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Latest from Jamie Dupree

    After weeks of closed door negotiations, Senate Republicans on Thursday released their plan to overhaul the Obama health law, as GOP leaders again signaled they are ready to push ahead with a vote in the full Senate as early as next week. The 142 page bill – labeled a ‘discussion draft’ – was posted online by the GOP, as the Senate Majority Leader made clear he’s ready to move forward. “Obamacare isn’t working – by any nearly any measure it has failed,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said action is needed now by the Congress. Democrats immediately denounced the plan. “It’s every bit as bad a the House bill,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “In some ways, it’s worse.” “I think it’s a good proposal overall,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), trailed by a pack of reporters as he left a closed door meeting of GOP Senators where the health plan was rolled out. “It’s the first time that we’ve really looked at it as far as the details are concerned,” McCain added. Like McCain, many other GOP Senators had little to say about the details of the plan, having just seen them a few minutes earlier in their meeting. “The bill is on line for all of you to read,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who was mobbed by reporters for comment.
  • Back in Iowa for the first time since the November elections, President Donald Trump used a campaign rally in the Hawkeye State to reaffirm his vow to supporters that he will pursue a battery of plans to force change in the federal government and Washington, D.C., as Mr. Trump said his early successes are driving his critics “crazy.” “All we do is win, win, win,” the President said to cheers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as he pressed Democrats to support his legislative agenda in the Congress. “If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes – you would have everything,” he told the crowd. Pres. Trump extends congratulations to Karen Handel and Ralph Norman after their special election victories https://t.co/egPtI72uW8 pic.twitter.com/2FsgKu88Np — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 22, 2017 “Just think about what a unified American nation could achieve,” the President said. “It would be a beautiful, beautiful thing, if we could get together as two parties for our country,” Mr. Trump said. .@POTUS: It would be a beautiful thing if we could get together as 2 parties that love our country, and come up with that great healthcare. pic.twitter.com/UdH1WkkWuB — Fox News (@FoxNews) June 22, 2017 But the President said the goal of Democrats is obvious right now. “They just want to obstruct,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re obstructionists,” he said to applause. The President also urged Republicans in the Senate to stick with him on health care, and support a GOP plan that will be unveiled on Thursday to overhaul the Obama health law “Obamacare is a disaster,” the President said. “It is over” President Trump takes aim at the 'largest tax cut in the history of the United States' https://t.co/Q0P5Pv7qCR — NBC News (@NBCNews) June 22, 2017 But Mr. Trump acknowledged that with a narrow majority in the Senate, approval of a revised GOP health bill is not a given. “That means we basically can’t lose anybody,” the President said of the 52-48 Senate edge. “I hope we’re going to surprise you with a really good plan.”
  • A week after an Illinois man shot a top Republican in Congress and wounded several others, law enforcement officials said the investigation has found that the gunman acted alone when he fired dozens of bullets at lawmakers gathered for a Republican baseball practice, and that no links to any wider plot had been found by the FBI. “At this time, the FBI has assessed that the deceased shooter, James Thomas Hodgkinson, acted alone,” said Timothy Vale, a top official in the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office. “We also assess that there was no nexus to terrorism,” Vale told reporters at a news conference, saying for now, the investigation was simply focused on the gunfire that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), two U.S. Capitol Police officers, and two others who were helping lawmakers get ready for an annual charity baseball game. FBI: The shooter in the case of the congressional baseball practice in Virginia acted alone https://t.co/8cBpn3xSzt — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 21, 2017 “While the shooter was not known to have a history of diagnosed mental illness, he is known or was known to have an anger management problem,” said Timothy Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. Slater said Hodgkinson had come to the Washington area in March of this year, and was living out of his vehicle, mainly in the parking lot of a YMCA near the baseball field. Investigators did find a list of lawmaker names that had been put together by the gunman, but there was no evidence to suggest that it was some kind of ‘hit list’ or part of a broader plan to target individual members of Congress. FBI: The man behind the attack on lawmakers in Virginia was known to have “an anger management problem” https://t.co/XRVbnHEY7l — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 21, 2017 On Capitol Hill today, Republicans were wearing yellow and purple fleur-de-lis stickers to honor Scalise, who remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
