OVER 100,000 HAVE SIGNED!
More than 100,000 Americans have now signed a petition urging Congress to immediately start drilling for oil domestically to ease gas prices. The petition is part of the Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less campaign American Solutions launched last week.
The petition reads:
"We, therefore, the undersigned citizens of the United States, petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries."
Next week, these signatures, gathered from citizens in all 50 states, will be delivered to the U.S. Senate as a first step towar d stopping the destructive Warner-Lieberman bill which would raise the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and aviation fuel.
TO SIGN THE PETITION OR for more information about the Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less campaign, visit www.AmericanSolutions.com/DrillNow
Thursday, May 29, 2008
OVER 100,000 HAVE SIGNED!
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:02 AM
Gingrey has co-sponsored a bill – H.R. 3089, the No More Excuses Energy Act of 2007 – which "will require the federal government to get serious about increasing domestic energy production that will lead to a decrease in the amount we pay at the pump".
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Free speech, freedom of the press, and the truth is now under assault by Media Matters, the National Council of the Race, the Hispanic Caucus, and other groups that support Amnesty and benefits for illegal aliens which are opposed by a vast majority of Americans.
They have launched a campaign to try and control or influence the contents of the Lou Dobbs Show, the Glenn Beck Show, and the Bill O'Reilly show because these hosts have rightfully addressed the negative aspects of illegal immigration such as crimes committed by illegals, the impact on taxpayer monies and resources, and rising anti-American and separatist attitudes that are well documented.
"Americans need to stand up behind Beck, Dobbs, and O'Reilly right now to protect the truth and freedom in America from the radical agenda of these groups," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "We are encouraging our supporters to write in and ask for more coverage of these issues, not less."
The pro Amnesty groups and lawmakers attacking Dobbs, Beck, and O'Reilly have engaged in a series of lies to promote their radical agenda. They falsely claim that there is no reason to be concerned about crimes committed by illegal aliens, no disease threat from illegal aliens, no anti-American and separatist sentiments in the ranks of illegals, and no efforts to merge the economies of North America.
"All of these claims by Paul Waldman of Media Matters are false," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "These news journalists may not be right 100% of the time, but they are reporting the truth while these political groups are attacking them with lies."
ALIPAC is encouraging their over 25,000 supporters from every state and nation of origin to write CNN and Fox in defense of Dobbs, O'Reilly, and Beck. All members of the American media that value the truth, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are encouraged to expose and rebuke these groups immediately.
To Read ALIPAC's Open Letter to CNN and Fox visit this link...
Monday, May 26, 2008
President Bush encouraged Americans to remember the sacrifices of servicemembers during this Memorial Day weekend in his radio address on Saturday.
"Kids will be out of school, moms and dads will be firing up the grill, and families across our country will mark the unofficial beginning of summer," Bush said. "But as we do, we should all remember the true purpose of this holiday – to honor the sacrifices that make our freedom possible."
The president will commemorate Memorial Day on May 26 by visiting Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., where he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The tomb is the final resting place of American servicemembers who lost their lives in combat.
"The names of these veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War are known only to God," he said. "But their valor is known to us all."
This valor has preserved the way of American life and has secured the nation's sacred freedoms, Bush said. He credited such bravery for winning the country's independence, removing the stain of slavery from the United States, and for defeating totalitarian regimes of the last century.
Bush said military men and women today are facing "a new totalitarian threat to our freedom" in Iraq, Afghanistan and on other fronts around the world.
"They continue the proud legacy of those who came before them," he said of current servicemembers. "They bear their responsibilities with quiet dignity and honor. And some have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country."
The president cited late Army Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Sebban, the senior medic of a unit in the 82nd Airborne Division, as exemplary of such heroism.
As the senior medic in his squadron, Sebban made sacrifice a way of life, Bush said. When younger medics were learning how to insert IVs, he would offer his own arm for practice. And when the time came, he did not hesitate to offer his fellow soldiers far more.
In Iraq's Diyala province on March 17, 2007, Sebban saw a truck filled with explosives racing toward his team of paratroopers. He ran into the open to warn them, exposing himself to the blast.
"Ben received severe wounds, but this good medic never bothered to check his own injuries," the president said.
Instead, Sebban devoted his final moments to treating others, said Bush, who presented a Silver Star to Sebban's mother on the slain sergeant's behalf.
