The political gulf between U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, and his Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux is a wide one. The 7th Congressional District opponents disagree on everything from President Donald Trump to the best way to offer health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Here is where they stand on several key issues:
Woodall is an acolyte of the Fair Tax, a proposal that would replace federal personal and corporate income taxes with a national sales tax. That doesn’t mean the four-term Republican wasn’t emphatically supportive of his party’s tax cuts last year, as well as a supplemental effort earlier this fall to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. Of the former, Woodall said the plan marked “tremendous progress and is the fulfillment of a commitment made to the American people.” He wants a more simplified and transparent tax code that promotes economic competitiveness.
Bourdeaux, who once led the Georgia Senate’s Budget Office, has slammed the recent tax cuts as a “cash advance on our national credit card” that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and big businesses. Bourdeaux previously called for its repeal but has recently said she would want to “revisit” it. She said she’d prefer tax cuts that are more targeted to the middle class, such as an expansion of the earned income tax credit. “While I do support a decrease in the corporate income tax rate, this current tax cut is simply unaffordable and should not be paid for by middle-class seniors,” she says on her campaign site.
Bourdeaux has made health care her central issue. The Affordable Care Act should be protected and strengthened with the introduction of a public option on the exchanges, she says. Bourdeaux also wants to expand Medicaid and allow Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate better drug prices. On women’s health, she’s supportive of abortion rights and has vowed to fight to ensure insurance covers contraceptives and maternity care.
Woodall has voted repeatedly to repeal the ACA, which he says is an inflexible “one-size-fits-all policy” that has led to skyrocketing premiums for patients. “We can do better, but we must act quickly before more families are harmed,” Woodall said in 2017. He backed his party’s ACA replacement legislation last year, which he said would have protected “all families with pre-existing conditions.” He opposes abortion.
Woodall says the government needs to enforce immigration laws that are already on the books. When Trump moved to end an Obama-era program that offered legal status to young unauthorized immigrants known as Dreamers, he applauded the president “for committing to work with Congress on real, permanent solutions.” Woodall backed two GOP-authored measures to address the family separation crisis earlier this year that sought to make broader structural changes to the country’s immigration laws but fell short of passage.
Bourdeaux wants Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul that offers Dreamers a path to citizenship, doesn’t separate children from their parents and “respects human dignity and recognizes the economic realities on the ground.” “We need a system that recognizes the value of immigrants, while protecting all workers with fair labor practices,” her campaign site states.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is covering the issues and candidates up and down the ballot in a busy election year. Look for more at ajc.com/politics as the state heads for the general election on Nov. 6.
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