  • Determined to derail President Donald Trump, Democrats thought they had a good chance to spin an upset victory in a special election runoff in Georgia for the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. Instead, they watched in disbelief as the Republican candidate, Karen Handel, won handily in a race that some Democrats had said might well be a ‘referendum’ on the Trump Administration. It left some Congressional Democrats pained, and searching for answers. “We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who has tried to sharpen the election message of Democrats since coming to Congress after the 2014 election. #Ossof Race better be a wake up call for Democrats – business as usual isn't working. Time to stop rehashing 2016 and talk about the future. — Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 21, 2017 “Let’s be a party of big economic ideas for those with stagnant wages – who seek new industry, fear monopoly, & want good jobs for their kids,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a freshmen elected in 2016. Khanna was more blunt away from Twitter, as he told Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal that national Democrats should fire their consultants, and seek out a different election message. Surprised and disappointed by the large margin in the GA special. — US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 21, 2017 The official reaction from the campaign arm of House Democrats – the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – was that Ossoff had run a very good race in Red State America, and that Democrats “have the momentum heading into 2018.” “Ossoff’s close margin demonstrates the potential for us to compete deep into the battlefield,” said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). And frankly, if you look at the vote totals in Georgia, and another special election on Tuesday in South Carolina, it’s now four straight special elections where Democrats have done dramatically better than back in November. But moral victories only get you so far – and Democrats are clearly chafing at their inability to turn the tables on President Trump. While Democrats wondered what went wrong, the White House celebrated the victory. Thanks to everyone who breathlessly and snarkily proclaimed #GA06 as a 'referendum on POTUS @realDonaldTrump'. You were right. #winning — Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) June 21, 2017 “Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!” the President tweeted, soon after Trumps returned from dinner with Vice President Pence and his wife.
  • Senate GOP leaders told reporters that they should be ready on Thursday to publicly release a revised plan to overhaul the Obama health law, even as some Republican Senators acknowledged their concern about the development of the bill, which has taken place behind closed doors and with no public hearings. “I expect to have a discussion draft on Thursday,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, saying consideration of the health care bill on the Senate floor was “likely next week.” “For weeks now we’ve been in intense discussions with all Republican Senators,” McConnell said, defending the decision to proceed without any public hearings on the GOP proposal – the details of which remain secret. NEW: @SenateMajLdr says he expects 'discussion draft' of health care bill Thursday. https://t.co/8PvERl5hH3 pic.twitter.com/ClmvSOFRTe — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 20, 2017 Before the Senate can take a health care vote, the Congressional Budget Office would need to “score” the bill, and issue that review; many expect that to happen by early next week. “Everybody will have an adequate time to take a look at it,” McConnell told reporters gathered just off the Senate floor. “I think this will be about as transparent as it could be.” Democrats disagree with that, as for a second straight day, they filled the Senate floor with speeches denouncing the process by which the GOP bill is being cobbled together. “The same Republicans now think it’s fine for their health care bill to be written behind closed doors without a single committee hearing,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Using social media to broadcast their arguments, several Democrats went over to the Congressional Budget Office to ask to see the GOP bill – but were not handed the keys to the Republican legislative vehicle. Instead, they will have to wait – along with most Republican Senators – to see the bill later this week. Sens. Murphy, Booker, and Schatz went to the CBO to try to get details on the Republican health bill, couldn't get any info. (via @MSNBC) pic.twitter.com/rxKaVQ5Rjt — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 20, 2017 For now, the only question is can Republicans hold their votes in line; the GOP cannot lose more than two Senators on the health care bill.
