Category Archives: Congress

Pallone Condemns GOP’s Ongoing Agenda to Weaken EPA

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. on Wednesday decried the latest efforts from House Republicans to roll back crucial regulations that preserve and protect the environment. Under the guise of creating jobs and protecting the border, the proposals put forth by Republicans would roll back historic advances in environmental protection and harm public health by blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce rules that prevent hazardous air pollution from entering the air, dangerous materials such as mercury from entering the water supply and our ability to protect the iconic bald eagle from extinction.

“If House Republicans had their way, federal lands that are a national treasure would no longer be protected and polluters would no longer be accountable with the false and misleading claim they are securing the border,” said Pallone. “Americans should be outraged at this latest in a string of attacks against EPA. Congress should focus on creating jobs above all else such as moving forward with the American Jobs Act.”

The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, which was rushed through the Natural Resources Committee, would waive over 35 environmental laws that protect historic sites, endangered species and air and water quality, based on the fallacy that they interfere with Customs and Border Patrol agents’ ability to protect the border.

The assault on the environment continued on the House floor today with consideration of a Republican bill that would weaken EPA’s ability to regulate pollution from cement kilns that incinerate waste and release some of the most harmful pollutants including mercury and acid gases.

Pallone offered an amendment that would weaken the disastrous effects of this legislation on public health. His amendment would prevent the bill from going into effect if it interferes with the Department of Health and Human Service’s goal of reducing our children’s exposure to mercury.

“Republicans have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at EPA today in an effort to weaken regulations that are vital to public health. The effect of both of these pieces of legislation becoming law would be higher prevalence of asthma, heart attacks and chronic bronchitis and hundreds of acres less of federally protected lands for Americans to enjoy. That’s a bleak landscape,” Pallone added.

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Congress, Congressman Frank Pallone, Department of Health and Human Services, environmental laws, EPA, press release, public health

President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/1/11: Democrats and Republicans Should Get Together and Pass the American Jobs Act

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that it has been nearly three weeks since he sent Congress his jobs bill, and now it is time for Congress to send it back so that it can be signed into law. Economists agree that the American Jobs Act will spur hiring and boost the economy, and it will give workers and small businesses tax cuts, get construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, and put more teachers in classrooms and cops on the streets. Too many Americans are struggling and need help now, and so Republicans and Democrats should come together without delay to pass the American Jobs Act.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Congress, economic growth, job growth, President Obama, tax cuts, weekly address

Don’t Kill the Dream

Democracy for America targets Republicans for killing the American Dream and failing to create jobs. The ad, “Don’t Kill the Dream,” which will air both nationally and targeted locally, features Americans who want Republicans in Congress to stop dismantling the middle class and killing the American Dream by slashing vital programs they depend on, while simultaneously insisting on tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and millionaires.

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Filed under american dream, Congress, corporate loopholes, Democracy For America, millionaires and billionaires, tax breaks for the rich, The Middle class

President Obama’s Weekly Address 8/13/11: Putting the American People First

WASHINGTON– In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that although the United States leads the world in new ideas, innovative businesses and creative entrepreneurs, too many Americans are still struggling to get by. It is time for Congress to act on the President’s proposals, including extending the payroll tax cut, cutting red tape, and getting our construction workers back to work, so that we can get our economy on firmer ground and ensure that anyone who wants a job can find one. President Obama believes the American people deserve more than political brinksmanship, and urges anyone who is frustrated by the gridlock in Washington to let their elected officials know that it is time to put aside partisanship and act in the best interests of the country.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under bipartisanship, clean energy, Congress, economy, gridlock, Job creation, middle-class tax cuts, President Obama, Putting people to work, trade deals, weekly address

President Obama’s Weekly Address 8/6/11: Creating Jobs and Getting All Americans Back to Work

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to grow the economy and get Americans back to work. The President has outlined a number of steps Congress can take right now to spur growth and create jobs, including extending tax cuts for working and middle class families, cutting red tape to encourage new businesses to grow and hire, passing trade deals that will support tens of thousands of jobs, and giving our out-of-work construction workers opportunities to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.

