Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Daily Truth about the Democrats’ Cap and Tax Proposal

The Federal Government Wants to Tell You How to Build Your House

What the bill does: The House-passed bill establishes a national building code for commercial and residential buildings, requiring a 30 percent reduction in energy use immediately after passage and an additional 50 percent reduction in energy use by 2014 for residential buildings and 2015 for commercial buildings (Bill as report Sec. 201, p. 297).

What this means for consumers: Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. will tell you how to build your house. This will also create a whole new bureaucracy in Washington and more intrusion into the lives of Americans.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Video of Leader Boehner shedding light on the Cap and Tax bill on the House Floor

On Friday, the House narrowly passed cap and trade legislation - the largest national energy tax every passed by the House of Representatives. Before the vote, GOP Leader Boehner took to the floor to try to inform the House and the American people about what was in a 300 plus page amendment to the Democrats' cap and trade bill - an amendment that was dropped in the House in the dead of night (3:00am to be exact). Below please find video of Leader Boehner's floor speech. Congressman Shuster voted NO on cap and trade.

Click here for a full transcript of Boehner's remarks

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shuster Rejects Democrats’ Stifling National Energy Tax

Congressman Shuster released the following statement in opposition to the Democrats’ misguided and economically perilous cap and trade legislation:

"There is a disconnect between what President Obama and congressional Democrats in Washington want and what my constituents in Pennsylvania need. The government is spending money and racking up debt at a dizzying pace. Unemployment is nearing double digits. Instead of focusing on the challenges that directly affect American families, the President and Speaker Pelosi are racing to pass a massive national energy tax that does nothing to help the environment, but would stifle our economic growth.

In order to attempt to reduce global temperatures by only two tenths of a degree by the end of the Century, the Democrats are willing to impose a massive energy tax that will force families, farmers, and drivers to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars in higher power bills, higher heating and cooling bills, higher food and goods prices and higher gas prices.
There is no escape from this tax. At home, the national energy tax will cost the average Pennsylvania family $3,100 more in annual electric bills alone and 77 cents per gallon at the pump. At work, Americans will see increased unemployment as jobs, by some estimates millions of jobs, get shipped overseas to countries like China and India because it’s just too expensive to keep them at home.
Cap and trade is poisonous to our economic vitality. Reducing global temperatures by a fraction of a degree by the end of the Century should not cost Americans jobs, opportunity and economic freedom. We need a comprehensive energy plan, not a national energy tax. Instead of penalizing energy use, I support a Republican plan for a cleaner, cheaper, safer alternative energy called the American Energy Act.”
The American Energy Act:
• House Republicans recognize that as gas prices and home utility bills rise, American families are dealt an even greater economic hardship.
• The Democrats' answer to the worst recession in decades is a national energy tax that will lead to higher energy prices and further job losses.
• The American people deserve better. The American Energy Act is an all of the above plan that will provide energy independence, more jobs here at home, and a cleaner environment.
• The American Energy Act increases our domestic supply of energy by lifting restrictions on ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf, and oil shale in the Mountain West.
• The House Republican plan renews America's commitment to clean and emissions-free nuclear energy. The Department of Energy has stated the best way for utility companies to reduce carbon emissions is to increase their supply of nuclear energy.
For more information on Cap and Trade, please visit Congressman Shuster’s blog at www.billsblogpa09.blogspot.com.

Breaking News on Cap and Trade

Early this morning, at 3:09 a.m., the Democrat Majority dropped a Manager's Amendment to the Democrat Cap and Tax bill.  This enormous document, that not a single Member has had the time to read, is over 300 pages in length.

 ‬‪The Minority Leader has decided to do a service to ALL Members, both Republican and Democrat, by reading through the amendment and alerting them to its substance.  The American people have a right to know what is in this bill and what Members of Congress are voting on
Sent using BlackBerry

Morning Must Reads

National News:

WSJ Editorial by Kim Strassel: The Climate Change Climate Change

Politico Op-Ed by Rep. Sensenbrenner: Bill Will Shift Billions Overseas

WSJ Op-Ed by John Calfee: The Dangers of Fannie May Health Care

Posted by: Press Secretary

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Video of Shuster on Cap and Trade a.k.a. the National Energy Tax

Congressman Shuster speaks about cap and trade

The Democrats' #1 Priority - National Energy Tax

In a time of economic uncertainty, when unemployment is nearing 10% and spending by House Democrats is out of control, what is Speaker Pelosi's number one priority? A national energy tax.

