It’s like the cake from the big shindig for his rural development slush funder isn’t even stale yet and now this! Hal Rogers is — please, sit down and take a deep breath — a hypocrite:
Rogers swore off all earmarks, pledged to trim the fat from the federal budget and played a key role in shepherding a two-week federal funding stopgap bill through the House, which cut $4 billion from the federal budget over 10 years.
“My district will be among the hardest hit by these cuts, but my people understand that everyone must tighten their belts during this time of crisis,” Rogers said.
Yet, just four days earlier, Rogers had sent two letters to the Department of Housing and Urban Development seeking federal funds for federal construction projects in his district, according to the letters obtained by TPM. Both sought HUD Rural Innovations Funds — one for a 14-unit apartment building to serve veterans and the “severely mentally ill” in Martin County, Ky. and the other requesting $2 million to construct a multi-use building for middle-to-low income residents in Corbin, Ky.
This is a sad day for our state and especially for the children. If you can’t trust Hal Rogers to be honest, who can you trust?
Ezra Klein previews the coming government shutdown threat — two months away when Congress has to authorize the 2012 Budget in full. The previous budget fights may pale in comparison, Klein argues, for several reasons with one hitting particularly close to home:
#4: There could be big fights over policy riders: This is what tripped up the budget negotiations the last time around. Back in April, Republicans pushed to restrict funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion in the District of Columbia through “riders” that placed conditions on the money. Congress could deadlock over riders again, but it’s not just abortion that could be at issue.
In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed an appropriations bill that would cut EPA funding by 20 percent and impose a slew of policy riders rolling back regulations on coal ash, carbon pollution and toxic emissions from power plants, among others. The House GOP has since doubled down on the issue: On Friday, it passed a bill to place unprecedented restrictions on the EPA’s air-pollution rules. A Republican aide confirmed on Monday that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers “will fight hard for the bills that have passed the House” in the next round of 2012 budget negotiations. And that’s just one of the hot-button regulatory issues that could draw battle lines in November.
This one is like a gift from the state of Kentucky back to the other 49 States that keep us funded. Not only is Hal Rogers holding the reins, but the riders he’s demanding are proposed by and/or supported by Ed Whitfield, Ben Chandler, Brett Guthrie, Geofferson Davis and our two nutty Senators.
So America, this November, remember to thank Kentucky.
On Monday, The Hill named Republican Kentucky Congressman and controller of our national pursestrings their “Player of the Week.”
In granting Big Hal and has massive pork the vaunted “Playa” label, The Hill’s editors were considering this week’s omnibus spending bill and Hal’s primary leadership role in getting it passed and while it inched along, another bill — the Stopgap Spending Bill — went down in flames as 48 Republicans (you might call them “Player Haters”) joined nearly all the Dems (including Ben) in saying “No” in a “rebuke” to the GOP Leadership.
A blow to Hal’s street cred.
But Hal’s week has a silver lining. Any Player must be feared — if you do Hal wrong, you never know how he’ll hit back, you just know he will hit you back.
Rep. Rogers sits at the center of an interconnected web that involves Kentucky non-profit groups, a bank he partially owns, and several companies, all with strong connections to each other. Since 2000, almost a half a billion dollars in taxpayer money has been funneled to this web. Rep. Rogers has been particularly generous to the non-profit groups, earmarking more than $174 million. These groups have received an additional $63 million in federal grants, some of which Rep. Rogers personally solicited from federal agencies.
Private companies in this web also benefit from Rep. Rogers’ largesse. During the same time period such corporations have received $227 million in federal funding. Many of Rep. Rogers’ largest campaign donors work at these companies, and one has even employed his son.
Jared Bernstein, former Chief Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, recently posted three easy to understand charts demonstrating that while the Republican Party loves to talk about how Obama’s economic policies were failures… it simply is not the case.
Here are the three charts:
Keep this in mind the next time Mitch McConnell says — as he did in reaction to Obama’s jobs plan and the prospect of fixing the crumbling bridges into Kentucky — something like this:
“I’m less enthused by the president lumping a crucial artery for goods and services in America together with a call for another stimulus and massive tax increases,” McConnell added.
