Woodall hears con­ser­va­tive agenda in New­ton

The Covington News - - Front page - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

New­ton County vot­ers were the only ones to choose a Demo­crat over U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) in Novem­ber’s elec­tion, but you couldn’t tell that at Tues­day’s town hall.

The ma­jor­ity of the crowd ap­peared to want Woodall to em­brace con­ser­vatism, take hard stands and forego com­pro­mise. One woman said she took ex­cep­tion to com­pro­mise, fol­low­ing an open­ing speech by Woodall in which he said the con­ser­va­tives in Congress need to learn when to ac­cept what they can get, in­stead of al- ways hold­ing out for their full wish list.

Woodall said the Democrats are good at the art of com­pro­mise, which al­lows them to de­velop and carry out strate­gies over the long haul. Later in the town hall, a man asked why the Repub­li­cans are such poor long-term plan­ners. Woodall re­vis­ited his ear­lier point say­ing Repub­li­cans want all or noth­ing, while the Demo­cratic party has been will­ing to take small steps to­ward its goal of a “so­cial world or­der.”

He ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the six-year stint when the GOP con­trolled both houses of Congress and the pres­i­dency, yet ex­panded

gov­ern­ment by na­tion­al­iz­ing ed­u­ca­tion, the largest pro­gram cre­ated since Medi­care.

For a party that is about re­duc­ing gov­ern­ment to en­hance free­dom, that struck Woodall as a step back­ward, not­ing that the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion also lacked over­sight and com­pro­mise. He asked vot­ers to judge him on how many laws he re­peals and not how many he passes.

The con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion which funded the gov­ern­ment for the re­main­der of the cur­rent fis­cal year was ques­tioned by some in the au­di­ence who said it re­ally only cut $311 mil­lion, not the $38.5 bil­lion it promised. Woodall promised the crowd that the bud­get did cut that much and asked them to trust him, be­cause if they al­ready thought he was ly­ing that would be de­bil­i­tat­ing to his ef­fec­tive­ness.

For­mer state Sen. John Dou­glas ex­pressed a de­sire to see drilling al­lowed in the Arc­tic and else­where in the coun­try, and Woodall agreed say­ing, “We have let the ‘greens’ take over this de­bate.”

He said the is­sues of oil sup­ply was one of na­tional se­cu­rity, not an en­vi­ron­men­tal one. If the coun­try de­clares car­bon a pol­lu­tant, then there the econ­omy will head in the wrong direc­tion and not be able to turn back, Woodall said.

He touched on twin peaks of So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care, say­ing that So­cial Se­cu­rity was ac­tu­ally fine and not in cri­sis, but that bal­loon­ing med­i­cal costs were the real risk. Those costs are ris­ing so greatly be­cause the gov­ern­ment is foot­ing the bill, he said.

Re­turn­ing to the bud­get, Woodall said he would po­ten­tially vote to raise the debt limit, be­cause he be­lieves there is no way around it. He said that if the gov­ern­ment voted not to raise the limit, then all pro­grams would have to be cut be­sides Medi­care, So­cial Se­cu­rity and a few oth­ers. Ei­ther that or the gov­ern­ment would have to dou­ble in­come taxes to pay for ev­ery­thing.

Woodall said he is work­ing on a bill that will al­low the gov­ern­ment to choose to fund cer­tain pro­grams only, but be­cause that’s cur­rently not al­lowed, ei­ther all pro­grams have to be funded or none at all.

Re­gard­ing mak­ing se­ri­ous cuts to the bud­get, Woodall said he be­lieved that the Amer­i­can peo­ple would stand for one shut down of gov­ern­ment, but one shut down only. As a re­sult, he felt the con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion was not the time for the party to put its foot down, but rather that battle should be saved for ei­ther the up­com­ing fis­cal year 2012 bud­get or pos­si­bly the debt ceil­ing dis­cus­sion.


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