Dear fellow Oregonian:
The national energy tax gets one step closer to reality
may already know, the so-called cap and trade bill
passed the House of Representatives narrowly on Friday.
I opposed this bill, which levies the largest-ever
energy tax on the American people.
Click here or on the image below to watch my speech on
the House floor on Friday:
becomes law, PacifiCorp would hike its power rates in
Oregon by at least 17.9 percent. The Heritage Foundation
estimates that the National Energy Tax 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
could climb as high as $6,800 by 2035.
authors of the bill recognized the toll higher energy
prices will take on families, so they developed a new
“energy stamps” welfare program. The size of this new
entitlement is 16-times bigger than America’s
already-existent welfare system (the Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families program). But if you’re a
family of four making more than $33,000 a year, you’re
out of luck. The program doesn’t apply to you.
might assume that such an incredibly consequential bill
would have been vetted carefully before passage.
Incredibly, you’d be wrong. At 2:49 a.m. on Friday, the
bill’s author, Representative Henry Waxman
(D-Hollywood), introduced a new, 309-page rewrite of the
1,201-page bill. I have trouble believing that any
member of Congress read through this new rewrite in the
handful of hours before the vote. And out of 224
amendments that Republicans hoped to have considered,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi only allowed one to receive a vote
on the House floor.
may also recall from past e-newsletters that initial
drafts of the national energy tax, pushed on the House
by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the representative from
Beverly Hills, Henry Waxman, would unnecessarily and
severely restrict the emerging woody biomass/renewable
electricity industry in Oregon before it could make the
tremendous economic and forest health impact for Oregon
that just about
bill now heads to the Senate.
Check out this video by clicking here or on the image
below that I think sums up the differing priorities
right now in the nation’s capital.
Suppressing science at the Environmental Protection
last week, I joined some of colleagues at a news
conference where we called for an investigation into the
Environmental Protection Agency alleged actions to
suppress the scientific analysis of a career employee.
the short story: Earlier this year, the EPA released
what’s called an “endangerment finding” on carbon
dioxide, which basically states that carbon dioxide is a
toxic pollutant. That paved the way for the EPA to
regulate energy use if Congress failed to act. As you
know, the House has passed that national energy tax and
the Senate is working on similar legislation.
However, before EPA issued its “endangerment finding,” a
38-year career veteran economist in the EPA named Dr.
Alan Carlin (he earned a B.S. in physics from Cal-Tech
and a PhD in economics from MIT) wrote a report for the
agency that alerted his superiors to evidence that was
critical to the justification for the EPA’s decision to
regulate carbon dioxide.
for reasons unknown, he was shut down by a superior, and
told in an e-mail that the Obama “administration has
decided to move forward on endangerment, and your
comments do not help the legal or policy case for this
would EPA rush their decision and silence dissenting
views? The email exchange is quite troubling.
time to put the spotlight of the Oversight and
Investigations Subcommittee on the EPA’s process. As the
top Republican on the panel, I’ve asked the Democratic
chairman to agree to an investigation. Hopefully, we
don’t get to the point where we must subpoena witnesses
and documents, but I’m willing to go that far if it
means getting at the truth.
Carlin, the EPA professional who was silenced, was
simply doing what every taxpayer should expect from
their public servants—a full and thorough analysis of an
incredibly important policy decision. Why in the world
was he and others shut down?
tuned for more on this developing story…
Great news for veterans
were some real positive steps taken last week in the
House on behalf of the country’s veterans:
Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
of 2009 (H.R. 1016).
This bill would give the VA would a more predictable
funding source to allow them to plan ahead for how best
to care for the veterans that rely on their services.
This bill will now move on to the Senate for their
Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1211).
With a growing number of female veterans, it is
important that the VA ensures it is able to serve their
medical needs. If it becomes law, this bill would call
for an assessment of all health care services and
programs provided by the VA for female veterans and
requires the VA to improve programs for veterans
suffering from military sexual trauma or post-traumatic
stress disorder, provide medical care for newborn
children of female veterans, and conduct a pilot program
of child care for female veterans receiving health care
from VA facilities. It is now up to the Senate to
consider this important legislation.
Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of
would increase the rates of veterans’
disability compensation, provide additional compensation
for dependents, increase the clothing allowance for
certain disabled adult children, and increase dependency
and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and
children at the same cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment
rate payable to recipients of Social Security. This
bill will now go to the President for his signature and
if signed, will become effective on December 1, 2009.
Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009 (H.R. 2990)
also passed the House. Among other items, this bill
includes a one-year fix which expands eligibility for
concurrent receipt of both military retired pay and
veterans’ disability compensation for Chapter 61
disability retirees, regardless of their disability
rating or years of service.
encourage all veterans to see if they are eligible to
take advantage of the new GI Bill, which I strongly
supported last year because it brings benefits in line
with what returning veterans received after World War
II. The VA recently began accepting and processing
applications for this great program to provide increased
educational benefits for all those who have served on
active duty since September 11, 2001, which includes
guard and reserve members that have served on active
duty. For more detailed information about this benefit
and eligibility requirements, you can visit
Join me on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
note to let you know that I now have channels and pages
set up on
Twitter to help me continue to communicate what’s
happening in the nation’s capital and around the Second
District. Click on the icons below to head to those
pages and I hope you consider subscribing to the
Bipartisan work between myself and Rep. Earl Blumenauer,
(D-OR), has won House approval of a federal investment
to design a new state-of-the-art Visitor Education
Center at the rim of Crater Lake National Park.
Lake, as we all know, is one of Oregon’s great natural
treasures and it deserves to have visitor facilities
worthy of its spectacular scenery. But it’s also a major
economic driver for southern Oregon, with nearly 500,000
annual visitors contributing over $30 million per year
to the region’s economy.
investment still has to be approved by the Senate and
signed into law by the President.
Congratulations to our art competition winners
I am happy to announce that Kristen Eisenbraum of Long
Creek has been selected as the winner Oregon’s Second
Congressional District in this year’s Congressional Art
Artistic Discovery. Kristen, a homeschooled
student, will have her artwork displayed in the U.S.
Capitol for one year.
Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide program
for students to showcase their artistic abilities and
highlight the importance of art education. The contest
is open to high school students, and the winners were
selected by a panel of college art professors.
am with Kristen and her artwork, an oil on canvas piece
titled “Watching,” right above us.
Hyde, a senior at Henley High School, was selected as
runner-up for the district. Tianna’s charcoal and
graphite piece titled
hang for one year in my eastern Oregon office in La
Hughes, a sophomore at Grant Union High School, was
selected as second runner-up. Brynn’s colored pencil
piece titled Summer
Maiko will be displayed for one year in the
central Oregon office in Bend.
Goodwin, a senior at The Dalles Wahtonka High School,
was selected as third runner-up for the district.
Chloe’s colored pencil piece titled
will be displayed for one year in our Capitol
Jessica Linman, a sophomore at Henley High School, was
selected as fourth runner-up for the district.
Jessica’s oil pastels piece titled
be displayed for one year in our southern Oregon office.
Congratulations to the winners and all those who
participated. We have a lot of young talent in our
district, and this contest is a reminder of that every
New addition to the eastern Oregon office
There’s a new face in the eastern Oregon district office
in La Grande: Wade Foster, a recent graduate of Oregon
State University with a degree in environmental
economics, policy and management. Wade grew up in the
ranching community of Lake County and has always
retained a strong interest in agriculture and natural
proved himself to be a dedicated and valuable member of
the team during an internship in the Washington, D.C.
office earlier this year. I am confident he will bring
the same enthusiasm to eastern Oregon and serve the
residents of the Second District well.
be specializing in helping constituents work with
agriculture-related federal agencies, but will be
handling a wide scope of other issues as well. You can
get a hold of Wade in the eastern Oregon office at (541)
as good a time as any to remind you of the other Second
District offices, where we stand ready to help on
federal issues and programs: the southern Oregon office
in Medford at (541) 776-4646, the central Oregon office
in Bend at (541) 389-4408, and the Washington, D.C.
office at (202) 228-6730.
On the road again
the vote wrapped up on the energy tax bill on Friday, I
flew straight back to Oregon to complete my 372nd round
trip, got to Hood River around 2 a.m., grabbed a couple
hours of sleep, and was on the road again to central
Oregon to visit the Pi Ume Sha celebration in Warm
Springs, discuss the current economic climate with
business leaders in Madras and also participate in the
grand opening of Mid Oregon Credit Union. To cap off the
evening, I attended the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”
night at the 64th Crooked River Round-Up, a great event
to help benefit breast cancer research.
Congress takes a one week break this week so members
have the opportunity to get back to their districts to
connect with local communities. This morning I head off
to eastern Oregon with public meetings in Heppner,
Hermiston, La Grande, Enterprise, and back in Hood River
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