AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Equifax beefs up lobbying efforts following data breach

7:00 am Oct. 20, 2017

WASHINGTON —The Atlanta credit bureau Equifax ramped up its spending over the last three months to lobby the federal government and protect its image as it took fire for exposing the personal records of more than 145 million Americans.

Its two main competitors, meanwhile, shifted their resources in order to do the same.

New federal records released this week show Equifax increased its budget to lobby Congress and agency regulators by 12

Consumed by Obamacare repeal, Congress lets several beloved health programs expire

12:00 pm Oct. 3, 2017

In Washington this past week, lawmakers abandoned another all-out attempt to repeal Obamacare and then headed home to take stock.

Meanwhile in Georgia, a clinic network funded by regular federal grants halted replacement of badly needed dental chairs and stopped work on a planned contract to recruit a pediatrician.

A Houston County couple watched their health insurance crumble. The Georgia commissioner of community health drew up contingency plans.

All of that is

Plenty of grilling in store for ex-Equifax CEO as he heads to Capitol Hill

5:00 am Oct. 3, 2017

WASHINGTON —Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are outraged it took Atlanta-based Equifax nearly six weeks to alert customers about its massive data breach. Now House and Senate members plan to prod Equifax’s former CEO this week about who knew what about the hacking — and when.

Whether their questioning leads to any substantive policy changes beyond a customary C-SPAN grilling is an open question.

What is known is former 

Senate confirms former state rep. to be Atlanta-based U.S. attorney

5:43 pm Sep. 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday easily confirmed former state Rep. B.J. Pak to head the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta for four years.

The Trump administration tapped the former Georgia lawmaker for the prestigious position in July, citing Pak’s vision for “making America safe again.” 

Pak sailed through his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this month and was okayed by the chamber as part of a block of judicial, ambassadorial and military nominees

Former colleagues steer clear of Tom Price’s private jet woes

7:00 am Sep. 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — Some liberal Democrats may have been quick to call for health Secretary Tom Price’s resignation on Wednesday amid his private plane rigmarole, but the former congressman’s onetime Georgia colleagues are keeping their distance or urging patience as a government watchdog probes Price’s official trips.

“I really don’t know the details, so I’ll reserve judgment,” said U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville.

“I don’t really have a comment on that,”

Key health programs at risk of lapsing as Obamacare repeal dominates D.C. debate

7:00 am Sep. 23, 2017

Nearly one hundred and fifty million dollars to keep Georgia hospitals’ indigent care afloat. Funding for the PeachCare program that along with Medicaid covers about half of Georgia’s kids. Clear answers on Obamacare subsidies that Blue Cross said it needed to keep selling individual plans in metro Atlanta.

Those are some things that Congress has not taken care of — or even, in some cases, clarified its position

Republicans try to scrap Obamacare one last time

7:00 am Sep. 20, 2017

WASHINGTON —The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare seemed all but dead this summer. Now it’s not. Again.

Against all odds, Georgians both for and against the effort are watching warily as GOP leaders try one last pass at taking down the signature health care law of the Obama administration before their ability to do so expires Sept. 30.

What exactly the legislation’s impact would be on Georgia isn’t entirely

Trump picks Augusta lawyer to be U.S. attorney

5:58 pm Sep. 8, 2017

President Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Columbia County lawyer to be U.S. attorney in eastern Georgia.

The White House announced its intent to nominate Bobby Christine to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Georgia’s Southern District, saying he and a slate of other nominees shared Trump’s vision of “making America safe again.” If confirmed, Christine would have jurisdiction from Augusta to Savannah,

A University of Georgia graduate, Christine worked for about

White House nominates two Georgia judges for federal bench

11:00 am Sep. 7, 2017

WASHINGTON —The Trump administration on Thursday nominated a Georgia Court of Appeals judge and a U.S. Magistrate judge to fill a pair of federal judicial vacancies based in Atlanta and Brunswick.

The White House said Thursday it would tap state Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Branch to fill a Georgia spot on the busy 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump also nominated Stan Baker, a federal magistrate judge,

Once a rabble-rouser, Tom Graves changed his tune to gain influence

7:00 am Sep. 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — The weeks leading up to the October 2013 government shutdown proved to be pivotal ones in the career trajectory of Georgia Congressman Tom Graves.

The Ranger Republican and a band of upstart young conservatives had scored a major political victory after they orchestrated a behind-the-scenes GOP revolt over Obamacare. They managed to push then-Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants into supporting their gambit of withholding needed government funding in