  • As Democrats took to the Senate floor on Monday evening to denounce closed door Republican negotiations on a GOP plan to overhaul the Obama health law, both parties traded barbs over how this bill was being put together, with Democrats once more zeroing in on a lack of public hearings, as it still wasn’t clear when the full Senate would vote on the top agenda item for Republicans in 2017. “If there is not going to be a hearing, then we shouldn’t vote,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). In recent days, I’ve heard from partisans on both sides about the current situation in the Senate on health care, as Democrats denounce the GOP process, and Republicans point back to eight years ago to claim that nothing different is happening in 2017. “Jamie, have you ever seen a bill / legislative process like this shrouded in such secrecy?” asked @wcsanders on Twitter. Having worked my way through way too much Congressional history, I don’t like to ever say that something has “never” happened before in the House or Senate – because there probably is a legislative example that we have forgotten about from many years ago. In some ways on this GOP health care bill, we have not seen a process like this before – but in others, we certainly have. Let’s take a look. 1. For the GOP health bill, a lack of Senate hearings. If there is one dramatic difference on the GOP health care bill, it is the absence of public committee hearings on various GOP proposals. Republicans in Congress have complained for the past seven years about how the Obama health law was put together in 2009 and 2010, but the process this time certainly has not had anywhere close to the number of public hearings and committee meetings that were held by Democrats on the Obama health law. Yes, the deck was stacked against the GOP back then because Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate, but that did not push most of the process behind closed doors. This time, instead of committee hearings and votes, the focus is on 13 Senate Republicans who are doing most of the work, which has led Democrats to hammer on the idea that all of the GOP health care work is being done in secret. The former Senate historian says nothing this big has been done so secretly in the Senate since World War I. Senate Democrats wrote today to 3 cmte chairs requesting hearings on GOP healthcare bill & listed rooms available https://t.co/jsq7c380N0 — Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) June 19, 2017 2. But let’s be honest, closed door talks in Congress are not new. For all of the finger pointing from Democrats about Republicans meeting in secret on health care, let’s not forget that Congress often operates behind closed doors when forging the final details of major legislation – and health care is no different. “Democratic lawmakers have yet to read the health-care bill,” noted one story in the Washington Post from 2009 that Republicans happily emailed to reporters on Monday night, to make the case that Democrats made some late changes to their health plan without much in the way of any legislative spotlights on the details. It’s a reminder that both parties love to talk about bipartisanship, but it’s not unusual for one side to go it alone and assemble a major tax or health care bill, without the involvement of the other side. Mitch McConnell on Obamacare bill: 'We'll let you see the bill when we finally release it… Nobody's hiding the ball here' per @adamcancryn — Jennifer Haberkorn (@jenhab) June 13, 2017 3. So, what is different about these health talks? Like 1994 and 2009, the lead on health care is being taken by the Senate Majority Leader. George Mitchell could not put together a bipartisan plan in 1994, but Harry Reid was able to keep things together in 2009-2010. Now, Mitch McConnell is trying to shepherd a health care bill to the finish line in 2017. In terms of comparing this to Congressional history, maybe what’s missing from this process is that it is not being driven by a specific committee or a powerful chairman in the House and/or Senate. So for now, there are no high stakes committee meetings where the hallways are jammed with lobbyists and reporters; instead, this GOP effort in the Senate is focused on 13 Senators of one party, meeting in the Capitol, trying to forge that agreement. All the senators working on the health care bill: McConnellAlexanderLeeEnzi HatchThuneCruzCottonGardnerBarrassoCornynPortman — Jimmy Greenfield (@jcgreenx) May 5, 2017 4. It’s important to remember some 2009 lessons. As we wait to see how Senate Republicans might alter the House-passed health care bill, we should go back to how Democrats made late changes with their own health plan in December of 2009. A few days before approving that bill on Christmas Eve, Senate Democrats added in a 383 page amendment, which included the “Cornhusker Kickback” and other provisions. A few months later in March, House Democrats would add in 153 pages of legislative text just a few days before the final vote. The truth is, both parties excel at dropping large amounts of legislative text on lawmakers at the last minute, and asking for a vote a few days later on a major bill that most lawmakers have not read. Last minute deals were made in 2009-2010, and may be part of the deal in 2017 as well, no matter how much Democrats complain. 5. Are we really near a final Senate vote? It depends on who you talk to, but there are some Republicans who are still forecasting a final vote in the Senate by the end of next week, before lawmakers go home for a July Fourth break. One rule that won’t be changed for health care is the need for a cost estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, which is mandatory before a Senate vote (but not in the House). Just like for Democrats back in 2009 and 2010, the Holy Grail is not a date certain for a vote, but when you can get a majority of votes. Republicans need 50 Senators plus the Vice President to provide the margin of victory on their health care package – which we are still waiting to read. Sen. Chuck Grassley says his understanding is that the Senate will vote when they have the votes, not necessarily next week. — Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 19, 2017 6. One other likely difference – a much shorter floor debate. Back in 2009, Democrats started the final push on a Senate health care bill on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and didn’t stop until approval of the bill at sunrise on Christmas Eve. That was almost four weeks of time on the Senate floor, as Democrats massaged the details of the measure (and came up with changes like the Cornhusker Kickback). This time, the total debate could be no more than 20 hours of debate – the amount set forward under special expedited rules for “budget reconciliation,” which does not allow for a Senate filibuster. Democrats were more than happy to remind the GOP of that extended 2009 debate, as we wait to see if there will be final action over the next ten days on a GOP health care bill. Oops. GOP's own 'fact sheet' notes there was a 'nearly monthlong floor debate' before '09 vote on Obamacare.https://t.co/HIy4OCiLSa — Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) June 20, 2017
