Senator Chambliss discusses Congressional hot topics
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) returned home to Southwest Georgia from Washington. His first day back, Chambliss spoke with Moultrie's Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs about what he calls the most contentious lame duck Congress he's been in.
"At the end of the day yesterday, it was time for everybody to leave Washington. Tensions were running very high," says Chambliss.
His first order of business after returning home: informing his constituents.
"I know he got into town late last night and to come and bring kind of the State of the Union address to Moultrie to share with us first hand after the session has adjourned, we appreciate his efforts," says Moultrie Kiwanis Member Dan Jeter.
One item that heavily debated in Congress: The tax cut extension package.
"Nobody's going to see a tax increase. In fact, people are going to see a little bit more money in their pocket," says Chambliss.
Chambliss says two percent of the 6.25% of Social Security employees pay is being eliminated. He hopes this will stimulate the economy and encourage people to invest.
He says President Barack Obama negotiated 13 additional months of unemployment benefits â" which Chambliss says costs $12 billion â" in return for helping pass the tax cut extensions. Chambliss says he did not want unemployment renews because it would increase our deficit, but he says he is please the tax cuts were extended for everyone.
President Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell which now allows gays to serve openly in the military. Chambliss says according to a Department of Defense survey, 67% of combat marines and 60% of army combat forces oppose the repeal and say it could potentially impact unit moral.
"Right now is not the time to put any distractions in place. Should we repeal it? Maybe down the road but I just did not think it was the right time to do it," says Chambliss.
As for Congress' future, Chambliss says he expects more bipartisanship.
"It's important that we continue to try to work together and that has not happened very often over the last four or five years," the senator says.
Chambliss says next year he wants to develop an energy package, look again at immigration reform, and something he says democrats and republicans agree on: fixing spending.