The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on February 1, 2015 · A6
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · A6

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 1, 2015
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Filename: A6-MAIN-AJCD0201-3THRE DateTime created: Jan 31 2015 8:42:19:033PM Username: SPEEDDRIVER14 - r Magenta Black 6A 3DOT Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 MAIN 6A A6 CREDIBLE. COMPELLING. COMPLETE. 3 THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION SUNDAY, FEB. 1,2015 NATION THE DELEGATION GEORGIANS IN D.C. 2 senators, views on pace of chamber Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-lowa, right, talks with Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., as Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill, ap A smorgasbord of subcommittees Between them, the Senate and the House have more than 150 subcommittees. That's a lot of gavels, and a few Georgians learned this week they'll be wielding one or two. In the House, a duo of Scotts - Austin, Republican of Tifton; and David, Democrat of Atlanta - will lead the Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit. In the Senate, Republican Perdue will take on a pair of subcommittees within a month of being sworn in. He will be chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations and Bilateral International Development; and the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources. Even Isakson - dubbed "Johnny Two Chairs" by a Georgia website for heading the Veterans Affairs and Ethics committees - found the time to take on a subcommittee. Isakson will run the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employee and Workplace Safety. Daniel Malloy WASHINGTON - A decade into his U.S. Senate career, Johnny Isakson considers January's debut of the Republican majority "a remarkable and stark contrast" for its efficiency. After one month in the institution, David Perdue calls it "mind boggling" to take a whole three weeks to approve the Keystone XL pipeline bill, which still must be merged with a U.S. House version before facing a presidential veto threat. The Georgia Republicans' divergent perspectives reflect a drawn-out process approved by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that Democrats have elongated further by - for the first time in a long time - freely proposing and voting on amendments. So far this year, there have been 42 amendment votes, as compared with 15 in all of 2014, according to a tally by McCon-nell's office. Then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., choked off amendments to keep the agenda narrowly focused on Democratic priorities and protect his vulnerable senators from tough votes. It didn't work, as Republicans won a landslide in the fall. McConnell arrived with the promise of opening up the process. Democrats have taken advantage, forcing Republicans into difficult votes on requiring all the pipeline's oil to be sold in the U.S. and for it to be built only with American steel. Along with many other Democratic initiatives, they failed. "We're grateful we had the opportunity to offer and vote on amendments," U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference as the process was nearing its end. "But those amendments don't do any good for the middle class if Republicans vote them down. It's like playing a ballgame and not scoring any baskets. What's the point?" The point is that they will be KEYSTONE The Senate voted 62-36 Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Yes: U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; and David Perdue, R-Ga. resurrected in campaign season. Still, Perdue did not consider the American-made votes to be difficult. "I don't believe government should be in there dictating those types of details for free enterprise," he said. And though the rookie acknowledged he was "frustrated" with the pace, he said he was pleased with the "civility" shown so far and a perceived improvement from the partisanship he witnessed from the outside. But Perdue is eager to move a little faster. "I'm hoping to bring a sense of urgency to the process," he said. "As an outsider, I can be a critic of it and I'll continue to do that. We've got some huge problems." Isakson said the process brought out "messaging amendments on both sides," but it was a vast improvement over the Reid "rope-a-dope." "You ought to vote; you ought to argue; you ought to debate; you ought to demand amendments," Isakson said. With all deliberate speed, the Senate will take up an Isakson-pushed bill Monday evening that is designed to improve mental health care for veterans in order to combat suicides. The bill is expected to pass without drama. "I'm very proud that the House passed it the second (full) week of January. We passed it out of committee the third (full) week of January, and it's on the floor of the United States Senate the second day of February," said Isakson, the new chairman of the Veter ans Affairs Committee. "That's good progress." The feel-good veterans bill will be followed by an attack on President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, attached to a spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Senate Republicans are hardly of one mind on what to do with the House-passed bill, much less how to lure moderate Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold. And this one has a deadline on it: DHS funding expires Feb. 27. How long can the amendment spree last? U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is backing a bill that is designed to improve mental health care for veterans, davidgoldman associated press Daniel Malloy covers Washington for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His column runs on Sunday. To reach him, email You can also follow him on Twitter: AJConWashington. Certificate of Deposit Lock in a great rate today. A minimum of just $10,000 gets you started. These offers are available for a limited time, so act quickly! 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See bank for details. Rates not available for collateralized deposits. All accounts subject to approval. Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. lender Divisions of Synovus Bank operate under multiple trade names across the Southeast. Sign up at for future coupons and offers by mail. Magenta Black 6A 3DOT Filename: A6-MAIN-AJCD0201-3THRE DateTime created: Jan 31 2015 8:42:19:036PM Username:

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