  • In a bid to derail GOP efforts to overhaul the Obama health law, Democrats are vowing to use the rules to slow legislative work in the Senate, trying to call more attention to closed door Republican negotiations on a GOP health care plan, and the lack of public details on how the Senate might change a health bill approved by the House in May. “Here’s the order of people seeing the healthcare bill,” wrote Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on Twitter. “13 dudes in secret, then Republican lobbyists, then CBO, then you and me. Sick.” Democrats planned to showcase their frustration on health care with an evening of floor speeches in the Senate, but also by refusing to move ahead on non-controversial measures, objecting to simple “unanimous consent” requests. “If GOP won’t debate health care in public, they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate,” said Matt House, spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. Every legislative body across the country has hearings. To not have a hearing on something that impacts 1/6 of the economy is craven. — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 19, 2017 The lack of public hearings on what Senate Republicans might do on health care has been getting more and more attention from Democrats in recent weeks, as GOP leaders labor to find agreement on a plan that can get 50 votes in the Senate. No draft bill has yet been made available, though a variety of details have emerged in recent weeks on how Republicans might alter a House-passed health bill. Those talks involve 13 GOP Senators – no Democrats are in the room. It’s not clear if Republicans will be able to come to an agreement fast enough to hold a vote before they leave late next week for a July Fourth break – that still seems like a long shot at this point. Senate Ds will also begin objecting to all unanimous consent requests in the Senate, per a senior Senate Dem aide –> https://t.co/jMSE1EXmkz — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) June 19, 2017
  • With two legislative work weeks left this month, Republicans in the Congress have yet to find the magic formula to unleash action on President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda, as most of the big ticket items are still stalled behind a GOP push on health care legislation, which remains the subject of closed door Republican negotiations in the U.S. Senate. Here’s where we stand on Capitol Hill: 1. Health care. Health care. Health care. This could be a pivotal week for Republicans in the Senate, as they try to make headway on a health care overhaul deal. If there is going to be a vote on a GOP health care bill before lawmakers leave for a July Fourth break, that would have to happen next week – which means this week would have to produce some kind of legislative breakthrough for Republicans. I can find you ten reasons why this process looks like it could turn into a burning trash dumpster at any minute. But I can also find you a lot of people who think the GOP will pull a legislative rabbit out of the hat and push something over the goal line. Whether that happens in June or July is not clear. We should have a better idea of what’s next in coming days. Democrats are trying to keep the focus on the secret talks – the GOP is having none of that. Fake news https://t.co/fnEMkzCz0h — JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) June 16, 2017 2. 2018 budget gets more behind schedule every day. Republicans in Congress know they have no chance to finish the dozen spending bills to fund the federal government by October 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The only question is how they deal with it. As of now, no funding bills for next year have been approved. Usually, that work begins in earnest in the month of June, but a delayed Trump budget slowed that process down. There are some in the GOP who are already making the case that the GOP should scrap the regular dozen appropriations bills, and just roll every bill into a big Omnibus spending measure and pass it BEFORE lawmakers go home for their August break. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, but it’s pretty interesting that it is even being discussed by the GOP. Republican Study Committee supports the House taking up an omnibus spending bill with an 'amendment process' before August recess. pic.twitter.com/2AAv3wIePs — Jennifer Shutt (@JenniferShutt) June 9, 2017 3. Don’t hold your breath on tax bill or infrastructure. While President Trump and Congressional leaders keep talking up their work on tax cuts, tax reform, and new money for roads and bridges – that doesn’t mean anything is going to get voted on anytime soon. As of now, the Trump White House doesn’t plan to unveil a tax bill until after Labor Day, and the same goes for an infrastructure bill. One reason is that none of that can get done until the Rubik’s cube of health care gets solved by Republicans in the Congress. So, those two big bullet points of the Trump agenda probably won’t be debated or voted on this summer, no matter how much the President or anyone else talks about it. WH's Short also said to expect tax reform bill after Labor Day, and that getting cuts more important than keeping it revenue neutral — Justin Sink (@justinsink) June 6, 2017 4. Trump will chalk up one achievement this week on the VA. On Tuesday, President Trump will sign into law a bipartisan bill to help reform the operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s the latest effort by the Congress to make it easier for officials to fire under performing employees at the VA, as previous laws have fallen short. VA Secretary David Shulkin has moved ahead with a series of internal reforms in recent months, but even he admits there are a lot of things to get done at that department. The good news is that there are a lot of members in both parties who want to help. #VA Secretary Shulkin testifies that even with appeals reform, it will take until 2026 to resolve the backlog of 470,000 VA appeals — Sean Kendall Law (@vetsrightslaw) June 14, 2017 5. Trump nominations – delays by both parties. President Trump has made a regular part of his attacks against Democrats in Congress by calling Senate Democrats “obstructionists,” arguing they are slowing work on all of his nominations. In some ways, Democrats are slow walking a lot of nominations – but that’s only once they get to the Senate floor. Before then, the GOP controls the process, and one thing the Senate can’t control is how quickly the White House sends nominations to Capitol Hill. For example, it’s been ten days since President Trump made his choice for FBI Director – but the nomination papers still haven’t been sent to the Senate. You can’t hold hearings on an FBI nominee if the FBI nomination isn’t official. 17 nominations sent to the Senate today, but none are Chris Wray, who was announced as the FBI director nominee last Wednesday — Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) June 15, 2017
