Tag Archives: House of Representatives

My New Representative

I only mentioned this briefly after the elections this fall — Dennis Ross was elected here in Florida’s district 12 to replace Adam Putnam who ran for, and won, the commissioner of agriculture post.

I read two separate stories involving Ross this morning. The first in the Washington Post notes that Ross, along with 30 year old Minnesota Republican freshman Justin Amash, will serve as chairman (with Amash as vice chairman) of the House Oversight subcommittee on the federal workforce, U.S. Postal Service and labor policy.

[Committee Chairman Darrell] Issa expects Ross and Amash to work on building “a 21st century federal workforce that no longer grows itself at the expense of private sector job creation, and gets more done with less.” Preventing “a fiscal meltdown” at the U.S. Postal Service is also “one of the central priorities” of the new Congress, Issa said in his statement.


Though the Postal Service is seeking serious structural reforms, it is still unclear how far Congress is willing to go to revamp it. USPS lost $8.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September and postal executives are seeking passage of legislation that would allow them to set delivery routes, close post offices and adjust prices without congressional approval — a potentially tricky vote for lawmakers who would face criticism for approving the closure of neighborhood post offices.

The other story mentioning Ross was in the local Lakeland Ledger, reporting on local residents who want to keep Obamacare. Ross, who campaigned against the plan, is scheduled to give his first house speech on that subject this morning. The text of that speech, as provided by the representative’s Chief of Staff Fredrick Piccolo Jr., was included in a sidebar.

Today I rise in support of repealing and replacing the recently enacted health care law that nationalizes nearly one sixth of our country’s gross domestic product.

This November, the American people sent a resounding message to Congress and to this administration that they do not want to pay higher taxes for a one-size-fits-all health care system that replaces doctors with bureaucrats. Instead, the American people want complete control of their healthcare dollars and healthcare decisions and they want to be able to take their policies with them from job to job without being penalized by the federal government. Americans need privatized healthcare that forces competition in order to achieve affordability, choice and innovation.

As a small business owner, I understand that adding $104 billion in taxes and compliance costs to our unstable job-market creates a massive burden on our taxpayers and is not the best way to encourage economic growth. Imposing new regulations on small businesses by mandating employers provide health insurance stifles economic growth and makes it difficult for businesses to survive.

We can bring down costs and increase affordability by allowing the free market to create robust competition. One common sense reform is the interstate sale of health insurance. By breaking down the barriers of the sale of health insurance, American citizens will have the ability to choose the plan that best fits their needs at a rate that is affordable to them. By allowing competition, we bring costs down and provide the best possible product for the American people.

I was very pleased voting for Dennis as my representative. I’ll be watching him closely, and, as I promised him in a message on Twitter, holding him accountable.

But, Will It Pass?

It’s a great idea. It just makes me sad that a resolution would be needed to constrain legislators. They are already bound by this:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Many, myself included, feel that they don’t take their oath very seriously. The current administration seems to think it a distraction. In response, New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett will introduce a resolution today requiring legislators to cite the power in the Constitution that gives them the authority to create a piece of legislation.

“This bill grows out of ‘The Pledge with America,’ going across the country prior to the campaign and hearing what was important to the American public and what they have told us is that we need to — as they and we put it — restore the preeminence of the Constitution in law-making and we do that by, as the rule would say, passing a non-waivable rule that would require every bill and amendment to have a citation of the specific authority in the Constitution.”

The good news is that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the Constitution is a document that codifies the limits of government. For far to long we have allowed our government to institute laws that intrude further and further into our lives while ceding more power and control to the state — much more than the Constitution allows.

Anticipating the tactics members will try to employ,

Garrett’s resolution will prohibit members from manipulating the more ambiguous “general welfare clause” and “necessary and proper clause” and instead require members to isolate specific provisions which make their proposals Constitutional.

Beyond the disappointing fact that such a resolution is even necessary, here are my thoughts on it’s passage and implementation.

  • Can this pass? Prior to the seating of the next Congress, I’m not so sure. Both parties have proved to have a bigger thirst for power than they do for anything that would limit their power. Too often they have seemed to consider the Constitution the way that Captain Barbosa described The Pirate Code — “They’re more like guidelines.”
  • If it should pass, now or after the new Congress convenes, how will members act? I think that Congress will pull stunts that would make Cirque du Soleil proud as thy attempt to maneuver around anything that limits them. To many, the idea that government has limits, “does not compute.”
  • With the gains made by conservatives in the recent election, I hope that those newly elected come to Washington understanding that “We the People” are fed up with the extra-constitutional intrusions into our lives. If the Constitution doesn’t say you can do it, you can’t do it. Period.

Add your thoughts in the comments.

He Gets It

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, running for Congress in Florida district 22, really does get it. Watch, as he answers a marine’s question.

