Submitted By: D.A. King
While the political world is focused on the lunacy in Washington DC, conservative, pro-English voters in Georgia’s 14th congressional district may have an interest in Republican Congressman Tom Graves’ very curious and un-conservative anti-English stance.
HR 997 – the English Unity Act – was introduced last year in the U.S. House by conservative Steve King. The legislation establishes English as the official language of the United States. The bill is often falsely described as “English only” when in fact it is “English as official” – not “only.” Comprende?
Readers can learn more about the official English movement bt visiting the non-profit website, Pro-English.org
Also in the legislation:
*Naturalization ceremonies and official functions of the U.S. government, subject to exceptions, must be conducted in English.
*The bill declares that all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of U.S. laws.
*A person injured by a violation of this bill may obtain relief, including a declaratory judgment, in a civil action.
*English language requirements and workplace policies, whether in the public or private sector, shall be presumptively consistent with U.S. laws. Any ambiguity in U.S. laws shall be resolved in accordance with the rights retained by the people and the powers reserved to states under the Bill of Rights.
*The Department of Homeland Security shall issue a proposed rule for uniform testing of the English language ability of candidates for naturalization based upon the principles that: (1) all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the United States; and (2) any exceptions to this standard should be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as asylum.
The little known fact is that the United States has no official language, despite huge public support for official English. It is worth noting that the U.S. and Georgia Chambers of Commerce are stridently opposed to this nationally unifying concept.
Maybe that is why Graves has repeatedly refused to help with passage of this commonsense and voter-popular bill by co-sponsoring and is on record as telling political pundit Phil Kent that “this is not one of my top priorities right now.”
It wasn’t a priority last year or the year before either.
As readers no doubt are aware, all congressmen enjoy feedback and contact from constituents. Maybe readers can move support for official English up Congressman Tom Graves priority list with a respectful but firm phone call to his Washington DC office. The phone number there is 202) 225-5211.
It could very well be that Mr. Graves doesn’t think you know anything about this issue.
D.A. King of Marietta is president of the pro-English Dustin Inman Society. www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Josh McCall hopes to receive the Democratic nomination in the race for Georgia’s 9th congressional district seat.
This seat is currently held by incumbent Congressman Doug Collins. Collins has been Georgia’s 9th District representative since 2013.
McCall has been traveling the district during his campaign, and made a stop at the Fannin County Democratic meeting to discuss with residents why he should represent our district.
Tired of hearing negativity in politics and disagreeing with many of today’s political moves, McCall stated that it had gotten to the point where he dreaded looking at his phone to get the latest news.
“Inevitably, as though it is some kind of force of fate, I do open my phone because I do care about my country and I want to know what’s happening,” McCall added.
Criticizing the Republicans, McCall referred to the party’s Debt Clock: “because everything that goes into feeding the poor people, those Republicans are putting it on the clock.”
“They just passed a bill handing over the fortunes of our children that was supposed to go into green infrastructure and the educational facilities of tomorrow,” McCall spoke of the party’s hypocrisy, “and it went into the pockets of billionaires.”
McCall added, “Let me tell you the red letters of our (Democrats) debt clock. They are written in the blood of students who died at Parkland. They’re written in the blood of the children who died daily from gun violence in this nation, which is breaking out like an epidemic.”
According to McCall Republicans used to care about urgent matters such as the National Debt and what is being left to the nation’s children, but their concerns have since shifted.
McCall wants to see focus put on healthcare and the costs related to this field, stating, “Those are the threats that are really facing us. You deserve life and you deserve health.”
“It is my fundamental belief that nobody should die because they are poor, and that nobody should be poor because they are dying,” McCall reiterated his passion to see meaningful change.
On national matters, McCall would like to see corporations “put on check” for environmental damage, and for lobbyists and organizations to have less of a hold on our government, citing that NRA (National Rifle Association) money is what stops real change to gun control.
“We are in too many nations right,” McCall said stating that we should pull forces out and invest at home,”There is not a single nation with a possible exception of Korea, that is any better off than it was before we invaded it.”