  • Despite repeatedly making a campaign pledge to fully reverse executive actions on immigration from the Obama Administration, President Donald Trump has so far left in place one controversial plan from his predecessor, which allows young people – known as immigrant “Dreamers” – who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents to stay here, without the threat of deportation. The White House said Friday that the DACA program – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – remains under review, but the lack of action by President Trump on that issue has left some of his supporters openly frustrated, as they want to see an all out effort against illegal immigration. “The real scandal? Trump has granted amnesty to 125,000 illegals under Obama’s unconstitutional order,” fumed immigration activist Mark Krikorian. In speech last August @realDonaldTrump pledged to 'immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties': DACA and DAPA. — Don England (@dontspeakforme) June 17, 2017 And the numbers do bear that out – the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that as of March 31, 124,799 people who had qualified for DACA, had their special permits renewed in the first three months of this year. “Trump’s been expanding Obama’s illegal amnesty for going on five months now,” Krikorian added. During the campaign, things were pretty straightforward – Mr. Trump was going to reverse the Obama executive actions on immigration, period. “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants,” the President said in a major immigration speech on August 31, 2016. But soon after he entered the White House, the President sent mixed signals about how he would treat Dreamers. “It is a very, very difficult subject,” Mr. Trump said at a February 16 news conference. The decision to leave DACA in place comes amid grumbling from some conservative quarters, amid a desire for even more action on border security and illegal immigration. Anyone in a Southwestern state who strolls to the border & drops a brick will have done more to build the wall than @realDonaldTrump. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 16, 2017 Very glad to see Obama’s lawless DAPA amnesty has finally been rescinded. DACA next, please. — Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) June 16, 2017 On the other side, immigration activists were not declaring victory, worried that President Trump will sooner or later move to rein in the DACA program, which could put millions in jeopardy of deportation. “DACA recipients cannot rest easily when our families are still in the cross hairs of deportation agents,” said the group Mi Familia Vota. “DACA recipients continue to be arrested, detained, and deported under the President’s deportation apparatus,” said the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Action in Congress on major immigration legislation that might address this matter still seems unlikely.
  • For a second straight day, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as he publicly said that he was “being investigated” for firing FBI Director James Comey last month, appearing to confirm news reports that he is facing a possible probe dealing with obstruction of justice. “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” Trump said on Twitter, appearing to refer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my “collusion with the Russians, nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017 That tweet from this morning seemed to be a swipe at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who chose former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the Special Counsel probe of Russian election interference. Rosenstein prepared a memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions back in early May, which raised repeated questions about how Comey had handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation – at first, that seemed to be the basis for Comey’s firing by the President, until Mr. Trump said a few days later that the Russia investigation was on his mind. Late on Thursday night, Rosenstein issued a written statement about leaks in the Russia probe. It was not immediately clear what prompted the release of that statement by Rosenstein, whether it was in response to recent stories that suggested the President was under investigation for obstruction of justice, or some other reason. On Capitol Hill, Democrats saw only one headline from the latest series of Trump missives on Twitter. “Today the President of the United States confirmed he’s under criminal investigation. Let that sink in,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA).
  • Jamie Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.

    A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.

    He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.

    Follow Jamie on Google+

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Local News

  • New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell can be sweet when he wants to be. Mitchell has a three-book deal with Scholastic, the children's publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The books include a newly illustrated edition of his self-published 'The Magician's Hat,' to come out next May, and two more original works. Mitchell is a literacy advocate who founded the 'Read With Malcolm' program. With New England, Mitchell caught 32 passes last year during the regular season and another six in the Super Bowl, when the Patriots came from behind and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
  • This evening’s meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Party is set for 6 o’clock at the Library on Baxter Street.  Oconee County Republicans meet tonight. It’s a 6 o’clock session at the headquarters of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce in Watkinsville. There are three Envision Athens forums scheduled for today: 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock at the Classic Center, and an Envision Athens steering committee meeting at 5:30 at the Snipes Water Resources Building on Barber Street.  The Athens Downtown Development Authority meets this afternoon, 3 o’clock at the Gameday Building on Broad Street. 
