Woodall Addresses Continuing Resolution and Boehner’s Resignation

Rep. Rob Woodall addresses the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Rep. Rob Woodall addresses the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
7th District Representative Rob Woodall talked about the resignation of Speaker John Boehner, the passage of the Continuing Resolution that funds the government through mid-December, and the atmosphere in Washington, DC when he spoke to members and guests of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Friday morning.

Because the House and Senate failed to pass this year’s appropriation bills, Congress was forced to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past September 30th. Leading up to Wednesday’s vote, much of the debate on the bill concerned the possible defunding of Planned Parenthood. The organization has come under fire in recent weeks following a series of videos showing the organization allegedly selling fetal tissue.

Woodall pointed out that Planned Parenthood receives funding from the government two ways. A portion is received from state Medicaid programs that pay the organization for providing healthcare services. These reimbursements are not subject to the appropriations process. The remainder comes from annual grants that were previously approved in March, none of which are paid out during the ten week period covered by the continuing resolution.

The congressman pointed out that even though there was no Planned Parenthood funding in the bill, those who opposed the organization felt it was more important to make a statement than it was to keep the government running past September 30th. Those supporting Planned Parenthood refused to allow the symbolic vote on funding, even though it would not have made any difference to the organization’s revenues.

Congressman Woodall summarized the situation this way: “If we can’t keep the doors open because we can’t get together on something that’s not going to happen anyway, 13 months away from an election, that’s not a Republican problem or a Democratic problem, it’s self governance problem.”

Addressing the announcement of Speaker John Boehner’s resignation, Woodall stated his respect for a man who cared more about the institution of the House and the 435 people who work there than he did about himself. Because Boehner was successful in empowering congress members to represent the interests of their constituents, the result was that Boehner is out, keeping both those on the far left and those on the far right happy. And with no replacement Speaker candidate offered by those who opposed Boehner the most, Woodall is concerned that the same thing will happen to Boehner’s replacement, and the person who becomes Speaker after him.

Predicting that current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would win the speakership when the vote is taken next week, Woodall pointed out that of all the candidates running for lesser posts in leadership that might become open, only one has completed a full term as a committee chairman. Woodall compared the fact that Boehner was leaving his post as Speaker because he lost the confidence of the other 434 representatives with the departure of Newt Gingrich from the speakership after two terms for much the same reason.

And Woodall lamented that Washington doesn’t have a leadership problem, but it does have a followership problem. Comparing the House of Representatives to a football team, he said that while it was possible to differ over which play to call in order to move the ball, once that decision was made, continuing to do one’s own thing doesn’t serve the team’s interest, or in the case of Congress, America’s interest.

“It’s not a surprise that we disgree about things,” the congressman noted. “It is a surprise to me how disagreeable we are.” Woodall pointed out that the popularity of both Bernie Sanders from the socialist left and Donald Trump from the far right resonates off the charts with both Democrats and Republicans. Saying that both candidates capture the frustration and anger of America right now, he said the question was whether either man would be able to put forth a solution. “Identifying the problem is easy. Finding folks to work on the solution is not hard,” Congressman Woodall said. “What ought to be unacceptable is not agreeing to get 50% of what you want. What ought to be unacceptable is turning down 50% of what we all need for this country.”

9 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    Dear Congressman Woodall,

    Over 80% of the budget is entilments, military spending and interest on debt Why not give us a real detailed proposal on budget cuts with entilments and military spending? I could help you with a few basic ideas.

    1) Use VA drug pricing for Medicare, Medicaid, government workers and Obamacare portal. This would save up to 60% on medicine for tax payers.

    2) End the restrictions on Medicine being bought overseas. This could be even a bigger savings than the above for tax payers.

    3) Require a living Will to be filled out. The average person spends about 60% of healthcare on last 6 months of their life, many do not even want the care.

    4) End the War on Drugs, not only would this save money via the whole court process, it could be taxed to create revenue, once again tax payers win.

    5) End the policemen of the world military strategy

    Can we not focus on real solutions like the above, over politics?

    Just in case you did not know the math:

    http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/budget-entitlement-programs

  2. seenbetrdayz says:

    .And Woodall lamented that Washington doesn’t have a leadership problem, but it does have a followership problem. Comparing the House of Representatives to a football team, he said that while it was possible to differ over which play to call in order to move the ball, once that decision was made, continuing to do one’s own thing doesn’t serve the team’s interest, or in the case of Congress, America’s interest..

    What if the decision itself doesn’t serve the team’s interest? What if the decision is to throw a pass directly to the defender, or intentionally fumble the ball on every play so the other team can get it? Because that’s what it felt like with Boehner as the coach, and I would not only expect a followership problem in that case—I would demand it.

  3. joe says:

    Woodall seems to gloss over the fact that they did not pass an appropriations bill. That is one of their primary responsibilities. If they cannot do that, and do it in a timely manner, perhaps they should all follow Boehner’s lead and announce their resignation. Every, I repeat, EVERY, congressman should be ashamed of their individual and collective failures.

    • Jon Richards says:

      Why were no appropriation bills passed? (That question should actually have “in the Senate” added to it). Because at the direction of the president, Democratic senators decided to filibuster each bill. The issue is the 2011 Budget Control Act, which set spending limits going forward in order to reduce the deficit.

      When a special panel was unable to come up with a list of programs to cut in order to meet the spending limits, we got the sequester, which put in across the board cuts in both social programs and defense programs–a result no one really wanted, and which everyone thought wouldn’t happen because the panel would agree to cut where it’s really needed, which is in entitlements.

      The president wanted to break the sequester in order to fund his preferred programs. (Some Republicans wanted to break it too, in order to shore up defense spending.) While the easy thing to to would be to break the caps and give each side what it wants, the conservative thing to do would be to stay within the sequester limits, even if that meant a continuing resolution.

      That’s because the American people, and especially conservative Tea Party members, told congress that it was spending too much, and to cut back. I still hear that on a daily basis from some loud voices on the right ** cough Hannity cough Penny Plan cough **. So when John Boehner, who was the key player on the GOP side to negotiate the BCA, and Mitch McConnell decide to stick to their principles and refuse to lift the sequester caps, some conservatives respond with #FireBoehner and #FireMcConnell, because they are not conservative enough?

      • John Konop says:

        Jon,

        In all due respect, I think it is more about special interest and lobbying than which party. The above rational proposals I posted would hurt the medical industry, private prison industry, weapons manufactures…… only reason it has not been done. Other ideas like that not implemedted trace back to special interest….follow the money…

        • Michael Silver says:

          Follow the money …. you mean like going on victory tour at the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE?

          John K and I are thinking alike (uh oh). The Republicans only concern is to keep the money flowing to their corporate masters. They campaigned on limited government and reigning in President Obama’s over-reach. In fact, they’ve enabled and financed every one of Obama’s actions, including funding Iran’s nuclear program and terrorist network (good job boys).

      • joe says:

        Jon, You just don’t get it. They had a job to do. They did not do it. Saying ‘it’s not my fault’ does not mean that the job gets done. Do your job.

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