Wall Street Journal hits the mark with "Cap and Tax Fiction"

The Wall Street Journal hit the mark today in its editorial on the Democrats' cap and trade bill which is expected to be considered for a vote tomorrow or Saturday (the vote depends on whether Speaker Pelosi can hold together a fragile coalition of liberal Democrats and moderates in her party). The editorial "Cap and Tax Fiction" does a great job in explaining how much this national energy tax will actually cost by cutting through the smoke and mirrors of the Democrats' rhetoric and fudged numbers. Here is a quick sample from the piece:

"The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.

When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035."

Read the entire editorial here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Statement of GOP Policy on the National Defense Authorization Bill

H.R. 2647, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010

House Republicans recognize the responsibility of supporting our military and civilian personnel stationed in the United States and deployed abroad in defense of our country and are committed to ensuring they have all the necessary resources to complete their mission successfully. While some items of concern remain within the legislation, Republicans support the passage of H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010.
H.R. 2647 authorizes the President’s request for $550.5 billion for the Fiscal Year 2010 base budget of the Department of Defense and national security programs of the Department of Energy. It also authorizes $130 billion to fund Fiscal Year 2010 war costs for our operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. House Republicans note with strong concern, however, that after taking into consideration the migration into the base budget of items previously funded in the supplemental, the net increase in defense spending is less than 2% of real growth. In a time of war, House Republicans are concerned the funding priorities of the Administration and the Congress are shifting away from providing adequate resources to the Department of Defense, and, in several cases, forcing the Department to make artificial funding choices regarding key capabilities.
House Republicans have consistently supported our military, intelligence, and civilian personnel deployed in harm’s way in defense of our country and have fought efforts by the majority over the last two years to tie the hands of the President in his role as Commander-in-Chief or to put arbitrary restrictions on our commanders on the ground. Therefore, House Republicans are supportive of the President’s proposed strategies for Iraq and Afghanistan. While the implementation plans for those strategies still need to be submitted to Congress, House Republicans are pleased H.R. 2647 maintains support for the President’s redeployment plan which provides flexibility to our commanders and provides for the safety of our combat troops in Iraq, as well as fully resources the outlined counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
However, House Republicans are concerned about several key policy issues contained in the bill. These issues include missile defense, detention policy, military personnel benefits, and Hawaiian labor union provisions.
House Republicans have consistently supported a robust, multi-layered missile defense system capable of protecting our homeland from threats from rogue states, as well as our forward deployed troops and our allies. It is very troubling, therefore, that the majority chose to sustain the Administration’s $1.2 billion cut to missile defense, especially in a year where Iran and North Korea have demonstrated both the capability and the intent to pursue long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons programs. Both countries are ruled by regimes that, in addition to demonstrating a flagrant disregard for the welfare of their people, have long track records of widespread proliferation. Since both countries are working on missile capabilities which threaten the U.S. homeland, House Republicans are disappointed the Administration and the majority are creating a false choice of increasing funding for theater missile defense, which is an important capability for our forward-deployed troops and allies from shorter-range, at the expense of our homeland defenses. House Republicans are still waiting for the Department of Defense to provide the analysis or new requirements to justify decreasing our missile defense capability funding while the missile threat is demonstrably growing.
H.R. 2647 also is deficient with respect to adequately addressing our nation’s detention policy, which directly impacts the security of our military forces and our homeland. Unless addressed on the floor, the current bill remains silent with respect to the public release of certain detainee photographs, despite the fact General Petraeus and General Odierno have indicated the release would increase the threat posed by our military, intelligence, and civilian personnel operating around the world. House Republicans sincerely hope this deficiency is addressed, per the agreement made during the consideration of the issue at the Committee mark-up.
In addition, House Republicans are concerned with the weak language with respect to the disposition of detainees currently held at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill fails to include an amendment offered at Committee to prohibit the transfer or release of the detainees into the United States or to require the prior approval of State Legislatures and Governors prior to a transfer or release. This issue has become more important in light of the Administration’s unilateral decision to import alleged terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, implicated in the bombings of our two East African Embassies, into the United States for trial in New York City. Absent any plan from the Administration, House Republicans had hoped the majority would agree Congress should take steps to ensure the Administration does not unilaterally transfer detainees to the United States for continued detention or trial, nor attempt to release detainees into the United States, especially in the absence of meaningful Congressional, State, and local involvement to ensure the safety and security of U.S. residents and our national security.
Many House Republicans are also disappointed that for the second year in a row, the majority failed to address commitments made in their Budget Resolution to address outstanding military personnel benefits for our men and women in uniform and their families, both past and present. House Republicans are disappointed the majority failed to enact a Republican amendment to increase payments to military surviving spouses and children by repealing the offset on the Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or the “widow’s tax”, and to provide for concurrent receipt of military retirement pay and Veterans’ Affairs disability benefits for all military retirees. The amendment would have also extended TRICARE to Guard and Reserve members who already receive early retirement.
Finally, House Republicans are strongly oppose the ill-advised attempt in H.R. 2467 to institute a new prevailing wage rate in Guam comparable to wages paid in Hawaii, which would increase wages in Guam by 153%. The impact of the provision, which the Congressional Budget Office scores at $2.1 billion, may benefit labor unions in Hawaii, but it will cost residents of Guam jobs and likely force many small businesses operating in Guam out of business. The majority intends to take funding for BRAC accounts to fund this ill-advised provision, and House Republicans will work with the Senate to remove the provision in conference.
House Republicans remain strongly committed to supporting our military and civilian personnel deployed in defense of our country, as well as their families, and, therefore, support passage of H.R. 2467. Furthermore, House Republicans stand ready to work with the Senate to address a number of key issues of concern in conference, especially in the areas of missile defense, detention policy, and ensuring our troops have the resources they need to complete their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan successfully.
Provided by House Republican Leadership and Armed Services Committee Republicans.

