FORSYTH COUNTY — U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall visited several places Monday that he said help make Forsyth County what it is.
Woodall, whose 7thDistrict includes south Forsyth and a large swath of Gwinnett County, concluded his day with a town hall meeting at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.
He discussed federal issues, ranging from international trade agreements and the nation’s spending deficit to his support of the FairTax concept.
Woodall had previously come out in support of the House-passed measure regarding Trade Promotion Authority . The language mandates Congressional consultation and approval of any trade deal negotiated by the President, while also requiring the text of a completed agreement be published at least 60 days prior to consent.
“All Americans want America’s economy to be the finest in the world, but for too long American has been on the sidelines as other nations grew their trade and grew their economies,” Woodall said.
“Now, for the first time in his presidency, President Obama is indicating that he wants to get America back on the field. I say better late than never. Responsible free-trade in the global marketplace grows the American economy and benefits American workers.”
At the meeting he said language such as that in the TPA passage is the “only way to get that done.”
Tension came from an audience member’s lack of trust in the measure passing and the president, to which Woodall mentioned America’s lack of faith in their federal government is a key problem.
“I’m tired of waiting,” he said, noting much of Washington has suffered the “rejection of incrementalism,” and the idea of “waiting until the next election” to “really get it done.”
He continued his advocacy for FairTax, which calls for the nixing of income tax for a consumption tax, and stressed his goal to change small areas of governance, regardless of who is president and whether he sits on the same side of the aisle.
As for a Supreme Court ruling, which is expected by the end of the month, on a vital part of the Affordable Care Act that covers insurance subsidies for millions of Americans, Woodall said Congress is trying to create a replacement plan to be used if the decision goes against the president.
“State flexibility has always been the key,” he said generally of health care.
The congressman also wants to focus on those Americans — a vocal 2 percent, he said — who could lose their health insurance subsidies and how to help get them money to offset effects.
Earlier in the day, Woodall toured Telecommunications Technical Services, a 2015 Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year.
While there, he received a Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The award is given annually to members of Congress based on rankings the chamber awards for key business votes and the percentage of times they support the chamber’s position.
The award goes to senators and House members who support its position on at least 70 percent of these key votes.
Woodall received an 87 percent cumulative score, according to Pamela Gregory, southeast region manager of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Chamber.
Forsyth’s other House Rep., Doug Collins of District 9, has also received the award.
Earlier Monday, Woodall toured the Post Road Library in west Forsyth, where he said he was impressed with the resources available to local residents.
“We think about where communities get together these days, and libraries still provide that,” he said. “But what’s going on in Forsyth County, from being able to check out videos online to the eBooks selection, you can search you’re genealogy, right on down the line, so many resources that are available.”
Woodall said that the library was a far cry from what he grew up with and represents residents’ changing tastes and needs.
“It would be easy in my generation to think about libraries as static buildings; that’s just nonsense,” Woodall said. “This is a dynamic place, and they are changing.
“Every new library Forsyth County builds changes to adapt to new needs. The citizenry of Forsyth County doesn’t settle for second best very well.”
Staff writer Kelly Whitmire contributed to this story.