WEEKLY REVEREND WRAP: Reverend Warnock Leads Bipartisan Effort to Pass CHIPS Bill To Lower Costs, Protect Georgia Jobs; Walker Continues Dodging Debates
Also This Week: Warnock Successfully Protects Military Jobs; Warnock’s Bill to Cap the Cost of Insulin Gains Momentum
This week, after a year-long push led by Reverend Warnock, the Senate passed the bipartisan CHIPS legislation that will create good-paying jobs for Georgians, strengthen our supply chains, and reduce reliance on foreign nations like China. Now, the legislation heads to the President’s desk to become law.
Reverend Warnock’s months of bipartisan advocacy to protect military jobs by maintaining funding for the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center made progress this week, too, after funding for the CRTC was included in the Senate’s appropriations legislation.
Also this week, Warnock’s bill to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month gained momentum in the Senate after being added to the text of the Inflation Reduction Act. This news follows national insurers heeding Reverend Warnock’s call to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for insulin.
And in case you missed it, Herschel Walker still hasn’t committed to debates and the Warnock for Georgia campaign highlighted his efforts to dodge debates in a new ad.
WARNOCK LEADS PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN CHIPS BILL TO LOWER COSTS, PROTECT GEORGIA JOBS, REDUCE RELIANCE ON CHINA
Reverend Warnock: “This bill is really about three things: jobs, jobs and jobs. It’s about jobs right now and jobs well into the future.”
After a year-long push led by Reverend Warnock, the Senate passed the CHIPS and Science bill, bipartisan legislation that will boost Georgia’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity, lower costs, and reduce reliance on foreign nations like China.
Watch Fox 5’s Coverage HERE
Fox 5 Atlanta — US Senate passes bill to increase microchip production
- The U.S. Senate approved a bill Wednesday aimed at increasing domestic production of semiconductors and computer chips.
- “This bill is really about three things: jobs, jobs and jobs. It’s about jobs right now and jobs well into the future,” said Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia.
- In April, Sen. Warnock was assigned to the conference committee tasked with hammering out a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.
- Sen. Warnock said it will help address some supply chain issues the country has experienced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because most of the world’s microchips are currently produced in Asia.
- “The Kia plant in West Point, Ga., for example, had to shut down last year on a couple of occasions and the workers had to stay home missing money out of their paychecks not because of a lack of customers, but a lack of microchips,” Sen. Warnock said.
- “Investments in HBCUs, investments in some of our smaller universities like Middle Georgia State, like Columbus State where they’re very bright, young people, but they often don’t have access to the kinds of investments in STEM that make for a future in a STEM career,” explained Sen. Warnock.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, spoke against the bill Wednesday.
- Warnock, however, said he was grateful to have played a part in getting the legislation passed.
- “This is an investment in our people, and it’s an investment in the future workplace, and I’m proud that we’re able to get this done on a bipartisan basis,” said Sen. Warnock. “Think about how seldom that happens here in Washington.”
- If you’re thinking about pursuing a STEM career, your first choice may not be to attend a school in Central Georgia. However, that could change soon.
- U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock is talking about a bill to support what he calls “tech hubs” in Central Georgia. The bill proposes “tech hubs,” cities that serve as centers for advanced tech and commerce.
- Warnock says that would benefit students at smaller universities like Middle Georgia State University and Mercer University. “I’d like to see some of the smaller universities and colleges compete,” Warnock said.
- “I was born and raised in Georgia, educated in our state. I know we have the best and brightest minds in Georgia. We hope to both maintain the incredible talent that we have in Warner Robins and in middle Georgia and also attract others,” Warnock said.
- “I think you’re going to see the Development Authority in Houston County focus their attention going forward on meeting those needs for the future of IT in this county,” Houston County Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said.
- “Making more financial resources available to some of the smaller schools means we are making them more available to a different population of students that we otherwise would not have been able to; and I think that’s truly an exciting opportunity for Middle Georgia State University students,” said Dawn Sherry, Middle Georgia State University Department of Natural Sciences, Chair Dawn.
- Warnock hopes to also support the future of Robins Air Force Base.
- “This is going to be a ‘win-win’ for jobs and for the economy,” Warnock said.
- 13WMAZ also reached out to Herschel Walker’s campaign for a comment about what he’d do to boost Robins Air Force Base.She did not hear back from them.