Top ten reasons the Democrats' cap and trade bill is bad for America

Top ten reasons the Democrats' cap and trade bill is bad for America

Courtesy of the Republican Leader's office and gop.gov

1. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Impose a National Energy Tax on Every Single American.

2. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cost American Jobs, Shipping Them Overseas to China & India.

3. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cause Electricity Bills to “Skyrocket.”

4. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Hurt Family Farmers & Rural America

5. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Not Improve the Environment

6. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cause Gasoline and Diesel Prices to Spike Further.

7. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Be A Bureaucratic Nightmare.

8. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Send Billions of US Taxpayer Dollars Overseas.

9. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Raise Food Prices.

10. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Set the Stage for Another Market Meltdown.

Click here for In depth explanations

Shuster Secures Chambersburg Army Reserve Center - CASD Land Transfer in Defense Bill

Congressman Shuster is pleased to announce that he has been successful in securing the transfer of land from the Chambersburg Army Reserve Center to the Chambersburg Area School District. Shuster inserted the language for the conveyance into the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which will be passed by the House this week.

Last year, Congressman Shuster secured $14.9 million in military construction funding for a consolidated Army Reserve Center at Letterkenny Army Depot to replace the existing Army Reserve Center on South Sixth Street in Chambersburg. When this new facility is complete in 2011, the current reserve center in Chambersburg will be vacated. The Chambersburg Area School District has expressed its desire to acquire the existing reserve center for a variety of uses for the school district and the surrounding community.

Congressman Shuster secured language in the FY2010 Defense Authorization bill that provides for the transfer of the excess property reserve center to the school district at such time as the Army vacates the property. The House is in the midst of debating the bill and it is expected to pass the legislation by the end of the week. The legislation must then be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President before the conveyance is finalized.

Obama: Energy Prices Will Skyrocket

President Obama on his own cap and trade proposal - "energy prices will skyrocket"

Who needs details on a national energy tax?

Congratulations to Jane Hallinan of Altoona - Congressional Art Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Jane Hallinan of Altoona, the the winner of the 2009 Congressional Art Competition for the 9th District of Pennsylvania.

This morning, Congressman Shuster met with Jane Hallinan and her family in his Washington office to congratulate her on winning the Congressional Art Competition for the 9th Congressional District.

Jane won for her mixed media collage entitled "Baker Mansion Blooms." Her artwork will proudly represent the 9th District when all of the contest winners from across the country have their work showcased in the Capitol complex beginning this month. Jane's collage will hang in the Capitol complex for a year where it will be seen by thousands of tourists, staff and Members of Congress.

