Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti
Reader Tim in Bonney Lake, Washington forwarded me his e-mail exchange with GOP Cap-and-Tax 8-er Rep. Dave Reichert. Definitely worth sharing, because it reflects a sentiment that hasn’t died down since the cramdown two weeks ago:
Hi, Michelle –
I’m a Dave Reichert constituent. The day of the vote on cap and trade, I sent a note to Dave Reichert telling him I would never vote for him again due to his support of the bill. I asked him what he was thinking voting for a bill that will significantly increase costs for everyone, particularly in the middle of the worst economic slowdown in at least 25 years.
He sent me back this form letter:
Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts regarding legislation to reduce polluting emissions and advance an energy independent future. Debate over the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) inspired strong emotions on both sides of the bill. It was a difficult vote that I carefully considered at every step that the legislation developed, from hearings before my House Ways & Means Committee to amendments offered on the floor.
Energy independence and national security are critical issues for America that transcend politics. America cannot maintain global leadership without innovation and new ideas, and we cannot lead if we increasingly depend on foreign nations to heat our homes and move people and goods. The future of our country is at stake and the price of inaction is too great.
How can we accomplish this? By working together as Americans – not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454 with my support on June 26, 2009. This comprehensive bill includes new tax incentives, grants, loans, and other aid to speed the development and adoption of new clean energy technologies and to encourage cost-saving, energy efficiency improvements for families and businesses. It represents the first major advancement in decades toward clean coal and nuclear power. The bill would also help industries and manufacturers cut harmful emissions by implementing a market-based system to achieve a substantial reduction in pollution by 2020.
This bill is not perfect, but it is a vital step toward energy independence. My focus from the outset was to return all revenue to the American people, and I helped introduce legislation (H.R. 2757) and an amendment to do so. 93% of any revenue that comes from H.R. 2454 will go directly back to the people, and I am working to gain additional tax relief for middle-income families. While there are many competing numbers on both sides of the debate, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – which is responsible for estimating the costs of legislation – this bill could cost American families 48 cents per day. I believe this small investment now is worth the pay-offs of families saving on their future energy bills, keeping our country safe, and creating an estimated 33,500 new jobs in Washington State.
This bill has a long road to travel before it becomes law, and as it is considered in the Senate, know that I will continue to work with members of the House and Senate to improve this legislation and address outstanding concerns. Reforming America’s energy policy is essential. The choices we make today to attain energy independence and conserve resources are some of the most significant decisions of our times. We must drive innovation, research and market-based strategies to achieve a secure, prosperous future. We owe this to our children and grandchildren.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to send your thoughts. We must work together to face the challenges ahead for our nation – that’s how we win, that’s how America remains free and strong. Together we will succeed in facing challenges head-on and creating opportunities for generations to come. I will continue to fight for common-sense reforms to our nation’s energy policy that will result in lower energy costs, a cleaner environment and a safer nation. Your interest and input are valued and I hope to hear from you in the future regarding other matters of importance, like the upcoming debate on health care reform. I encourage you to visit my website and sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter at http://reichert.house.gov to learn more about other issues impacting the 8th Congressional District and our nation.
David G. Reichert
Member of Congress
I wrote back to him thanking him for his form letter reply, finding it hilarious. I quoted the 7/5 Washington Post which said, “It [Waxman-Markey] runs to more than 1,400 pages, swollen with loopholes and giveaways meant to win over un-green industries and wary legislators.” I asked him, “How in the world can a bill filled with taxes, subsidies, and pork to politically-connected people in any sense be called market-based?”
I then asked him if he had taken the time to read the bill yet and reiterated my earlier vow to never vote for him again.
I realize that he couldn’t care less how I feel since he is positioning himself as a Democrat in our increasingly blue district, but I hope to at least prick his conscience (if he has one).
Bonney Lake, WA
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