Watch WALB’s coverage HERE
WARNOCK FIGHTS TO PROTECT MILITARY JOBS
After Reverend Warnock’s monthslong efforts to protect the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved robust funding for this vital military training center, protecting Georgia military jobs. Reverend Warnock led the bipartisan effort to urge the Biden Administration to reverse the proposed closure of the facility, calling on Congress to swiftly reject President Biden’s proposal.
- Georgia lawmakers are one step closer to securing funding for the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee released the 2023 fiscal year appropriations bills, a total $1.7 trillion package with $850 billion going towards defense discretionary spending.
- This is a massive increase from the number requested by the white house, which is just under 800 billion, and senator Raphael Warnock said this boost would secure funds for the training center.
- “This is no time to cut this important center for military training, and the Senate Appropriations Committee has heard us, and it’s included in the funding,” said Warnock.
- A conference committee consisting of an equal number of house and senate members must now meet to reconcile differences between the spending bills.
- Then it will head to the president’s desk for his signature, and impacted departments will begin to allocate funds.
WARNOCK’S BILL TO LOWER COST OF INSULIN GAINS MOMENTUM
This week, Reverend Warnock’s fight to lower prescription drug costs continued to gain momentum after his bill to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month was added to the text of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Reverend Warnock has been fighting since February to move this legislation through the Senate, and has already succeeded in getting the House to pass his bill to cap the cost of insulin. Reverend Warnock also called on the nation’s major health insurers to do their part in lowering out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. This comes after Warnock’s recent success leading United HealthCare to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for insulin for its fully insured enrollees. Insulin manufacturer Sanofi also capped the cost of their insulin at $35 a month — the cap Reverend Warnock has been calling for for months — for all uninsured U.S. patients.
See coverage of Reverend Warnock’s work to cut out-of-pocket insulin costs below:
Watch 11Alive’s Coverage HERE
Savannah Levins: The high cost of insulin remains a significant barrier to care for so many Americans, and this is actually pretty huge because in Georgia, over one million people have diabetes — that’s according to the Department of Health.
Ron Jones: So to help those Georgians out there today, Senator Warnock is now asking major health insurance companies to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs of insulin for those enrolled. So, there’s a new study by Health Affairs showing 14% of people who use insulin in the United States are facing what is called a catastrophic level of spending on their medication, meaning that after paying for their essentials such as food and housing, they spend at least 40% of the remaining of their income, their budget on insulin. Now, to help combat that high insulin cost in Georgia, Senator Warnock sent letters to seven major insurance companies saying in his statement, “patients who already have health insurance and pay health insurance premiums should be able to afford their insulin.” Senator Warnock has been pushing for the senate to pass the Affordable Insulin Now Act. His legislation to cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for people on private plans and Medicare prescription drug plans.
- Senator Reverend Warnock, health care champion and author of the Affordable Insulin Now Act, this morning challenged seven major insurance companies to reduce or eliminate the out-of-pocket costs of insulin for their beneficiaries.
- The Senator sent letters to Anthem Health, Centene Corporation, Cigna Corporation, CVS Health, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and Molina Healthcare, Inc.
- The Senator’s latest push follows UnitedHealthcare’s July 15th announcement that the company will eliminate out-of-pocket costs of insulin for its beneficiaries.
- In the state of Georgia, one million people have diabetes, which is 12 percent of the state’s adult population.
- Senator Reverend Warnock to Insurers: “Patients who already have health insurance, and pay health insurance premiums, should be able to afford their insulin. This life-preserving medicine must be accessible and affordable for those who need it”
WARNOCK FIGHTS FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE
Reverend Warnock introduced the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act this week. The legislation will protect access to critical health care services by ensuring federal funding for the Title X Family Planning Program.
Read more about Reverend Warnock’s dedication to this critical health service below.
Watch WRDW’s Coverage HERE
William Rioux: Senator Raphael Warnock has announced a new bill aimed at protecting reproductive health care access. If passed, the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would give 550 million dollars for clinic construction and upgrades, requiring that pregnancy counseling include information about prenatal care and delivery, infant care, foster care, adoption, and pregnancy termination, unless a patient does not have any interest in receiving information about an option. The money would be distributed over a 10 year process.
- Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide consistent funding for the Title X Family Planning Program
- This week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) joined his colleagues in introducing the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. The bill would protect access to critical reproductive health care services—like birth control, cancer screenings and more—by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for the Title X Family Planning Program.