  • The District Attorney in Putnam County says a Madison County man will face a death penalty trial: Ricky Dubose and Donny Rowe were in court in Eatonton Wednesday, a brief bond hearing for the inmates who killed two prison guards nine days ago. They were recaptured one week ago after a three-day manhunt that ended in Tennessee. They were returned to Georgia for Wednesday’s court proceedings, in which bond was denied.  From Alexis Stephens at the AJC... The massive manhunt didn’t end quite as spectacularly as first thought. Instead of being held at gunpoint, the two fugitives accused of killing two Georgia prison guards surrendered in middle Tennessee.  So should anyone get the reward money? Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe were wanted men, and a $130,000 reward was offered as bounty. Last week, the two were arrested, and on Wednesday they made their first appearance in a Georgia courtroom. But the hefty reward has not yet gone to anyone, the GBI said.  “There have been discussions and we are closer to a decision,” a GBI spokeswoman said in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The guards, Sgt. Curtis Billue, 58, and Sgt. Christopher Monica, 42, were both shot and killed along Ga. 16 in Putnam County when two prisoners they were transporting escaped, according to police.  If it were up to the GBI director and the Putnam sheriff, there would be no decision to make. It would go to the man credited with holding the two fugitives until officers could arrive to arrest them outside of Murfreesboro. But that man, Patrick Hale, doesn’t believe he’s a hero at all.  Hale believes they surrendered because his car resembles a police-type cruiser.  “I prayed like I had never prayed before,” said the 35-year-old father. Hale’s neighbor, Jeremy Littrell, also walked over and had a gun. But he wasn’t a hero either, he said, and he never pulled out his gun.  Within minutes, at least 40 officers had surrounded the accused killers.  “There were helicopters circling overhead, police everywhere,” Littrell said. “They knew the gig was up.” Friday afternoon, the GBI released a statement on the money.  “The reward will be dispersed at the appropriate time,” Nelly Miles, GBI spokeswoman, said in an email. “As there were several aspects involved in their apprehension, law enforcement will continue to review them and determine how it will be dispersed.” It was not known when a decision on the reward money would be made.
  • An outing at a popular North Georgia swimming spot turned tragic Tuesday when a father and his 6-year-old son drowned, according to police.  Just before 2 p.m., police and firefighters were called to Dicks Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Lt. Chris Pfrogner with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office said. “When the father and son went off the rocks and into the water, they had trouble staying above the water,” Pfrogner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The river in the area is fairly small and shallow, Pfrogner said. But it can be deceiving to swimmers because of the current and undertows, he said.  Divers found the bodies of 38-year-old Joshua Kistler and his son, Jaxon, later Tuesday. The two lived in Dahlonega. The Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forestry investigators assisted Lumpkin deputies, along with the Hall and Forsyth county sheriff’s offices. No foul play is suspected, Pfrogner said.  “It’s just a terrible accident,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ family.” Others witnessed the father and son go under the water, but were not close enough to help, the Sheriff’s Office said.  “It’s going to affect pretty much the whole community,” Cliff Hooker, a family friend, told Channel 2 Action News. “I mean, everybody in that family is heartbroken,” he said.
