News Center

Friday, September 14, 2018

Be prepared

Dear friends,

Hurricane Florence made landfall last night, and it has the potential to affect our state in the coming days. Governor Nathan Deal has issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in Georgia. I urge all Georgians to be vigilant, heed the advice of state and local officials, and please take advantage of this window of time and the many available resources to prepare for this or any storm we may see in the months ahead.

Georgia Hurricane Resources:

  • View up-to-date emergency declarations from Governor Deal here.
  • View updates from Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency here.
  • Download the Ready Georgia app for weather alerts and emergency preparedness tips.
  • Follow Georgia 511 for real-time traffic information.
  • Learn what to do before, during, and after a flood here.
  • Report power outages by contacting your power provider. The two main providers in Georgia are:  
    • Georgia Power (contact here or at 888-891-0938)
    • Georgia EMC (find your local branch here)
  • Call your local non-emergency police line to report a downed tree in a main road.

Funding the Government

On Wednesday, the Senate passed the first funding bill for fiscal year 2019 ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline, and the president is soon expected to sign it into law. The legislation included legislation to fund Veterans’ Affairs, energy, water, and military construction, and other areas of the government.

The funding measure will help continue the implementation of our VA MISSION Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. It also includes needed funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, our service members at Georgia military installations and their families, and our nuclear security programs.

I’m pleased to see the Senate continue to complete our government funding measures on time and through regular order to help ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars.

In Other News

  • Last week, I visited the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center in Atlanta with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. During the visit, Mr. Wilkie and I met with medical center leadership and visited with employees to discuss the recently passed VA MISSION Act, landmark legislation I authored to strengthen healthcare services at the VA and streamline the department’s community care programs. These changes will help ensure veterans receive timely, quality care, whether inside the VA system or from providers in their communities. Together, we are working to transform the VA into a department worthy of our veterans and one that is indicative of a nation grateful for their service. Read more about our visit here

  • Last week, the Senate VA Committee considered the nomination of James Gfrerer to be chief information officer (CIO) and assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Information and Technology (IT) and Tamara Bonzanto to be assistant secretary of the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. I look forward to holding a committee vote next week, on Sept. 18, on these two outstanding nominees.

  • Earlier this week, my chief of staff and I got to catch up with Judge Britt Grant, our newest member of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Grant was one of my interns when I was in the U.S. House, and I’m proud of the legacy she’s building. Judge Grant was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 31. 

  • I’m pleased that the Senate confirmed Charles Rettig to be Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service Wednesday. I appreciated his responses during his Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing in July, and I agree with Chairman Orrin Hatch that we need his fresh leadership.

What’s on Tap?

On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. This comprehensive legislation is intended to address the opioid crisis that has harmed too many families, including my own. I’m proud to have worked on this legislation along with more than two-thirds of senators from five different committees.


In Case You Missed It