And keep it in mind when the entire Republican Delegation from the State of Kentucky spews out their echo-chambered lies — as they did after the President’s jobs speech, all repeating each other — like these:
“Unfortunately, I am concerned that the president’s proposals follow the previous pattern of borrowing and spending. We have learned we cannot create a growing economy by spending more money in Washington.” – REP. BRETT GUTHRIE (KY-02)
“I remain concerned that what we’ve heard from President Obama this evening is an echo of his Administration’s unsuccessful strategy of the last few years.” – REP. HAL ROGERS (KY-05)
“At a time when we need bold leadership, the proposals outlined this evening by President Obama are disappointingly more of the same ideas he has previously offered.” – REP. ED WHITFIELD (KY-01)
“The tax, borrow and spend stimulus policies of the last several years are not working. More of the same will not work any better or more quickly than it did the last time.” – REP. GEOFFERSON DAVIS (KY-04)
“The President is proposing a nearly half-trillion-dollar stimulus – once again, following the same failed policies we saw with his last exorbitant spending spree.” – SEN. RAND PAUL
“Yet here we are, tonight, being asked by this same president to support even more government spending.” – SEN. MITCH McCONNELL
In his speech last Thursday, Barack Obama said this:
Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower. And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?
There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work. There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.
This bridge — the Brent Spence, connecting Covington and Cincinnati – is “functionally obsolete” according to the Department of Transportation and this summer large chunks of concrete began falling from the upper deck onto the lower one.
Most people would identify this as a problem.
The I-71/I-75 bridge is a key connector between Michigan, northern Ohio, Upstate New York and the Great Lakes and the industries, consumers and shippers of the American South, in particular, Florida. According to the DOT (pdf):
“The Brent Spence Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1963, was designed to carry 80,000 vehicles per day. Currently, approximately 160,000 vehicles per day use the Brent Spence Bridge and traffic volumes are projected to increase to approximately 233,000 vehicles per day in 2035.”
Except for the fact it’s Barack Obama talking about fixing it. And it might require closing tax loopholes for billion dollar corporations. And it might mean a very, very small group of very, very rich people might pay the same taxes they paid before the war and before the Bush Tax Cuts bankrupted the country.
But with those few words, Obama made the bridge a top priority for replacement and, perhaps, a subtle jab at House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
“I appreciate the president highlighting this project and I trust this means that when the planning for this project is solidified this administration will prioritize it,” McConnell said Friday.
Whether it will help win their support for his jobs plan remains to be seen.
“I’m less enthused by the president lumping a crucial artery for goods and services in America together with a call for another stimulus and massive tax increases,” McConnell added.
Translation: Mitch McConnell’s going to fight Barack Obama, he’s going to fight the jobs bill, he’s going to pretend it’s a stimulus package and he’s going to pretend the last one failed. He’s going to lie, cheat and steal because, as he has made clear, Mitch McConnell’s one-and-only mission is:
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
In Mitch McConnell’s world, America can go itself. Let the bridge crumble. Let it fail. Let us fall.
As for Kentucky… who cares about Kentucky?
Certainly not Mitch McConnell. Or Rand Paul. Or Hal Rogers… or Geoff Davis, the Congressman who supposedly serves the people of Northern Kentucky most affected by this bridge. And it’s not just Davis, of course. The entire state is affected by the flow of traffic along these interstates, with I-75 in particular driving commerce and investments right through our center, with thousands and thousands of jobs depending on that continued flow of traffic.
But the state’s Republican delegation have all stated their opposition to the plan the President laid out last Thursday.
The Republicans of the Commonwealth of Kentucky would rather see the Brent Spence Bridge fail than see Barack Obama succeed.They would rather see Kentucky fail than see an America with a modern transportation infrastructure.
The Sherman Minton Bridge was closed late Friday afternoon and will remain shut down indefinitely after officials discovered cracks in the span.
Will Wingfield, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said officials “do not have an estimate” on how long it will take to repair and reopen the bridge, which carries Interstate 64 traffic across the Ohio River.
Wingfield said the cracks were found in two steel support beams below the lower deck closer to the Kentucky side.
The bridge to Mitch McConnell’s hometown is falling apart — how long can his opposition to an investment in America stand?
Unlike the Sherman Minton Bridge, the will of Mitch McConnell and the Kentucky Republican Party doesn’t seem to be crumbling.
The closure came just a day after President Obama renewed his call for Congress to invest in infrastructure improvements to stimulate the economy and address the nation’s crumbling bridges and roads, as studies have shown the nation needs $2 trillion in investment just to bring its infrastructure up to date. McConnell criticized Obama’s plan, saying it was “a re-election plan.”
