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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Local congressmen unhappy about sequester

Camie Young

Camie Young

The deadline has passed, but that doesn't mean the sequestration debate is over.

None of Gwinnett's congressmen were happy about the $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts that are expected to directly cut $34 million from Gwinnett County Public Schools and cause the closure of the air traffic control tower at Briscoe Field. They also have caused concern for public safety from the local sheriff, after the release of thousands of illegal immigrants from deportation facilities.

"If Congress does not address sequestration, American workers will face yet another hurdle to providing for their families and realizing the American dream," U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson said on Friday, the day $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts took effect.

"This mindless austerity takes a meat-cleaver approach to cutting programs, regardless of the wisdom of doing so or the long-term costs that these cuts would create," added the Democrat whose district includes portions of southern and western Gwinnett. "Indeed, the only plan that the majority has advanced is one that would not stem job loss, but one that would cut the programs that help the unemployed, the sick and the poor. Sequestration threatens to forestall economic recovery, amplifying the effects of the recession on so many Americans."

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, said the cuts didn't go down the way he wanted either. But he said the pain could be necessary to "re-energize" the economy.

"I've never said reducing spending would be easy, but I have always said that it is necessary," Woodall said. "There are better ways and worse ways to do it. I prefer the ways that we have passed in the House in our sequester replacement bills and in our House budgets, but the Senate doesn't seem to be able to pass anything at all.

"We owe it to our children who must pay our growing debts not to let the Senate's failure to act delay even one day the nation from beginning down the long and often difficult road toward balancing the federal budget and re-energizing the American economy and American job growth," added the Republican whose district includes the biggest portion of Gwinnett.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, who represents eastern Gwinnett and Barrow, took to the well of the House to give his suggestions on a better way to reduce spending.

"We only have to cut two and a half cents out of every dollar that we spend in 2013 to dodge the effects of the sequester," said Broun, a Republican who is mounting a Senate campaign for 2014. "If we can't shrink federal spending by two percent in a year without causing a meltdown, what does that say about Washington's spending problem?"

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.

Comments

Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

It's been widely known that Broun wanted the sequester to happen as was stated in a GDP article dated February 5th. If it doesn't go as planned, he can't say it was a bad idea because he pushed for it from the beginning.

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JHogan 1 year, 4 months ago

Is there a "Why_not" and a "whynot" who posts to these comment boards? Are you two seperate people or are you the same person?

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NewsReader 1 year, 4 months ago

He has a multi-personality disorder. I'm not familiar with "whynot", but "Why_not" aka "Say_that_again" aka "Know_it_all" is a liberal political troll that shows up here from time to time and speaks, yet has absolutely nothing to say. I hope that answers your question JHogan.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

Newsreader....I am amused that you think you have all this figured out. You are so very wrong but if it makes you happy then so be it....haha.

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jack 1 year, 4 months ago

Both Woodall and Johnson voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which contained the sequestration provision. (Broun voted against)

Neither has any right to demagogue the issue now.

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kevin 1 year, 4 months ago

Mr. Obama, I am really surprised that you still are blaming Congress, and to be more specific, the GOP, for all your problems, even after 4 years as President of the U.S. A "leader" does not blame other people for his problems. A "leader" is able to bring people together in order to lead them to the "promised land." Gee, Mr. Obama. I guess the media has gotten it all wrong these past four years. You really are not Jesus Christ or Moses!

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citized 1 year, 4 months ago

I do believe he has put something on the table already but the GOP wasn't there. They were in the back room seeing how to go against this person who was elected BY MAJORITY OF VOTERS. I do agree on your statement about the media when have the ever reported anything right? And PLEASE JC or Moses.....really!!!

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Stu 1 year, 4 months ago

So Congressman Woodall is unhappy about the sequester. Why do I get the feeling that this is a case of crocodile tears? If he really cared about the impact of these spending cuts on this constituents, why didn't he raise a finger to stop them?

The idea that these cuts will "re-energize" the economy is ludicrous. Cutting spending in the midst of a recession is economic malpractice, and is close to clinical insanity. Only someone who is completely blinded by right-wing anti-government ideology could fail to see this. The other alternative is that Congressman Woodall actually wants to economy to fail so that he can blame it on President Obama. Either way, it doesn't paint a very pretty picture.