"No words are adequate to console those who have lost a loved one serving our nation. We can only offer our prayers and join in their grief," Bush said. "We grieve for the mother who hears the sound of her child's 21-gun salute. We grieve for the husband or wife who receives a folded flag. We grieve for a young son or daughter who only knows dad from a photograph."
Suggesting ways in which Americans can honor the sacrifices he holiday recognizes, Bush said people can join a moment of remembrance that will be marked across the country at 3
p.m. local time on Memorial Day. At that moment, Major League Baseball games will pause, the National Memorial Day parade will halt, Amtrak trains will blow their whistles, and buglers in military cemeteries will play "Taps."
Bush also encouraged people to participate by placing a flag at a veteran's grave, taking family members to the battlefields where freedom was defended, or saying a
silent prayer for Americans who died in service to their country.
"This Memorial Day, I ask all Americans to honor the sacrifices of those who have served you and our country," he continued. "Their bravery has preserved the country we love so dearly."
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 7:39 PM
Saturday, May 24, 2008
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today(May 23, 2008) praised passage of a Sense-of-the-Senate resolution urging federal agencies to conserve fuel at a time when rising gas prices are significantly affecting the American economy and the family budget. Isakson and Chambliss were original co-sponsors of the resolution.
“There are no quick fixes in dealing with this issue, but there are things we can and must do,” Isakson said. “With skyrocketing gas prices, the federal government should be leading the way in conservation efforts and finding ways to cut consumption among all its federal agencies.”
“Given the current circumstances, all Americans are being required to make serious adjustments to their daily routines and their family budgets as energy costs continue to rise,” said Chambliss. “They are doing their part to conserve energy and the federal government must do the same.”
The resolution urges the President to require all federal departments and agencies to take initiatives to reduce daily consumption of gasoline and other fuels by the departments and agencies. The resolution states that an overall reduction of gasoline consumption by federal agencies by even a few percentage points would send a strong signal that, as a nation, the United States is joining to conserve energy.
Friday, May 23, 2008
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today praised the Senate’s passage of legislation to provide funds for American troops without setting timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals in Iraq.
“It is absolutely wrong to tie the money to support our troops to arbitrary timetables that have nothing to do with success or failure on the ground,” Isakson said. “I’m pleased this bill supports our men and women in uniform, who are deployed in defense of freedom, and gives them everything they deserve and everything they need to accomplish their mission.”
“Our nation has an obligation to our servicemen and women who make tremendous sacrifices every day for freedom and democracy,” said Chambliss. “They deserve our fullest support and we must give them the resources they need to carry out their duties. Passing this bill with a surrender date would have simply emboldened the enemy and I’m pleased that the final version of the bill does not include restrictions that would have hampered our military’s ability to do their job.”
The legislation also included language to increase educational benefits to all members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and National Guard. To qualify, veterans must have served at least three to 36 months of qualified active duty, with at least 30 days being served after September 11, 2001.
“The Montgomery G.I. Bill can change lives. It has given countless members of our military access to the college education they otherwise would not have been able to afford,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee. “Our nation’s military and their families have sacrificed tremendously so that our nation can live in freedom. It is important we modernize education benefits for our military to ensure that our servicemembers, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve receive the education benefits they deserve.”
“This legislation will greatly expand educational benefits available to servicemembers," said Chambliss. “Many servicemen and women would not be able to go to college without the G.I. bill and I’m pleased this legislation modernizes the bill to reflect today’s costs of education.”
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Isakson Praises Senate Committee Approval of Legislation to Develop Recommendations for Comprehensive Water Strategy
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today praised the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s approval of legislation to study and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy.
“As Georgia experiences the worst drought in over 100 years, it has become clear to me that the United States would benefit greatly from a national strategy for drinking water,” said Isakson, who is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The legislation will give states the tools they need to create water policies that reflect 21st century demand and usage.”
Isakson introduced the Twenty-First Century Water Commission Act of 2008, S.2728, on March 6, 2008. The bill would establish the Twenty-First Century Water Commission, which seeks to develop strategies to increase water supplies and improve the availability, reliability and quality of freshwater resources.
The commission would study current water management programs of federal, interstate, state and local agencies and private-sector entities as well as consult with representatives of such agencies and entities to develop recommendations for a comprehensive national water strategy.
The strategy developed by the commission would be required to identify incentives intended to ensure an adequate and dependable water supply to meet U.S. needs for the next 50 years and suggest strategies that avoid increased mandates on state and local governments, considering all available technologies. The commission would also be required to suggest financing options.
