Rep. Rob Woodall, whose District 7 makes up the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, voiced concerns with the House Budget Committee choosing not to approve a budget amid in-fighting from factions of the Democratic majority about whether to raise or lower defense and domestic spending.
Woodall said it is the first time since he took office in 2011 that the committee has not submitted a budget, which he said could impact federally-funded projects in Forsyth County if it leads to another government shutdown.
“These silly government shutdowns that have been happening, it impacts the [Army] Corps of Engineers, it impacts transportation projects, like [Hwy.] 20 and Ga. 400,” Woodall said. “Those happen when we get slowed down on the appropriations process.”
Though budgets are not required to be signed by the president, a portion of the debate from the Democratic side is whether to increase set spending limits, which would require presidential approval.
Woodall said the House has been particularly partisan this year with the change in the majority but saw the current budget issues as a chance for bipartisanship.
“Now the question is are they going to continue fighting amongst themselves to try to find agreement, or are they going to reach out to Republicans to find a middle ground that the middle of both parties can agree to,” Woodall said.
He said there had been similar issues in 2011, when Republicans dealt with internal battles over the budget as they became the majority.
“We all know we need a budget, we all know it’s hard to write a budget,” Woodall said. “Republicans have made the same mistake of trying to write that budget alone, and it doesn’t work out.”
Woodall said with bipartisan efforts, he sees a chance for Georgia to lead and pointed out that he and Rep. Tom Graves, who represents a large portion of northwest Georgia, were members of the Congressional Modernization Committee, which has members of both parties looking at ways to use technology to improve productivity of Congress and communication with constituents.
“It says a lot about the kinds of bosses that I have in the 7th District … that when Congress is looking for ways to move forward on hard issues, in a partnership way, that Georgia has a reputation for leadership,” he said. “I don’t know that we all feel that successful at home. I don’t think people realize —because it’s just normalcy for Forsyth County to be successful — they don’t realize that when the nation is looking around trying to find examples of good and successful leadership, that Georgia stands out in that way.”