Category Archives: Politics

Rep. Tom Graves Votes to Strengthen Georgia Military Installations

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) today voted for and the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Defense.

“Not only does this legislation provide the critical resources our troops depend on, it also strengthens Georgia’s military installations, along with the communities they support,” said Rep. Graves.

The bill includes Rep. Graves’ provision to speed the replacement of a critical radar system and aircraft, known as the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS). The technology, which is stationed at Robins Air Force Base, significantly enhances the ability of our warplanes and other military assets to target enemy combatants and help protect our soldiers on the ground by detecting threats and allowing for better coordinated, more effective support.

In addition, the bill increases crucial funding for cyber defense, including for the activities at Fort Gordon, which hosts the Army Cyber Center of Excellence. These resources will help address the growing threat of cyberattacks.

Among other wins for Georgia, the legislation prohibits the retirement of the A-10C Warthog fleet, a significant portion of which are stationed at Moody Air Force Base. These aircraft are frequently utilized in the fight against the Islamic State, and their mission at Moody contributes to the Base’s importance.

“With more than 100,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen in Georgia – the fourth largest military population in the nation – I am proud to support our men and women in uniform by voting for this legislation,” said Rep. Graves.

Sen. Steve Gooch Calls for Immediate Action to Protect Students’ Privacy

In a letter addressed to Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) along with the Senate Republican Caucus is calling for immediate action against the Obama administration’s attempt to circumvent the constitution to push its own agenda upon the American people.

Sen. Gooch released the following statement:

“Obama’s latest twisting of the legal code is a reckless disregard for the safety of students in our public schools across Georgia. A federal directive has been issued to our local school administrators that forces schools to abide by the administration’s beliefs that allow self-identified transgendered students to be protected in using restrooms of their choosing. In addition to forcing our schools to open up public restrooms to anyone, the directive issued to our schools was issued as part of Title IX enforcement. This means that, though there is no legal penalty, our schools could lose much needed funding for not complying with this directive.

This is simply going too far. We are approaching eight years of Obama’s manipulating, twisting and disregard for the American legal system to push an agenda that the American people simply do not agree with. In this case, we are now being forced to open up school restrooms, locker rooms and dormitories to perverts, sexual predators and social deviants. If we do not stand up against this directive in our schools, we lose the right to protect our own children. As a father of three young children in public schools, I am appalled at the decisions of this President.

Below you can find the entire letter written to Governor Deal and Attorney General Olens. I encourage everyone to read this letter and help Georgia stand up against this clear abuse of executive power.”

The Honorable Nathan Deal
Governor of Georgia
111 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

The Honorable Sam Olens
Attorney General of Georgia
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Governor Deal and Attorney General Olens:

We understand that the Obama administration has issued a federal directive to our local schools under the guise of Title IX enforcement. Though we recognize that this directive does not carry the force of law, it does imply the potential loss of Title IX funds if schools do not comply. In addition, local schools that do not abide by the federal guidelines on transgender students could be targeted for lawsuits. 

As we should know by now, the social engineering goals of the Left are designed to destroy our constitutional system of federalism in order to grow the power of the federal government in all aspects of our lives. This latest intrusion comes at the cost of our children and goes against all common sense, modesty, and nature itself. 

This federal directive endangers children in various ways. First, it destroys all expectations of privacy in the restroom, locker room, and dormitory. Immediate and long-term consequences will follow. Unfortunately, the ones most likely to be victimized will be the girls in our schools. We are hearing reports where this open-door policy has been implemented, that voyeurism and sexual exploitation have occurred. Sexual assaults will not be far behind. Predators will seize the opportunity to pretend to be transgender in order to gain access to women’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and dorms. What kind of scars will result for girls who are exposed to this type of abuse? 

Beyond the critical issue of student safety is the broader issue of privacy and decency. Most Georgia parents try to instill in their children respect for natural modesty around members of the opposite sex. The federal government is now dictating that the schools override these teachings, and instead inculcate in students the demonstrably false and harmful philosophy that there are no natural differences between the sexes and that any common-sense recognition of those differences is somehow discriminatory. No government has the right to confuse children by teaching them to disregard reality.

We already see that students and parents in Illinois have filed suit against federal Executive Branch officials and Township High School District 211 for its implementation of this directive. The plaintiffs state that it has created “an intimidating and hostile environment” for female students. They experience “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, intimidation, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation, and loss of dignity” due to the constant awareness that anytime they use the restrooms or locker rooms that a biological male could be present with them while they are in a state of undress or attending to their private bodily needs.

Aside from the fact that we do not want to create a hostile and potentially dangerous environment for the girls in our schools, we also do not want to put parents in a position where they will be compelled to sue federal Executive Branch officials and local school systems. The State of Georgia must step in to shield our students from harmful federal policies.

We are also concerned that this directive flies in the face of accepted medical science. The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) urges us to “reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.” Yet, this new federal directive sets in place the very pattern that would lead these children to eventually seek out such chemical and surgical methods. 

The ACP states, “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria.”  The fulfillment of the desires of gender dysphoria significantly increases the risk of suicide. According to the ACP, “Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT- affirming countries.” The good news, however, is that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that “as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.” 

Friday’s disturbing letter to our local schools essentially endorses gender dysphoria as “normal.” According to ACP such policies “confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will ‘choose’ a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”

The policy of this state has always been to protect its citizens, especially our most vulnerable such as children, from abuse. Unfortunately, this new federal policy is increasing the risk for injury to unsuspecting and innocent girls in our schools. Furthermore, as stated by the ACP, “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” 

As a state, we would never embark upon such policies like this. In fact, we do all that we can to protect children. For example, we ensure that children wear seatbelts. We do not allow them to drink alcohol or buy cigarettes until they are 21. We provide significant penalties for those who use children in sex trafficking. We remove children from the custody of those who abuse them.

The federal Executive Branch has now assumed the role of the abuser by threatening the safety and welfare of the children of the State of Georgia. We cannot be complicit in this abuse by being complacent. We must be proactive to come to the defense of our children.

We urge that you take immediate action on at least two fronts. First, we urge you to file suit against the Executive Branch of the federal government for overreaching its constitutional authority. Title IX does not include “gender identity,” and federal bureaucrats have no constitutional authority to declare that the law covers these situations. Second, we urge you to send a letter to every public school and public institution of higher education in our state to assure them that the State of Georgia will defend them against any lawsuit that may result from not complying with this federal directive.

Sincerely,  

Steve Gooch
Senator
District  51

Congressman Collins: Court Ruling an Opportunity to Protect Religious Freedom

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously decided to send the case of Zubik v. Burwell back to the lower courts in order to reach a compromise between parties on the overreaching Obamacare contraceptive mandate. Congressman Collins issued the following statement on the ruling:

“By vacating the lower-court ruling, Little Sisters of the Poor, and their fellow petitioners, will have an opportunity to seek a compromise that will accommodate their religious objections to the contraceptive mandate. The Sisters have been called to lifelong service because of their deeply held religious beliefs, and the court’s decision shows a willingness to reach a resolution that will not force the Sisters to violate their conscience. The contraceptive mandate is another example of this administration’s attempts at bullying the American public into following flawed policy. The ruling was a victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor, but it should not take a court decision to ensure that people are not forced to violate their religious beliefs. As one of the 200 Members of Congress who signed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor, I will continue to fight for a full repeal of Obamacare, and replace it with a patient-centered solution that works for individuals, small businesses, religious organizations, and families alike.”