U.S. Representative John Linder, R-Ga., has introduced similar legislation in the House. Linder’s legislation was approved by the House during the last two Congresses but this was the first time it has been considered by the Senate.
“I applaud my colleague, Senator Isakson, for taking up this measure in the Senate and helping to get it passed in today’s Committee markup,” Linder said. “We need to ensure a sufficient and dependable water supply for our nation for years to come. We need to begin to think in creative new ways in order to highlight our nation's future water supply needs. The Twenty First Century Water Commission will give the states the tools to do that.”
Fayette Front Page
News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Isakson, Chambliss Praise Senate’s Rejection of Amnesty Provision in Emergency War Supplemental Bill
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today praised the Senate’s refusal to include an amnesty provision in the emergency war supplemental bill. Language that would have granted legal status to over 1 million illegal agriculture workers and their families was stripped Tuesday night from the spending bill for troops.
Isakson and Chambliss earlier this week had urged the Democratic leader to remove the amnesty provision from the bill.
“There’s no greater domestic issue in this country than illegal immigration, and I am pleased the Senate rejected this attempt to grant amnesty on a bill designed to give our soldiers the resources they need in the War on Terror,” Isakson said. “The war supplemental was the wrong vehicle to deal with this issue and this was the absolutely wrong approach to handling illegal agricultural workers. Congress can make immigration reform a reality by first delivering common-sense solutions to secure our porous borders and stop the flow of illegal immigrants.”
“I’m pleased the Senate recognized that removing this bad provision was the right thing to do,” said Chambliss. “We need to ensure that funding for our troops is approved and delivered as quickly as possible without getting bogged down in an unrelated immigration debate.”
On May 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to the emergency war supplemental spending bill that would give a five-year visa to 1.35 million workers plus their spouses and dependent children to live and work in the United States. For almost all legal purposes, the amendment requires that the illegal aliens who qualify for the proposed visa be treated as lawful permanent residents.
Adding the amendment to the appropriations bill violated Senate rules because it legislates on an appropriations bill. Last night, Democrats invoked Senate Rule 16 on the floor, which requires that provisions in amendments to appropriations bills be relevant to the underlying legislation. Among the provisions dropped was the proposal to grant visas allowing illegal aliens to hold agricultural jobs for up to five years.
On May 20, Isakson and Chambliss, along with eight other Republican senators, sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging the removal of the language. The text of the letter to Senator Reid is below. The letter was also signed by Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., David Vitter, R-La., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., James Inhofe, R-Okla., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Jim Bunning, R-Ky.
May 20, 2008
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
We write to express disappointment that the Senate Appropriations Committee chose to include in the War Supplemental more than 100 pages of immigration language that would grant legal status to more than one million illegal alien agriculture workers and their families. We urge you to remove these controversial provisions from the bill so we can enact essential funding for our troops without delay. If these provisions remain in the bill, you can expect a vigorous debate on immigration policy.
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today (April 25, 2008) praised an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that the agency will hire 64 additional federal prosecutors and 35 additional support staff for the southwestern border.
“This addition of manpower is absolutely essential in order to handle the growing number of immigration and drug trafficking cases along the border,” Isakson said. “There’s no greater domestic issue in this country than the problems on our southern border with Mexico, and it is time that we make a commitment to make border security a reality.”
“I’m pleased to see this additional support for those who are on the front lines of combating crimes committed by illegal immigrants,” said Chambliss. “Taking immediate action to secure the borders of this country is essential, because that is where the problem of illegal immigration begins and where it must be stopped.”
In 2006, Isakson introduced legislation to provide increased manpower, equipment and technology to secure the U.S. border. The legislation called for increases in the number of U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel, including attorneys to handle cases involving illegal aliens or immigration issues, as well as attorneys participating in the Federal Defenders Program, attorneys in U.S. Attorneys' Offices and attorneys in the Office of Immigration Litigation.
Isakson and Chambliss are members of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus. The Caucus is a platform to let Americans know that some members of the U.S. Senate are continuing to push for enforcement of immigration laws that are already on the books, to act as the voice of those concerned citizens who have expressed their opinions time and time again for better interior enforcement and border security, to push for stronger border security and interior enforcement legislation and to work together in the U.S. Senate to defeat possible future legislation that offers amnesty.
