Friday, February 27, 2009

Workers deserve right to secret ballot in workplace

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a co-sponsor of the Secret Ballot Protection Act, hailed the bill’s introduction today and called for the House to give it swift consideration.

“The Secret Ballot Protection Act promotes workers’ rights, takes direct aim at the strong-arm tactics of union bosses and preserves the long-held American principle that secret ballots let each voter exercise his or her conscience without fear of reprisal from the powers that be,” Westmoreland said.

The legislation accomplishes several important goals: 1) It protects workers’ right to a secret ballot vote on whether a union will represent their workforce. 2) It prevents a workforce from being unionized solely based on a card check (where workers sign authorization cards – frequently in front of employers and fellow employees – stating that they wish to be part of a union). 3) It protects workers from being pressured or coerced to join a union. 4) It prevents recognition of a union that was formed without a secret ballot election.

“Liberals in Congress pushing card check legislation are paying off the big union bosses, the ones who write the big checks to Democrats,” Westmoreland said. “This is being done at the expense of the average working person who wants to cast his or her vote in private.”
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

RNC: Welcome Back Rosy, Have Democrats Traded One Form of Deception for Another in the Budget Process?

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Republican National Committee:

At The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, President Obama Pledged To Introduce An Honest Budget That Is Free Of Gimmicks And Deception:

President Obama Pledged To Introduce A Budget That Is An Honest

Accounting Of The Financial Situation. President Obama: "And that's why the budget I will introduce later this week will look ahead 10 years and will include a full and honest accounting of the money we plan to spend and the deficits we will likely incur. To start reducing these deficits, I've committed to going through our budget line by line to root out waste and inefficiency, a process that Peter and our administration, our team, has already begun. And I'll soon be instructing each member of my cabinet to go through every item in their budgets as well." (President Barack Obama, Remarks To The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, DC, 2/23/09)

President Obama: "Our Budget Process In Washington Has Been An Exercise In Deception." President Obama: "We'll start by being honest with ourselves about the magnitude of our deficits. For too long, our budget process in Washington has been an exercise in deception, a series of accounting tricks to hide the extent of our spending and the shortfalls in our revenue and hope that the American people won't notice; budgeting certain expenditures for just one year, when we know we'll incur them every year for five or 10; budgeting zero dollars for the Iraq war - zero - for future years even when we knew the war would continue; budgeting no money for natural disasters, as if we would ever go 12 months without a single flood, fire, hurricane or earthquake." (President Barack Obama, Remarks To The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, DC, 2/23/09)

President Obama: "We do ourselves no favors by hiding the truth about what we spend. In order to address our fiscal crisis, we're going to have to be candid about its scope." (President Barack Obama, Remarks To The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, DC, 2/23/09)

The New Democrat Budget Has People Wondering If "Rosy Scenario" Is Back In Washington:

Private Economists Wonder If Democrats Have Brought "Rosy Scenario" Back To Washington. "The administration insists it isn't so, but some private economists are wondering if the Obama administration has brought 'Rosy Scenario' back to town." (Martin Crutsinger, "Economists Question Budget's Economic Assumptions," The Associated Press, 2/27/09)

Many Economists Say The Democrat Budget Uses "One Of The Oldest Gimmicks Around" By Relying On Overly Optimistic Economic Assumptions. "But many economists who examined the economic assumptions that undergird the spending plan believe that Obama may have resorted to one of the oldest gimmicks around - relying on overly optimistic economic assumptions to make it look like you are dealing with soaring budget deficits when in reality you are only closing the gap on paper." (Martin Crutsinger, "Economists Question Budget's Economic Assumptions," The Associated Press, 2/27/09)

In Order To Achieve The Deficit Cutting That Democrats Hope For, The Economy Would Have To Grow At Levels Similar To The Boom Of The 1990s. "The Obama budget puts the deficit at less than $600 billion starting in 2012 from $1.75 trillion this year. Getting to that point requires GDP to rise more than 4% a year by then -- meaning the U.S. would quickly return to growth rates similar to the boom years of the 1990s -- after the worst financial shock since the Great Depression. Such growth is more than a full percentage point above private-sector growth estimates for 2011 and 2012." (Sudeep Reddy, "Rosy Assumptions Hold Down Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/09)

Economic Forecasts In The Democrat Budget Are Much Higher Than Private Forecasts:

The Economic Forecasts In The Democrat Budget Are "Far Higher" Than Many Private Analysts. "But the administration forecast is far higher than the projections for growth in the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, of many private analysts." (Martin Crutsinger, "Economists Question Budget's Economic Assumptions," The Associated Press, 2/27/09)

Democrats Predict The GDP Will Grow By More Than 4 Percent In 2011, 2012, And 2013. "In its budget, the administration predicted that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will shrink by 1.2 percent this year but will grow by a solid 3.2 percent in 2010. That growth would be followed by even stronger increases of 4 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012 and 4.2 percent in 2013." (Martin Crutsinger, "Economists Question Budget's Economic Assumptions," The Associated Press, 2/27/09)

Private Forecasters Agree That The GDP Will Not Grow As Much As The White House Forecasters Predict. "By contrast, the consensus of forecasters surveyed by Blue Chip Economic Indicators in February predicted that the GDP will fall by a larger 1.9 percent this year and then increase at weaker rates of 2.1 percent in 2010, 2.9 percent in 2011 and 2012 and 2.8 percent in 2013." (Martin Crutsinger, "Economists Question Budget's Economic Assumptions," The Associated Press, 2/27/09)

A Top White House Official Admitted That Budget Estimates Were More Optimistic Than Private Forecasts:

White House Economist Christina Romer Admitted That The Democrats' Economic Forecasts Are "Somewhat More Optimistic" Than Private Economists. "Speaking to reporters Thursday, White House economist Christina Romer called the projections an 'honest forecast' by the administration's professional forecasters. 'I'd reject the premise that we're noticeably rosier,' she said. 'We certainly are somewhat more optimistic, but certainly nothing out of the ballpark.'" (Sudeep Reddy, "Rosy Assumptions Hold Down Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/09)

The Budget Relies On An Estimate That The Unemployment Rate Will Be 7.9 Percent In 2010, 1.6 Percent Lower Than Last Year's Most Accurate Forecasters:

The Obama Administration Anticipates The Unemployment Rate To Fall To 7.9 Percent In 2010. "Most Fed officials, who have repeatedly proven to be too hopeful about a recovery, see the unemployment rate between 8.5% and 8.8% in the fourth quarter of 2009 and around 8% to 8.3% in late 2010. The administration puts the 2010 annual average at 7.9%, even though Fed officials and most private forecasters expect joblessness to remain well above 8% - and in some cases closer to 9% - through much of the year." (Sudeep Reddy, "Rosy Assumptions Hold Down Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/09)

Economists At Goldman Sachs Estimate The Unemployment Rate To Be 9.5 Percent In 2010. "Goldman Sachs economists, whose forecasts were among the most accurate last year, expect the unemployment rate to be at 9.5% by late 2010." (Sudeep Reddy, "Rosy Assumptions Hold Down Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/09)

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

Big Government Will beTaxing

Newspapers respond to President Obama's Budget:

The Era of Big Government is Back: Newspapers Slam New Budget Proposal
Posted by Kevin on February 27th, 2009

Newspapers from Boston to Los Angeles blasted the administration’s budget proposal in editorials published this morning. The Fiscal Year 2010 Budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes on small business; creates a new “carbon tax” that would penalize Americans for using energy; expands entitlement spending by $1 trillion over 10 years; brings back to life the “death tax”; and would result in the doubling of the national debt by 2019......

