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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Rep. Johnson gets National Parks award

Camie Young

Camie Young

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is a friend of parks.

Johnson, whose district includes parts of Gwinnett, received a Friend of the National Parks award Wednesday from the National Parks Conservation Association.

"Our national parks represent the triumph of conservation over exploitation," the congressman said. "They're not only our best idea, but our true national treasure -- a treasure set aside for everyone to enjoy."

The award was established in 1999 to track votes on significant park issues.

"Congressman Johnson's support is essential to the protection and preservation of our national parks," said NPCA President Tom Kiernan.

Woodall amendments cut spending

The amount may be small, but U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall says the message is big, from two amendments Woodall introduced to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

The amendments cut about $5.1 million from the bill, most of which was through the elimination of a climate change study.

"This amendment isn't about whether you believe that the earth's climate is warming, cooling or not changing at all; it's about ensuring the efficient allocation of taxpayer resources," Woodall said. "The Army Corps of Engineers is a construction agency -- not a scientific research agency. Its mission does not include climate change."

Under a new policy implemented by House Republicans, all money saved from programs cut in appropriations bills can be deposited in a Spending Reduction Account, so that money cut from programs will not be spent on any other projects.

"In the context of the multi-trillion-dollar debt that our nation owes, $5.1 million is a drop in the bucket," Woodall said. "However, one small amendment at the time, my colleagues and I are changing the culture of excessive spending of the past, and working to get our financial house back in order."

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

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.