But while McConnell insists that Republicans “agree that we must bring America’s infrastructure up to 21st century standards,” his recent record doesn’t show it. When progressives and Democrats argued that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should be geared toward infrastructure, the GOP under McConnell’s leadership fought to focus it on tax cuts. The Senate GOP derailed a 2010 jobs plan focused largely on infrastructure investment, and if McConnell’s post-speech rhetoric is to be believed, he will be at the forefront of the Republican Party’s opposition to this plan too.
Mitch McConnell and Kentucky’s Republican Party are so dedicated to the cause of Obama’s failure that they will allow America’s failure and this state’s failure.
With the failure of these bridges, Kentucky can return to the 19th Century, cut off from manufacturing, produce, consumer goods and jobs.
The old story of Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” is just that… an old story. It’s time for a new one and Mitch McConnell (and Rand, Geoff, Ed, Hal and Brett) are writing it.
You don’t need a bridge to get to their Kentucky because, as everyone will soon know, Kentucky is nowhere.
So all of Kentucky’s big politicos had stuff to say about the President’s straight-up reasonable speech last night, with Rand Paul taking to his webcam and Mitch, Ed, Brett and Hal all putting out more of the same statements that just echo each other. Yarmuth said the speech was good and pushed for more.
And Ben Chandler, well, his was our favorite. Here’s an excerpt:
Oh fine. Here’s what our Quiet Congressman had to say in his entirety after listening to the President of the United States of America lay out one proposal after another for 45 straight minutes:
“The best way to jumpstart our economy and solve our fiscal crisis is by putting Kentuckians back to work. That will go a long way to reducing the deficit, and I’m pleased the President’s focus is on creating jobs, strengthening our middle class and small businesses, and growing our economy.”
Something less than stirring.
A lot of pundits and experts and other people who get paid to be on teevee have said over the last couple days — when they’re not pretending to buy into the idea Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor and those other asses are actually considering doing what’s right for America — is that House Democrats are frustrated with Obama because he’s not “leading.”
This statement from Chandler is a good example of why this piece of “knowledge” is incorrect. The President is leading and on issue after issue he has led… whether it was the Bush Tax Cuts or the Dream Act or so forth.
And time and again, it is members of his own party who aren’t backing him up, who are fighting the good fight. Chandler’s statement is promising, perhaps, but will Ben Chandler fight for this bill? Will he fight with the President? Or will he shirk away and hide his head as Mitch and Hal and Boehner and everyone else chips away at what little this country still stands on?
In his speech, Barack Obama said:
I ask every American who agrees, to lift your voice: Tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now. Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option. Remind us that if we act as one nation and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.
Now’s your chance. Call Ben Chandler, tell him that mild and meek support is not enough. Tell Ben you want him to fight. Tell him America needs him to fight.
A week ago, Hal Rogers and his fellow Republicans were falling all over themselves trying to deny funds to the hurricane ravaged east coast or at least manufacture another fiscal crisis to force further federal cuts to the government infrastructure.
Rand Paul’s father, who is apparently is running for president though we never hear anything about that, went on the radio and said that FEMA should be disbanded and people who live in areas prone to flooding should be left to fend for themselves because, of course, they’re the one’s living there so screw them.
No such complains have been made about FEMA’s decision to bail out three Kentucky counties.
The federal government has approved individual assistance funding for people whose property was damaged in flooding that hit Bell, Knox and Perry counties in June, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers announced Friday.
The decision means people can apply for money to help with home repair and other costs incurred from the flooding.
….A presidential disaster declaration covered Bell, Knox, Perry, Breathitt, Knott, Lee and Magoffin counties.
And further more, neither Hal nor Rand (nor the Governor for that matter) are complaining about President Obama’s flagrant federal insertion into the special place of our daily lives.
After the EPA traveled to Eastern Kentucky and had the audacity to listen to a few people who aren’t coal lobbyists, Hal Rogers and other prominent Kentucky politicians lambasted the agency, attacking it — as ever — for it’s out-of-control desire to save human lives and preserve this land, America, for future generations.
Well, KFTC member Rick Handshoe set the record straight over the weekend in the H-L and his column should not be missed:
A mother asked that something be done about the toxic dust from the neighborhood coal processing plant that the doctor said was making her daughter sick.
The mayor and residents of Lynch asked that strip mining not be allowed to destroy the town’s drinking water and threaten historic restorations that help support the local tourism economy.
Young women were alarmed that the children they would like to have some day have a greater risk of birth defects simply because of the part of the state where they live.