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Statement by Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on the President's 2010 Budget Proposal

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Robert Greenstein, Executive Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

The President's budget represents a bold and courageous proposal to make progress in restoring fiscal discipline while addressing two central problems of our time -- a broken health care system and the threat of catastrophic global warming -- and other national needs.

Particularly courageous are several proposals that take on vested interests to fully pay for the costs of health care reform and tackling global warming, including:

-- Instituting major cost-saving reforms in Medicare that also hold
promise for slowing private-sector health care costs and are
consistent with recommendations of Congress' expert advisory body, the
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Faced with intense opposition
from insurance companies and other interests, Congress has shied away
from such proposals, but the new Administration has embraced them.
The budget also includes a sound, longstanding Republican proposal --
to increase the premiums that affluent Medicare beneficiaries pay for
the prescription drug benefit that Medicare provides them.
-- Limiting various tax subsidies to the most affluent Americans to 28
cents on the dollar. Currently, middle-income Americans receive a tax
subsidy equal to 10 cents or 15 cents for each dollar of their
deductible expenses (if they itemize deductions at all), while
affluent Americans get a subsidy of 35 cents for each dollar of the
same expenses. The budget would cap the subsidy at 28 cents on the
dollar for those with incomes over $250,000, the same rate at which
those expenses could be deducted in the final Reagan years, when the
top tax rates were lower. As a result, incentives to incur those
expenses would be the same as under President Reagan.
-- Auctioning all emissions permits under the Administration's proposed
cap-and-trade system to address global warming, rather than conferring
windfall profits on energy companies and others that pollute by giving
them tens of billions of dollars' worth of permits for free. The
proposal would then use auction proceeds to offset the impact on
working families of the resulting increases in energy prices, by
extending the Making Work Pay tax cut. (This tax cut is similar to
tax-reduction proposals of recent years by a number of analysts,
including those here at CBPP, to efficiently provide middle-income
consumers with relief from the increased energy costs that an
emissions cap would trigger.) Additional measures will be required to
provide adequate relief to low-income consumers; the budget envisions
using some of the remaining auction proceeds for that.

The budget also makes a significant commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility while meeting high priority national needs, by:

-- Reducing deficits to 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2013,
about the level needed to keep the federal debt from rising much
faster than the economy and thus leading to an explosion of debt that
swamps the budget and the economy.
-- Pledging to offset the costs over the next ten years of health care
reforms that initially will raise costs by providing universal
coverage but that will set the stage for reducing public- and
private-sector health care costs in subsequent decades by gradually
slowing the rate at which those costs grow. The high rate of growth
of health-care costs is at the root of the nation's long-term fiscal

By themselves, these budget proposals would prove insufficient to keep deficits at 3 percent of GDP indefinitely. Policymakers will need to take additional steps in subsequent years, as President Obama noted at his "fiscal summit" on Monday.

The budget also deserves high marks for transparency and honesty. Gone are the gimmicks that have been an annual feature of both Presidential and Congressional budgets, under which policymakers pretended to reduce deficits markedly over time by omitting costs in the "out years" for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, natural disasters, and continued relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax and the scheduled reductions in Medicare fees for doctors -- and by printing in the budget numbers for the costs of discretionary programs in the out years that everyone knew were unrealistically low.

Those gimmicks, sleights-of-hand, and convenient omissions are absent from this budget. Its greater realism and transparency makes the President's pledge to cut the deficit in half in four years a meaningful one; we will now know each year whether we are on course to meet that goal.

The budget also provides needed investments in key areas for long-term economic growth, such as energy efficiency and early childhood education. And it proposes savings from lower priority programs such as bloated agricultural subsidies and from unwarranted tax breaks, such as one that millionaire equity fund managers have exploited to pay taxes at lower rates than many middle-income families and others that benefit oil companies. The budget also follows in the tradition of the 1990 and 1993 deficit-reduction laws in both shrinking the deficit and reducing poverty, which is higher in the United States than in other Western nations.

Predictable but Unfounded Criticisms

The budget already is facing several lines of attack that rest on inaccurate or misleading charges. Chief among them is the claim that the tax increases for people who make over $250,000 will seriously injure small businesses.

In fact, small businesses would win under this budget. Tax Policy Center data show that fewer than one in every ten people with small business income have incomes over $250,000, the only group that faces higher taxes under this budget. Moreover, many people with small business income who are in this category are wealthy individuals who have invested in businesses, but who are not proprietors and have little or nothing to do with running those businesses. The vast majority of small business owners are middle-income individuals who would receive tax cuts under the budget; many of them would also benefit from its universal coverage and health care cost containment reforms.

To be sure, many will oppose various proposals to close tax loopholes, the Medicare and agricultural subsidy reforms, and the cap on the value of itemized deductions for the most affluent Americans -- while saying that they, too, favor universal health coverage, curbing global warming, improvements in education, and the like. This budget challenges them to propose their own ways to finance such measures.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Personhood Amendment Passes Montana Senate

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Life League celebrated Thursday the first personhood amendment in the nation's history to pass a state Senate.

Personhood Amendment, SB 406, passed 26 to 24 in the Montana State Senate Feb. 26.

Introduced by Montana State Sen. Dan McGee, SB 406 states "all persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights ... person means a human being at all stages of human development of life, including the state of fertilization or conception, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency."

American Life League president Judie Brown issued the following statement:

"Personhood is catching fire around the country. Less than two weeks ago, North Dakota's House of Representatives recognized all human beings as persons and now Montana is following suit with passage of the first Personhood Amendment.

This is a historic moment for the personhood movement. At long last, the pro-life community is recognizing that until we establish civil rights and personhood for all human beings, we cannot have justice in this country. We have taken an important step toward fulfillment of the civil rights movement.

North Dakota and Montana have given us great hope. We pledge to work not only for personhood in every state, but also for a Federal Personhood Amendment to the United States Constitution. We will not rest until the rights of every human being from creation until natural death are guaranteed and protected under the law."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Boehner Statement on President Obama’s FY 2010 Budget

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today released the following statement on President Obama’s FY 2010 budget blueprint:

“Republicans want to work with the President and Democrats in Congress on a responsible budget that helps our economy recover without piling more debt on future generations. But this budget makes clear that the era of big government is back, and Democrats want you to pay for it. Middle-class families and small businesses are making sacrifices when it comes to their own budget, and it’s time for Washington to do the same. Instead, this budget taxes, spends, and borrows its way toward a bigger, more costly federal government at the expense of small businesses, family farms, middle-class families, retirees, every American who owns a 401(k), and anyone who flips on a light switch.”


“Increasing taxes during a recession would be disastrous for the economy. Herbert Hoover tried it, and we all know where that led. While some may spin this as higher taxes for ‘the rich,’ the fact is, it will hit everyone – from small businesses and family farms to retirees and anyone who turns on a light switch. It will also deliver a sharp blow to charities at a time when they are hurting during the economic downturn. This will kill more American jobs and lead to an even longer, deeper recession.”


“We simply cannot afford to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future to pay for this big government spending spree. While the White House talks about a deficit it ‘inherited,’ the fact is, this budget takes credit for a decline in the deficit that will happen anyway. How much of the deficit damage ‘inherited’ by the White House has been done in the past month? More than $1 trillion, and raising taxes during a recession is no way to pay for this spending spree.”