  • Just as Maranda Harvey was putting her belongings in her car at an Athens hotel last week after being questioned by police, an officer followed his intuition. He wanted to try to get more out of the mother accused of leaving her child at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with two strangers, so he caught up with her outside. A clerk at the Graduate Athens Hotel had called 911 after recognizing Harvey’s photo on the news. The mother was staying there and admitted to Officer D. Douglas she was the wanted woman, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report released Wednesday, but a check of her ID showed no warrants.  So Douglas released her, but he wasn’t satisfied. “I told her that things didn’t make sense to me,” Douglas wrote in his report. “I told her Atlanta (police were) looking for her because she abandoned the child at the airport.”  Harvey told Douglas, according to the report, that she’d left the 4-year-old with her nanny, but when she struggled to come up with a name, Douglas grew more suspicious. “I knew by the way she hesitated and looked off to the left she was not telling me the truth,” he said.  Harvey then told the officer she left the child with her 26-year-old daughter, the report states. Harvey is 30. When Douglas confronted Harvey about the lie, she simply said: “That’s the benefit of being a mayflower,” according to the report.  The redacted report doesn’t say what exactly happened after the exchange, but Douglas asked for medical assistance. The report also says that her husband, Tyler Joseph Harvey, who was on active military duty, was granted emergency leave.  Police had been searching for Harvey since 7 a.m. Friday. That’s when they were alerted that she left her child with two people at the airport. Atlanta police Sgt. Warren Pickard said Harvey, who is from Odenton, Maryland, drove to the city with her daughter.  When she got to the airport atrium, Harvey asked sisters Huong Nguyen and Mai Nguyen to watch her child while she went to shop, Channel 2 Action News reported. When she didn’t return, they called police.  “Leaving your child at the airport for like an hour with two strangers, it’s quite something,” Huong Nguyen told Channel 2. Police say Harvey abandoned her car, rented a white Nissan Versa and left town.  Authorities haven’t said why Harvey left her child at the airport or what ties she has to Georgia.  According to the report, her husband told police “she had never done anything like this before,” and didn’t know she had left their home and drove to Georgia. It wasn’t until he got a call from authorities that he knew she had disappeared with their child.  Cousin Amanda Hakimi told Channel 2 that Maranda Harvey was a “wonderful mother” and that the reports took them by surprise. Hakimi said Harvey may still be coping with the recent death of her father.  It is not known if Harvey is out of the hospital, and she has not been charged. Atlanta police said Wednesday that reckless conduct charges could be forthcoming.  “There are a lot of moving parts in this investigation and in no way are we not approaching this investigation with the sensitivity it deserves,” Officer Lisa Bender said in a statement. “But by the letter of the law a crime was committed. We are continuing to investigate towards that end.” 

Bulldog News

  • New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell can be sweet when he wants to be. Mitchell has a three-book deal with Scholastic, the children's publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The books include a newly illustrated edition of his self-published 'The Magician's Hat,' to come out next May, and two more original works. Mitchell is a literacy advocate who founded the 'Read With Malcolm' program. With New England, Mitchell caught 32 passes last year during the regular season and another six in the Super Bowl, when the Patriots came from behind and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
  • After his shot at the NFL ended, former University of Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera is working on his next dream— the WWE. An alum of North Clayton High School in Atlanta, Herrera was one of 40 athletes who participated in a WWE tryout last week at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., according to the WWE. Herrera, who was named second-team All-SEC during his senior season, was drafted by Indianapolis Colts the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but was released on Aug. 10, 2016 after playing in three games as a rookie. Herrera also has stints with the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins. In his four seasons as a Bulldog, Herrera started 43 games and recorded 334 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions.
  • Sanford Stadium Utility Work Update - Tate Drive Closing From 6/19 through 6/30, construction crews working on the utilities at the Tate drive will be performing their work at night starting at 7PM and working to 6AM. During this time, the drive to the Tate Parking Deck from Lumpkin will be closed. The entrance to the parking deck will be shifted to the ramp just south of the intersection at Baxter and Lumpkin and traffic will be directed by UGA PD. There will also be a full closure of the drive from 7pm on 6/23 through 10pm on 6/24 as the utilities are installed across the width of the drive. During the day, the drive will be re-opened.