Jane is a senior at Altoona Area High School and she will study interior design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the fall.

The Myths of Cap and Trade

Speaker Pelosi and her fellow congressional Democrats are rushing towards a vote on their "cap and trade" proposal this week according to press reports. If a vote is scheduled, there is little doubt that the bill will be brought up and rushed through before the July 4th district work period begins on Monday - limiting debate in an attempt to hide how disastrous cap and trade would be to our economy.

Stay tuned to Bill's Blog as the debate on cap and trade, better known as the national energy tax, continues to intensify.

In the meantime, for a quick refresh of what cap and trade means to our economy, read Congressman Shuster's recent editorial on the subject "A National Energy Tax is Not the Answer."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tele-town hall *Updated*

Just completed the town hall. Over the course of the hour we had over 9,690 people take part!

Tele-town hall

Getting ready to launch the first telephone town hall of the 111th Congress for Congressman Shuster. Looking forward to a lively discussion of the issues.

Office Hours in Indiana County Tomorrow!

Shuster Staff to Hold Office Hours in Indiana County This Wednesday

On Wednesday June 24th from 2:00 to 3:00pm, district staff from the office of Congressman Shuster will hold a session of office hours at the Blairsville Borough Building.

These office hours bring Congressman Shuster’s district staff to residents who don’t live close to the congressman’s district offices or are unable to get to the offices during the week. Office hours will be held from 2:00 to 3:00pm at the Blairsville Borough Building located at 203 East Market Street in Blairsville, PA 15717.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shuster to Hold Railroad Field Hearing in Pittsburgh

On Monday, June 22nd, Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-09), the Ranking Republican on the Railroads Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a field hearing in Pittsburgh on the need to improve and expand passenger rail transportation in western Pennsylvania.

Shuster will be joined by Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04), and Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-19) at Monday’s hearing.

Congressman Shuster, the senior Republican on the Railroads Subcommittee, requested the hearing to take place in Pittsburgh to put a spotlight on the need for investment in passenger rail in western Pennsylvania. The Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee has jurisdiction of passenger and freight rail regulation in the House of Representatives.

WHO: Congressman Bill Shuster; Congressman Jason Altmire (acting Chairman); Congressman Tim Murphy.

Invited witnesses include: The Honorable Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration; and The Honorable Allen D. Biehler, P.E., Secretary of Transportation, Pennsylvania; Christopher K. Gleason, CEO/Chairman, Gleason Financial; Daniel W. Sieminski, Associate Vice President for Finance and Business, Penn State University. A full witness list can be found here.

WHAT: Field Hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.

WHERE: The United States Post Office and District Courthouse at 700 Grant Street – Court Room 6A in Pittsburgh, PA.

WHEN: 10:00am on Monday June 22, 2009.

Shuster Supports the Iranian People’s Right to a Free and Fair Election

Congressman Bill Shuster joined his colleagues in the House today to pass a bipartisan resolution in response to recent events in Iran. Congressman Shuster released the following statement on the resolution’s passing:

“President Reagan said that ‘freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.’ These words take on new meaning today as millions of Iranians take to the streets to force their government to reject the results of a stolen election.

The American people will never be opposed to the right of the Iranian people to live their lives in dignity and freedom. These values are universal and the American people, through their Congress, have a moral responsibility to speak loudly in support of liberty wherever it is needed.”

Background on H.R. 560: House Resolution 560 supports the right of the Iranian people to have a free and fair election and expresses solidarity with Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. In addition, the resolution condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cell phones.

Map Shows True Cost of National Energy Tax on Electricity Prices - $636 Million in Increases for PA

Yesterday, the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill published an article on the fight over the Democrats’ national energy tax in Congress. The article, posted below, referenced a map that shows how much electricity rates in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and would increase under “cap and trade.”

“The fact that this map shows electricity rates skyrocketing by $636 million in Pennsylvania isn’t surprising if you take a close look at what the Democrats are proposing,” Shuster said in response to the article. “This cap and trade proposal is aimed at killing America’s coal industry which would be devastating to our state’s economy.”

Coal lobby fights back on climate bill

By Jim Snyder

Posted: 06/18/09 06:15 PM [ET]

The coal industry is pushing back against a climate change bill that would likely curb coal use by circulating a map that shows which states would see their electric bills increase the most under the legislation.