“Republicans and Democrats need to work together to expand access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans, but increasing taxes during an economic recession, especially on small businesses, is not a responsible way to accomplish this goal.”


“‘Cap-and-trade’ is code for increasing taxes, killing American jobs, and raising energy costs for consumers. Middle-class families are struggling during this recession, and the last thing they need is even higher costs of living and weaker job security, which is exactly what ‘cap-and-trade’ would deliver.”

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Boehner: Secret Ballot Protection Act Preserves Right to Privacy in the Workplace

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday released the following statement on the introduction of the Secret Ballot Protection Act, legislation he is co-sponsoring to preserve workers’ right to a secret ballot union election in the workplace:

“Middle-class families across this nation are struggling. With costs of living rising and job security diminishing for far too many Americans, the basic privacy rights of many workers today are under assault and in danger of being taken away. Yet, that is precisely what many Democrats in Congress and their special-interest allies are aiming to do.

“Make no mistake, workers must have the right to unionize, but they should be free to do so without intimidation and coercion from either union officials or company management. The Secret Ballot Protection Act preserves that right at a time when American workers and their families need it most. It says that no one – not unions, not companies – can deny workers the right to a secret ballot.

“Few rights are more fundamental to our American democracy than the right to a secret ballot election. I thank Reps. Kline, McKeon, and Price for introducing this legislation to safeguard that right for American workers. House Republicans will continue to fight attempts by powerful special interests to end the critical right to privacy in the workplace.”

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Westmoreland: Yet Another Spending Explosion

The House today whipped out the American people’s credit card once again and went on another spending spree. Just two weeks after the Congress passed $887 billion in new deficit spending, it tacked on another $410 billion spending bill to cover the federal government expenses until Oct. 1.

“Today, as American families stretch their dollar as far as it can go, as businesses struggle to keep employees and health care benefits, the federal shows no such restraint,” Westmoreland said. “This spending represents an 8 percent increase over last year’s spending level and includes at least 8,500 earmarks. Not only are we spending money we don’t have, we’re upping the limit. It’s crazy.

“Just last night, we heard the president spell out an ambitious but highly expensive wish list, even as he tells us that we’re going to have to make tough choices in the name of fiscal responsibility. This budget represents no tough choices. We’re expanding government spending at the fastest rate since the Carter administration. The Democratic leadership can’t have it both ways. They’ve doubled the deficit in four weeks and the out of control spending just continues. Their talk of protecting taxpayers and future generations doesn’t pass the laugh test.”

The Omnibus Appropriations Act completes the regular appropriations process which was supposed to be done last year. Each of the individual spending bills gained increases of 4 to 13 percent over last year’s level, including an 11 percent increase for the legislative branch.

“Republicans offered a valuable alternative that would have frozen spending at last year’s levels, and that’s the route I wish the House had taken,” Westmoreland said. “Americans are no longer turning a blind eye to Washington’s reckless spending. They know better than the majority party that this can’t continue.”
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Markets Offer Vote of No Confidence in Obama Spending Spree

America’s job creators offered the Obama administration’s economic plans another resounding vote of no confidence, with stocks plunging once again as President Obama refused to change the failed big-spending, big-government policies responsible for the current economic stagnation, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director Donny Ferguson pointed out Wednesday morning.

When markets opened after Obama’s economic address to Congress Tuesday night, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 90.64 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,260.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index plummeted 9.41 points, or 1.22 percent, to 763.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 16.26 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1,425.57.

“Each drop in the market represents real pain inflicted on working Americans by Obama’s dedication to policies that have been proven failures,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.

“Not only are they resounding votes of no confidence in Obama by the very people who create jobs, they are robbing Americans of their retirement savings and employment prospects.”

The stock market has lost more than 10 percent of its value since Obama took office, usually plunging on days when the administration announces more plans to make government bigger and more expensive.

“Americans are suffering through unemployment, underemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure, and President Obama is adding to their pain by sticking with big spending that has never revived an economy. Americans don’t want welfare handouts financed by crippling tax hikes on their children, they want the kind of good-paying careers that only the free market can provide,” said Ferguson.

“Obama should stop exploiting our economic woes as a reason to expand government and make Americans dependent upon voting for him to put food on the table. Both Republicans and Democrats have put us in this situation by pushing bad home loans, racking up debt and regulating small employers out of business. The only prescription for economic recovery is tax relief for employers and taxpayers and to get the government out of the way of recovery,” said Ferguson.

“No nation has ever spent itself into prosperity. The Libertarian Party is the only party supporting the kind of fiscally responsible change America needs to empower employers and get our economy moving again,” said Ferguson.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Democratic National Committee: Gov. Tim Kaine's Statement on President Obama's Address to the Joint Session of Congress

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued the following statement after President Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress last night:

"As President Obama made clear tonight, there is still a lot of work to do to get our country back on track. But better days do lie ahead. In his short time in office, President Obama has already offered a comprehensive approach to get our economy moving again now and in the future. With the help of the Democratic Congress, he implemented a responsible economic recovery package that will help millions of Americans get back to work and provides meaningful tax relief for 95 percent of working families. He has proposed common-sense solutions to tackling the housing, banking, and financial crises.

"In the weeks and months ahead, we face many more difficult choices. We must reform the health care system, put our country on the path to energy independence, modernize our education system, and cut our deficit spending. And we must commit to a government that is honest, transparent and accountable to the American people.

"These goals are interrelated, and all must be accomplished to transform our country for the long-term. This is what the American people elected President Obama to do, and I have full confidence that he will make the investments and choices necessary to put us on the path to fiscal responsibility and keep the American Dream alive."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Excerpts of Address by President Obama to the Joint Session of Congress

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following are excerpts of President Obama's address to the joint session of Congress:

"While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

"The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.

"We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

"Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

"Now is the time to act boldly and wisely - to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that's what I'd like to talk to you about tonight.

"The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate steps we're taking to revive our economy in the short-term. But the only way to fully restore America's economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this century will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren't preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.

"In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America - as a blueprint for our future.

"My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited - a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.

"Given these realities, everyone in this chamber - Democrats and Republicans - will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me.

"But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.

"Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we're starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.

"In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use. We will root out the waste, fraud, and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

"I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.

"But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

"I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn't tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, 'I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself.'

"I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community - how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. 'The tragedy was terrible,' said one of the men who helped them rebuild. '"But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity.'

"And I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina - a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, 'We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.'"

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Governor Bobby Jindal's Republican Address: 'Americans Can Do Anything'

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republican National Committee (RNC) released the full Republican address entitled "Americans Can Do Anything," that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered immediately following President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress:

"Good evening. I'm Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana.

Tonight, we witnessed a great moment in the history of our Republic. In the very chamber where Congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first African-American President stepped forward to address the state of our union. With his speech tonight, the President completed a redemptive journey that took our nation from Independence the lunch counter... and now, finally, the Oval Office.

Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the President's personal story - the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world. Like the President's father, my parents came to this country from a distant land. When they arrived in Baton Rouge, my mother was already 4 1/2 months pregnant. I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a 'pre-existing condition.' To find work, my dad picked up the yellow pages and started calling local businesses. Even after landing a job, he could still not afford to pay for my delivery - so he worked out an installment plan with the doctor. Fortunately for me, he never missed a payment.

As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country - and they instilled in me an immigrant's wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: 'Bobby, Americans can do anything.' I still believe that to this day. Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

As the President made clear this evening, we are now in a time of challenge. Many of you listening tonight have lost jobs. Others have seen your college and retirement savings dwindle. Many of you are worried about losing your health care and your homes. And you are looking to your elected leaders in Washington for solutions.