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. — Six home games – three each in November and December – and four road challenges anchor the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2017-18 non-conference schedule, which was announced by head coach Mark Fox on Thursday. “The goal every year is to create a non-conference schedule that 1) prepares you for SEC play and 2) gives you the strength of schedule at the end of the year to have a chance to go to postseason play,” Fox said. “I think again we’ve put one together that again should allow us to do both of those things The Bulldogs will open their campaign in the dramatically renovated Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 10, by hosting Bryant. This summer, Stegeman is undergoing the final phase of more than $20-million in upgrades over the past several years. The arena’s inner bowl is the focus of the final portion of the project and will feature acenter-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. “The final stage of the Stegeman renovations is finally here, which will be the most drastic stage of the project,” Fox said “Obviously, the installation of the glass and work on the concourse was significant, and the building looks different from the outside. I think the interior will look just as significantly different as the outside. I also think you’re going to see the game experience change greatly because of the center-hung scoreboard and video boards and all the other things that can be done with that will be a big upgrade for our game atmosphere and our fans.” The matchup with Bryant is the first of three home games to open the season. Georgia also will host USC-Upstate on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday, Nov. 19. The Bulldogs will then play three games as part of the Wooden Legacy in California over the Thanksgiving break. Georgia is among the eight-team field which also includes Cal State Fullerton, DePaul, Harvard, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Washington State. Games will be played on Thursday, Nov. 23; Friday, Nov. 24; and Sunday, Nov. 26. Georgia will then face Marquette in Milwaukee on Saturday, Dec. 2 before returning to Stegeman to host Winthrop on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Bulldogs will venture to UMass on Saturday, Dec. 16, before wrapping up their pre-SEC slate with dates against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Dec., 19 and Temple on Friday, Dec. 22. Georgia’s remaining non-conference outing will be at Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 27 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Last week, the SEC announced the league’s home and away matchups for this upcoming season. Georgia will face Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee on a home-and-home basis. The Bulldogs also will host Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, while traveling to Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs will return 10 letterwinners, including five with double-digit starts, from a year ago. Consensus All-SEC forward Yante Maten headlines that list. Maten is the SEC’s leading returning scorer after averaging 18.2 ppg a year ago. Junior Derek Ogbeide is the second-leading returning rebounder in the league. He averaged 7.6 rpg last season. In addition, Georgia will welcome four freshmen to the Bulldogs’ roster. “We have a significant number of returning players – nine of our top-10 are back and we’re adding probably one of the better recruiting classes that we’ve had,” Fox said. “But obviously, experience, there’s no substitute for. Everyone is going to be a little bit different role this year because we lost a great leader (J.J. Frazier). We have a lot of guys who we understand what their abilities are and what they’re capable of and I think our chemistry remains very strong. The new guys have the advantage of learning from that experience. We’re working like a team that is very hungry and driven. Right now, we’re excited about their approach.” Stegeman Coliseum Renovation Information Stegeman Coliseum is undergoing major renovations this summer. Work began recently on Phase II of the approximately $8-million project to the Coliseum’s interior. Prior to last season, Phase I included the addition of an HD scoreboard and a dramatic mural covering the distinctive end wall of the arena’s east end. This summer, renovations include a center-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. The current projects follow a $13-million renovation in 2010 that transformed Stegeman’s concourses, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. Those efforts won awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Basketball Enhancement Fund Information Donations to the UGA Athletic Association's Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) will be accepted beginning this Thursday (June 1) through August 1. Current BEF contributors should expect renewal notices to arrive via email on June 5. BEF contributions are utilized for determining renewable season tickets and various other benefits available to Georgia Basketball supporters. The BEF has established records for both amount contributed and number of contributors in each of the past two years. The Georgia Bulldog Club is hoping for another record-setting effort and is challenging donors to contribute 110 percent of their previous donation. The minimum donation to purchase renewable season tickets is $150 per seat. A gift of $150 also will be recognized with a car decal and an invitation to a designated preseason practice of the Bulldogs. Varying levels of BEF donations are used to determine ability to purchase premium courtside seating, as well as tickets to the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. Additional potential benefits associated with contribution levels include reserved parking at Stegeman Coliseum, invitations to the team's preseason and postseason banquets and pre- and in-game hospitality.
  •  From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS------Georgia senior pitcher Andrew Gist was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday.   Gist, a 5-10, 196-pound native of Cumming, Ga., served as Georgia’s SEC Friday night starter this past season, posting a 3-4 record and a team-best 3.80 ERA. He appeared in 17 games with 11 starts for a total of 73.1 innings as the team went 25-32 and advanced to the SEC Tournament. He clinched Georgia’ spot in the postseason when he provided a career-high eight innings in a 6-3 road win over No. 30 South Carolina. Also, he struck out a career-high 10 in six innings as part of a combined 3-0 shutout of Missouri this past April.   Gist enjoyed a two-year career with the Bulldogs after spending his first two seasons at Walters State in Tennessee. As a Bulldog, Gist went 6-6 with one save and a 4.35 ERA in 32 appearances including 17 starts. He tallied 116 strikeouts and 33 walks in 122 innings.   Georgia has a string of 44 straight seasons with at least one player signing a professional contract. In 2016, six Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.   The MLB draft began Monday with the first two rounds while Tuesday’s slate featured rounds three-10. On Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves in the second round selected Bulldog signee Drew Waters, an ALL-USA First Team outfielder out of Etowah High School. The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11-40. The MLB signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in this year’s draft is July 15.   Bulldogs In The 2017 MLB Draft *Drew Waters, OF, 2nd Round (41st overall), Atlanta Braves Andrew Gist, LHP, 9th Round (259th overall), Tampa Bay Rays *2017 Georgia signee