McCall would like to form a Public Service Coalition to serve at home and focus on social needs. The Civil Conservation Corp. could provide services such as taking care of the elderly in their homes and aid in environmental protection and clean up in exchange for scholarships to colleges.
For a two year term, McCall suggests, participants could receive a two-year technical degree scholarship, and for a four-year term, participants could receive a scholarship for a four year Bachelor’s Degree.
McCall switched gears to speak of his stance on the Second Amendment, “I firmly believe in the Second Amendment. The problem is the NRA does not. They only believe in that second part that makes them money.”
Citing that no one is safe in any public space in today’s climate, McCall emphasized that there is need for a well regulated militia.
“If they are law abiding citizens of sound mind, I want them to have that bolt action rifle. Their hunting rifle,” McCall stated, but also explained that there needs to be meaningful change.
One simple solution that he felt could have a lasting impact would be to have a 10 bullet limit on magazines, and outlaw removable clips. Other solutions would be to have gun owners secure weapons in their homes to keep them away from children. McCall stated that Georgia was number one in the nation for toddlers to die of gun related deaths.
“I don’t believe in confiscation,” McCall made very clear if new reform were to pass.
Locally McCall would like to focus on infrastructure in the 9th District, and have improvements to infrastructure done by people trained in our area.
If McCall were to receive the Democratic nomination, he spoke of where he differs from his Republican opponent Doug Collins.
“I believe that Doug Collins is most vulnerable in his complacency,” McCall stated and added that this election year Collins cannot ignore the Democratic party.
“Compassion and cooperation are the center pieces of my campaign,” McCall said and then added, “That is where he is vulnerable, he has not a compassionate or cooperative bone in his body, and that is our strength.”
McCall concluded by saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper? My answer to that is a resounding yes. This race is truly not about me. I have faith in the people of the 9th District.”
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It’s Sine Die day, that means it’s the last day of the 2018 Legislative Session! Interviews First Vice Chairman of Georgia Congress 9th District GOP Rebecca Yardley on the experience and what to expect from the Georgia Capitol today!
Martin, Ga. – On Monday, Jan. 22, the statewide Georgia affiliate of Our Revolution, the organization created to continue pushing the policy goals of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, endorsed Joshua McCall in his bid to unseat Congressman Doug Collins in the Georgia 9th Congressional District. His candidacy will now be passed up to the national organization for consideration.
“I’m running for congress for two reasons. First, Bernie Sanders’ grassroots organization inspired me to examine what forces were limiting political possibilities in our country. I realized, unfortunately, that many of those forces were in the party that I belonged to,” said Candidate Joshua McCall.
He continued, “I’m also running because parts of our government are dangerously close to fascism. Branches of it prey on racial fears and offer simple solutions through state violence. I am running not only to unseat Doug Collins, but in the process, speak to the people of this district and unite them behind a Christian and humanist ethic.”
McCall joins Savannah-based candidate Lisa Ring as the only currently endorsed congressional candidates in the state. The endorsement includes volunteer coordination and the possibility of national endorsement and fundraising.
Our Revolution Georgia State Committee Member, Vice President of the Young Democrats of Georgia, Hall County Board of Elections Member, and former candidate for State House Michelle Sanchez Jones said of the endorsement, “The Republican Party has purported to represent north Georgia for a generation now, and, outside of the governor’s backyard, we deserve more from our government. Our hospitals need more money. Our classrooms need more teachers. We need the tools to help those struggling with opioid addiction. The burden of supporting our communities falls disproportionately on our churches and faith institutions. It’s time we got our money’s worth from Washington, and Joshua McCall is exactly the man to help make that happen.”
Background: Consideration of endorsement by the national organization requires prior endorsement from a local affiliate. Our Revolution has numerous affiliates throughout the state whose leadership jointly approve endorsements – with deference given to the chapter closest to the district in question. McCall’s endorsement represents the agreement of affiliates and leadership from Savannah to Atlanta, Athens to Henry County.
Collins Praises House Passage of Pro-life Survivor Protection Act
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) helped the House of Representatives pass H.R. 4712, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act today. Collins is an original cosponsor of this legislation.
