From the Campaign Trail

posted Jul 28

I agree with Bill Press.  Month after month we see senseless mass shootings in theaters, shopping malls, schools, churches and work places. Yet in my three years in Congress, the only hearing involving guns was today in the Natural Resources subcommittee chaired by Rep. Gohmert, and it wasn’t to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country, or our porous background check system, or the many loopholes that make assault weapons readily available to any violent mentally ill person or angry teenager.  It was about whether allowing federal law enforcement officials with the US Forest Service to carry guns was a type of federal overreach.  We certainly have a Congress of intense ideologues, if not cowards, on this issue.

OPINION | Mass shootings are happening in the U.S. on average once a week.

posted Jul 28

Incredibly, House GOP leadership just announced they are adjourning 2 days early to start the August recess.  Given the many critical issues this Congress has failed to resolve, this is nothing short of outrageous.  I will certainly keep busy in my district over the next six weeks, but we should not be adjourning the House without passing a fully-funded, long-term transportation fix; without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank; without renewing and strengthening the Voting Rights Act to protect that most fundamental right in our democracy; and without coming anywhere close to viable appropriations bills to avoid a government shutdown on October 1st, among other pressing priorities.  Shouldn’t we at least TRY to govern?

posted Jul 27

Ugly choices ahead.  Congress must do something to prevent Highway Trust Fund from running out of money before the August “recess” (which should be cancelled, BTW).  Congress also needs to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which produces jobs and supports exports at no cost to taxpayers.  The House has passed a gimmicky bill that extends current anemic transportation funding levels for 5-months, but not the Ex-Im Bank.  The Senate appears poised to pass an even more gimmicky transportation bill that claims to extend transportation funding for six years (at current inadequate levels), but in reality it’s more like two years and it comes with rotten policy riders…  but it includes reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.  One of these, or some combination thereof, will likely be the final House vote this week.  This is like choosing your favorite Menendez brother.

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