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Filed under arab spring, bipartisanship, Congress, deficit reduction, economy, infrastructure, Job creation, Middle Class, President Obama, tax cuts, trade deals, unemployment benefits, Verterans, weekly address

Rush Holt; The Debt Ceiling Downer

For the moment we have put the debt crisis behind us. That is small comfort as the economy at large, the job situation, the housing market, and the financial markets continue to suffer. The Tea Party in Congress and its enablers should never have been allowed to threaten America’s good name in order to advance their view of a diminished government and trickle-down economics. They should never have been allowed to force a closed-door, hurried revision of our entire economy. And they certainly should never have been able to get away with a deal that increases inequities in our society and our economy. You, like most Americans, may have watched in dismay—or even in disgust—as Washington fumbled the self-imposed crisis.

Putting aside the distasteful process and the worrisome prospect that government by hostage-taking will continue, this week I had to face the immediate questions: Was the resulting deal going to help the economy? Would it create jobs? Would it reduce the crippling inequities in our economy and society? Would it bring down the deficit, as was the ostensible goal? On all counts my answer was “No,” and I voted against the resolution on the House floor.

I am pleased that we as a country are paying our debts, but I lament the damage done to the institutions of government and the good name of the United States as the most reliable, most creditworthy entity in the entire financial world. I lament especially the damage done to our view of ourselves. The negotiations were based on Tea Party premises: that our deficit is the principal concern facing us, that America is a pitiful debtor nation, that we must lower our sights, that we must end the quest to free our people from want and inequalities, that we cannot afford any longer to be the nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal. Are we no longer the America of the 1940’s that paid for millions of GI’s to go to college and buy homes, while rebuilding ourselves and Europe, when we were faced with a national debt much greater than today?

The deal this week may have the beneficial effect of showing that in the long run the United States intends to bring expenditures more in line with revenues. In the short term, though, the deal is a downer. It not only avoids dealing with today’s principal needs—job creation and economic growth—it actually will cost jobs and preclude any economic stimulation. At a time when clearly the economy is shaky, it is a mistake to declare, as the deal effectively does, that the federal government will have no direct hand in getting the economy moving. To meet next year’s target of spending reductions will require cuts equivalent to the budgets of all the following government operations combined: the EPA, the National Park Service, the Small Business Administration, FEMA emergency and firefighter grants, and the Women-Infants-and-Children food grants. In subsequent years, the cuts would be even ten times larger. Why should we rally to the cry, “No, We Can’t?” Have we forgotten that barely a decade ago we paid down the deficit with strong economic growth, job creation, and budgetary discipline without resorting to gimmicks, triggers, or Balanced Budget Amendments?

I would have liked to vote on a plan that protected the major functions granted to Congress under the Constitution rather than turning them over to an undemocratic, isolated committee of twelve. I would have liked to vote on a plan that would have accelerated withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, saving lives and dollars, and that would have produced savings in our healthcare costs and dealt with the looming loss of 30 percent of doctors’ reimbursement under Medicare. Instead, the plan that was presented was negotiated on the turf of the Tea Party, which seems to think that it is anti-capitalist to ask those individuals and companies doing well in this economy to bear some of the load, even though the one or two percent of people with the highest income have seen their income grow by about 25 percent while everyone else has seen an effective decline and America’s largest corporations have reaped immense profits by using loopholes and offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes.

Nevertheless, I am making it my job to beat back the pessimistic view in Washington that gave rise to this deal. We must not let this deal be the chart of our country’s future course. It is based on false premises that fail to recognize the inherent fairness that is characteristic of our people, the ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy that have sparked our economy for generations, and the unshakable American meliorism that says we can and must make life better for each succeeding generation. I think that now, more than ever, we must have a realistic view of our situation so that we can strongly defend equality and build a community that reinforces the opportunities for each individual.

Sincerely,

RUSH HOLT
Member of Congress

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Filed under Afghanistan, Congress, Congressman Rush Holt, debt ceiling, economy, EPA, Iraq, Medicare, National Park Service, Tea Party

President Obama’s Weekly Address 7/30/11: Acting Responsibly on Behalf of the American People

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama urged both Republicans and Democrats to take action to avoid defaulting for the first time in our nation’s history. While the two parties are not far apart in their goals, they must resolve their differences quickly so that the United States can continue paying its Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and contracts with thousands of American businesses. The time has come to stop endangering the Triple A bond rating of the United States, put aside partisan politics, and behave responsibly to ensure a balanced approach to reducing our nation’s deficit.

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Filed under benefit checks, compromise, Congress, debt ceiling, default, economy, higher interest rates, Medicare, national debt, President Obama, Social Security, Triple A bond rating, Verterans, weekly address