Republicans are ready to work with the new President to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana, we don't care what party you belong to if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation's capital. All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the President's strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward.

Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us.

Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.

Let me tell you a story.

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: 'Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!' I asked him: 'Sheriff, what's got you so mad?' He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go - when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, 'Sheriff, that's ridiculous.' And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: 'Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!' Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes - and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you - the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families...cutting taxes for small businesses ...strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers...and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.

But Democratic leaders in Congress rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history - with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a 'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.' Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC.

Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children.

In Louisiana, we took a different approach. Since I became governor, we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget. And to create jobs for our citizens, we cut taxes six times - including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state. We passed those tax cuts with bipartisan majorities. Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences, and worked together to make sure our people could keep more of what they earn. If it can be done in Baton Rouge, surely it can be done in Washington, DC.

To strengthen our economy, we need urgent action to keep energy prices down. All of us remember what it felt like to pay $4 at the pump - and unless we act now, those prices will return. To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation...increase energy efficiency...increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels...increase our use of nuclear power - and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home. We believe that Americans can do anything - and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage - period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage. We oppose universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients - not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything - and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to make sure every child in America gets the best possible education. After Katrina, we reinvented the New Orleans school system - opening dozens of new charter schools, and creating a new scholarship program that is giving parents the chance to send their children to private or parochial schools of their choice. We believe that, with the proper education, the children of America can do anything. And it should not take a devastating storm to bring this kind of innovation to education in our country.

To strengthen our economy, we must promote confidence in America by ensuring ours is the most ethical and transparent system in the world. In my home state, there used to be saying: At any given time, half of Louisiana is under water - and the other half is under indictment. No one says that anymore. Last year, we passed some of the strongest ethics laws in the nation - and today, Louisiana has turned her back on the corruption of the past. We need to bring transparency to Washington, DC- so we can rid our Capitol of corruption...and ensure we never see the passage of another trillion dollar spending bill that Congress has not even read and the American people haven't even seen.

As we take these steps, we must remember for all our troubles at home, dangerous enemies still seek our destruction. Now is no time to dismantle the defenses that have protected this country for hundreds of years, or make deep cuts in funding for our troops. America's fighting men and women can do anything. And if we give them the resources they need, they will stay on the offensive...defeat our enemies...and protect us from harm.

In all these areas, Republicans want to work with President Obama. We appreciate his message of hope - but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washingto nplace their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you - the American people. In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government. We oppose the National Democrats' view that says the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, and empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and create jobs.

In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear - because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust - and rightly so.

Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share...the principles you elected us to fight for...the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on earth.

A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said 'we may not be able to reverse.' Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover - or that America's best days are behind her. This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery...overcame the Great Depression...prevailed in two World Wars...won the struggle for civil rights...defeated the Soviet menace...and responded with determined courage to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man - and the American spirit will triumph again.

We can have confidence in our future - because, amid today's challenges, we also count many blessings: We have the most innovative citizens...the most abundant resources...the most resilient economy...the most powerful military...and the freest political system in the history of the world. My fellow citizens, never forget: We are Americans. And like my dad said years ago, Americans can do anything.

Thank you for listening. God bless you. And God bless America."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Democratic National Committee: The Reviews are in: President Obama's 'Hopeful' and 'Uplifting' Speech 'Will Really Galvanize' People

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tonight, President Obama laid out his comprehensive vision for addressing the challenges our nation faces, from the economy to energy independence to health care reform, education, and laying the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century. As he addressed those challenges, he reminded Americans of the boldness and courage our nation must now summon as we have throughout our history saying, "We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."

The early reviews are in, and a bipartisan group of commentators are praising the President's speech as an "ambitious," "hopeful" and "uplifting" performance that "will really galvanize" people. According to early polling results, the speech resonated with the American people too - more Americans support the President's economic recovery plans after watching the speech.

The following are samples of the early reviews:

CBS Poll: 79% Approve of Plans for Economic Crisis After Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 62% of respondents approved of the President's plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 79%. [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09: 5.shtml?tag=centerColumn;centerColumnContent]

CBS Poll: 69% Understand President's Economic Plans; Up From 56% Before Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 56% of the respondents believed they understood the President's plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 69%. [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09: 5.shtml?tag=centerColumn;centerColumnContent]

David Brooks: This "Was An Excellent Speech" That "Perfectly Captured The Tenor Of The Country." "I thought it was an excellent speech. It's been a long time since I've really been able to rave over an Obama speech, but I thought this was a speech that perfectly captured the tenor of the country." [PBS, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

Brooks: Speech Was "Outstanding," Hits "Exactly The Right Tone," and "Will Really Galvanize People." "The essential message was 'no more fooling around,' and I thought that was exactly the right tone to take...So just as a speech, as an explanation, 'here's what I'm going to do,' I thought it was outstanding. It will really galvanize people." [PBS, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

Howard Fineman: President Obama Earned "Great Applause" and Respect from Republicans and Democrats Alike. The President "I think won great applause, that's a measure of respect, not only from Democrats, but most of the Republicans in that room who realize sitting in that chamber what a political talent they are dealing with." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

Fineman: "The Best Budget Speech Anyone Ever Gave." "This was the best darn budget speech that anyone ever gave because he gave it a sense of lift and drive and competence. The guy just has an ability to exude a sense of confidence in very tough circumstances." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

CNN's Dana Bash: "More Of A Bipartisan Tone" In The Chamber During President's Speech Than Past Eight Years. "I was also in the chamber, Anderson, during the president's speech and certainly as opposed to what we saw for the past eight years, particularly the past couple years with President Bush, there definitely was more of a bipartisan tone in terms of the kind of reaction he got." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

CNN's David Gergen: President's Speech Was "Most Ambitious... We've Heard In This Chamber In Decades." "This was the most ambitious president we've heard in this chamber in decades. The first half of the speech was FDR fighting for the New Deal. The second half was Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society and we have never seen those two presidents rolled together in quite this way before." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Associated Press: Obama "Used Address to Tap the Deep Well of American Optimism..." that "Great Presidents Embody." "The president used his address to Congress on Tuesday night to tap the deep well of American optimism -- the never-say-die national spirit that every president tries to capture in words. And great presidents embody...The themes of responsibility, accountability and, above all, national community rang throughout an address carefully balanced by the gravity of its times."[Associated Press, 2/24/09:]

Fox News' Major Garret: President's Speech is Bi-Partisan: "Well I think what we're seeing right there playing out there on the floor of the House of Representatives is that continued efforts at bipartisan outreach, and that will be, going on, be a consistent quality for this President even when Republicans don't respond in-kind because the White House believes politically it puts the President in a very safe, very productive frame of mind in relationship with the broader American public." [Fox News, 2/24/09]

Newsweek's Howard Fineman: President Gave A "Commanding" Performance. "That was as commanding performance, as confident a performance, as in control as I've ever seen a President." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

CBS News' Jeff Greenfield "One of The Most Effective Uses" of the Medium. "It reminded in some sense of the radio speeches FDR gave where he talked about complicated issues in a simple way... I have to say it was one of the most effective uses of this wonderful imposing scene, the Congress. To talk not to the Congress, there was no ten-point plan. Here's where we are and this is how I am going to get you out." [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09] "Obama Puts Forth Ambitious Agenda in Speech." "In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama outlined an ambitious agenda to revive the economy, saying it's time to act boldly 'to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.' President Obama says the United States will overcome its current economic struggles. Obama focused on the three priorities of the budget he will present to Congress later this week: energy, health care and education." [, 2/24/09]

