Price said his office conducts monthly surveys among constituents to determine what issues they find most pressing. Lately, they are the economy, health care and jobs.
About 40-plus job-creating/enhancing bills, along with several health care initiatives, have passed the House, many with bi-partisan support and some unanimously. However, when this legislation was sent to the Senate for action, it hit a roadblock.
Price addressed an issue that is lately appearing in the survey. The issue is the seeming lack of action by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the consequential erosion of confidence in our legislative branch. With their current approval rating under 20 percent, this should be an issue of major concern to all legislators, particularly those who expect to be re-elected.
Price expounded on the frustration felt by the members at the inability of either house to move legislation, creating a natural chasm in the confidence which the voters should have in their elected representatives.
Hard-line Democrats look upon any rejection of their legislation by the House as obstructionism. Radical Democrats accuse the GOP of racism and obstructing legislation just because the president is black. The GOP, on the other hand, looks at the cost of the bills submitted and accuses the Democrats of runaway spending.
Important legislation is drowning in a sea of bitter infighting.
According to Price, the House has passed and sent to the Senate more than 350 pieces of legislation with either bipartisan support, some unanimous. These pieces of legislation are currently on Harry Reid’s desk. The Senate majority leader refuses to bring them to the floor of the Senate to be referred to committee. One cannot conceive of any legitimate motivation the Majority Leader would have in this action.
Some of the legislation caught in this stalemate concerns illegal immigration and how to effectively deal with the issue. Said issue is vital to our state and county. It has a direct bearing on the current jobless rate. Based on the latest reports, Cobb’s unemployment is at 7.2 percent. However, when you add in those who have grown weary of job hunting and dropped off the official rolls, and those who are under-employed, that rate would be closer to 15 percent. Much of this can be traced directly to the large number of ineligible/ illegal workers who are filling jobs that should be filled by citizens or legal immigrants.
This is of great concern to the people of Cobb because of the vast number of illegal immigrants who have settled in Cobb, with the large majority of Hispanic descent.
The burden on our social programs, medical facilities and schools is breaking the backs of the taxpayers. In the year from March 1, 2013, thru March 6, 2014, the enrollment in all Cobb schools increased by 1,498. Of that increase, Hispanics accounted for 1,115, or roughly 74.4 percent of the total increase. The Hispanic enrollment is growing at a rate four times greater than that of the school system.
Of course, not all the Hispanic children are from illegal immigrant families. However, that is the case with the majority. Further, they come to us unable to communicate in the English language, which slows the learning process for their classmates and requires extra resources to resolve.
As a result of the unemployment situation in Cobb, more than 40 percent of the children in Cobb Schools are in taxpayer-subsidized breakfast/lunch programs.
Price left the meeting with a strong message for him and his colleagues to get to work and move legislation which will stimulate the economy, improve the job market and mitigate the devastating negative consequences of uncontrolled immigration.
For the people of Cobb County, nothing less is acceptable.
Pete Borden is a retired masonry contractor in east Cobb.