It’s hard to believe that it’s already December. It has been a very busy year for everyone I know, balancing work, family life, and all the activities that fill out lives. I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made as a country and the work I’m doing in Congress to improve the lives of my constituents

Freedom Caucus Causing Chaos

Sunday, 18 October 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

Background Most people understand that our government needs to be more efficient and effective. The Tea Party grew feverishly in 2009 because of concerns over high taxes and government spending, helping to win a majority in the House of Representatives and many state legislatures in the 2010 elections. I know there are problems with our

Marching in Lockstep Down the Party Line

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

The debate around the agreement between the United States, its allies, and Iran to curtail the Iranian nuclear weapons program has illustrated a disturbing, partisan trend in American politics today. Since President Obama first announced the agreement, we have seen Republicans in Congress declare their opposition to it in lock step, with not a single

House of Action: Week of July 21 – July 24

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

This week we considered three major bills on the House floor, all three of which are Republican message bills, and I had several significant committee hearings. I will discuss the bills first. 1. H.R. 1734, “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015”. My friend David McKinley, a Republican from West Virginia brought it to

House of Action: Week of July 13 – July 17

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

GOP Water Bill Does Nothing to Solve California’s Drought This week the only major piece of legislation before the House was H.R. 2898, this year’s version of the infamous water grab brought to us by Republican Congressman David Valadao. The bill would override the state’s ability to carefully allocate the precious water supply and simply

House of Action: Week of July 7 – July 10

Monday, 13 July 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

A very hot and humid week in Washington was met with some very interesting legislation on the House floor and in two subcommittee hearings I attended. EPA/Interior Approps bill The real focus of the week was H.R. 2822: “Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016,” which had more than 50 amendments. During

House of Action: Weeks of June 22 – June 25

Saturday, 27 June 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

This week was decidedly mixed in terms of partisanship and policy. On the one hand, the House easily passed H.R. 2576 the Toxic Chemical Control Act, and other bipartisan acts. I was proud of passing TSCA because it was badly needed and because it represented a significant degree of compromise. Full Energy and Commerce Committee

House Action: Weeks of May 11-15 and May 18-22

Friday, 29 May 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

Partisan Legislation These two weeks produced partisan bills that would be vetoed if they ever pass the Senate. I will get to some very good news later, but first I will discuss the partisan legislation we were treated to. The sequester, which has been in place for 3 years, puts strict appropriations limits for federal

Background The Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) over  May 3 – May 9 embarked on a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to the European Cities of Lisbon, Portugal; Brussels, Belgium; and Kiev (also spelled Kyiv), Ukraine.  The purpose of the CODEL was to allow members of E&C to get a close-up understanding of the energy situation in

House Action: Week of April 13

Sunday, 26 April 2015 Published in 2015, Blog

House Floor votes last week consisted of bills to increase the vulnerability of low-income home buyers and a bill that would increase the deficit by extending large tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, each of which I opposed. Committee The Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan designed