Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Connolly Blasts GOP for Ignoring Economy While Repealing Non Existent Bans

Anyone who knows Gerry Connolly knows he's not afraid to confront people who he thinks aren't doing the right thing. It's definitely earned him some enemies, but it also means he can be counted on to call out his colleagues in Congress when they're working against the best interest of the American people. And that is what he did earlier today when he took to the House floor today to go after the GOP for wasting time on trivial matters instead of things like the debt negotiations, high unemployment, and an economy that's barely recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In response to these existential threats at home and once in a lifetime opportunities for democracy abroad, the Republican leadership has brought to the floor a bill to repeal a non-existent ban on incandescent light bulbs, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush.

Connoisseurs of Internet hearsay are aware that Tea Party conspiracy theorists think President Obama is trying to outlaw the incandescent light bulb. Cooler heads, such as representatives of every major light bulb manufacturer in America, from Philips to Johnson Controls, actually support the light bulb efficiency standards because they provide a competitive advantage for American manufacturers relative to Chinese competitors which produce shoddy, less efficient bulbs. Who knew that the Tea Party contained so many Manchurian sympathizers who have hidden their proto-internationalist agenda beneath the folds of a Don’t Tread on Me flag?
That's right, the GOP has been in power for over 7 months but still hasn't gotten around to introducing a substantial jobs plan and is constantly trying to claim Obama and the Democrats won't take action. Instead of coming up with solutions, however, apparenty they think it's important to appease they're base by repealing non-existent bans. The only reason to so blatantly ignore the needs of the American people with this type of bologna is to win some political points -- and with a presidential election heating up and control of the Senate at stake in 2012, it isn't suprising they're pulling stunts like this. Fortunately, Connolly's calling them on it.

Now this one speech might not seem like a big deal and it doesn't automatically mean we'll get some action on the issue Gerry raises, but I think it's important for his Democratic colleagues to pay attention too. As the negotiations surrounding the budget and debt limit have progressed, we've constantly seen Democrats give into GOP demands only to later see the GOP say they haven't compromised enough. While both sides have to compromise to get a deal done, the way things have been going is, in my opinion, simply unacceptable. After all, the key phrase there is that BOTH sides have to compromise. One way to help that happen is to call out the GOP when they're working against the interests of the American people.

There have been some other progressive Democrats in the House who have taken to the floor in the past to call out the GOP and that's sometimes motivated Dems to take some tougher stances in negotiations. So let's hope Gerry's "biting commentary" (as one Congressional staffer put it) on the GOP can remind Democrats involved with the negotiations that the GOP puts scoring political points ahead of creating actual solutions. The full text of his speech can be seen in the comment section of this post.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Speaker, we are two short weeks away from defaulting on American debt, which would devastate our economy and could plunge this country, if not the global economy, into a steep recession. We are engaged in three overseas wars as part of the broader struggle to defeat terrorism. Century-old autocracies are crumbling in the Middle East. Extreme drought is destroying farmers’ livelihoods across the Southeast, Texas, and Oklahoma, while floods of biblical proportions have inundated the upper Midwest. Unprecedented tornadoes have killed hundreds of people in Missouri, Alabama and Virginia while the melting of glaciers and polar ice sheets continues to accelerate. Meanwhile, our economy stagnates for lack of any new federal action to expedite growth. In response to these existential threats at home and once in a lifetime opportunities for democracy abroad, the Republican leadership has brought to the floor a bill to repeal a non-existent ban on incandescent light bulbs, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush. Connoisseurs of Internet hearsay are aware that Tea Party conspiracy theorists think President Obama is trying to outlaw the incandescent light bulb. Cooler heads, such as representatives of every major light bulb manufacturer in America, from Philips to Johnson Controls, actually support the light bulb efficiency standards because they provide a competitive advantage for American manufacturers relative to Chinese competitors which produce shoddy, less efficient bulbs. Who knew that the Tea Party contained so many Manchurian sympathizers who have hidden their proto-internationalist agenda beneath the folds of a Don’t Tread on Me flag?As we have heard, those who would repeal the light bulb efficiency standards believe that we are “Taxed Enough Already.” Apparently the lowest federal tax burden in a half century has left these zealots with extra disposable income, and they wish to spend it on inefficient light bulbs. In fact, repeal of the light bulb standards would give Americans the liberty to spend $85 extra per year on light bulbs which produce no additional light. It is hard to understand how ideologues in the House can suggest imposing $85 per year on their constituents in order to buy light bulbs which consume more electricity than necessary. Those who are baffled by Republicans’ support for this new Anachronistic Incandescent Bulb Tax may want to refer to the legislative record of the House over the last seven months. The Republican Party has deviated so far from its historic support for conservation that it now supports legislation which would allow air and water pollution with impunity. The new Republican caucus supports legislation like the BULB Act, which retrogresses to the time of Edison and the invention of the incandescent light bulb. These Republicans sound like flat-earthers, and they must really mean it when they call themselves originalists. This entire situation would be hilarious but for the gravity of the threats our nation faces, from climate change to the debt puzzle, or the opportunities that we will forgo in the Middle East because this House is distracted by a paranoid attack on light bulbs.

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