Dacula Patch recently sat down with Rep. Rob Woodall to discuss the budget, the debt crisis and his time so far in Washington. In part one of a three part series, Rep. Woodall offers his assessment of the recent budget negotiations.
After weeks of negotiations and , Democrats and Republicans hammered out a deal that left those on both sides of the aisle less than completely satisfied.
“It pains me that there is so much real disappointment,” Woodall said. “I wish we’d gotten more.”
However, given the current political situation, Woodall feels conservatives accomplished a great deal. Woodall said he tried to imagine what it would have been like if the situation were reversed and conservatives controlled the Senate and the White House.
“Who in Dacula would put up with it if a conservative United States Senate and a conservative United States President gave in to a bunch of demands from a raucous Democratic House?” Woodall asked. “The amazing thing is that the President and Harry Reid had to sit down with John Boehner. The amazing thing is that we’re talking about how much to cut period.”
Woodall said the fact that spending has been frozen at 2010 levels has been completely ignored.
“And I love that it’s been ignored,” he said. “That’s unheard of. We’re usually arguing about how much money to spend anew and yet the American public just assumes we are going to freeze and that we’re going down from there. What a wonderful change in the environment that is.”
Woodall said Republicans negotiated the deal they did in an effort to immediately address the budget crisis.
“It is not good enough for me serving the 7th District of Georgia to just stand on the House floor and beat my chest all day long and have nothing get signed into law,” he said. “We can’t afford to waste these next two years. The problem is much too big.”
According to Woodall, the budget negotiations did offer Republicans a chance to do more than simply freeze spending. Woodall said House Majority Leader John Boehner’s budget proposal was initially met with opposition from freshman legislators who wanted to do more. Ultimately, it was the hue and cry from those freshmen that enabled Boehner to negotiate a budget with President Obama that gave no ground from Boehner's original proposal.
“We were able to up the number in the House so that when he got negotiated down by the Senate and Harry Reid, he ended up at exactly where he thought we should have started,” Woodall said. “That’s a big deal.”
Though Woodall is not entirely satisfied with the budget outcome, he is glad to have the 2011 appropriations bill behind him.
“It never should have been on our plate. It was on our plate because the Democrats didn’t do their job,” he said.
Even if the budget deal did not include all the cuts he would have liked, Woodall said passage of the bill was the right thing to do.
“I am absolutely looking for those things we can win on today -- whether it is a little or a lot -- and then saddle up again tomorrow and fight again,” he said.
Visit Dacula Patch tomorrow to learn what Rep. Woodall had to say about the .