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security beneficiaries, and a second round allows a balanced approach, including closing special interest tax loopholes. With another vote on the debt ceiling postponed until after the 2012 elections, we have prevented another Republican default debacle.

"Let history show that the ideologues who held America hostage abandoned their responsibility to govern and dealt in the lowest politics while President Obama rose to the challenge under the most difficult circumstances."

All of Georgia's Democrats, save U.S. Rep. John Lewis, voted in favor of the plan.

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.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.