Senator Perdue Cosponsors Cyber Scholarship

Georgia is getting serious about training students for careers in cyber security. In January, Governor Nathan Deal announced a $50 million investment in the FY2017 amended budget for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Facility in Augusta. The new center will complement the U.S. Army Cyber Center for Excellence at Fort Gordon, which has been in operation since 2010. On Thursday, Senator David Perdue announced that he is cosponsoring S.592, the DOD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017.

S.592 (a bipartisan bill with Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia as the first signer) reauthorizes funding for and “reinvigorates” the Information Assurance Scholarship, a federal program first instituted by the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act that fell by the wayside. Although a summary is not yet available for S.592, the original scholarship program prepared undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students for information security careers and then required them to pay back the DOD for each year of funding with a year of service. S.592 will presumably direct students into cyber training courses like those that will be offered in Augusta. It will also expand cyber scholarships for students earning associate’s degrees at community colleges and 2-year program students at schools designated as Centers of Academic Excellence by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security.

Several of Georgia’s leaders in higher education have praised S.592. Comments from these leaders were highlighted in Senator Perdue’s press release and can be found below the fold. Continue reading “Senator Perdue Cosponsors Cyber Scholarship”

Wishes Of A Speedy Recovery To Senator Isakson

Senator Johnny Isakson has issued the following statement, saying that he has undergone a second back surgery and is continuing on a program of physical therapy rehabilitation. Having more than reached my limit with our current healthcare “system”, I would like to extend my sincere wishes that his recovery goes smooth, steady, and quickly, and I offer an additional prayer for those in his family that get to deal with the paperwork and bureaucracy.

From a press release:

MARIETTA, Ga. – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is recovering at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., after undergoing surgery earlier today to address a sacral hairline stress fracture that developed in the last few days.

The hairline fracture developed as Isakson was recovering from his initial back surgery on Feb. 20 to address deterioration in his spine caused by severe arthritis. Dr. Keith D. Osborn of Resurgens Orthopaedics performed both surgeries. Continue reading “Wishes Of A Speedy Recovery To Senator Isakson”

Democrat John Ossoff Leads Republican Karen Handel By Slim Margin In GA-06 Race

A new poll released yesterday by the Trafalgar Group shows Democrat John Ossoff with a slight edge with 18.31% in the race to replace Tom Price in GA-06. Democrat Ron Slotin is in 6th place with 2.82%.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel continues to hold a lead among the Republican contenders with 17.98% of those polled.  Former Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray is in 3rd place with 13.42%, former State Senator Judson Hill with 7.98% landed him in 4th place, 5th place: Amy Kremer with 3.05%, 7th place: Former State Senator Dan Moody with 2.11%, and 8th place: Bruce LeVell with 0.45%.

Over a third of those polled (33.9%) are still undecided.

Another interesting tidbit of data is the first question that they asked the poll respondents: their approval of Donald Trump’s job as president so far.  Over half of likely voters (51.47%) responded that they approved of the job the President was doing, 41.18% disapproved, and 7.35% had no opinion.  In a Republican district, that can be quite concerning.  It’s also why we’re seeing the NRCC targeting Ossoff early on by seeing what they can hang on him.  It’s also something that Senior Strategist at Trafalgar noticed:

Cahaly also stated, “We’ve already seen outside play a major role. Last week the Congressional Leadership Fund, (GOP) SuperPac, placed a 7-figure media-buy attempting to knock Ossoff off of his lead, and it appears to be working. Their theory in this game of Congressional special election Whac-A-Mole, is to hit the leading Dem enough to set an all-Republican runoff, but not so much that another Dem is elevated enough to contend. So far the Congressional Leadership Fund folks appear to be exceptional whackers.”

With just a little over a month before the election, we’ll see how variables in DC (including the continuing drama of President Trump, the newly released Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and the general sentiment of Washington) will play in the GA-06 race.  At this point, it may end up in a run-off between a Republican and a Democrat.

Isakson, Perdue On New Immigration Executive Order

From press releases:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following statement on the updated executive order issued by President Donald Trump designed to prevent access into the United States by foreign nationals who are terrorists or criminals:

“As a second-generation American whose grandfather emigrated from Sweden in 1903, I value the legal immigration system of our country, and I want to make sure that this opportunity remains in place. But I want to also be sure we don’t ever have a situation like September 11, 2001, when some very bad people entered our country through less-than-reliable vetting.

“We all want to make sure that the process by which new individuals enter our country is thorough enough to restrict access to someone who might seek to harm our way of life. I appreciate President Trump’s willingness to start over after the initial rollout of this policy resulted in confusion and legal challenges.

“As the administration moves forward with implementation of this revised executive order, it is my hope that President Trump will continue to consult with the national security team he has assembled so that security measures are properly applied and do not infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

And from Senator Perdue: Continue reading “Isakson, Perdue On New Immigration Executive Order”

Congressman Barry Loudermilk Quietly Departs House Freedom Caucus

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) has quietly left the House Freedom Caucus according to the Political Insider over at the AJC.  He assures that it’s not because of political differences.  In fact, he still agrees with a lot of their ideology.  From the AJC:

“I don’t disagree with the principles and the ideas of the Freedom Caucus, it’s just I felt that I could actually take my principles and values and help lead on the Study Committee at this point,” he said.

