Warnock promotes infrastructure bill in tour of Dobbins, Lockheed

Jun. 30—SMYRNA — In a tour of Cobb County's military and research complex at Dobbins Air Reserve Base on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, touted Democratic infrastructure plans as a boon for job creation in his home state.

The day included stops at Dobbins, the adjoining Lockheed Martin plant, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where the senator delivered remarks.

"We here in Georgia should take a great deal of pride in the fact that those planes, that equipment is also made right here in Georgia, producing Georgia jobs," Warnock said of Dobbins and Lockheed.

The visit was the latest stop in Warnock's "Jobs for Georgia" tour promoting the infrastructure bill proposed by President Joe Biden, backed by Democrats, and currently enjoying tenuous support from a number of Republican senators.

He likewise championed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, passed by the Senate on June 8 and awaiting House approval, which would put billions into science and technology research. Warnock said the bill would help institutions like Georgia Tech "continue innovating the solutions that our military needs to keep our national defense strong, and protect our service members."

In May, concern (particularly from critics of Chairwoman Lisa Cupid) swirled around Cobb about the possibility of recent zoning decisions in the county hurting Dobbins' chances of surviving future rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) review. Warnock said he was "continually in conversation with the secretary of the Air Force" to avoid that outcome.

"Dobbins Air Force Base, as well as our other military assets across the state, play an important role in our national defense," he added. "There is institutional knowledge there among the personnel there that I think makes its own case for its continuation. So we're fighting not only for its continuation, but that it might be strengthened and expanded. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens."

The senator meanwhile declined to comment on former President Donald Trump's pronouncement that Herschel Walker would challenge Warnock for his seat in 2022.

"I'm busy being Georgia's United States senator," Warnock said.

Warnock was set to meet with Cobb County's commissioners after the news conference, a spokesperson told the MDJ. Joining him for the tour was former state Rep. Bert Reeves, now vice president of university relations for Georgia Tech.