Many others asked that we take the opportunity we have today, right now, to begin transitioning to a new energy economy in Eastern Kentucky so that our children will not have to leave the region to find meaningful work.
So that’s what happened and obviously if that’s what happened, it’s pretty clear why Hal Rogers and the politicians he coalludes with got all hot and bothered and had to attack the EPA over such conversations.
So Handshoe’s also got some sharp words for Rogers et al.:
When a study was released documenting that children born near mountaintop removal mines have a 26 percent higher incidence of birth defects, we heard not one word of concern or compassion from these same politicians. Instead, there was a round of industry attacks on the researchers.
When evidence was made public that specific coal companies had filed thousands of fraudulent water-monitoring reports and were releasing toxins into streams below their mine sites (violations the companies have acknowledged), we heard not one word of outrage or call for stronger enforcement from these politicians.
When several other studies were released showing that those of us who live near mountaintop removal mines and the polluted streams that result have an increased risk of cancer, heart and respiratory diseases, and a lower life expectancy, we didn’t hear one word of concern.
Again, the scientists, who really did nothing more than document what is actually happening, were attacked.
It is of particular note that U.S. Rep Hal Rogers’ district ranks dead last in quality of life among all 435 congressional districts in the country. Yet Rogers is leading the anti-EPA crusade in Congress.
Well this is just fascinating. The Heritage Institute ranked all the nation’s Reps and Sens based on some scale they made up and here’s what they made upcame up with:
Sen. Rand Paul 93%
Sen. Mitch McConnell 72%
Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-4) 63%
Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-5) 54%
Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-2) 54%
Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-1) 49%
Rep. Ben Chandler (KY-6) 20%
Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3) 10%
Seems like ol’ Rand did pretty freaking awesome, right?
Well not really! Our little Jellied Doughnut didn’t even crack the Top 5, that’s how wacky the Heritage Inst’s “conservative” valuation really is. Demint got a 99%.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who received a 98 percent rating; South Carolina Rep. Jeffrey Duncan (97 percent); Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (96 percent); Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (96 percent); and Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney (95 percent).
You may recall that just last month conservatives at The New American rated all the Congresspeople on their level of “Freedom” and they found that Paul was the most Freedomy Senator in all the land. For the sake of comparison then, here’s their dumb list once again so that you may compare the Kentucky Delegation’s “Conservative” rankings to their “Freedom” rankings:
100% — Sen. Rand Paul
89% — Brett Guthrie (R-02)
80% — Ed Whitfield (R-01)
80% — Geoff Davis (R-04)
79% — Hal Rogers (R-05)
60% — Sen. Mitch McConnell
30% — Ben Chandler (D-06)
20% — John Yarmuth (D-03)
You’ll notice some patterns (Yarmuth sucks at “Freedom” and “Conservatism”) and some differences (Guthrie is significantly more “Freedomy” than he is “Conservativy” and the opposite for Mitch).
Apparently August is the best time to hold “Town Halls” if you’re an elected representative.
It’s so hot no one cares what you say and for the most part, even if you say totally crazy stuff, no one really notices. And it is in this environment that we see the GOP beginning to push their new Obama-attack, a call we will see repeated louder and louder as Congress reconvenes.
Several of Kentucky’s elected officials have held just these sort of meetings over the past few weeks — though it’s a stretch to call them “town halls.”
In almost every case, the event is actually just a direct address from the Republican representative to largely private groups, often the city or county chamber of commerce.
Certainly their constituents; hardly the people.
Mitch McConnell was in Florence this Monday lying to the Rotary Club, telling them that now is a actually perfect time to get things done in Washington.
“My point was that, ironically, it is probably the best time, and some would argue the only time, to do really hard things, because really hard things done on a partisan basis cannot be accomplished and produces a wipeout in the next election,” McConnell said. “This is actually the perfect time.”
How Mitch even said any of this without getting laughed out of the room mere weeks after the debt debate is particularly bizarre, especially when, clearly, the GOP House is screwing up even McConnell’s own ideas of what should be done. Was no one listening?
Aside from telling people how well Washington’s working right now thanks to the Tea Party, the Republican reps are spinning all sorts of tales.
This is part of a recurring set of talking points in almost every one of these businesspeople meetings, regardless of the Republican doing the talking.