“The crowds of people joining the March for Life today remind us that support for pro-life policies remains deep across America. I share those convictions and am pleased to see the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act pass out of the House. Children born alive during an abortion attempt are particularly vulnerable, and they should be guaranteed the medical treatment due to any other newborn. In passing this legislation, we’ve taken action to ensure that doctors deliver such medical care to these children,” said Collins.
H.R. 4712 would also prohibit medical providers from continuing the abortion procedure post-birth and hold doctors criminally accountable for failing to offer care to infants born alive during an abortion.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act will proceed to the Senate for consideration.
Collins Hosts Veterans Benefits Fair
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) is hosting a benefits fair for veterans residing in Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District on January 24. United States military veterans are invited to attend the event at the University of North Georgia, where they can ask questions and meet caseworkers from Collins’s office.
Representatives from the Atlanta Regional Veterans Affairs Office, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Georgia National Cemetery, Georgia Department of Veterans Service, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program, and Hire Heroes USA will also participate in the event.
Additional details are available below.
ICYMI: The Music Modernization Act Will Provide a Needed Update to Copyright Laws
WASHINGTON—This op ed by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) first appeared in The Hill on January 11, 2018.
I spent my northeast Georgia youth replaying tracks from “Bat Out of Hell” and “Hotel California.” And, of course, staples from Steely Dan. I welcomed the evolution from the 8-track to cassette to CD, but the LP and 45 vinyl predate even me. So, I was stunned to learn, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee—which has jurisdiction over intellectual property rights—that some of the copyright law governing music licensing was actually designed to regulate the player piano and has endured more than a century without meaningful update.
An overview of the music licensing landscape reveals that the status quo isn’t serving industry stakeholders, so the question becomes one of sustainability. Can music lovers count on a robust pipeline of tunes to carry them into the future? Absent substantive changes to the system that has disenfranchised creators, songwriters, publishers and even digital providers have their doubts. But efforts to unify these creators, digital streaming services and other key players around a path forward have faltered until recently. Very recently.
This December, countless hours of collaboration and cooperation came to fruition in a compromise that would be the most substantial update to copyright law since 1998. Today, our jeans pockets are more likely to be lined with iPhones than lint balls, yet the laws that currently regulate how tech giants like Spotify pay songwriters were cemented before the concept of digital streaming was born. The Music Modernization Act (MMA) would literally usher copyright laws into the 21st century.
The bill tackles four dimensions of music licensing. First, the bill addresses the fact that digital music companies regularly fail to pay songwriters and copyright owners properly for interactive streaming services. The trouble often arises from inefficiencies and information gaps.
Tech companies like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Google Play frequently file bulk Notice of Intentions (NOIs) with the Copyright Office that allow them to obtain a license for music for which they can’t locate ownership information. Since this process became available in 2016, some estimated 45 million NOIs have been filed with the Copyright Office.
This “bulk NOI” shortcut has taken millions of dollars in income out of the pockets of songwriters who rely on streaming services to find the proper owners of music and issue those owners prompt and appropriate payment. It’s also left tech companies legally exposed when they use music without knowing or paying its owners.
The MMA renovates the NOI process so that music creators get paid and digital companies reduce their liability and increase operational efficiencies. The legislation would establish a Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) that would accurately compensate songwriters for the mechanical royalties they earn through interactive streaming. In exchange, the collective would afford digital providers—which would fund the collective—with blanket usage licenses for songs.
The MLC would accomplish this by providing the digital services with efficient access to the information they need in order to know which songwriters to pay for which songs. Though songwriters have never had a seat at the music licensing table, both publishers and songwriters would sit on the board of the MLC to ensure it operates transparently.
The MMA also provides songwriters a chance to get fair-market mechanical royalty rates (the rate paid for the reproduction and distribution of a song) in the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) proceedings that set those rates every five years. As it stands, songwriters can’t set prices for their own work. Instead, CRB judges determine royalty rates based on an outdated test that has depressed rates for decades. The MMA changes the standard the board uses to a “willing buyer/willing seller” consideration. In other words, the CRB would set the rates to reflect the market value of the corresponding use of a song.