Representative Woodall is certainly entitled to his extreme anti-government viewpoint. But why make a career in government if you believe it is the root of all evil? And why serve in Congress in the first place if you have no interest in constructive policymaking and no appetite for actually grappling with complex policy issues? If all Congressman Woodall is interested in doing is obstructing governmental action and pontificating, he belongs in a right-wing think tank, not in Congress.

However, because Representative Woodall is in Congress, his abstract, Ivory Tower ideology, which led to the sequester spending cuts, will now have concrete, painful consequences for many of his constituents. He has moved from symbolism and posturing to destructive policy. Perhaps he realizes this and is becoming nervous, which would explain why he is trying to backpeddle. I encourage all Representative Woodall's constituents to monitor the impact that the sequester has in Gwinnett closely and to hold Representative Woodall accountable.

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R 1 year, 4 months ago

He’s unhappy because the cuts weren't specific to fourth string expenses that really serve no purpose at the FEDERAL level and weren’t big enough…

Yeah most aren’t happy because they didn’t go deep enough…

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NewsReader 1 year, 4 months ago

I was just wondering...has Hank Johnson objected to funding for the stabilizers that need to be installed on the underside of the Island of Guam so that it doesn't tip over? "...This mindless austerity..."! LOL, you truly should be intimately familiar with the term "...mindless..." Hank Johnson. Anything you say isn't gonna be much.

These cuts should directly affect entitlements instead of direct services which is a deliberate and malicious attempt by this administration to provoke public outrage.

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ConcernedrReader 1 year, 4 months ago

The next time I hear entitlements mentioned, I would also like to include the bloated Public Pensions at all levels of government.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

Most of those pensions are going away already. Even Gwinnett is covering new employees in a 401k plan and moving away from the defined benefit type of retirement except for those already receiving their pension.

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BuzzG 1 year, 4 months ago

Sequester was proposed by Obama. Obama was supposed to have a budget presented to congress by February 2. He did not. He has not done his job but no one is supposed to notice. We are supposed to hate congress and then Obama comes riding in on a white horse. No way. He is up to his elbows in responsibility for the mess.

The real problem is not sequestration. The real problem is wild government spending. It needs to be cut back. It should be cut back intelligently, but this is going to have to do.


A cargo trian filled with biofuels crossed the border between the US and Canada 24 times between the 15th of June and the 28th of June 2010. Not once did it unload its cargo, yet it still earned million of dollars… The companies “made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in the US green energy program.” Each time the loaded train crossed the border the cargo earned its owner a certain amount of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which were awarded by the US EPA to “promote and track production and importation of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.”


Don't let them tell you there is no place to cut the budget. There is waste, fraud and abuse everywhere.

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Sandykin 1 year, 4 months ago

Let's all play the blame game endlessly and not solve the actual problem shall we? It would seem this is the favorite past time of Obama, the media and Congress. What's done is done. How about let's move forward?

Yes the cuts are going to be quite painful in the short run. I've found that to be true in my personal financial struggle. When there's no money to pay the utility bills, they get shut off. I can't send money I don't have to pay them. I have to do without electricity or heat until I do have the money for those little luxuries. Why should the government, or the people living off the government, be exempt?

In the long run, I will come out financially stronger as I'm already better about budgeting my finances and have caught up on some bills and been able to pay off others. That is, I'm not in as deep of a hole as I once was. Still, I have debts that remain and I'm working on getting them paid too. While I'm doing this, I'm not accumulating any new debt. New debt will not help me get out this hole, it will only deepen it. It's a necessary step to financial solvency. Why does the government think they don't have to go thru it?

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BuzzG 1 year, 4 months ago

Cammie needs to report on our latest government expenditure.

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R 1 year, 4 months ago

Or how a Federal budget is created...

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Don_Coyote 1 year, 4 months ago

Facing a $16,000,000,000,000.00 debt I don't think any reasonable person could dismiss the need for cuts. What I find objectionable is the gamesmanship in not allowing the various agencies the flexibility of applying the cuts where they do the least harm. Quite the opposite is being done and all just to make a political point. We desperately need a method of electing lawmakers who value allegiance to country over allegiance to party.

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