Hice begins second term

115th Congress begins with 'Obamacare' in sights

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Washington, January 4, 2017 | comments

Hice begins second term
115th Congress begins with 'Obamacare' in sights

David Clemons | The Tribune | 

Walton County’s first congressman began his second term on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., took the oath of office as the 115th Congress began work.

Members of Congress returned Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as speaker, and got to work on one of their top priorities for the past several years, the repeal of President. 

House and Senate Republicans have voted several times to do away with the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” but Obama has stood in the way. That changes Jan. 20 when President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office.

There has been no set plan for how to replace the health law, but Trump has said he wants to replace it with health savings accounts and allow patients to purchase insurance across state lines.

In remarks congratulating Rep. Tom Price of Roswell on his selection as Trump’s choice as health and human services secretary, Hice said the Obama health law “has been a complete and utter disaster since day one.”

Hice, a 56-year-old pastor, first ran for Congress in 2010, when Walton County was part of the state’s 7th District.

He earned a spot in the Republican runoff for an open seat after Rep. John Linder announced his retirement, but Linder’s chief of staff, Rob Woodall of Lawrence­ville, won.

Redistricting after the 2010 census put Walton County in the 10th District, and the seat came open again in 2014 when Rep. Paul Broun decided to run for the U.S. Senate.

Hice got the most votes of seven candidates in the GOP primary, then won the runoff against Mike Collins. Hice easily defeated Kenneth Dious, his Democratic challenger, in the 2014 general election.

Hice had a much easier go of it in the 2016 elections, as he had no party opposition. He faced only a write-in candidate who lived outside the district.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, 72, a Republican from Marietta, began his third term on Tuesday.

Isakson became the first three-term Republican senator from Georgia.

“I am eager to begin the 115th Congress and continue my lifelong passion of serving Georgians,” Isakson said in a statement after taking the oath from Vice President Joe Biden.

“It means the world to have the support of my family, and I look forward to working with the new Republican administration and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the days ahead to advance the ideals that make our American democracy great and to get the best results for Georgia and America.”

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