U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) visited the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital in Sandy Springs for a tour of its facilities amidst its planned expansions. After her visit, she sat down with the Reporter to discuss a few prominent pieces of legislation.
Some businesses in the 6th District, including local Starbucks branches and AT&T, have awarded bonuses to employees as a result to tax changes passed by Congress in late December, Handel said. Others have expanded healthcare coverage because of savings the businesses will see with the legislation. The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.
Handel has also found in a study that the average four person family making the median income of $136,000 in the 6th District will get around a $4,500 tax cut, she said.
“It’s not just what corporations are able to invest, but it’s also the impact on the individual family,” Handel said.
Handel said she is co-sponsoring House legislation that would allow immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy protected legal status, and would also provide funds to bolster border security.
“For me, I don’t know if border security is ‘the wall’ or something else. I look at more from the broader perspective of border security and I’m not so caught up in exactly what that is,” Handel said. “We just need to secure the border.”
It would also change limits on visas “especially for highly-skilled hard to find workers that we might need in the corporate sector,” Handel said.
She also supports legislation that seeks to end sexual harassment by elected officials and create a “modern personnel policy” for Congress, she said.
The legislation would also prohibit members from using their budgets to settle sexual harassment cases, she said.
“Importantly, whatever we do going forward, there should be zero tolerance. There should be full transparency. Members should not be able to access their individual budgets and accounts to secretly make payments,” she said.
“Let’s not turn a blind eye to this stuff anymore. It’s unacceptable,” she said.