But supporters of the bill say the industry’s figures are off the mark and don’t factor in ways the bill will offset rising energy costs or the jobs that it will create.

Lobbying has intensified with Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) pressing for a floor vote next week. Waxman reported progress on Thursday in talks with Democrats from rural states who have criticized the bill for not doing enough to protect consumers from higher energy costs.

Industry opponents of the bill are working to sow discontent within the Democratic caucus by estimating the cost impact by state, in hopes of drawing battle lines based on region rather than political party.

House Republicans have picked up on the theme and are circulating the coal industry’s map in hopes of blocking what is a top legislative priority of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Obama.

The National Mining Association, a trade group that represents coal producers, has claimed credit for the map, although an official at Peabody Energy, a large coal company, is listed in a pdf as its specific author.

According to the map, electricity prices in Texas could increase by more than $1 billion and in Pennsylvania by $636 million in 2012 and each subsequent year if the climate change bill becomes law.

Utilities in these states will not receive enough free allowances from the government to cover their emissions, leaving them to buy additional credits in a marketplace created by the bill, invest in projects that would offset their carbon pollution, find ways to conserve electricity, or switch to more climate friendly fuel sources.

Consumers in Washington, Oregon and California, in contrast, would see their electric bills decrease under the bill because utilities there emit less carbon dioxide and will likely have a surplus of allowances to sell in the marketplace.

The bill creates a transfer of wealth from states with high carbon emissions to those with lower levels, critics say.

Luke Popovich of the mining group said the map combines estimates from the Congressional Budget Office as to what the price of carbon will be in 2012 with emissions data from the Energy Information Administration, a division of the Energy Department.

“This is simply to say, ‘let’s be careful before we leap into the dark here,’” Popovich said.

Under the bill, utilities and other industrial sectors would have to obtain allowances to cover their carbon dioxide emissions. The majority of those allowances would be given away for free during an initial phase to help prevent dramatic cost increases. But some companies will likely have to buy additional allowances to cover their emissions.

The cost disparity comes because allowances are distributed both based on emissions and electric sales. So, a utility that relies on hydroelectric power and therefore has a relatively small amount of emissions to cover would likely have a surplus of allowances it could then sell to a utility that is short.

The coal industry’s map shows that states that rely on coal to get their power will see the electricity prices increase more than other areas like the West Coast and Northeast, areas that depend more on hydroelectric and nuclear power, neither of which emits carbon dioxide.

Coal now accounts for more than 50 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. But coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. Legislation that caps carbon dioxide emissions is likely to make coal use less economical versus other fuel sources.

But a spokesman for one of the climate bill’s main authors, Energy and Commerce Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), said the map grossly overstates the bill’s cost.

“Many other studies on a clean energy jobs plan, including the EPA study on Waxman-Markey, show that the cost increases would be vastly lower, and many other quality, transparently-created studies show energy savings and job increases,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder. “The positive results of those studies calls into question the validity of this map, especially given the fact that the authors appear to be those who oppose a clean energy plan.”

Burnham-Snyder said the map doesn’t take into account electricity savings generated by energy efficiency programs promoted by the bill.

Another map circulating on Capitol Hill shows far less of a cost impact in 2012, the first year of implementation

It shows that electric rates in Texas and Pennsylvania would increase only $3. Consumers in Washington and Oregon would see a savings, but only of $1, and electricity prices in California would increase by that amount. The map was developed by PG&E, a utility that is supportive of climate change legislation.

The Environmental Protection Agency, meanwhile, has estimated that the climate bill would cost consumers between $98 to $140 a year on average.

Other studies show a cap and trade program akin to what Congress is considering will be much costlier.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Democrats Spend American Taxpayer Money, Unchecked, Without Debate…

Democrats have proposed spending $1.089 trillion in American taxpayer money for discretionary government programs in the 2010 fiscal year. Last night, debate began on the first of 12 bills which make up the Democrats’ staggering $1.089 trillion spending proposal. Before the House was the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, $64.31 billion in taxpayer money. And while the economy contracts, family budgets shrink, and unemployment rises, Democrats put forward a plan to increase spending on this portion of the government by 12%. Justified? Republicans didn’t think so. And most Americans agree—government spending is out of control.

