Late nights of debate and voting, and the tyranny of the majority, have characterized this week. By the end of the week, we passed three appropriations bills, providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Interior.
As I write this, Congress is debating the Democrats' energy tax bill, HR 2454, aka cap and tax, aka Waxman-Markey. Recently I've heard from many of you about this legislation, and you overwhelmingly opposed it. I will vote against this bill because I think it didn't do enough for the environment while killing Illinois jobs and burdening hardworking families with yet another tax. Indeed, the Heritage Foundation has found that, in the 13th District, this bill will destroy over 3,500 jobs in 2012 alone and an average of almost 2,500 jobs per year from 2012 through 2035. And as with the so-called economic "stimulus," this bill has been forced through with almost no debate or amendments.
Instead, I strongly support HR 2846, the American Energy Act. This is an "all of the above" energy bill, that I have cosponsored, that will not cherry-pick winners and losers among alternative fuels - as Waxman-Markey does. It will also help the US achieve energy independence, create jobs, cut energy costs, and protect the environment.
I'd also like to note that, once again, I tried to get Congress to pass a pay raise for our men and women in uniform. Unfortunately, once again, the Democrats denied it a fair up-or-down vote. Below you'll find a link to the speech I gave on the floor criticizing them for denying my amendment that vote, and denying our troops a pay raise they so strongly deserve.
As always, it is an honor to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact my office in Willowbrook at (630) 655-2052 or in Washington, DC at (202) 225-3515 if I can be of assistance to you.
This Week In Washington:
H.Res. 538 - Supporting Olympic Day on June 23, 2009, and encouraging the International Olympic Committee to select Chicago, Illinois, as the host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: I cosponsored this bill because I don't think anything would more clearly show the world how great Chicago is than hosting the Olympics in 2016.
HR 2647 - Department of Defense Authorization, FY 2010: Although my pay raise amendment to this bill was denied an up-or-down vote, I still voted in favor of this bill because we must ensure that our military remains well-funded.
HR 2892 - Homeland Security Appropriations, FY2010: I supported this bill funding the Department of Homeland Security.
HR 2290 - Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009: I supported this bill that adjusts benefits for our disabled veterans; this bill passed unanimously.
HR 2996 - Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriation, FY 2010: Although this bill included programs I have always supported, I voted against it because it increased funding by 17% over last year. I voted in favor of two amendments to cut $7 billion from this amount, but they were rejected.
Next Week in Washington:
The House will be in recess. I'll be back in the district and hope to see many of you.
Topic of the Day: Judy Fights For Pay-Raises For Our Troops
Once again, Judy spoke out in favor of pay raises for our men and women in uniform on the House floor.
Judy in the News:
June 25, 2009
From Staff Reports
Biggert secures money for firefighters
Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Judy Biggert announced today that she has secured an additional $10 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program during the Homeland Security Department appropriations process for fiscal year 2010. Biggert's request was included in the Manager's amendment to HR 2892, which passed late Wednesday night by a vote of 345-85.
"I'm pleased that the Appropriations Committee felt, as I did, that the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program needed additional funding," said Biggert, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "These tough economic times have made it more difficult for fire departments to replace outdated equipment and keep staff fully trained in the most modern firefighting techniques. The AFG program helps departments address these needs."
Read All of Judy's Press Releases and Statements Here.
Article of the Week:
Too big, too fast
June 25, 2009
Remember that gargantuan climate change bill we told you about last week? It's gotten bigger. Over the weekend, the bill grew from 946 pages to 1,201 pages, according to the Sunlight Foundation. It's still changing, with important amendments in flux.
But Democratic leaders in the House say they'll push for a vote on the bill as early as Friday. They think they can pass it.This is an incredibly expensive undertaking. If anyone in Congress tells you that he has read and completely understands this bill, and can explain exactly how the system to reduce carbon emissions would work and what its effects would be, he's lying.
Democratic leaders need to slow down. This proposed legislation would affect every American individual and company for generations. There's a huge amount of money at stake: $845 billion for the federal government in the first 10 years. Untold thousands of jobs created -- or lost. This requires careful study, not a Springfield-style here's-the-bill-let's-vote rush job.