Georgia seems to be providing quite a few leaders to D.C. these days. In addition to several Georgia folks being top contenders for positions with a Trump-Pence administration, Rep. Tom Graves is angling to become the next chairman of the Financial Services subcommittee.
Back in 2010, Graves and former Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers were the targets of a lawsuit from the now defunct Bartow County Bank, after defaulting on a $2.2 million loan.
Bartow County Bank went under in 2011, and one former chairmen of the bank, Morgan Akin, said that defaulting on such a large loan contributed to the bank failing.
“Was it the only loan we had default? No,” Akin said in an interview with the AP. “But it was one of the larger loans, and it contributed significantly (to the bank’s failure).”
“They talk up the Tea Party stuff, but when it comes to their own finances, they’re irresponsible and leave the bank on the hook,” he said.
If selected as the Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee, Graves would be in charge of $23 billion annually, with impacts including D.C.’s potential statehood, the IRS and financial regulation reforms that came about under Obama. And, as the AJC reports, “Graves would also be able to shape guidance on Cuba, net neutrality and corporate political giving.”
Graves has been a key proponent of defunding the Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare), and pushed for the defunding to be part of a “compromise” to avoid a government shutdown back in 2013. That shutdown, you’ll recall, did indeed happen.
As a state legislator, Graves was named ALEC’s 2009 State Legislator of the Year. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is the corporate bill mill that pushes dangerous, extremist state legislation through closed-door meetings with conservative lawmakers.
Graves also strongly opposes abortion access, and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, “in response to their horrifying practice of selling body parts of babies.” I am not really sure how conservatives and other anti-abortion proponents can continue to perpetuate that myth. (The folks behind the fabricated videos that prompted that claim to circulate even faced indictments that were ultimately dropped on a technicality).
In a recent interview with the West Georgia Neighbor, Graves spoke about his vision under the Trump administration:
Graves said having a Republican president for the first time since 2009 puts Congressional Republicans in position to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare; and enact a plan to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens on small business owners.
He said “right out of the gate” Americans will see “a Republican jobs plan that is going to be really incredible.”
Major reforms that just began to make healthcare accessible to all — gone.
The jobs “plan” — cut taxes on the wealthy of course.
So, with a $23 billion spending bill in his hands, what is Rep. Tom Graves going to do?