State Senator Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) has been appointed by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to chair the Senate Task Force on Value Government. The task force will look to determine how state government can provide services in a more effective and efficient manner to Georgia citizens. Ultimately, the panel will find ways to give taxpayers the best value possible in state government.
“We will seek to establish performance standards to know what value Georgians are getting for the tax dollars they pay,” said Sen. Seabaugh. “By establishing these standards, we can increase accountability for the tax dollars we spend and know what programs or services to cut and what to better fund.”
The Task Force plans to work in coordination with the Commission for a New Georgia to make recommendations to the legislature for legislative or budgetary changes to improve service delivery or lower the cost of services.
“It’s important to efficiently and wisely spend the public’s hard-earned dollars, and it’s equally crucial to do so in an open and transparent manner,” added Sen. Seabaugh. “This task force will work to ensure both.”
In addition to his leadership position of Majority Whip, Sen. Seabaugh has served on the Senate Appropriations Committee for six years and has been diligent in challenging appropriated tax dollars. He has been successful in cutting programs and department budgets that were unable to prove their value. Senators Bill Heath (R-Bremen), Judson Hill (R-Marietta) and Ed Tarver (D-Augusta) will also serve on the Task Force on Value Government.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Chambliss, Isakson Urge Democratic Leader to Strip Agricultural Worker Provisions from Emergency War Supplemental Bill
U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today, along with eight other Republican senators, sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging the removal of language that would grant legal status to over 1 million illegal agriculture workers and their families in the emergency war supplemental spending bill.
“A bill to provide funding for our servicemen and women should not be bogged down by a debate over immigration policy,” said Chambliss. “I strongly disagree that this amendment would serve to provide stability in the agricultural industry and would in fact harm U.S. farmers and ranchers and U.S. workers. Nobody is more interested in the well-being of American agriculture than me, and this proposal is simply the wrong policy at the wrong time.”
“There’s no greater domestic issue in this country than illegal immigration, and the American people will not stand for this attempt to grant amnesty on a bill designed to give our soldiers the resources they need in the War on Terror,” Isakson said. “The war supplemental is not only the wrong vehicle to deal with this issue but I firmly believe this is absolutely the wrong approach in regards to agricultural workers.”
On May 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to the emergency war supplemental spending bill that would give a five-year visa to 1.35 million workers plus their spouses and dependent children to live and work in the United States. For almost all legal purposes, the amendment requires that the illegal aliens who qualify for the proposed visa be treated as lawful permanent residents. Illegal aliens would qualify for the proposed five-year visa by proving they have performed agricultural employment for 863 hours or 150 work days or earned $7,000 from agricultural employment over the course of a four-year period. Once granted the proposed five-year visa, the illegal aliens would be authorized to work in any job other than agriculture-related jobs for the rest of the year and would be treated as U.S. workers for hiring purposes.
Adding the amendment to the appropriations bill also violates Senate rules because it legislates on an appropriations bill. As such, it will be subject to a point of order on the floor and 60 votes will be needed to keep this language in the bill. Chambliss and Isakson strongly oppose the amendment and will vote against it.
The text of the letter to Senator Reid is below. The letter was also signed by Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, David Vitter, R-Louisiana, Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, Elizabeth Dole, R-North Carolina, and Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky.
May 20, 2008
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
We write to express disappointment that the Senate Appropriations Committee chose to include in the War Supplemental more than 100 pages of immigration language that would grant legal status to more than one million illegal alien agriculture workers and their families. We urge you to remove these controversial provisions from the bill so we can enact essential funding for our troops without delay. If these provisions remain in the bill, you can expect a vigorous debate on immigration policy.
Friday, May 16, 2008
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today (May 15, 2008) praised the Senate’s passage of a new five-year Farm Bill that continues to provide a safety net for farmers, increases conservation programs, provides incentives for renewable energy production and establishes a permanent disaster program.
“This Farm Bill is a win for rural America and for farmers in Georgia, where agriculture remains the number one industry in the state,” Isakson said. “I commend Senator Saxby Chambliss for his strong work in crafting this legislation and for making sure that we continue to meet the needs of farmers in Georgia and the Southeast.”
The conference report for the Farm Bill passed the Senate by a vote of 81 to 15. The conference report passed the House on May 14 by a vote of 318 to 106. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation. Isakson will vote to override the veto.
The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan farm bill conference report, coauthored by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The farm bill, titled the “Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008,” includes a provision that instructs the Secretary of Agriculture to issue a permit to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the study of foot and mouth disease at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).