NBC News' Chuck Todd: Speech "Hopeful, Uplifting." "I think this idea that somehow [President Obama] had not been talking hopeful enough about the situation, I have a feeling that President Clinton isn't going to be criticizing him, particularly for that last I'd say ten minutes of the speech where it was all hopeful. It was all uplifting. It was as somebody had said to me, the last part of this speech, you're going to recognize it, is Obama-esque, and I think that it's not hard to look at that last part of the speech and saying he wasn't being hopeful and talking up about the economy." [NBC, Nightly News with Brian Williams, 2/24/09]

ABC News: President "Greeted With Thunderous Applause;" Speech Earned "Standing Ovation From Both Democrats And Republicans." "Obama was greeted with thunderous applause in the House chamber, as lawmakers reached out to try and get a handshake or in some cases a kiss as the president made his way down the narrow aisle to the podium. Obama is enjoying a 68 percent approval rating after his first month in office, according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, and his pledge to reverse the nation's economic woes earned him an early standing ovation from both Democrats and Republicans." [ABC News, 2/24/09,]

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: Speech "Obama's Best Moment Yet." "I give him an A." ['s Political Ticker, Jeffrey Toobin, 2/24/09]

Keith Olbermann: Speech a "Resounding Debut." "Repeatedly inspiring members of both parties to rise to their feet in the House Chamber, the 44th President of the United States with a resounding debut at that the highest stage, thus far, of his presidency." [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Speech Received High Rankings from McCain and Obama Voters in Focus Groups. Maddow noted that both McCain and Obama voters on MSNBC's audience reaction "stayed up at the top the entire speech essentially." [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

CNN's Anderson Cooper: Calls President's Address "Highly Ambitious." "President Obama just finished his first address to a joint session of congress -- highly ambitious, mixing policy, pep talk, progress report on the economy. Saying America's best days are ahead of it..." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Washington Post: "A Note of Hope at a Time of Crisis." "Five weeks into an administration already marked by dramatic highs and lows, President Obama sounded a note of hope at a time of crisis tonight, delivering an address to a joint session of Congress heavily focused on the ailing economy and how to fix it. Offering the prospect of a brighter future after weeks of grim rhetoric, Obama sought to put a human face on complex policy proposals. He linked his banking rescue proposal to the ability of a 'young family' to 'finally buy a home.' And he acknowledged populist anger at the prospect of more Wall Street bailouts, vowing to crack down on CEO bonuses and conduct tough oversight of the hundreds of billions of dollars already pledged to address the economic crisis." [Washington Post, Ben Pershing, 2/24/09]

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Blunt Response to President Obama's Address

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt last night issued the following statement after President Barack Obama's first address to Congress:

"President Obama's first address was a historic milestone for our nation and his presidency.

"I couldn't agree more with his assessment that while our country is facing great challenges, we also have the opportunity for great successes. On the issue of health care, President Obama and I share the common goal of creating a system that is more affordable and more available to all Americans. I have and will continue to reach out to his Administration in my role as chairman of the House health care task force. The solution is not a government-run system that would ration our health care options but a plan that puts Americans in control by focusing on the patient-doctor relationship.

"President Obama also renewed his desire to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. This is a worthy goal, but one that is at odds with the massive spending package he signed into law last week and at odds with the omnibus - or ominous - spending package the House will consider this week.

"But more important than anything President Obama says tonight is what the budget he unveils will look like. Tax hikes during a recession or budget gimmicks are not the answers our nation needs. American families are making tough decisions and exercising real fiscal responsibility. The government must exercise that same level of discipline and there is no better time to start than right now."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tonight, Westmoreland (R-GA) awaits ‘Hope’

Anticipating President Obama’s first official address to Congress tonight, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland said he’d like to hear ideas for jump-starting our economy that Republicans can support.

“Americans are hurting,” Westmoreland said. “I heard it at my town hall last week. I get mail and phone calls from constituents who have lost their jobs or can no longer make ends meet. I know small businesses in Georgia are laying off workers and closing every day.

“I want to hear some hope,” Westmoreland continued. “We’ve had change – we’ve had over a trillion dollars worth of change; we need some hope. We’ve had nothing but bad news and grim assessments of our economy. Tonight, the president needs to rise above that and lift up the American people.”

Westmoreland would like to see the president support a Republican plan to freeze federal spending as we face a $1.4 trillion deficit this fiscal year.

“Tonight, I want to hear the president talk about getting about our fiscal house in order by tightening our belts and making tough decisions just like American families have to do every day,” Westmoreland said. “We’ve heard some talk about raising taxes on the ‘wealthy.’ That’s a job-killer. Of the taxpayers who report more than $250,000 in income, 64 percent are small business owners. That’s taxing the job-creator that we need humming right now more than ever.

“Congress two weeks ago spent $787 billion on a ‘stimulus’ plan that’s probably not going to create too many jobs. Now we’re going to spend another $400 billion on an omnibus spending bill this week. The president, to his credit, keeps talking about fiscal responsibility but his fellow Democrats in Congress are having none of it. They’re spending sums too big for the human mind to even imagine. We’ve racked up more debt this year alone than the nation accumulated all together in its first 200 years of existence – and that includes the Civil War and WWII. We run the risk, I fear, of doing permanent damage to our economy and standard of living if this doesn’t stop. The president spoke this week about cutting the deficit in half in five years. That doesn’t impress me when the Democratic Congress has doubled the deficit in four weeks.”
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Potential Gun Rights Crisis Imminent in Washington, Notes Senior Rights Activist

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "A potential legislative gun rights battle looms today in Washington, D.C.," says Washington senior rights activist John M. Snyder.

"When President Obama submits his budget blueprint this week, reports indicate the proposal may include language designed specifically to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment," says Snyder, named the senior rights activist in Washington by Shotgun News.

"This repeal is an objective long sought by gun-grabbing politicians, the anti-gun Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and other extremist groups," he added.

The Tiahrt Amendment, named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, is included in the annual appropriations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Justice Department. It prohibits gun-grabbing mayors and other repressive officials from obtaining federal gun trace data intended for use only for law enforcement purposes and using the data instead in harassing and costly third-party civil lawsuits against the firearms industry.

Snyder says, "Anti-right to self-defense extremists such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others seek to undermine law-abiding Americans' gun rights by making it more and more difficult for them to obtain the firearms they want. Repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment would further their purposes. On Friday, The New York Times editorialized for repeal.

"America's 90 million law-abiding firearm owners oppose attempts to undermine their individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms. If Obama proposes repeal of Tiahrt, tens of millions of gun-owning voters can be expected to oppose it and make their opposition reverberate in the halls of Congress. There well may be a major congressional battle soon over the issue."

Snyder says law-abiding, gun-owning voters throughout the United States may contact their Representatives and Senators and urge them to stand firm on Tiahrt.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

US Congress Moves Swiftly on Legislation to Stop 'Pet' Primate Trade

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute (Born Free USA) today congratulated the US House of Representatives for its swift passage of the Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R.80) by an overwhelming vote of 323-95. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and championed by Born Free USA and The Humane Society of the United States, prohibits interstate and international movement of nonhuman primates if they are to be kept as "pets".

