ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
85°
Mostly Clear
H 86° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Clear. H 86° L 68°
  • clear-day
    86°
    Today
    Mostly Clear. H 86° L 68°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    81°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 81° L 70°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Georgia lawmakers don’t like deal but see few options

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House was not pleased with its New Year’s Day present from the Senate: A bipartisan deal to undo the “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that did not include desired cuts to federal spending.

But with the cliff’s effects already kicking in and the Senate giving a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum, House Speaker John Boehner forced a vote on what appeared to be the only chance to avoid a recession or a market crash. Most of the Georgia delegation could not swallow it and voted no.

The final tally was 257-167, with most Republicans voting against it – shattering typical practice for Boehner working to pass a bill only with “the majority of the majority.”

All eight of Georgia’s Republicans voted against the bill – breaking with the state’s GOP senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, who voted for it just after the ball dropped midnight Tuesday.

Among Democrats, John Barrow of Augusta voted no, while Sanford Bishop of Albany, David Scott of Atlanta and Hank Johnson of DeKalb County voted yes. Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta did not vote; he returned home after his wife died Monday.

The Republican opposition rested in not getting enough spending cuts.

“It’s the spending aspect of the bill that’s the problem for me, “said Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, who said he wished spending provisions such as extended emergency unemployment benefits would have been offset with cuts elsewhere. But he added, “There’s some concern that if you send it back to [the Senate] with an amendment, that the country’s in limbo for several days.”

Rep. Johnson, D-DeKalb County, said he wished leaders had come together on a long-term grand bargain. The deal postpones across-the-board spending cuts for two months, setting up another fight that will also include the nation’s borrowing limit. Still, Johnson said, “The vice president did a good job negotiating this deal. It may be the best that we can expect.”

Vice President Joe Biden, who struck the deal late Monday with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, visited House Democrats on Tuesday to rally support. Atlanta Democrat David Scott was sold.

“We’ve got the kind of deal that Americans can be proud of because there is a very, very serious hunger among the American people to see Democrats and Republicans come together on something,” he said. “And we’ve got something here.”

Many Georgians remained opposed to it. Republicans Tom Graves of Ranger and Paul Broun of Athens declared they were solid “no’s.” Coweta County Republican Lynn Westmoreland said he was surprised the Senate passed the bill 89-8 — with both of Georgia’s Republican senators, Chambliss and Isakson, voting yes.

“That was kind of a shock to us that they didn’t stand for some spending cuts, so we’re dealing with that right now,” Westmoreland said.

Lawrenceville Republican Rep. Rob Woodall was walking the halls clutching a report from the Congressional Budget Office that illustrated many members’ concerns. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the deal would add $3.97 trillion to budget deficits in the next decade, compared with current law. Current law includes big tax hikes and spending cuts that lawmakers say they do not want, though. And the vast majority of that deficit impact ($3.63 trillion) comes in the form of tax cuts that Republicans generally like.

But Republicans wanted cuts from other programs to offset the impact of the spending provisions, which also include maintaining Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors and putting off across-the-board cuts for two months.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the seventh district of Georgia who wants me to trade away good policy for America in the name of expediency because the Senate has run us up against this deadline,” Woodall said.

Rep. Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican, summed up the attitude with sarcasm when asked if he would support the deal: “I don’t know. I love senators so much that it’s hard to vote no on anything they do.”

The beloved senators had mostly skipped town. After voting after 2 a.m. Tuesday, Isakson was at the airport a few hours later and home in Cobb County in time to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play. Chambliss was on his way out Tuesday night.

Isakson noted that President Barack Obama moved considerably from his original tax demands and said making the George W. Bush-era tax cuts permanent was a major victory.

“The net effect of that vote was a ($3.63) trillion reduction in taxes for 99 percent of American taxpayers,” Isakson said. “There was a lot in it for everybody, but the main thing that’s been missed by most of the media … these are all permanent changes. Congress would have to pass an act to change the taxes put in place.”

A big battle on spending cuts is ahead, as the nation nears its statutory borrowing limit. Republicans will seek big budget savings in exchange for their votes to raise the “debt ceiling,” as they did in 2011.

“This is what Obama wanted,” Chambliss said of the tax increases. “And now we get serious about spending and entitlement reform because that’s what we want and it’s our turn.”

