Friday, February 9, 2007

Roskam passes meaningless amendment he previously voted against

Sneaky Pete is at it again. Yesterday his office sent out a press release praising his work in passing an amendment that he claims will save taxpayers $10 million. He goes on to talk about how great alternative fuels are, despite the fact he voted last month against collecting taxes owed from oil companies to fund development of alternative fuels.

The problem is that his amendment and press release is a complete farce. If I can get wonkish for a second, his basis for claiming to have saved taxpayers $10 million is that his amendment makes the new spending conform to pay-as-you-go (known as pay-go) budget rules, which requires new spending to be offset by reductions in spending (or increases in revenue) elsewhere. But the thing sneaky Pete doesn’t mention is that the House already passed pay-go budgeting rules. I know he is a new member and all, but how is it possible he missed the fact that the Democratic led House of Representatives already adopted pay-go budget rules for all of their legislation – a rule he voted against? Here are just a few samples out of the tons of articles and media devoted to this:

House Adopts Pay-as-You-Go Rules” Washington Post, 1/6/07.

Day Two: House passes new budget rules. Democrats push to increase spending only with cuts in other funding” MSNBC, 1/5/07.

Congresswoman Melissa Bean Hails Return to Pay-as-you-go Budget Rules,” from the office of Roskam’s neighboring congressional colleague, 1/5/07.

So basically, sneaky Pete offered an amendment to follow rules that everyone already agreed to follow – and is now trying to claim credit for it. There is a reason why his amendment passed by voice vote, which signifies that not a single member objected to its passage. That reason is because it doesn’t do anything new. The only reason he was even allowed to offer such an amendment is because the non-controversial bill (it passed 400-3) came to the House floor under an open rule which meant there were no limits on amendments that could be offered, no matter how pointless they were. If there were limits I assure you that such a pointless amendment would have never been allowed.

And what makes bragging about this pointless amendment especially ridiculous is the previously mentioned fact that Roskam actually voted against the original pay-go budgeting rule which passed last month 280-152. So he literally voted against this rule before he submitted an amendment for it. Talk about flip-flopping.

All of this brings me to a completely all together different subject. Some of you may noticed me use the term sneaky Pete throughout this post. I’ve actually adopted this from a reader who used this nickname on an earlier comment. I’ve been thinking for quite some time that we need a good nickname for Roskam – and sneaky Pete certainly sums him up in regards to this amendment. I haven’t been able to come up with anything catchy myself, especially as I do not want to make any personal attacks on this blog. The purpose of this blog is strictly to follow Roskam’s votes and policy. In that vein, the sneaky Pete label here refers to his legislative actions in bragging about an amendment that 1) doesn’t do anything and 2) is in support of a rule he previously voted against. But does anyone else have any suggestions for a good label/nickname? Keep in mind “way too conservative Roskam” isn’t very catchy – although it is certainly true!

1 comment:

Joe said...

Awesome work, Jeff.