Dealing with a threat requires understanding the threat. Is there any doubt that Colonel West understands? I didn’t think so.

(h/t Rick at Wizbang)

Around Florida – District 22

Lieutenant Colonel Allen WestWhile I live in Florida, I’ve spent most of my time here at bRight & Early blogging about national politics. I really need to take a closer look at the races around the state.

I’ll get to my own House district (12) soon, but this evening I want to offer up this video of Lieutenant Colonel Allen West who is running in district 22.

That’s a man that we could use in Congress. The mental picture he paints regarding San Fran Nan is priceless.

Video via The Shark Tank

NY-23 Roundup

It’s the race the political blogoshpere, cable and network news, and print sources are all talking about — New York’s special election in House district 23. If you tuned out Friday afternoon, you may have missed a few things.

On Friday, the day after the only three way debate, Hoffman continued to pick up endorsements from George Pataki and others. On Saturday Dede Scozaafava decided to suspend her campaign, and on Sunday she showed how much being a “Life-long Republican” meant to her — by supporting Democrat Bill Owens.

Scozzafava dropped out after Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman experienced a late-in-the-game surge. The move was expected to consolidate GOP voters behind Hoffman on Tuesday.

But on Sunday, Scozzafava issued a written statement in which she backed Democrat Bill Owens.

As Ed Morrissey and many others pointed out,

Doesn’t this prove the point conservatives had been making about Dede Scozzafava all along?

Why, yes. Yes it does.

As you can imagine, all of these various pieces have shook up the polling. The only one I’ve seen – post Dede – is one from PPP.

In a three way contest with Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Dede Scozzafava Hoffman leads with 51% to 34% for Owens and 13% for Scozzafava. In a head to head contest with Owens Hoffman holds a 54-38 advantage.

In other words, it’s a toss-up. What? That’s what Mike Allen suggested on Morning Joe.

The claim by Allen, Politico’s chief political correspondent, was so absurd that, on the spot, host Joe Scarborough offered 3:1 odds to Allen and anyone else wanting to place a few kopeks on Dem Bill Owens.

The real poll is tomorrow. Along with the governorships in NJ and VA it should be an interesting 48 hours.

What Does NY23 Mean?

Is the House race in NY district 23 a bellwether of conservative opportunities around the country, or is it merely a local race that will have little meaning at the end of the day? Here’s the story as it was on October 1st:

Republican Dede Scozzafava leads Democrat Bill Owens in the race to fill a vacant House seat in upstate New York, even though the Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman skims off a chunk of GOP voters.

Scozzafava, a longtime assemblywoman, was backed by 35 percent of likely voters in a Siena College poll conducted Sept. 27-29 — the first independent survey in the hotly contested race to fill the seat of former Rep. John McHugh.

Owens, a Plattsburgh attorney, was favored by 28 percent of those polled, while Hoffman, an accountant and entrepreneur, was the choice of 16 percent.

But that was not, and is not the end of the story.

Club for Growth and Gary Bauer both endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

And it doesn’t end there.

RCP Reported these poll results on October 15th:

Owens 33 (+5 vs. last poll, Oct. 1)
Scozzafava 29 (-6)
Hoffman 23 (+7)

As the polling reflects, Scozzafava’s chances were fading while Democrat Owens took the lead and Hoffman made a serious leap upward. Dana Loesch, writing at BigGovernment.com, looked at the race:

A special election to replace departing Congressman John McHugh features a GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafave, backed by national GOP ‘leaders’, DailyKos and the state teachers’ union, a Democrat, Bill Owens and a Conservative Party Candidate, Doug Hoffman.

National GOP figures claim Dede Scozzafava is the best candidate hold the seat for the GOP. If that is true it begs a question, is it worth holding? Dede Scozzafava has regularly sought the support of ACORN’s Working Families Party, supported higher taxes, increased government spending, the stimulus bill, bailouts, Card Check…oh, lets just stop there.

Loesch created the website www.DumpDede.com

I have the feeling that Scozzafava thought this campaign was going to be a cake walk. John McHugh had won the district by comfortable margins in the past.

As her poll numbers shrank so did good ideas for her campaign. Example 1 — calling the cops on a reporter.

Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack caught up with Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava at a campaign event in Lowville, New York, yesterday. McCormack scared the hell out of Scozzafava by asking her questions on card check, taxes and abortion coverage.

McCormack scared Scozzafava so badly that she called the cops on him. “[Scozzafava] got startled, that’s all,” the officer explained to McCormack. “It’s not like you’re in any trouble.”

McCormack was relieved, but he wonders “if it’s the Scozzafava campaign that’s in trouble–with a candidate who supports card check, who is unwilling to say she’d oppose a health care bill that raises taxes or includes abortion coverage, and who is so reluctant to answer questions that she has someone with her campaign call the cops when she’s questioned by a reporter who is (if I may say so) polite–if a bit persistent.”

