Gwinnett Daily Post - Gwinnett, Georgia Republicans Look Ahead to Trump Presidency

News Article

Date: Nov. 9, 2016
Location: Gwinnett, GA
Issues: Elections

By Curt Yeomans

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall won a fourth term in Congress on Tuesday, but most of the local Republican's excitement on Wednesday was focused on who will be occupying the White House for the next four years rather than his own victory.

Donald Trump's election has local Republicans excited about what the next four years holds. Although Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won Gwinnett County, the businessman won a close national race, being proclaimed the winner after results in key states, such as Utah, Arizona and Pennsylvania went his way.

"I am anxious to get back to work," Woodall said in statement. "So often in the U.S. House, we have delivered results on America's priorities only to by stymied by an intransigent White House. Those days of intransigence are over. America voted for change tonight. America voted for accountability and transparency.

"Donald Trump ran with the promise of ending the status quo and rolling up his sleeves on day one to go to work for America. I have high expectations for all of the American priorities that we can accomplish together."

Local Republicans took stock of Trump's victory and what the Republican Party's return to the White House means for the country on Wednesday.

Gwinnett County Republican Party Chairman Rich Carithers said he expected jobs, particularly in the manufacturing field, could be an issue addressed early in Trump's administration.

"I think his first year in office will focus on getting American manufacturing and American building positions built up or making sure manufacturing is stabilized, and on growing business," Carithers said. "He needs to make sure jobs that have been sent overseas are brought back to America."

Meanwhile, Woodall isn't the only Republican representing Gwinnett residents in Washington D.C. who is looking forward to working with Trump. In fact, some GOP elected officials, such as Sen. David Perdue, have been envisioning what kind of policy changes could happen under a Trump presidency for months.

When Perdue sat down with the Daily Post in August, he predicted a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, would come quickly under a Trump presidency.

"I believe if we keep the majority in the Senate, we'll repeal Obamacare early next year, just like we did this year," he said. "The difference will be President Trump wouldn't veto it, so Obamacare is gone. That will happen, and I suspect a lot of executive orders, including Waters of the U.S., the coal executive orders and all of those will be undone pretty early in his presidency."

The Waters of the U.S. rule proved particularly concerning to Gwinnett because of the expanded reach the federal government would gain over smaller, local waterways. Gwinnett officials were so concerned that they wrote to Perdue to express their thoughts on the matter and he, in turn, read their letter aloud in a Senate hearing on the rule.

Early Wednesday morning, Perdue called Trump's election a sign that voters want changes in government.

"The American people sent a strong message, and it is past time for Washington to listen," Perdue said in a statement. "We had a clear choice this election between an outsider, businessman who is committed to restoring American greatness and a dishonest career politician who has failed to help the very people she claimed to champion.

"Americans wisely chose to elect Donald Trump as our next President and Mike Pence as our next Vice President."

Sen. Johnny Isakson, who compared the movement behind Trump's candidacy to the one behind Ronald Reagan in 1980, said the president-elect and Congress need to work together to "promote a level playing field and institute commonsense, pro-job growth solutions."

He added that officials in Washington need to view Trump's election as a message from voters about the direction they want the country to take.

"The genius of America is that the real power always rests with the voters, and America's voters sent a clear message (Tuesday) night," Isakson said in a statement. "They want our military to receive better support. They want us to defeat the Islamic State and not allow terror to gain a stronghold on our lives. They want us to stand up for our veterans as our veterans have stood up for all of us.

"Voters also sent the message that they will no longer tolerate the onslaught of onerous government regulation and red tape placed upon hardworking Americans and job-creators."

There is the question of what role Perdue, an ardent Trump surrogate in Georgia, could play either in the new president's administration or as an ally in the Senate.

There have been some reports for months that Perdue could be considered for a cabinet position. Political website, Politico, speculated this week, however, that a different Perdue from Georgia -- the senator's cousin (and former Georgia Governor) Sonny Perdue -- could end up in the cabinet, as a possible agriculture secretary pick.

Sen. Perdue was a bit coy about whether he would take a cabinet position when he was asked about it during his visit to the Daily Post earlier this year.

"I will look at whatever way I can to help the most change the direction of the country," he said at the time. "I'm in a role right now that fits me very well. It fits my background … I'm having some impact, but my only goal is to get this direction changed."