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Greg Bluestein

The Georgia congressman who brought his Bible to an LGBT discussion

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In Washington, we have another sign of a split within the House Republican caucus over LGBT issues, this one involving a Georgia congressman who brought his Bible to a policy discussion.

The topic was a spending bill with protections for lesbians, gays, and transgender persons. From The Hill newspaper:

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Augusta/AJC file

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Augusta/AJC file

Rep. Rick Allen, a Georgia freshman, launched the GOP’s regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision, which passed the House the night before, were defying Christian tenets, attendees said.

Several Republicans walked out of the room in disgust.

“It was f—ing ridiculous,” said one GOP lawmaker, who was in the room and supported the LGBT provision. 

Only last week, the U.S. house engaged in a floor fight over LGBT protections in a military spending bill. Republican leaders held the vote open until enough GOP members had switched their votes to defeat the measure.  Even so, 29 Republicans voted for the protections.

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President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima was indeed historic, but politically the story was his overt criticism at the G-7 economic conference of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his foreign policy. From the Washington Post:logo-GB

“[T]hey’re rattled by it — and for good reason — because a lot of the proposals that he’s made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is that is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous, and what’s required to keep the world on an even keel,” he said.

Just four years ago, Obama chastised an adviser to his then-GOP rival Mitt Romney, Glenn Hubbard, for questioning his economic policies in the opinion pages of a German newspaper. “And I think, traditionally, the notion has been that America’s political differences end at the water’s edge,” he said after the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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You want to know what the benefits are for a mayor of Atlanta who has a friend in the governor of Georgia?

State regulators have threatened to shut down Atlanta’s troubled streetcar unless the city resolves a slew of problems outlined in recent audits…

[State DOT Commissioner Russell] McMurry said in the letter that, since the service started in December 2014, streetcar officials have failed to “provide timely, substantive and compliant responses to deficiencies identified by the department and (Federal Transportation Authority).”

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, McMurry said the department expects the problems will be resolved and said GDOT “will continue to work with the city and MARTA to ensure this projects meets federal requirements.”

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Coming soon to a Legislature near you: A proposal for a beefed up “nuisance law” that would give local authorities more power to shut down crime-ridden hotels.

We’ve heard from a handful of state officials who are interested in copying a tough Ohio law that has been used to shutter a range of seedy motels that had become drug dens and havens for prostitution.

Our friends at Channel 2 Action News ventured up to Ohio to take a closer look at how the law works. Take a look here.