- Senator Warnock is a stalwart champion of protecting a women’s right to choose, including cosponsoring the Women’s Health Protection Act which would codify a women’s right to reproductive health care.
MEANWHILE HERSCHEL WALKER IS STILL REFUSING TO COMMIT TO DEBATE DESPITE REPEATED CLAIMS HE WOULD
Despite repeatedly vowing to debate Reverend Warnock earlier this year, Herschel Walker continues to refuse to commit to debates. This week, the Warnock for Georgia campaign released a new ad highlighting Walker’s debate dodging.
Reverend Warnock has accepted three debates: an October 13 debate in Macon, an October 16 debate with the Atlanta Press Club, and a third debate to be hosted by WTOC Savannah at a date to be determined. Details can be found HERE.
See coverage of Walker’s debate dodging below.
Watch WJCL’s coverage HERE
Greg Coy: Walker says that he will agree to a debate when it’s fair to him he says, and also, the voters…he did not commit to a debate or a date with Senator Warnock, who has agreed to three debates.
Georgia Recorder — No guts no glory if Herschel weasels out of Warnock debate
- Back in the primary, Herschel Walker wanted nothing to do with a debate against his Republican opponents, but at least he had a lame excuse of an excuse. With polls showing Walker with an insurmountable lead among Republicans, he could shrug off calls for a debate on the grounds that none of his opponents had earned the right to share a stage with him.
- Brave Sir Herschel also made it plain that what he really really wanted – in fact, he was itching for it – was the opportunity to take on the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, face to face. Then the world would see that Herschel the politician was just as competitive and dominant as Herschel the athlete had been.
- “I’m ready for Sen. Warnock,” as Walker put it back then. “When he’s ready to debate, he calls the time, he makes the place. I’m ready to go.”
- The time has come, and to the surprise of no one, that turns out to have been an act of bluster. Three Walker-Warnock debates have been scheduled by traditional Georgia debate sponsors – one in Savannah, one in Macon and one in Atlanta – and Walker has agreed to appear in none of them. The big, bad bulldog has turned into a yapper, one of those little dogs that yaps and yaps and yaps as long as it’s on a leash, but suddenly falls silent and takes cover under the bed when released.
- Since it’s still July, and the election isn’t until November, Walker can’t even fall back on the “scheduling conflict” excuse. Instead, his spokesperson has been left to explain that they’re unhappy with debate proposals because “Team Herschel doesn’t care about the old way of doing things and we don’t buy into past political debate traditions.”
- It is entirely unclear what new-fangled debate conditions they have in mind. Maybe schedule it for after the election?
- The old way of doing things has certainly had value, as conservatives are supposed to appreciate. In fact, with voters increasingly trapped within their own information silos, debates are more important than ever. They offer the rare opportunity to watch as competing worldviews collide, without filters, and to test assumptions. “Is my candidate really as good as I’m being told? Is their candidate really as bad as I’m being told?”
- A confident candidate embraces that test. A scared candidate ducks it, as David Perdue did in 2020.
- Furthermore, agreeing to debates is a fundamental act of respect for the democratic process and for the voters whom candidates seek to represent. If you’re asking people for their vote, if you’re humbly putting yourself forward as someone worthy of the high office you seek, the least you can do is submit to the job-interview process.
- Likewise, refusing to debate is an act of disrespect, for the office and for voters trying to inform themselves.
- If Herschel Walker ultimately ends up refusing to debate, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock wants Georgians to know it’s his Republican challenger’s fault.
- That’s the point of the latest TV ad from the Democrat’s campaign, which focuses on a central message: “Stop dodging. Commit to debates.” The 30-second spot, which begins airing on TV stations Tuesday, underscores that argument with its title: “Scared.”
- When pressed by reporters, the former football star said time and again he was primed for a showdown against Warnock “any day of the week.” In June, he said “name the place and the time and we can get it on.”
- The time and place have been named, according to the Democrat’s camp. Warnock weeks ago accepted debate invitations from WTOC in Savannah, Mercer University in Macon and the Atlanta Press Club.
- “I don’t know if Herschel Walker is scared for voters to hear what has to say, or scared for voters to hear that he’s unprepared to speak on the issues that matter most to the people of Georgia,” said Quentin Fulks, Warnock’s campaign manager. “There’s a clear choice in the race for Senate and we hope Herschel Walker will be true to his word and commit to joining us at three debates.”
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