That debate deserves to be heard. Yet, instead of defending their spending, or allowing it to be curtailed or re-directed, Democrats shut down the U.S. House of Representatives after just 22 minutes of amendment debate on this massive spending bill, preventing any Republican from debating its merits or limiting its spending.

$64.31 billion in American taxpayer money before Congress and Democrats allowed only 22 minutes of debate. Just three years ago, Congress took three days to debate this bill. Rather than allowing for an open debate as decades of precedence suggest they should, Democrats took their bloated spending bill to the heavy-handed Rules Committee in the dark of night for a secret and un-televised session to limit further transparency of their spending habits.

While they try to avoid the cameras to protect their spending, some facts have already emerged. Here’s a quick timeline and summary of their strategy to ram massive spending through Congress without taxpayers’ knowledge…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

7:51 PM: Debate begins on the merits of the Democrats’ $64.31 billion spending bill.

8:13 PM: Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) cuts off all debate over whether to spend $64.31 billion in taxpayer money. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8K49YQiOQ

Two years ago, Rep. Mollohan recused himself from debating portions of this spending bill, citing a personal conflict of interest. By ending debate prematurely, Rep. Mollohan will not have to recuse himself this year.

9:20 PM: Democrats close down the U.S. House of Representatives to begin an un-televised hearing on their $64.31 billion spending bill. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) demands to know why. Video:


10:45 PM: Democrats convene their secret and un-televised session, summarily deciding which portions of their spending will be made subject to amendment the following day.

Without the benefit of C-SPAN cameras and the transparency they bring, Republicans show up at the closed-door session to debate the Democrats’ massive spending spree.

11:22 PM: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) expresses reservations about his Democrat colleagues’ attempt to quash debate and asks his fellow Democrats to return to an open process the next day.

11:50 PM: Rep. Perlmutter is summoned to the office of the Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

12:22 AM: Rep. Perlmutter and Rep. Slaughter reemerge from their closed-door meeting.

1:12 AM: Rep. Perlmutter votes against allowing for open debate on the Democrats’ spending bill.

1:32 AM: Democrats finish their dark-of-night session.

In total, Democrats shut out 94 amendments. The majority of these amendments would have saved billions in wasteful government spending and better prioritized how Washington spends taxpayer funds. Below is a sample of just a few of those amendments…

Notable Amendments Shut Out by Democrats

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) Amendment: The amendment would have reduced funding for the Department of Commerce by $100 million, per the President’s request. Earlier this year, the President asked his Cabinet to find $100 million in savings within each of their departments. In their spending arrogance, however, congressional Democrats were unwilling to even consider the President’s request.

Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA)/Rob Wittman (R-VA) Amendments: The amendments would have saved 0.5% of the bill for American taxpayers. Democrats have increased this portion of the federal government by nearly 12% this year, but would not even consider scaling that massive increase back to just 11.5%.

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) Amendment: The amendment would have ensured that any savings generated from limiting the funds of this bill would have gone to reducing the record deficit. Apparently, a $1.8 trillion deficit (the largest in history) is not a worthy subject for the House of Representatives to debate and try to combat.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) Amendment: The amendment would have facilitated funding for the Justice Department to investigate Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) claims that the CIA has continually lied to Congress. Democrats continue to block an investigation—at all costs—of these serious allegations made by Speaker Pelosi.

Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)/Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Amendments: The amendments would have re-prioritized funding in the bill, without increasing its overall size, to focus on the nation’s homeland security. Democrats were more intent on protecting their own personal spending than focusing on one of Congress’s most pressing duties: providing for the nation’s homeland security.

Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL)/Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Amendments: The amendments would have prevented the nationalization of the American auto industry. Democrats are clearly intent on protecting all of their government takeovers.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Amendment: The amendment would have prohibited any funding in the bill from going to the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Once again, Democrats protect their shadowing outside interests with taxpayer funds.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) Amendment: The amendment would have prohibited the granting of Miranda rights to detainees held in the custody of American armed forces in Afghanistan. This common-sense national security amendment was tossed aside by Democrats during their secret session.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shuster supports missile defense

Today, Congressman Shuster spoke out in favor of restoring missile defense funding in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010. The President's budget cut $2.1 billion in missile defense funding. Congressman Shuster believes that now is not the time to cut missile defense, especially when North Korea continues its nuclear tests and Iran continues to defy international pressure on its nuclear program.

Here is video of the congressman's statement at the Armed Services Committee mark-up: