Thursday, July 16, 2009

Follow Up on the Cap and Tax Bill

From the Desk of Joe Rollins

In my “Issues on My Mind” post from July 1st, I expressed my concern regarding the new Cap-and-Tax bill (formally titled the “American Clean Energy and Security Act”) recently passed by the House of Representatives. The more I thought about the complexity of the bill, the more I wondered whether members of Congress had actually read the 1,300 page proposed bill.

What I read in the newspapers about this bill is so intricate and confusing, I cannot even imagine that a typical Congressman would understand the provisions well enough to even cast a vote. For that reason, I wanted to know whether our Georgia representatives read and understood the bill prior to voting on it. And so, I wrote each of them the following letter:

As you can see, I requested a response by July 15th, indicating that I would assume they had not read the entire bill before casting their vote if I did not hear back from them. Interestingly, out of the 13 Congressman to whom I wrote, I received one response – from Representative Lynn Westmoreland’s office. The staff member who called me stated that they received the proposed bill two days prior to when it went to vote, and he further acknowledged that Representative Westmoreland had not read the bill personally, but that his staff members had read it on his behalf. Representative Westmoreland voted “No” on the bill. Here’s a link to his press release on the subject if you’re interested in reading it - Press Release.

You can think whatever you want about the unresponsiveness of the other members of Congress. However, I think it’s somewhat scary that four Georgia Congressmen voted “Aye” to a bill that will have such a major effect on all Americans when they likely never bothered to read it.

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