The proposed NBAF, operated by the Department of Homeland Security, will study high-consequence animal and zoonotic diseases to ensure our nation is prepared to detect and mitigate deadly agriculture diseases. It will replace an aging facility on Plum Island, New York, where foot and mouth disease research is now conducted.
“The study of foot and mouth disease, one of the most infectious livestock diseases known to man, is necessary to prepare our nation for any incident or outbreak of this economically devastating disease,” said Senator Chambliss. “I am pleased with the inclusion of this provision in the farm bill. I look forward to working with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security as we bring the vision of NBAF to reality.”
“This new national facility will be dedicated to research on disease detection and countermeasures, and it is extremely important that this includes research to deal with deadly agriculture diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease,” said U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. “With its world-class USDA research facilities, Georgia is the logical choice to conduct such important research and Senator Chambliss and I are working hard to promote our state’s bid to have NBAF located in Georgia.”
“The new and modern technology of the NBAF must be utilized to protect our food animals,” said David Lee, vice president for research at the University of Georgia. “Safe research and the development of effective counter-measures for this disease are critical to the health and welfare of the domestic herds of cattle, sheep, and swine, and to our agricultural industry, not just in Georgia, but across the country.”
UGA is leading the effort to attract the NBAF to Georgia, which has nationally and internationally recognized resources in infectious disease research, vaccine and diagnostic test development, and food safety. Georgia is one of six sites under consideration.
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 passed the House and Senate this week and will now be sent to the President.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan farm bill conference report, coauthored by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The farm bill, titled the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, includes the most significant reforms to payment limitations in the history of American farm policy, as well as increased funding for nutrition, energy, specialty crops and conservation programs.
“We are now one step closer to making the new farm bill a reality,” said Sen. Chambliss. “Our bill provides certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers and restates the strong commitment of Congress to the hungry and less fortunate. The farm bill includes provisions to help low-income Americans meet nutritional needs by providing school children with increased access to fresh fruit and vegetables and enhancing our investments to the Food Stamp Program and food banks. We have written a good bill not only for American agriculture, but for millions of needy Americans and I strongly urge the President to sign it into law.”
Sen. Chambliss championed several provisions in the bill including a measure to exempt IRS-approved education and retirement accounts from counting against the asset limit for food stamps. The nutrition title received the largest funding increase, totaling over $10 billion in new resources to enhance our country’s nutrition safety-net. Sen. Chambliss has noted that the increase was no small accomplishment and additional resources were made available by reductions in the commodity and crop insurance programs.
The following reforms and improvements are included in the nutrition title of the report:
• STRENGTHENS ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD BANKS: To help local organizations dedicated to fight hunger, the farm bill provides $1.256 billion over the next ten years to increase commodity purchases for food banks – an increase of nearly double the current level of funding.
• ENCOURAGES RETIREMENT AND EDUCATION SAVINGS: The nutrition title includes a provision which would exempt IRS-approved retirement and education savings accounts from the asset test when applying for benefits. This provision will help protect low-income Americans from having to deplete certain IRS-approved accounts, as well as pay the penalties and taxes for early withdrawal, if they are in need of short-term assistance.
• INCREASES THE STANDARD DEDUCTION FOR FOOD STAMP HOUSEHOLDS: The farm bill increases the standard deduction from $134 to $144 and indexes it to inflation, therefore providing a slightly higher benefit level for many participating households.
• INCREASES THE MINIMUM BENEFIT: The current minimum benefit is set at $10 and has not been raised in over 30 years. The bill raises the minimum benefit to $14 and indexes that level to future inflation.
• UPDATES THE NAME OF THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM: To better reflect the mission of the program and the fact that “stamps” have been replaced by electronic benefit cards, the new name is the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”.
• PROVIDES MORE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO SCHOOL CHILDREN: The bill includes an expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides free fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income children in schools. Over the next ten years, $1 billion is invested in this initiative, which will allow it to serve as many as 3 million low-income children.
• CONTINUES THE SENIOR FARMERS’ MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM: The bill expands food assistance to low-income seniors by $50 million over the next ten years in order to help them purchase agricultural products at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and other community-supported agriculture programs.
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 has already passed the House and will now be sent to the President.
Audio of Sen. Chambliss’ floor speech on Senate passage of the farm bill can be found at http://agriculture.senate.gov.
U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted late last night to approve H.R. 5658, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.