The Republicans have no jobs plan, have no interest in helping everyday Americans and are instead focused on slashing the safety net (education, medicare, etc) on the one hand and, on the other, this new strategy ratcheting up — spinning lies that regulations are at fault for our destroyed economy.
Mitch McConnnell paused his “constituent” tour last week to tell The Hill that “the administration’s overregulation of the private sector and repeated calls for closing corporate tax breaks had created a pall over the economy.”
“Quit trying to raise taxes. Quit over-regulating. Washington should let the private sector flourish so we have a chance again to have a growing economy,” McConnell said.
Regulations in general, and environmental regulations specifically, are a hot topic among Republicans right now. Republicans, of course, have always been opposed to regulations governing how much business can get away with, that’s nothing new. But now they are folding this longheld opposition into a new argument. Just as they are trying to use the economic collapse they created to dismantle Medicare (which they’ve wanted to destroy from its inception), they are using the dire economic situation to try and roll back the safeties and guidelines that have reigned in otherwise dangerously freewheeling corporations for decades.
The signature jobs initiative for Republicans when Congress returns in September is an attempt to pass the REINS Act (Regulation from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny).
The REINS Act would require Congress to approve every major new regulation proposed by the White House before it takes effect. If Congress does not act within 70 days, the rule is void.
This would severely limit the power of the executive branch, since no regulations – such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases – could become effective without approval from both houses of Congress, a high bar. In this way, congressional Republicans are seeking to bring back to Congress the regulatory powers that have gradually devolved to the executive branch during the past 50 years.
Sponsors include Rep. Geoff Davis (R) of Kentucky and Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky. The bill is endorsed by business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, which is launching a summer regulation road show to boost public support.
Regulators! Mount up!
I can’t believe they taking Warren’s wealth
They took my rings, they took my rolex
I looked at the brotha, said ‘Damn, what’s next?’
On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell addressed chambers of commerce in Bell and Harlan counties, and of course he had one central message:
“We haven’t passed any new legislation, but there are a bunch of new regulators appointed by the president who busily work trying to make it difficult to burn coal and to produce low cost electricity for our country,” said Senator Mitch McConnell.
McConnell said regulation from Washington is hindering economic opportunities.
“Can you imagine what the federal government is doing to the coal companies, the banks, and to industry at large? It is literally out of control,” said Senator Paul. “You can say we need the EPA to keep our water and air clean. We should have clean water and clean air. While I’m the most pro-coal person you’ll meet, they can’t dump sludge in the creek, they can’t pollute, and nobody can dump benzene in our water. We shouldn’t have that. But what has happened is that the regulations have gone overboard. We need to get out of the way and let businesses thrive.”
Whether in faked “town hall” meetings or across the internet or over e-mail and talk radio, the business interests controlling the Republican Party and it’s (maybe) well-meaning Tea Party grassroots are banging the drum that the regulations that made our water and air cleaner over the past thirty years, that save lives every day and stand in between the greedy bastards who run the corporations that run this country (into the ground) and would bankrupt America tomorrow if they could make a million dollars (or a billion — hey, Wal-Mart!) do not need to be regulated.
Put tons of mercury directly into the water.
Cover towns in coal ash.
Let children play with toxic chemicals.
This will, somehow, create jobs.
Phil Kerpen, “vice president for policy” at Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brother’s funded front group, eloquently pushed this ridiculous argument last week, claiming the new “regulations” in last year’s Wall Street reform were actively destroying jobs. As if the unregulated Wall Street of years past created them. Same for the Health Care bill and, of course their favorite target… the EPA:
On top of that we’ve seen an astonishing train wreck of new energy regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including an aggressive effort to discover elements of the failed Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation inside the forty-year-old Clean Air Act. The EPA is now contemplating its most aggressively anti-jobs regulation: an out-of-cycle re-proposal of smog rules that would ratchet down levels so far beyond what is necessary for public health that nearly the whole country would be judged “out of attainment” and over seven millions jobs would be lost. The EPA is also attempting to impose an absurd 54.5 mile-per-gallon fuel economy standard that will take any car worth driving off the market.
So again, breathing cleaner air somehow kills jobs (and not enough people) and car companies should be left to make vehicles that burn 1 mile per gallon if they want to because that would obviously make lots and lots of jobs, like billions of them.
This logic makes no sense, and yet they use it, over and over.
