Stacey Abrams outside of Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Monday, September 10, 2018. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

The Jolt: Abrams is back on TV, this time with a healthcare message

Since losing the race for governor Stacey Abrams has filed a lawsuit challenging the electoral system, waded into national voting rights debates and dropped hints that she’s preparing for another bid for office. 

Now she’s made another move that telegraphs “I’m running for something.” Her group, Fair Fight Action, is airing TV ads to remind Georgians about the Dec. 15 deadline to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. 

The ad features Abrams speaking directly to camera to encourage Georgians to go to healthcare.gov to sign up for the coverage. The ads are also captioned in Spanish to target Latino populations. 

Watch it here:

Abrams made expanding Medicaid a calling card of her campaign, but her new group has focused the bulk of its efforts over the last month on voting policy.

With the donor-funded ads, Abrams is keeping her name ID high while joining a slew of other Democrats - including Barack Obama - reminding voters of the pending deadline. 

What race she’s eyeing is still uncertain. She’s teased interest in challenging U.S. Sen. David Perdue in 2020 or a rematch against Brian Kemp in 2022.

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Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams’ group remains in the thick of the feud over ballot access. 

Lauren Groh-Wargo, the organization’s chief executive, is urging supporters to pack Wednesday’s meeting of Kemp’s SAFE committee in Macon. 

“This meeting is open to the public, and we need a show of force to make sure this commission - and Brian Kemp himself - know that we are watching,” she wrote to supporters. 

“We need to hold this committee accountable and prevent them from making recommendations that will actively harm Georgia voters and compromise the future of our elections.”

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President Donald Trump’s extraordinary Oval Office meeting with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer sent several Georgia congressmen reeling on Tuesday as they scrambled to secure emergency Hurricane Michael cleanup money. 

Trump’s comments that he would be “proud” to shut down the government over his long-promised border wall, paired with Pelosi and Schumer’s defiant tone, heightened the possibility of a late December government shutdown. T

hat would not bode well for senior members of the Georgia delegation, who have been working quietly in recent weeks to attach the Michael funds to a must-pass government spending bill

Trump is also looking to secure money for the wall in the same legislation, a contentious proposition that threatens to bring the entire government funding process to a halt.

Georgia lawmakers want Congress to pass the Michael money before the end of the calendar year to give farmers and their lenders enough time to sort out finances before they plant their 2019 crop. 

Not only is the schedule tight on Capitol Hill, but there are few pieces of legislation that will actually be moving in the days ahead that lawmakers could attach it to for speedy passage. 

There is growing chatter that they could try and move the Hurricane Michael money by itself, separating it from the border wall fracas, but that’s also not considered an easy lift.

The House is scheduled to adjourn for six days beginning on Thursday afternoon, leaving very little room for error.

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Hours after House-Senate negotiators unveiled the details of a compromise farm bill, the U.S. Senate was already voting on the $867 billion measure. 

Both Georgia GOP senators joined the majority of their colleagues to vote in favor of the legislation, quickly sending it to the House on Tuesday.

Most Georgia House lawmakers are expected to support the measure when it comes up for a vote, which could happen latertoday, even though it left out major changes to the food stamp program that had long been sought by conservatives

One Georgian to watch is U.S. Rep. Jody Hice. The two-term Monroe Republican is an active member of the House Freedom Caucus – he’s expressed interest in leading the ultra-conservative group in the new year – and has voted against major legislation he’s deemed too expensive or insufficiently conservative. 

A Hice spokeswoman said he is still evaluating the legislation but also expressed frustration that it abandoned new work requirements for food stamp recipients.

“After months of negotiations and discussions, it’s unfortunate that the Senate won’t consider working with the House on much-needed reforms that would help to rein in the cycle of dependency,” she said.

Hice supported more conservative versions of the bill earlier this year. 

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