"The primate trade involves enormous animal suffering and threats to human safety," says Adam M. Roberts, Senior Vice President of Born Free USA. "These innocent animals may be confined in small cages or have their teeth or fingernails removed. We can't allow animals to be mutilated in the name of companionship. There is simply no excuse for keeping primates as pets and the trade must stop. Wildlife belongs in the wild."

Each year, there are numerous incidents of privately-held primates harming people. Just this month, in an incident that has garnered international attention, a woman was critically mauled by a "pet" chimpanzee in Stamford, Connecticut. "Travis the chimpanzee had escaped and caused trouble in the community before," Roberts added. "Just because you put clothes on a chimpanzee doesn't make him any less wild and potentially dangerous."

Incidents involving primate escapes or injuries to humans have occurred nationwide in recent years including chimpanzees, macaques, lemurs, snow monkeys, capuchins, and baboons - baboons and macaques have even bitten children, one case involving 17 month old girl. In many cases, escaped nonhuman primates are killed. Primates also pose a disease risk including Ebola, tuberculosis, and herpes-b.

"Primates are highly social and intelligent creatures who shouldn't be shipped around the country just to languish in people's bedrooms, basements, or backyards," added Michael Markarian, Executive Vice President of HSUS.

Born Free USA and HSUS have now called on the US Senate to move the legislation expeditiously so it can be signed into law this year.

Born Free USA is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to conserve and protect wildlife in the US and globally. Born Free USA is also a founding member of the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, More information is available at

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

U.S. Mayors React to Governors' Rejection of Stimulus Funding

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a letter sent by the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

February 23, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of The United States
The White House

Dear President Obama:


On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we want to thank you for hosting our delegation in the White House on February 20 to discuss implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). America's mayors strongly endorsed passage of this critical legislation, and we are 100 percent committed to helping create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. We agree with you that this massive federal investment must be transparent, maximize innovation, and provide lasting environmental and infrastructure benefits.

Mayors know, better than anyone, that there are families suffering because of the recession in every State of this great Nation. And we know that every city has short-term and longer-term needs that can be addressed by the programs funded under ARRA. That is why we are so concerned to hear that some Governors and some States may choose to reject selected funding provided under the new law.

As a Nation, we cannot allow our citizens and communities to needlessly suffer when assistance is available to help them survive and rebuild in these troubling times. That is why we ask you and your Administration to devise a mechanism that will allow cities and our residents to have full access to all programs funded under ARRA in the event that any State chooses to reject such funding. It is not clear to us that Section 1607 of ARRA - which provides a mechanism for state legislatures to accept federal funding if Governors reject provisions under ARRA - will fully protect our cities if those state legislatures also fail to act quickly or attempt to alter the purpose of the federal statute.

For our Nation to recover from this recession, we need to invest in every child, in every family, and in every city. We cannot allow politics as usual in some State capitals to prevent us from accomplishing the mission you have charged us with.

Please contact CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran or Chief of Staff Ed Somers to further discuss this matter.


Manuel A. (Manny) Diaz
Mayor of Miami

Tom Cochran
CEO and Executive Director

Cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, February 23, 2009

Boehner Warns Raising Taxes in a Recession Will Hurt Economy, Destroy Jobs

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday issued the following statement reacting to media reports that President Obama's budget proposal will increase taxes on families and small businesses during a recession, and rely heavily on military spending cuts at a time when America is fighting a war against international terrorism and radical jihadism:

“Back in November, I urged then-President-elect Obama to take tax hikes off the table, warning that raising taxes in a recession will further hurt the economy and endanger jobs. I’m very concerned by reports that raising taxes on families and small businesses in a recession will be the centerpiece of the President’s first budget. I’m also troubled by reports that the budget relies heavily on military spending cuts, which could jeopardize our troops and their ability to complete their missions safely and successfully.

“Raising taxes on families and small businesses in a recession will do further damage to the economy, discouraging families from working and threatening the very jobs the President wants to help our economy create. Americans are wise enough to know that the additional money being taken out of their paychecks will not go to deficit reduction; in the hands of Democratic congressional leaders, it will be squandered on inefficient government programs and wasteful pork-barrel projects. It happened two weeks ago, and is slated to happen again this week as Democratic congressional leaders rush to the floor legislation that includes the largest discretionary spending hike since Jimmy Carter.

“Stopping out-of-control spending here in Washington, not increasing taxes on families and small businesses or endangering our troops and their mission, is the responsible way to tackle the deficit.”

NOTE: In a November 23, 2008 appearance on Fox News Sunday, Boehner urged then-President-elect Obama not to raise taxes during the recession, asking host Chris Wallace, “If we want to create jobs now and we want to create certainty now, why wouldn’t we lower taxes? And, if we really want to help the economy, why wouldn’t we have the President-Elect say, ‘I’m not going to raise taxes on any American my first two years in office?’”

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, February 20, 2009

RNC: A Disappointing Month

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Republican National Committee:

President Obama Promised To Slash Earmarks And Stop Wasteful Spending:

President Obama Pledged To "Slash Earmarks." "Slash Earmarks: ... In the past two years, the Democratic Congress has cut earmarks nearly in half, to $17.2 billion in 2008. Obama and Biden are committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year." (Obama For America, Blueprint For Change,, p. 20, Accessed 2/19/09)

President Obama: The Stimulus Has No Earmarks. "'I am confident that by the time we have the final package on the floor that we are going to see substantial support, and people are going to see this is a serious effort. It has no earmarks. We are going to be trimming out things that are not relevant to putting people back to work right now,' Obama said." (Douglass K. Daniel, "GOP Leader Doubts Stimulus Bill Will Pass Senate," The Associated Press, 2/2/09)

But President Obama Just Signed An Economic Stimulus Package Full Of Wasteful Spending:

Despite Promises, The Stimulus Is Not Free Of Money For Special Interests. "The compromise stimulus bill adopted by House and Senate negotiators this week is not free of spending that benefits specific communities, industries or groups, despite vows by President Obama that the legislation would be kept clear of pet projects, according to lawmakers, legislative aides and anti-tax groups." (Dan Eggen and Ellen Nakashima, "Despite Pledges, Package Has Some Pork," The Washington Post, 2/13/09)

The Bill Even Includes $30 Million For Salt Marsh Harvest Mice In San Francisco. "Lawmakers and administration officials divulged Wednesday that the $789 billion economic stimulus bill being finalized behind closed doors in Congress includes $30 million for wetlands restoration that the Obama administration intends to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area to protect, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi represents the city of San Francisco and has previously championed preserving the mouse's habitat in the Bay Area." (S.A. Miller, "Pelosi's Mo use Slated For $30m Slice Of Cheese," The Washington Times, 2/12/09)

And President Obama Campaigned On The Promise Of Bipartisanship And Said He Wanted Republicans To Vote For His Stimulus Package:

"Obama Has Said He Plans To Work With Republicans To Cut Through Partisan Gridlock That Often Blocks Legislative Progress." (Sabrina Eaton, "Ohioan An Early Obama Critic," [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, 1/29/09)

President Obama Wanted Not Only "Quick Congressional Action" But Also "Significant Numbers Of Republicans" To Vote For The Stimulus." In pursuit of his twin goals of reviving the economy and transforming the political climate in Washington, President-elect Barack Obama not only wants quick congressional action on his mammoth stimulus package but also wants significant numbers of Republicans to join in voting for it." (James Puzzanghera and Christi Parsons, "Obama Aims For Quick Economic Stimulus, Bipartisan Support," Chicago Tribune, 1/6/09)

