Congressman Hank Johnson has endorsed an upcoming transportation tax, which is on ballots in July.
The Democrat, whose district includes portions of Gwinnett, as well as DeKalb and Rockdale counties, said Friday he will vote for the 1-percent sales tax because he believes the region would "miss an historic opportunity" without it.
"This referendum represents our best hope of relieving congestion in metropolitan Atlanta. We must act now to address our traffic problems throughout our region and further delay will only compound our problems," Johnson said in a press release.
While the former DeKalb commission said he shares frustrations that south DeKalb has not received "its fair share" of improvement, he said the $8 billion the tax is expected to bring in in 10 years will do a lot to boost economic development and job creation.
He also gave kudos to a few key projects, including $225 million set aside for MARTA service in the I-20 East corridor
"Passage of this referendum will increase the transportation options throughout the region," he said.
Last week, the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance vowed to fight for the referendum's defeat, while other business and community leaders have formed a campaign to support the tax.
Woodall wants long-term solution to student loans
Meanwhile, Washington colleague Rob Woodall explained that he "reluctantly" voted against the Interest Rate Reduction Act because it does little to address the underlying problems of student loans.
"Instead, the bill pushes these hard decisions down the road one more year," Woodall, a Republican from Lawrenceville, said.
He said a GOP committee is leading work on a long-term fix, but the "sideshow of presidential politics has intervened."
"I look forward to seeing the House get back on track and proposing long term solutions," the congressman said. "With total student loan debt over $1 trillion dollars, higher than total credit card debt for the first time in U.S. history, we need real solutions for our students, not the president's election year pandering. And while I agree that the ObamaCare Slush Fund for the Secretary of Health and Human Services should be eliminated, I'd rather it go toward deficit reduction than taking it from one federal pocket and putting it in another.
"Every dollar of our nation's debt is another loan that students today will have to pay off in the future, and that is a far greater burden on their prosperity than the interest from their student loans," he added.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/local/politics.