It sounds more like that there’s too much on his plate.  That’s understandable since he is a member of multiple committees, subcommittees, and caucuses.  As he said, there aren’t enough hours in the day:

“I ran out of time. And until somebody puts in a bill that extends the day from 24 to 48 hours, there’s only so much I can do,” he said in an interview.

It seems that Congressman Loudermilk wants to focus his energy where he can make the most impact and apply his conservative principles.  I’m sure that there will be calls of #RINO and questioning the Congressman’s conservative reputation, but I believe it’s more about being an effective congressman.

Farewell by Rep. Tom Price

Rep. Tom Price, M.D., resigned his U.S. House seat today from Georgia’s sixth district after he was confirmed by the Senate as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Rep. Price shared some remarks to the U.S. House prior to his confirmation and subsequent resignation, which can be seen after the break.

Continue reading “Farewell by Rep. Tom Price”

House Approves Ft Frederica Legislation

From Representative Buddy Carter, via press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter’s (GA-01) legislation today to expand and protect Fort Frederica National Monument located on St. Simons Island, Ga.

“Fort Frederica is a historic treasure and my legislation passed in the House today is critical to ensure the fort’s rich history is preserved,” Carter said. “I am pleased the legislation was approved by the House and I hope the Senate will act swiftly to preserve and protect Fort Frederica’s legacy.”

H.R. 494, the Fort Frederica National Monument Boundary Expansion Act, would increase the maximum number of acres that may be included in the monument, located on St. Simons Island, Ga., from 250 acres to 305 acres. Continue reading “House Approves Ft Frederica Legislation”

Isakson Outmaneuvers Democrats To Advance Price’s Nomination

The funny thing about rules is there’s more than one of them. Democrats again boycotted the Senate Finance Committee today leveraging a rule that says there’s not a quorum unless there’s a member of the minority party present. This was keen strategy to gum up the works and delay Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin’s cabinet nominations indefinitely. Or so they thought.

Johnny Isakson is a statesman in the Senate, and believes in working across the aisle and strictly adhering to Senate rules. But because there are many Senate rules, Isakson saw the Democrats use of parliamentary procedure and answered with his own. He motioned for unanimous consent to waive the rules, which, funny thing about that, is perfectly allowed under the rules. Since no Democrats bothered to show up, none were available to object.

As such, Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin can now claim to have the unanimous support of the Senate Finance Committee. Their nominations can now move on to a vote of the full Senate, which require only a majority to pass.

Senator Isakson’s statement is as follows: Continue reading “Isakson Outmaneuvers Democrats To Advance Price’s Nomination”

Statements On President Trump’s Executive Order On Immigration

In looking through the Hazmat Unit’s inbox, I see the following three statements from members of the Georgia congressional delegation. I’ll post others in the comments section as I receive them and am available to do so.

Senator David Perdue:

“We are at war with ISIS and our previous president refused to put a plan in place to deal with this threat. We know terrorist groups have identified our country’s refugee system as a weakness and have purposed to exploit this program to their advantage. The first responsibility of any American President is to protect American citizens. This temporary pause will allow DHS to ensure the vetting process is improved. America will always be a compassionate country, and President Trump is taking action to protect all of our citizens.”

This is a temporary suspension for 120-days to improve the refugee vetting process and 90-days on individuals coming from seven countries President Obama previously identified as national security concerns: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

9th District Congressman Doug Collins:

“Protecting the people of the United States remains the top priority of its leaders, and thoughtful vigilance on this front has made our nation a beacon of hope to people throughout the world. It is possible to welcome refugees to our country while maintaining robust national security measures, and it is time to restore balance to this relationship by evaluating our entry processes in light of credible threats to our citizens.

“The executive order allows re-entry to lawful permanent residents and does not represent a comprehensive ban on entry to people from certain countries. In this temporary measure, President Trump has given us the opportunity to get refugee policy right going forward.”

12th District Congressman Rick Allen:

“First and foremost we must protect our homeland— the executive order does that— and keeps Americans safe until the legislative branch can reform our visa process and the vetting of refugees. Last Congress the House passed a very similar piece of legislation, the American SAFE Act, which passed with bipartisan support and a veto-proof majority. I am hopeful that cases affecting travelers when the executive order was announced will be resolved soon.”

Price Confirmation Criticism All About Theater

This week’s Courier Herald column:

The political theater occurring in Washington is producing Oscar level material. In fact, it would be appropriate for Hollywood to add a best Kabuki theater category. This way, the Democrats in Congress could finally be recognized for their achievements in chutzpah. We know how much the left likes to celebrate themselves with the annual presentation of trophies.

Any good production needs a good screenplay. In the world of politics, this sometimes requires narrative creation. The basis for the upcoming production is the fight over repeal of Obamacare. The central character is Georgia 6th District Congressman and HHS Nominee Tom Price.

Price is an accomplished physician, having built one of the Southeast’s largest orthopedic medical practices. He’s also quite the policy wonk. As head of the House budget committee he has authored the Republican’s most recent plan to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature bill, and has the audacity to favor market and state based reforms over centrally planned solutions.

Democrats are heavily invested in the Affordable Care Act, with the investment being their majorities in the House, Senate, and now the White House. Previous awards for outstanding performance devoid of truth has been given to ACA defenses for “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “the average family will save $2,500 per year”. Continue reading “Price Confirmation Criticism All About Theater”