News Center

Friday, July 26, 2019

Advancing priorities

Dear friends,

In the Senate this week, Dr. Mark Esper was confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday. While I was unable to be in D.C. to cast my vote this week as I continue my recovery in Marietta, Georgia, from four fractured ribs, I indicated my support for Dr. Esper in the official Senate record.

I’ve worked well with Dr. Esper in relation to Georgia’s military installations. In November, Dr. Esper held a town hall meeting at Fort Benning, where he also trained as an Army Ranger in the 1990s. U.S. Army Cyber Command has an upcoming move to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., and it, along with our other installations across the state, will continue to benefit from his interest in technological advances for our military. Dr. Esper has proven himself to be a responsive leader who supports our all-volunteer force, mission and ideals, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to defend freedom and democracy at home and abroad.

Protecting our skies

This week, the Senate also voted to confirm Stephen Dickson of Atlanta, Ga., to serve as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for a five-year term. I met with Captain Dickson on May 8, and I indicated my support for his confirmation in the official Senate record. Representing a state that is home to the world’s most traveled airport, one of the world’s largest airlines, and manufacturers of business and military aircraft, I’m committed to American aviation. I believe that Captain Dickson’s extensive experience in the industry, including as an F-15 fighter pilot and with Delta Air Lines, will serve him well in this new role.

In Other News

  • The Senate passed legislation on Tuesday to permanently extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. The fund was created to cover medical costs of first responders, volunteers and survivors who were injured in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and this new legislation will ensure it does not run out of funding until 2090.
  • It was announced this week that Cobb County will receive a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to assist with a new access ramp to the I-75 corridor project at Akers Mill Road as part of its infrastructure grant initiative. The interchange of I-75 and Akers Mill Road is a major hub, and this new entrance and exit ramp at Akers Mill Road will provide meaningful relief for the more than 100,000 daily commuters traveling to and from the Cumberland area. As southeast Cobb, Smyrna, and northwest Atlanta experience continued growth, I’m proud to support this investment that will help motorists avoid additional traffic congestion and build a foundation for continued economic development around the I-75 and I-285 interchange.
  • Also this week, the Senate confirmed two judges to our U.S. district courts and confirmed General Mark A. Milley to be general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, supported by President Trump, to address the approaching debt limit and set spending levels for the next two fiscal years.

What’s On Tap?

Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on the House-passed budget agreement. The Senate will also vote on a number of nominees, including Steven D. Grimberg of Atlanta to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. I will remain in Georgia next week to continue to work on my full recovery, and I’m thankful for the thoughtful messages of support I’ve received since last week.