POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: US House passes Rep. Jody Hice's veterans education bill

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., won near unanimous support in the House of Representatives this week for legislation he sponsored to help veterans pursue higher education.

The Protecting Veterans Educational Choice Act, also known more formally as H.R. 5047, passed in the House by a 411-3 vote on Wednesday. All three of Gwinnett’s congressmen — including Hice and Reps. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., and Hank Johnson, D-Ga. — voted for passage of the bill.

“Our warfighters are our nation’s most valuable assets, and this should remain the case when they step back into civilian life,” Hice said in a statement. “Unfortunately, simply due to a lack of information and counseling, many of our heroes struggle with educational opportunities when they return home.

“By providing our student-veterans with the right resources, H.R. 5047 will help them acquire the education and training needed to begin a new career after leaving the military.”

Hice’s bill requires educational and vocational counselors at the Department of Veterans Affairs provide information about agreements about transferring college credits between colleges and universities to veterans and active duty military personnel who request it.

“With the passage of the Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act, we are working to address the flaws in the system to ensure that our veterans have the information they need to make the best decision possible for themselves and their families,” Hice said.

Local church offering ‘Post-Election Discussion’

Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church is offering Republicans and Democrats a chance to discuss their feelings about the outcome of the recent presidential election.

The Post-Election Discussion will take place at noon on Dec. 10 in the church’s education building, and will be led by Rev. Dave Fry. The church is describing it as a way for supporters of all candidates to come together in unity and reflect on President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Attendees will be broken up into “hopeful” and “hurting” groups before they are brought together to discuss the election and pray. The church is located at 3700 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

Congressmen, senators praise Tom Price’s cabinet nomination

Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation cheered the news that one of their own, Rep. Tom Price, will be President Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary.

Trump announced the nomination earlier this week. If the appointment is confirmed, Price, a doctor by trade, will have the president-elect’s ear on health policy issues as a member of Trump’s cabinet. Price also authored legislation that has been pointed to by other Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation as a viable alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

“Tom is a fellow Georgian who understands that we need to stop Washington’s takeover of our health care system,” Sen. David Perdue said in a statement. “As a doctor, he is seen as a leading voice on health care policy and has a common-sense plan to replace Obamacare that will lower costs and put patients in charge of their health care choices.”

Sen. Johnny Isakson added, “By nominating Tom to fill this post, President-elect Trump is signaling his commitment to repealing Obamacare. With Tom at the helm, we can begin implementing free-market principles that will increase choice and lower the cost of health care for families and businesses.”

Rep. Jody Hice echoed those sentiments that Price’s nomination may be a sign that President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation could be dismantled after Trump takes office.

“As a fellow Georgian and having served alongside Congressman Price, I am confident that he will lead the way in the Trump administration to implement real, patient-centered healthcare solutions as Secretary of HHS,” Hice said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with him to bring our nation’s healthcare system into the 21st century.”

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.


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