Kerpen goes on to defend the media conglomerates that control your access to the internet and want to ratchet up prices and throttle access speeds, and attacks working people who try to band together to demand any sort of rights in the face of their corporate overlords, and ends with, again, a celebration of the GOP’s #1 Jobs Plan — Kentucky Congressman Geofferson Davis’ cutely named bill:
The most significant reform is the REINS ACT, H.R. 10, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky. The REINS Act would require approval of the House, Senate, and President for any economically significant rule before it could take effect. It would eliminate the most extreme outcomes and dampen the impact of regulatory uncertainty on businesses that would be eager to hire if they had more reasonable expectations of regulatory compliance costs. If the President is serious about creating jobs, he should stop blaming bad luck and take responsibility. He should call off the regulatory attacks at his agencies and urge passage of the REINS Act.
Because again, it was “regulatory uncertainty” not Wall Street dirtbags borrowing trillions of dollars against trillions in unpayable debt that wrecked the economy and disappeared American jobs.
It was “regulatory uncertainty” that collapsed the economy and sent unemployment above 9%, not the insanely unnecessary war in Iraq.
It was drinkable water that destroyed America’s main streets. It was safety-tested vehicles that destroyed the American dream. It was regulations, not corporations, that sapped trillions of needed dollars from America’s revenue streams over the past decade.
It was the regulations.
So Kentucky Congressman Geofferson Davis leads the GOP’s national charge to cynically attack regulations under the auspices of job creation, as though making us less safe will do something more than just make the rich richer.
And for all their complaints about how these regulations are hurting small businesses, keeping them from hiring new workers, it is clear who is paying for this ridiculous bill and who is behind these insipid attacks. As Platts recently reported:
Group says utilities the ones really lobbying for ‘small business’ bill
….Public Citizen Regulatory Policy Advocate Amit Narang in a Tuesday interview said utility interests see the legislation as a way to block new US Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would affect generators, especially those that burn coal.
“The reality of the lobbying contradicts the rhetoric we’re hearing from the Republicans,” Narang said. He added that despite the public statements from Congress about protecting small businesses, “I think it’s pretty clear that the electric utilities are the big winners if REINS were to pass.”
The 27 organizations that reported lobbying in support of the REINS Act in the first half of 2011 include 16 electric utilities and the Edison Electric Institute, Public Citizen said.
Utilities identified as lobbying for the proposal include Southern Company, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, Constellation Energy, FirstEnergy, Progress Energy, DTE Energy, MidAmerican Energy, and the Ohio Municipal Electric Association, among others.
Also lobbying for the legislation was the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers.
….Public Citizen also said that lobbying power on the issue is “lopsided,” since the groups supporting the bill spent a total of about $52 million on all issues they lobbied for, including the REINS Act. Groups opposing REINS spent about $1.5 million in lobbying on all issues, including REINS.
And they won’t be satisfied by anything short of complete rollbacks. The REINS act is a campaign tool, not a jobs plan. It dummies up talking points about an Obama administration with its big government hands controlling every facet of our lives — nothing true, but easy to talk about, especially from a party that has no other options, no real plans, nothing substantive to say.
And it doesn’t matter that Obama has already preempted the REINS act, just this week announcing a set of regulations to be killed off:
Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, revealed Tuesday the administration is hoping to help businesses in America save billions of dollars by wiping out or scaling back hundreds of government regulations.
“Over the next five years, the monetized savings from just a fraction of the reforms announced today are likely to exceed $10 billion,” Sunstein wrote on the White House’s blog. “Perhaps more important, today’s plans explicitly recognize that the regulatory lookback is not a one-time endeavor. Agencies will continue to revisit existing rules, asking whether they should be updated, streamlined, or repealed.
Officials at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quickly called the “lookback” on old regulations a step in the right direction but said it did not go nearly enough given the mountain of new regulations the President created with health care and financial reform.
“The administration’s findings and determinations, on their own, are a worthy effort at making technical changes to the regulatory process, but the results of this lookback will not have a material impact on the real regulatory burdens facing businesses today,” said Bill Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president of environment, tech, and regulatory affairs.
The Republicans don’t care either. The leadership will keep beating the drum and Kentucky’s Congressional delegation, led by Paul and Davis, with Mitch and Hal, Ed and Brett all at their side, will continue to lie to voters, telling them it is regulations that wrecked the economy, that destroyed the job market, and that they must be eliminated so that an unregulated madness may make us all rich. They are generating a false argument that will lead, they hope, to big gains for giant corporations and, also, to more and louder and dumber claims about President Obama’s insatiable appetite for controlling every American’s daily lives.