Gingrey tours district, stops in Bartow
by Matt Shinall
Aug 20, 2010 | 1064 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., represents District 11, including Bartow. During a congressional recess, Gingrey toured the nine counties under his representation including a trip to Bartow Wednesday.

Having lunch with the Bartow Business Association, Gingrey stopped by The Daily Tribune News before conducting a town hall meeting in Cedartown which was filmed to air on CSPAN.

Gingrey faces no opposition in the upcoming election, instead he promoted a website enlisting the help of the American public from both sides of the aisle to comment, critique and question matters of national importance. America Speaking Out is a House Republican initiative opening a public forum online addressing a wide range of topics at www.americaspeakingout.com.

"We want to find out during this August recess what the people of our districts, all 435 of them, want in regard to better solutions and we have put on that website five different categories. Obviously the economy is one of the main ones but health care, national defense, trade issues, fiscal [responsibility] and a category for the browser who goes to the website to add in their opinion and actually comment on other people's suggestions. So we will have a compilation of a lot of data -- Main Street input, not Wall Street, not inside the Beltway but Main Street to decide exactly what the people want in the way of a contract with America."

Gingrey also spoke to the continuing dissatisfaction with the Democrat administration. He predicted a strong showing for Republicans at November's mid-term elections including a victory for Nathan Deal in his bid to be Georgia's next governor.

"Democrats are very worried about whether they will be able to hold on to the majority, particularly in the House of Representatives, and I think appropriately so. President Obama is beginning to worry about his re-elect," Gingrey said. "[Constituents] want some promises, they want some assurances that this time that [Republicans] are not going to be Democrat-like and continue this spending and this debt accumulation and year-over-year deficits and that's what we have to convince the American people if we are going to regain the majority."

Gingrey remembered fondly the days of his first appearance in elected office on a non-partisan school board. Comparing the current mood in Washington with his earlier years in the Georgia Legislature under Gov. Roy Barnes, he added that frustration came soon after the novelty of his freshman status wore off.

"I'm excited about the prospects of getting the majority back. I served in the Georgia Senate for four years and I was in the majority the entire time," Gingrey said. "Quite honestly after the first year of the excitement of being referred to as 'Hello Senator,' I was getting a little frustrated."

Speaking to current topics on Capitol Hill, Gingrey expressed the need for tax reform and the continuation of the Bush tax cuts scheduled to run out at the end of this year. Citing unemployment numbers, he called for initiatives that would serve to aid small businesses.

"We're suffering maybe even more than metropolitan Atlanta. I mean the unemployment rate district wide is more than 10 percent, just under 11 [percent], Bartow is 11.2 [percent], Chattooga is probably a little bit higher than that," Gingrey said. "People are worried. ... I think the answer is mainly to give some tax breaks to small businessmen and women.

"I can't believe that the president and the Democratic majority would let these tax cuts expire for these job creators at a time when we have this high unemployment rate and 16 million people out of work. It is counter-intuitive to the way I think. So, I am very hopeful that we will be able to continue the 2001, 2003 tax cuts that were passed under Republican majority and President Bush because this is not a time to be raising taxes."

Gingrey will hold two more town hall sessions before the recess ends, the next will take place in Acworth on Aug. 26 followed by an appearance in Dallas on Sept. 7. Listening sessions are also planned throughout the district in Gordon, Carroll and Haralson counties. For more information visit www.gingrey.house.gov.