Dede Scozzafava Photo-opWhat could be worse than that? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. The answer is holding a press conference in front of your opponents campaign headquarters. It was not a good photo-op.

While Scozzafava enjoys the support of Republicans like Newt Gingrich and the NRCC, in the past few days Hoffman has picked up some serious conservative support. Ken Blackwell said,

Hoffman is a genuine Reagan conservative in a district that generally votes in that direction. Now, some smart people argue that in some districts, only a moderate Republican can get elected. That’s what coalitions are all about. We cannot get all we want all the time. Even the Gipper would campaign for some Republicans I was less than thrilled about. He understood the importance of building a majority in Congress.

That’s not the situation that faces us in New York 23, however. There, the GOP establishment’s nominee for Congress, Dede Scozzafava, is pro-choice and anti-marriage; she supported the failing Obama stimulus, and she has waffled on whether she would back Big Labor’s demand for “card check.”


Hoffman is a true Reagan conservative. He accepted the Conservative Party’s nomination because he was denied the chance to make his case to the party’s grass-roots voters. If elected, he would caucus with the Republicans. He’d provide unquestionably stronger support for genuine GOP principles than Scozzafava — based on her own liberal record — would provide.

And Rep. Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) became the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support Conservative Doug Hoffman over the GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava in the upcoming New York special election.

Want more? How about Sarah Palin.

The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it’s important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York’s 23rd Congressional district. It’s my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

The support has also come in financially.

Over the past week, New York House special election candidate Doug Hoffman has doubled the amount of donations he has received for his unusually strong third-party campaign.

Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee in the Nov. 3 contest for the 23rd District seat, disclosed just more than $300,000 in total receipts in his pre-general election fundraising report, which covers the beginning of the race through Oct. 14. That included a $102,000 loan that Hoffman, an accountant and first-time candidate, made to his campaign from his own funds.

But Hoffman’s campaign also said that since Oct. 14, the candidate — who is in a tight three-way race to fill the seat Republican Rep. John M. McHugh vacated to become secretary of the Army — raised more than $200,000 online.

While this race is coming down to the November 3rd wire, it is far from over.

Hoffman’s campaign website and on Twitter — @dougforcongress

Adam Putnam on ACORN

Adam PutnamI received this letter from my representative, Adam Putnam, on ACORN and HR 3571

Yesterday, I became an original cosponsor of H.R. 3571, the Defund ACORN Act. This legislation would stop all funding to the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN). In addition, the Senate also voted to deny any funding to ACORN provided under the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Act. ACORN would have been eligible for millions of dollars in additional taxpayer funds had the amendment not passed.

As you are well aware, ACORN has a long history of allegations surrounding their abuse of taxpayer funds through inappropriate and illegal political activities. Most recently, disturbing videos emerged showing ACORN employees providing individuals with guidance on how to best hide illegal activities from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and law enforcement.

There is simply no place in our federal budget for funding of political activists and organizations that provide illegal services. ACORN — and any other organization providing these “services” — should be denied all federal funding.

While in July 31, 2008, I called on House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) to hold immediate hearings to investigate evidence that ACORN may be using public funds inappropriately, and again in October 2008, requesting that Chairman Frank hold hearings on alleged abuses of taxpayer dollars by ACORN due to the significant funding ACORN and it’s affiliates receive from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, he has yet to hold such a hearing.

Taxpayer funds should only be used for programs that provide important services to beneficiaries, transparency to taxpayers, and the appropriate oversight mechanisms to the public and Congress. We should have no tolerance for spending hard earned taxpayer money on groups and entities like ACORN that promote and carry out illegal activities, while politicizing government programs.

This group should have been defunded long ago and I am hopeful that any access to federal funds will stop immediately through either the passage of H.R. 3571 or direct action by the Administration.

I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this important issue.

Where does your Rep. stand on HR 3571? Report what you find out here in the comments.

Living In Government Housing

Living in government housing used to be limited to military personnel (I still remember visiting my uncle and his family at Ft. Dix) and, what we used to call, “the projects”. Not anymore.

I bet you thought that if you bought a house, you actually own it and can, with reasonable exceptions, do with it what you want. You probably think that if you want to live in a log cabin, with wood stoves that belch smoke into the air for heat, and an old washer and dryer that don’t have those little EnergyStar stickers on them you can because it’s your life and your property. You paid for it with money you earned with the sweat of your brow and what the heck is America anyhow if a body can’t live in the home they want furnished with the appliances they want?

Ah, silly you. You didn’t reckon on the Democratic Party’s desire to control every minuscule aspect of your life.