Finally, the bill improves the process through which performance royalty rates (the rate paid to song writers when their music is played for an audience) are set for BMI and ASCAP, the two largest performance rights organizations. Currently, ASCAP and BMI cases are each assigned to a respective judge. The MMA would implement a rotation of the judges who decide ASCAP and BMI cases and would enable the rate court judges to consider relevant market-based evidence when determining performance rates for songwriters. Again, this change moves the industry toward a fairer, freer market for music licensing, and that benefits music creators, music providers and music lovers alike.
The MMA is unprecedented not only for what it sets out to do, but for who has signed on. The Digital Media Association (DiMA)—representing Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify and YouTube—and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)—representing U.S. music publishers and songwriters—both support the bill.
Songwriters groups including ASCAP, BMI, the Nashville Songwriters Association International, Songwriters of North America and others have also welcomed this legislation as a compromise that benefits a cross-spectrum of stakeholders.
So, too, have labels and artists, as reflected in the support of the Recording Industry Association of America, American Association of Independent Music, American Federation of Musicians, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, SoundExchange and the Grammys.
Knowing that today’s music ecosystem suffers under heavy-handed government intervention and defunct copyright policy, I’m grateful that my colleagues Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) look past partisanship toward solutions that will take music licensing from the dark ages into the digital age.
The agreement that creators and digital providers have struck also testifies to the leadership of Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who made copyright reform a priority for the House Judiciary Committee. As we look forward to a markup of the Music Modernization Act in the coming weeks, the question is not whether we have a viable resolution to an industry stalemate but whether we have the resolve to see that agreement through. I believe we do.
Rep. Doug Collins has represented Georgia’s 9th District since 2013. He is the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and a member of the Judiciary and Rules Committees.
Collins Praises Rural Broadband Executive Order
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump today signed an executive order focused on improving high-speed internet access in rural America. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the Gigabit Opportunity (GO) Act to support this priority last June and issued the following statement in response to the president’s order:
“Once again, President Trump is making a smart, strong investment in rural America with his executive order directing resources to develop broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. For too long, communities on the wrong end of the digital divide have had to pursue educational attainment and business development with their hands tied behind their backs by copper DSL cables.
“I’m grateful that our president understands that innovation fuels our economy and that high-speed internet access has become a prerequisite to sustainable economic growth. I introduced the Gigabit Opportunity Act because northeast Georgians have been waiting for meaningful infrastructure investments to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, and today’s executive order helps move us closer to that goal.”
Gainesville Students to Attend Air Force and Naval Academies
GAINESVILLE, Ga.—Two students from northeast Georgia have been offered admission to a U.S. military academy. Cameron Sturdivant will join the class of 2022 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Chase Nufer will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) nominated these students to the military academies because of their integrity and track record of accomplishment in the community.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Cameron and Chase, who have dedicated themselves to servant leadership roles early in life. I look forward to their success in Colorado Springs and Annapolis as they reflect the strong character of northeast Georgia,” said Collins.
Sturdivant is the son of Ms. Chere Rucker. He attends Gainesville High School and is following in the footsteps of his brother, Mr. Donovan Moss, who is currently a senior at the Air Force Academy.
Nufer, son of Mr. Peter & Ms. Heidi Nufer, is the captain of the baseball team at Forsyth Central High School and a member of the National Honor Society.
ICYMI: Collins Discusses Abedin Email Revelation with Fox News
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined Fox News today to unpack the latest developments surrounding the Russia investigation and the revelation that Secretary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, shared classified information over a private email account.
On whether any evidence shows collusion in the Russia investigation:
“I think what we’ve seen is none at this point. . . . Let the investigation go. If somebody did something wrong, we’ve always said those should be held accountable.”
“The frustration here is ‘What are we actually going for?’ The president has got an agenda to move American forward . . . we need to focus on what really matters, and, look, Democrats are just simply playing politics with this issue again.”
“Let’s see where the facts lead. This is something that’s been investigated. It’s being investigated—not only through the Mueller investigation, if there’s a Russian connection—but it’s also being investigated on Capitol Hill, both in the Senate and in the House.”