But The Stimulus Package Was Not Bipartisan; House Republicans Were Not Even Allowed At The Table When The Bill Was Written:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): We Won The Election, We Wrote The Bill. "Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) parried GOP assaults on Democrats' $825 billion stimulus package Thursday and refused to slow the bill down to give more time for Republican input. 'Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes we won the election, but that doesn't mean we don't want sustainability or Republican support,' Pelosi said." (Steven T. Dennis, "Pelosi Defends Democrats' Vetting Of Stimulus Plan," Roll Call, 1/22/09)

Democrats Rolled Over House Republicans And "Yielded No More Than Necessary" In The Senate To Pass The Stimulus Package." In the case of the stimulus bill, Democrats used their solid majority to roll over House Republicans and yielded no more than necessary to garner three critical GOP votes in the Senate." (Janet Hook, "Bipartisanship Faces Stiff Test," Chicago Tribune, 2/16/09)

For President Obama, "Urgency Trumps Bipartisanship." "But with the economy in crisis and the stimulus his top priority, [President Obama] also made clear that urgency trumps bipartisanship." (Todd J. Gillman, "Selling The Stimulus Bill President Discovering That Bipartisanship Has Its Limits," The Dallas Morning News, 2/10/09)

And President Obama Pledged Transparency And Openness Before Signing Legislation:

During The Campaign, President Obama Promised To Give The American Public 5 Days To Review Legislation Before Signing Any Bill. "Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days." (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 2/19/09)

But The Obama Administration Has Failed To Allow The Public 5 Days To Review Legislation It Has Signed:

According To The Nonpartisan PolitiFact, President Obama Did Not Provide 5 Days Before Signing His First Bill, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. "But the first bill Obama signed into law as president -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- got no such vetting. In fact, the Congressional Record shows that the law was passed in the Senate on Jan. 22, 2009, passed in the House on Jan. 27, and signed by the president on Jan. 29. So only two days passed between the bill's final passage and the signing." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Obama Signs First Law Without Web Comment," St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact,", 1/29/09)

President Obama's Second Bill Signing Occurred Hours After Passed By Congress. "For his second bill, Obama signed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage for low-income children. He signed it on Feb. 4, 2009, just hours after it was finalized in Congress." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Still No 'Sunlight Before Signing,'" St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact,", 2/4/09)

And During The Campaign, Obama Said Lobbyists Wouldn't Dominate His White House Or Work For Agencies They Used To Lobby:

During His Campaign, President Obama Promised To "Stop The Revolving Door That Lets Onetime Lobbyists Go To Work For The Federal Government." "[O]n the campaign trail, Obama vowed to stop the revolving door that lets onetime lobbyists go to work for the Federal Government and oversee contracts that could harm -- or help -- their former employer." (Mark Thompson, "Obama's Lobbyist Ban Meets A Loophole: William Lynn," Time, 1/27/09)

President Obama Signed An Executive Order Banning Lobbyists From Working For Agencies They Used To Lobby. "And one of the first things the new President did in office was seemingly make good on that promise, signing an Executive Order barring former lobbyists from joining his Administration to work at agencies they recently lobbied." (Mark Thompson, "Obama's Lobbyist Ban Meets A Loophole: William Lynn," Time, 1/27/09)

But President Obama Has Appointed Numerous Former Lobbyists:

President Obama Has Appointed At Least 21 Former Federal Registered Lobbyists, Including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "A USA TODAY review of Obama hires shows that 21 have registered as federal lobbyists, although most have not done so within the past two years. They include White House aide Cecilia Muoz, who lobbied last year for the National Council of La Raza, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who lobbied in 2007 for a national teachers union." (Fredreka Schouten, "Geithner Names Ex-Lobbyist As Treasury Chief Of Staff," USA< /st1:country-region> Today, 1/27/09)

President Obama Appointed Former Raytheon Lobbyist William Lynn As Deputy Secretary Of Defense. "This year President Barack Obama is putting Raytheon's recently departed top lobbyist in charge of the Pentagon's day-to-day management. ... Not surprisingly, Obama's good-government backers were less than pleased to see the President, only a few days after signing the blanket ban, issue a waiver permitting William Lynn to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense." (Mark Thompson, "Obama's Lobbyist Ban Meets A Loophole: William Lynn," Time, 1/27/09)

In Addition To These Issues, President Obama Has Had Difficulties Appointing People To Fill Top Positions In His Administration:

"But Mr. Obama Lost Four Nominees To Tax And Other Issues And The Pace Of Appointments Slowed." (Peter Baker, "Obama Team Has Billions To Spend, But Few Ready To Do It," The New York Times, 2/17/09)

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Failed To Pay Taxes While Working For The International Monetary Fund. "Timothy Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers." (Jonathan Weisman, "Geithner's Tax History Muddles Confirmation," The Wall Street Journal, 1/14/09)

Health And Human Services Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle Withdrew His Nomination After Reports That He Had Failed To Pay Taxes. "Former Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Tuesday from the White House. ... Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Monday for failing to pay his taxes in full. He said earlier he was 'deeply embarrassed' for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting." (Ed Henry and Kristi Keck, "Daschle Withdraws As HHS Nominee," CNN, 2/3/09)

Nancy Killefer Withdrew Her Nomination For Tax Problems Dating Back To 1995. "They knew about Nancy Killefer's tax problem from 1995, yet they nominated her for a post in the office of management and budget anyway. This morning she withdrew." (Sam Donaldson, Op-Ed, "Sam On What Nominees' Withdrawal Says About Obama," ABC News, 2/3/09)

Commerce Secretary Nominee Bill Richardson Withdrew His Nomination After Reports That State Contracts In New Mexico Were Under Investigation. "First, they knew about Gov. Bill Richardson's potential problem in the New Mexico investigation into state contracts, but they nominated him to be commerce secretary anyway. Weeks later, of course, Richardson withdrew." (Sam Donaldson, Op-Ed, "Sam On What Nominees' Withdrawal Says About Obama," ABC News, 2/3/09)

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper Vow Joint Effort on North American Economic Recovery

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday agreed the United States and Canada will pursue economic recovery measures and efforts to strengthen the international financial system to counter the global economic recession.

"I value our strategic partnership with Canada and look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister to address the global economic recession and create jobs, to protect our environment through promoting clean energy technologies, and achieve our shared goals in responding to international security challenges." said the President.

"The President and I agree that both our countries must take immediate action to restore economic growth by lowering taxes, ensuring access to credit and unleashing spending that stimulates economic growth. We also agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the areas of environmental protection and global security," said the Prime Minister.

Restoring Economic Growth and Restoring Jobs

The Prime Minister and the President discussed their respective economic recovery and their focus on saving and creating jobs. In addition, the President and the Prime Minister discussed common challenges they face, including restructuring of the North American auto sector.

They also discussed working together to develop effective global responses to the economic crisis, through the G-8 and G-20 processes. The United States and Canada will actively work together to ensure that the G-20 Summit in April contributes to restoring confidence in financial markets.

Finally, they instructed senior officials to meet at an early date to develop strategies to enhance our collective security in North America, including reviewing the management of the Canada-U.S. border.

Tackling Climate Change and Energy Security

Noting the long and productive history of bilateral co-operation on continental environmental protection and energy trade and technology, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that environmental protection and the development of clean energy are inextricably linked and announced plans to work together to build a new energy economy as a key element of broader economic recovery and reinvestment efforts.