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • Two new strains of fentanyl are so deadly that they may be immune to naloxone, also known as Narcan, the drug used to save those who have overdosed, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday in a news release.  >> Watch the news report here >> Police say Narcan prevented them from charging man with DUI Acrylfentanyl and tetrahydrofuran fentanyl were not identified by the GBI until March, when the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office submitted the drugs as part of forensic evidence. A month later, officials investigated four overdoses that killed two people in the county. At the time, authorities thought the overdoses were caused by a bad batch of deadly drugs such as heroin or fentanyl. >> Mom who lost son to opioid overdose shares heartbreaking photo Officials have not said if the two new strains are connected to the overdoses.  “It is not known how the human body will react to both drugs since they are not intended for human or veterinary use,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. “The drugs can be absorbed through the skin and are considered highly dangerous.” >> Police officer overdoses after accidental contact with fentanyl on traffic stop One of the drugs – acrylfentanyl – was banned in Georgia in April, she said, and has been on the GBI watch list for months.  “It’s a very potent drug and there’s a high potential it has already killed people in Georgia,” Miles told WSB-TV. “There are multiple reports that (the drugs are) showing resistance to naloxone.”  >> Mass overdose kills four, a dozen more hospitalized in Georgia The new strains come three weeks after four people were killed and dozens suffered from overdoses in a two-day span in Middle Georgia. The chief medical officer at Navicent Health in Macon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a new drug in the area was being sold as Percocet. It’s possible the drug could be homemade. 
  • A college student from Gwinnett County is doing his part to help fight hunger using technology.  Jack Griffin, a junior at the University of Michigan, was just a sophomore at Peachtree Ridge High School when he was touched by a news story showing kids his age homeless and in need of food.  “It’s such an invisible problem that, if you’re not impacted by it, it’s so hard to see,” he tells WSB.  While trying to find a place to volunteer, he found the search so cumbersome he knew it would be difficult for those in need to find them.   So, while still in high school, Griffin created the non-profit FoodFinder to help people locate nearby food pantries or free meals. He raised money to develop a website and then added a phone app last year.  “Eighty percent of these kids still have access to a phone. Sixty percent still have access to a smart phone. It’s not an iPhone 7-type deal, but they are going to have access to the internet because it’s a huge lifeline,” says Griffin.  He says organizations that offer food programs including the USDA have partnered with Foodfinder to make sure information on location and times are available on the app.  “There is about a thousand free resources all across the state of Georgia,” he says, with that number reaching more than 3,000 right now to make sure kids are fed during the summer months.  Griffin, who is a business major and community action minor, is working this summer to get the word out about the app and increase access to free meals. 
  • A grand jury indicted former DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson with theft Tuesday after he receiving about $3,000 in advances for government trips that he never took. Watson, 63, faces a single count of theft by conversion in DeKalb Superior Court, according to DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston’s office. Watson withdrew advance checks in January 2016 for conferences in Chicago and Savannah, but then he resigned from office in March 2016 to run for DeKalb Tax Commissioner. “The state alleges the expense money was then converted to personal use and not repaid until approximately one year later, well after Watson’s resignation,” according to a press release from Boston’s office. “County policy requires any funds advanced for travel but not actually used for said travel be returned to the county immediately.” A warrant was issued for Watson’s arrest, and he’s expected to surrender to authorities, the release said. Watson didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Exclusive to subscribers: Read the full story on myAJC.com. MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT. The AJC's Mark Niesse keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories: Accused politicians try to undermine ethics oversight in Georgia DeKalb Sheriff Mann could retain office even if found guilty DeKalb police, firefighter pay raise plan revealed Never miss a minute of what's happening in DeKalb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com. In other DeKalb news:
  • If you need to stock up on your red, white, and blue attire for 4th of July, Old Navy is the place to shop. Right now, this store is offering all of its items on sale for up to 60% off! Shipping is free on orders of $50 or more. Plus, all orders get free returns. 4 great deals available at Old Navy right now American flag apparel starting at just $2.50 Kids shorts for $8  Men’s shorts for $10 Women’s dresses for $8 For even more ways to save, check out the best 4th of July discounts & deals! Other stories you might like from ClarkDeals.com: Homepage Prime members: New sample boxes for $0 net Southwest Airlines fall fares starting at $42 one-way
  • There could be a reconciliation in the future for Carmelo and La La Anthony. E! News reported that the actress appeared on “The Wendy Williams Show” on Tuesday and dished about the status of her relationship with estranged NBA player husband Carmelo Anthony. >> Read more trending news When asked if they were divorcing, Anthony, 38, responded, “Not right now,” and added, “You know, marriages are tough, and you know that. We all know that. It’s filled with ups and downs. We are just going through a time right now. “Him and I are the best of friends, and our No. 1 commitment is to our son, Kiyan, and we have to set an example for Kiyan, and that’s what’s most important to me.” She also said that even though things are tough between them, she will never have a bad thing to say about Carmelo Anthony, 33. Related: Report: NY Knicks Carmelo Anthony, TV personality La La Anthony separated “That’s my son’s father, and he is an amazing dad,” she said. “I could not ask for a better dad.” Host Wendy Williams couldn’t sit through the mystery of their relationship and decided to get to the thought on everyone’s minds. “He seems to want you back,” Williams said. Anthony responded, “Why wouldn’t he?” Despite knowing that they aren’t divorcing just yet, Anthony is still uncertain about the future. Related: This celebrity’s baby is the taking over Instagram with all of these adorable posts and we can’t get enough “Listen, if I could predict the future, we would all be multimillionaires,” she said. “I don’t know what the future holds. I just know that we are doing an incredible job again being parents to our son. We are the best of friends. I’ve been with Melo since he was 19 years old. You’re not with somebody that long, and it just goes out the window. I love him with all my heart, and we are the best of friends.” When Williams asked if she’s dating, Anthony said, “Yeah, I’m dating. I’m dating myself.” “I’m trying to get myself in order,” she said. “I'm in the gym every day. I'm eating right. I’m taking out all the bad stuff in my life and just really dating and focusing on myself, which is something women need to do more often, put ourselves first.” La La Anthony and Carmelo Anthony were married in 2010 after dating since 2003.
  • The Latest on the Trump administration's revived travel ban for visitors from six mostly Muslim countries (all times local): 12:06 p.m. Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security are finalizing criteria that visitors from six mostly Muslim must meet to avoid the Trump administration's revived travel ban. The White House deliberations come as U.S. embassies and consulates await instructions later Wednesday on how to implement this week's Supreme Court order that partially reinstated the ban after it was blocked by lower courts. The new measures are expected to be implemented Thursday. The justices' opinion exempts applicants from the ban if they can prove a 'bona fide relationship' with a U.S. person or entity. Government lawyers must determine how to define such a relationship. The court offered only broad guidelines — suggesting it would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S.