David Perdue: Senate GOP should have targeted tax reform first

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U.S. Sen. David Perdue. Hyosub Shin/AJC

Politico.com has an excellent piece this morning on how a simple vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, conducted so many times by Republicans in Congress when it didn’t matter, has melted into a seven-month puddle. Some passages are fascinating:

“It’s easier to rage against the machine when you’re not in control of the machine, No. 1. And the perception that we are in control of the machine is inaccurate,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “Needing 50 out of 52 members on the same page in the Senate? I think that is not being in control of the machine.”

And this one, too:

[R]ank-and-file senators now say starting with tax reform could have done more to unify the party and avoid the GOP’s ongoing quagmire.

 

“I would have much preferred to start off with tax. But that wasn’t my decision,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). “Tax is the heavy lift here. It’s not going to be easier than health care. And we’ve been doing this for seven months.”

***

A Las Vegas television station reports that the local office of U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, the Nevada senator whose opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act has vastly complicated the GOP effort, was broken into this weekend.

“A threatening note was left for Senator Dean Heller,” reports the station.

***

We’re told that Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, running for council president, has named former state lawmaker Doug Teper as his campaign manager.

Teper represented House District 61 from 1988 to 2004, when he resigned to mount an unsuccessful re-election challenge to DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones. He has worked as a consultant since.

***

If you pay attention to transportation and economic development in metro Atlanta, this Washington Post article will sound very, very familiar:

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Visitors to the McDonald’s wooded corporate campus enter on a driveway named for the late chief executive Ray Kroc, then turn onto Ronald Lane before reaching Hamburger University, where more than 80,000 people have been trained as fast-food managers….

 

Now its leafy environs are considered a liability. Locked in a battle with companies of all stripes to woo top tech workers and young professionals, McDonald’s executives announced last year that they were putting the property up for sale and moving to the West Loop of Chicago where “L” trains arrive every few minutes and construction cranes dot the skyline.

***

Democrats sense a GOP soft spot over Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s struggles with election security. The Republican candidate for governor said Friday that the state was ending its relationship with the beleaguered elections center at Kennesaw State University after a series of embarrassing security lapses. 

At a campaign stop in Athens a day later, former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams sharpened her attack against Kemp.  From Flagpole:

Probably the biggest applause, though, came when Abrams addressed electronic voting machines and state policies that discourage voting. For Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor who’s gone after Abrams’ voter-registration organization, “voter suppression is a way of life,” she said.

She called for a paper trail, making photo IDs easier to get and replacing Georgia’s outdated voting machines, which she said could be vulnerable to hacking.

“No one uses a phone from 2002,” she said. “Why are we voting on machines that were built then?”

The antagonism is mutual, and long-running. Last week, Kemp made Abrams the focal point of a fundraising email:

Last week, Stacey Abrams and her friends at the New Georgia Project staged a Press Conference to let the local media know that they are keeping tabs on me…

 

A $25 contribution will help us keep the left-wing agitators at bay and put hardworking Georgians first!

Kemp has long pushed for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots, while Abrams contended those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed most sharply in 2014 after Abrams’ new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, announced ambitious goals to register 800,000 minority voters within a decade.

***

U.S. Rep. John Lewis did not mince words over the weekend when asked about President Donald Trump’s record on civil rights.

The Atlanta Democrat said Trump was “uncaring” about the movement and “knows very, very little” about the crusade for equal rights, according to The Hill. From the newspaper:

“I think the person we have in Washington today is uncaring,” he said in an episode of CNN’s “The Axe Files” set to air Friday night. “[Trump] knows very, very little about the struggle and the history of the civil rights movement.”

Lewis drew Trump into a public fight back in January when he said the Republican was not a “legitimate president.” The civil rights hero reiterated that point in his CNN interview, arguing the election “was rigged” to help Trump.

Lewis was also unsparing about Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “I know his record, I know his history, he has a very long history of being on the other side and not on the right side,” Lewis said, per the D.C. newspaper.

***

An Atlanta culinary mainstay will be making an appearance at the White House this afternoon.

Representatives from Chick-fil-A will be in Washington for an event with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence highlighting businesses that manufacture their products in America.


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