The Leaders discussed practical ways the United States and Canada could encourage the development of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. The Leaders established a senior-level U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue that will cooperate on several critical energy science and technology issues, including:

Expand clean energy research and development
Develop and deploy clean energy technology
Build a more efficient electric grid based on clean and renewable generation
United States and Canadian officials will meet in the coming weeks to launch the clean energy dialogue.

Responding to International Security Challenges

The President and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of Canada and the United States cooperating closely on a number of key international priorities for both countries, with a particular focus on Afghanistan which is a top priority for both countries and which will be a major subject of attention at the upcoming NATO Summit. The Leaders also agreed to work together closely in the Americas, including promoting effective discussion and meaningful results at the Summit of the Americas in April.

Our Foreign Ministers will meet in Washington next week, and Ministers of Defence the following week, to pursue a strengthened dialogue on these and other key international challenges.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boehner Statement on Housing Plan Introduced by President Obama

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday issued the following statement on the housing plan outlined by President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona:

“The housing crisis is at the heart of our economic troubles, and House Republicans want to work with the President on a plan that keeps families in their homes without asking taxpayers to bail out irresponsible lenders, scam artists, and borrowers who knowingly made bad decisions. While we hope to work together, there are many unanswered questions that remain about the proposal that was announced today. Why should we reward Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with $200 billion in taxpayer dollars without first reforming these housing entities that were at the heart of the economic meltdown? Will taxpayers be forced to subsidize the scandal-plagued activist group ACORN under this proposal? Should a responsible plan include a ‘cramdown’ provision that could increase the monthly mortgage payments for responsible borrowers?

“Taxpayers and homeowners who are playing by the rules expect their leaders in Washington to work together on solutions to get our housing industry – and our entire economy – moving again. The President’s announcement of his plan is an important step in that process, and Republicans look forward to working with him and our Democratic colleagues in Congress on this issue in the weeks and months to come.”

NOTE: Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama earlier today seeking clarification on six common sense questions about his housing proposal. Specifically, Boehner and Cantor asked:

What will your plan do for the over 90% of homeowners who are playing and paying by the rules?

Does your plan compensate banks for bad mortgages they should have never made in the first place?

Will individuals who misrepresented their income or assets on their original mortgage application be eligible to get the taxpayer funded assistance under your plan?

Similarly, will you require mortgage servicers to verify income and other eligibility standards before modifying mortgages?

What will you do to prevent the same mortgages that receive assistance and are modified from going into default three, six, or eight months later?

How do you intend to move forward in the drafting of the legislation and who will author it?

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Economists: Keys to Reverse Downturn Stalling International Commerce are the U.S., Restoring Consumer Confidence and Timing;

Economists: Keys to Reverse Downturn Stalling International Commerce are the U.S., Restoring Consumer Confidence and Timing; Recovery Will Take Longer Than Before, Reports The Journal of Commerce

/PRNewswire/ -- A recession that began in the United States and is spreading around the world won't be stemmed until U.S. consumer confidence is restored, according to international economists at the first U.S. Export Conference, produced by The Journal of Commerce Conferences and Shipping Digest magazine. However, it will take a lot longer than during previous recessions.

Peter T. Leach, Senior Editor for The Journal of Commerce (, reports on the conference, titled "Opportunities and Challenges during a Global Slowdown," and the topic in "At a crossroads," a cover story in this week's magazine. The Journal of Commerce has provided authoritative coverage of the international trade and transportation industries since 1827.

Leach writes that recession is running rampant in all the world's industrialized economies at the same time. And, for the first time since World War II, China and India - the biggest emerging and still-growing markets - don't yet have consumer markets large enough to reignite their domestic growth or their imports from developed economies.

International economists say that the U.S. has to be the engine for global growth, leading the world out of recession and reversing the downturn that has slowed international commerce. This has caused the first contraction in container shipping volume that the industry has seen, Leach reports.

In his economic outlook keynote address at the U.S. Export Conference, Dr. Walter Kemmsies, chief economist at port design-engineering consultant Moffatt & Nichol, said, "The world's economy is circling the drain. The whole world is deleveraging, which directly affects global trade."

Kemmsies said that although the economic stimulus plan signed this week by President Obama will put a plug in the drain and help bring the U.S. economy out of recession by the second half of this year, "I don't see a big rebound in consumer demand."

His company's economic model indicates the U.S. economy will slow down again by 2011. "It will not feel like what's going on right now; it will just feel uncomfortable rather than terrifying," Kemmsies said. "We will recover, and that will help Asia and Latin America, but Europe will be the last to recover."

Many economists agree that restoring consumer confidence is the critical need. "We're putting in the kindling, but we don't have a match yet," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, the New York-based economic research firm that produces the JoC-ECRI Commodity Price Index. "Confidence is the match, and it may be linked to an easing in liquidity or to jobs, which we know are bad."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Signaling the Growing Momentum of the Personhood Movement, North Dakota Lawmakers Approved HB 1572 with a Vote of 51-41.

Rep. Dan Ruby introduced the "Personhood" bill, which affirms the rights of pre-born humans and states: "For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens."

Thousands of calls to legislators were made by pro-life grassroots volunteers who helped with this victory. Only one representative voiced opposition to the bill during the debate of the bill, while overwhelming public support was seen.

"Personhood USA applauds the leadership and support that the North Dakota Life League and North Dakota Family Alliance have shown to make this victory happen," stated Keith Mason of Personhood USA. He continued, "We thank Rep. Dan Ruby for his courage and for being actively pro-life. This great family man with his wife and 10 children are an example to us all."

"North Dakotans have gotten used to cold temperatures like -44 degrees, but they haven't gotten
used to child-killing. We applaud and support their efforts to protect every baby by love and by law," commented Cal Zastrow, who, along with his family, worked on the North Dakota bill at the grassroots level.

The next step for HB 1572 is to be voted on by the ND Senate which could happen in the next two weeks.

"HB 1572 brings us one step closer to applying the same laws that apply to you and me, to all humans," said Daniel Woodard, lobbyist with North Dakota Life League.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Isakson, Chambliss Vote Against Massive Spending Bill

Arguing it fails to confront the root problems causing America’s economic downturn, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., voted against a $789 billion measure designed to stimulate the nation’s economy.

“This economic stimulus bill is yet another example of Congress throwing money at the symptoms but not getting to the root of the problem. This economic decline began in housing and it will only end when the housing market rebounds,” Isakson said. “I’m extremely disappointed the members of Congress negotiating the final package decided to eliminate my $15,000 tax credit for all Americans who purchase a home. I will continue to pursue my proposal as stand-alone legislation. We have historical precedent that shows this idea works and there has been so much public support for it. I believe my colleagues will go home next week and their constituents will ask them why a tax credit for all buyers and all homes wasn’t included in the final stimulus bill. I’m optimistic it can still be done.”

“Two days ago I became the proud grandfather of two twin granddaughters. It saddens me to know that the ultimate cost of this bill will be borne by those two little girls. We are saddling the next generation of children and grandchildren with an unbelievable debt while trying to stimulate the economy in a nickel-and-dime fashion,” said Chambliss. “I commend my good friend and colleague, Senator Isakson, who worked to put a housing tax credit in the bill that actually would have stimulated the economy and revived the housing market. It is disheartening that my colleagues in the majority did not choose to include that provision.”

During conference negotiations between the House and Senate on the final version of the bill, Isakson’s $15,000 tax credit for all purchasers of any home was removed despite its unanimous approval by the Senate. Instead, House and Senate negotiators made small modifications to the first-time homebuyer tax credit that was enacted in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

The House passed the bill earlier Friday by a vote of 246 to 183.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone