Lawmakers clash over Georgia’s decision to reopen

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Georgia businesses are on the verge of reopening.

“I applaud the fact that he’s stepped up to the fact that we are going to have to phase in reopening the economy,” Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) said Wednesday.

Perdue supports Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s plan to let places like hair salons and fitness centers begin operation on Friday.

“I know that people are picking on those two particular ones but look, we had grocery stores open throughout the last six weeks. We’ve had gas stations, drug stores,” Perdue added.

“There was a surprise on some of these that were opened up and I think that’s just an honest statement from anyone,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA-9) said Wednesday.

Collins said he understands the governor’s decision and says it is time to reopen the country safely.

“I think as we go forward it’s going to be a balance of if you can stay at home, stay at home. At least through the stay-at-home order from the governor and then we’ll start to see how this goes out,” Collins said.

But some lawmakers just next door in South Carolina are expressing caution.

On Tuesday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted Georgia was going “too fast, too soon.”

South Carolina Congressman William Timmons (R-SC-4) hopes healthcare providers aren’t overwhelmed.

“I hope he’s not reopening too soon,” he said.

But South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3) says their state should follow Georgia’s lead.

“I think he probably could have taken it a little bit further but I applaud him for his cautious approach,” Duncan said.

Both Perdue and Collins say if you don’t want to go out, you don’t have to. But in a few days, the option will be there.

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