On the revelation that Huma Abedin shared State Department information over a private e-mail account:
“Democrats can say it’s partisan, but I’m just simply saying, ‘What is the law?’ and you can’t be in a position that Hillary Clinton was in or Huma Abedin was in and actually be in a position to say, ‘Oops, I just didn’t know—Oops, it was careless.’ No, it was gross negligence.”
Collins Answers Questions at Tax Reform Final Passage
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined Fox News today to address questions as the House voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s final passage.
Collins also said of today’s vote, “The House just took the final, confident step to send pro-family, pro-growth, pro-hope tax reform to President Trump’s desk. This process started in the House, and I’m excited to have voted to keep our promise to the American people—again.”
On who will see the benefit of tax reform:
“The majority of Americans are going to see money in their pockets. . . . That’s the kind of growth we’re looking for, that’s the kind of thing that, come February—when they see their paychecks—they’re going to know that what we’re talking about here actually matters to the American public.”
On Democrats’ claims that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a bad bill:
“The problem here is not the tax code. The problem here is that [Democrats] want to politicize the tax code because they believe that the government is a much better way to spend people’s money. . . . Come February, let them look some of their constituents in the eyes and say, ‘You know, I really didn’t want you to get that money back in your paycheck. We could spend it better.’ That will be an interesting argument.”
Collins Praises House Passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Report
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives passed the conference report to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This move sends the bill to the Senate for a final vote that would land the bill on the president’s desk. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement in response:
“Today’s vote in the People’s House helps turn promise and potential into reality. Republicans have confidence in the potential of the American worker to make our country grow again—that’s why they are the foundation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We’re giving job creators more reasons to invest in America’s workforce, strengthening our economy and our communities. We’re making the IRS less ravenous and putting more money back in the hands of American families so that they can pursue more of their ambitions on their own terms. A decade of the status quo has guaranteed us only a stagnant economy. Republicans promised to reform a broken, bloated tax system so that Americans can chart a path out of economic anxiety and into economic empowerment. We’re keeping that promise today.”
Collins Discusses Rosenstein Briefing and Tax Reform
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Fox News today to discuss the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He also spoke with Fox Business about the status of conservative tax reform and potential for infrastructure development in 2018.
On whether the Deputy Attorney General offered satisfactory answers at the oversight hearing:
“No, I’m not satisfied at all. In fact, Mr. Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, shouldn’t be satisfied.”
“We’ve not even answered simple things like is [Strzok] still in communication with the Mueller team? Does he have a security clearance? Why was he put in human resources where he could influence other people?”
On the status of tax reform:
“We’re on the . . . very verge of getting exactly what we’ve told the American people we’re going to do and what the president said—by the end of this year, by Christmas actually, we’re going to pass a tax reform package that begins the process of doing what I’ve said before. We’ve got the best workers in the world, we’ve got the best ideas in the world, we’ve got an energy independence—we’ve got the worst tax system.
“Now we’re able to start saying we’ve got a tax system that puts us competitive not only with the world but [that] puts money into people’s pockets come the first of the year, and that’s something we’re excited about.”
President Trump Signs NDAA, Collins TRICARE Language into Law
“PBMs keep their operations in the shadows in order to take advantage of patients and taxpayers. I worked to have this language included as part of the NDAA to help America’s service members and their families get the medicines they need while keeping drug prices appropriately competitive for patients and taxpayers under the TRICARE program.”
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump today signed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. The NDAA included language authored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to update their MAC pricing lists every seven days so that those lists reflect market prices accurately.
Without this provision, PBMs routinely wait weeks and months to update the MAC reimbursement lists, enabling them to underpay pharmacies and overcharge TRICARE.
“PBMs keep their operations in the shadows in order to take advantage of patients and taxpayers. I worked to have this language included as part of the NDAA to help America’s service members and their families get the medicines they need while keeping drug prices appropriately competitive for patients and taxpayers under the TRICARE program,” said Collins.
Collins’s provision can be found in section 714 of the NDAA and took effect immediately upon becoming law.