Jimmie Bise’s post is a sobering and disturbing look at just one section of passed-without-reading Waxman-Markey mess. It’s section 304, and it says, in part:

(A) preparation, and public disclosure of the label through filing with tax and title records at the time of–

(i) a building audit conducted with support from Federal or State funds;

(ii) a building energy-efficiency retrofit conducted in response to such an audit;

(iii) a final inspection of major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit issued by a local government entity;

(iv) a sale that is recorded for title and tax purposes consistent with paragraph (8);

(v) a new lien recorded on the property for more than a set percentage of the assessed value of the property, if that lien reflects public financial assistance for energy-related improvements to that building; or

(vi) a change in ownership or operation of the building for purposes of utility billing; or

(B) other appropriate means.

As Bise notes, “Pay close attention to (iii), (iv), and (vi) because those hit you right where you live.” You need to read his whole post. If your head doesn’t explode (I make no guarantees) head over to this post by Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson and read about 49 other little tidbits of nanny state delight, including:

43. Waxman-Markey also enables Obama to indulge his persistent desire to use the tax code to transfer wealth from people who pay taxes to people who don’t — i.e., from likely Republican voters to likely Obama voters. The bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow certain low income taxpayers a refundable energy tax credit to compensate such taxpayers for reductions in their purchasing power, as identified and calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resulting from regulation of GHGs (greenhouse gases).”

44. Not only will Waxman-Markey slip more redistribution into the tax code, it will establish a new monthly welfare check. It will create an “Energy Refund Program” that will “give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act.”

45. Another new class of government dependents will be created by Waxman-Markey: Americans put out of work by Waxman-Markey. The bill establishes a program to distribute “climate change adjustment assistance to adversely affected workers.”

The bottom line is you are going to have less (much less) on your bottom line. Beyond that you are going to have less (much less) personal freedom and rights.

It’s passed in the House. We can not allow it to move forward in the Senate. The amount of damage this bill can do between now and 2010/2012 is mind-boggling. Make no mistake, this bill will do nothing to stop “climate change” (how can you fix a hoax?), but will do plenty to stop prosperity and replace capitalism with government redistribution of wealth.

If this doesn’t scare you, you’re just not paying attention.

Call Today!

Via Michelle Malkin, AFP has a list of undecided and leaning representatives along with their contact information.

Here are the Republicans you should call:

Lean Yes
Castle, Michael – Delaware
Ehlers, Vernon – Michigan
Lance, Leonard – New Jersey
McHugh, John – New York
Reichert, Dave – Washington

Buchanan, Vern – Florida
Kirk, Mark – Illinois
Lobiondo, Frank – New Jersey
Petri, Thomas – Wisconsin
Smith, Chris – New Jersey

Lean No
Fortenberry, Jeffrey – Nebraska
Frelinghuysen, Rod – New Jersey
Gerlach, Jim – Pennsylvania
Johnson, Timothy – Illinois

My rep is Adam Putnam. I am sure he is a no, but I’ll be calling his offices at 9:00 urging him to try to persuade others.

NO! To Cap and Tax

This is important. Please contact your representative. Now. Today! The Dems are still scrambling to find enough votes to pass this massive job killing, tax raising, homage to junk science and bad policy.

From the White House lawn to the bowels of the Capitol to the hills just east of Nashville, Democrats pulled out all the stops and employed their biggest guns to whip dozens of still-undecided members.

Although supporters of the bill to lower carbon emissions expressed confidence that the universe of undecided votes was shrinking in favor of an expanding pool of yeses, their actions throughout the day suggested they were in a frenzy to secure a critical mass of supporters.

Where does your Representative stand? You can’t be sure unless you contact them. It looks like very few Republicans will vote for this mess, but there are a few still undecided.

Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), who has been courting centrist Republicans to support the bill and attended Pelosi’s recent meetings with those Republicans — was lingering just outside the Speaker’s Lobby on Thursday afternoon.

Boehlert now works for the Alliance for Climate Protection, where Gore is chairman of the board.

The president’s energy and climate change point person, Carol Browner, also spent Thursday wooing GOP centrists, according to leadership aides.

It’s unclear whether she changed the minds of fence-sitting GOP Reps. Dave Reichert (Wash.), Mike Castle (Del.) or Mark Kirk (Ill.).

If any of those three are yours, burn up their email and their phones!

The President and Dem leadership are trying to sell this as a jobs bill. What?!? This bill will make us nostalgic for 10% unemployment (and for semi-affordable power bills).

“Make no mistake,” Obama added, “this is a jobs bill.”

The “green jobs” message is one Democrats have had difficulty selling, in part because of GOP attacks on the bill and in part because their messaging ability was co-opted by weeks’ worth of delicate negotiations with Democrats from agricultural areas, and that dominated their focus.

Don’t let them implement this mythical jobs bill. Take action.

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I did have to agree with one thing that was said.

President Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, delivering a stern warning on Thursday to members attending the Democratic whip meeting.

If this goes down, it shows we can’t govern,” Axelrod­­­ said, according to one person in attendance.

Yeah, but we already knew that.