“I am proud to join my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009. Like most legislation, this bill we passed out of committee is not perfect, but it represents months of hard work and bipartisan debate and compromise. Further, I am extremely pleased this bill will ensure America's continued air superiority by providing advance procurement funds for an additional lot of F-22A Raptors. The Committee also unanimously approved my amendment which reaffirms the Congress’s support of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. While this bill could be improved by fully funding America's missile defense priorities and the Army Future Combat Systems, it is essentially a good bill that provides for the immediate needs of the warfighter and addresses readiness concerns.”
H.R. 5658 authorizes $531.4 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. Additionally, the legislation authorizes an additional $70 billion in supplemental funding to support current operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Global War on Terrorism. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor in the coming weeks.
Included in the bill are several provisions that Rep. Gingrey fought hard for, including $523 million in advance procurement funds for an additional lot of F-22A Raptor fighter jets and language supporting the WHINSEC program at Ft. Benning.
“As the world’s only 5th Generation Fighter line currently in full-rate production, the F-22A Raptor is the key component of our nation’s air superiority platform,” said Gingrey. “With procurement of the Joint Strike Fighter in significant numbers being several years away, recent concerns over the safety of the F-15 fleet, and the development of 5th generation technology by countries like China and Russia, it is imperative that we provide funding to keep the production line open.”
“By including funding for the advance procurement of an additional lot of 20 F-22’s, Congress recognized the importance of the F-22 to maintaining our nation’s air superiority.” continued Gingrey.
Additional provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 include:
· Additional funding for force protection needs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, including $2.6 billion for state-of-the-art Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles; $947 million for Up-Armored HMMWV’s; and $2.2 billion for Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, and Stryker vehicle upgrades.
· An additional $800 million for National Guard and Reserve equipment.
· Provides $8.6 billion for the Army and $1.8 billion for the Marine Corps to support reset.
· More than $246 million to for counter rocket, artillery, and mortar systems.
· Includes $744 million in advance procurement funding to allow the Navy to start building 2 Virginia Class submarines in 2011.
· Increases of 7,000 Army and 5,000 Marine Corps active duty personnel to sustain our required missions.
· A 3.9% pay raise for all members of the armed forces in 2009 and guaranteed pay raises in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to reduce the military-civilian pay disparity.
· Extends the prohibition the committee enacted last year on retail pharmacy cost share increases.
Members of the Georgia Republican Delegation today voted to prevent the Democratic Majority from using American servicemen and women serving in theater as a vehicle to promote their liberal agenda. This afternoon, the Democratic leadership attempted to use a procedural stunt to force Republicans into voting for a troop funding measure that was tied to troop withdrawal deadlines and tax increases for small business owners. The Members of the Georgia Republican Delegation strongly believe that we should support our troops with a clean funding measure that does not handcuff our commanders in the field or promote a radical domestic agenda.
Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10):
“Today, the Democratic leadership showed they cared less about supporting our troops than they did about increasing taxes and increasing spending. As a United States Marine, I will do everything I can to ensure that the needs of our troops and their families are met. I will not, however, allow the Democratic leadership to use our fighting men and women as pawns by which they can extort votes for an ever-increasing government funded by ever-increasing taxes. I encourage the Senate to adopt a bill that meets the urgent needs of our military personnel without heeding Speaker Pelosi’s call for increasing taxes and increasing wasteful spending.”
Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. (GA-11):
“The Members of the Georgia Republican Delegation are not going to stand by and allow the Democratic leadership to use the strength of our votes to further their leftist agenda of withdrawal deadlines, tax increases, and wasteful domestic spending. The Democrats’ actions on the floor today couldn’t provide a clearer picture of where their priorities lie – and it’s certainly not with our troops. Our brave men and women deserve a clean troop funding measure that gives them every opportunity to succeed in the Global War on Terror — not a cut-and-run Iraq policy packaged with an enormous tax increase — and we will accept no less.”
Congressman Jack Kingston (GA-01):
“To amend a troop funding bill with war policy is disingenuous. We feel strongly that the badly needed funding for our troops shouldn’t become a vehicle to pass a bunch of unrelated spending. Increasing unemployment, spending more money on the census, New Orleans levees and the Bureau of Prisons may be necessary and worth debating but it shouldn’t be put on an emergency war bill. These provisions, as well as the base bill, should go through the transparency and scrutiny of the committee process and not be airdropped on the House floor.”
Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06):
“Today’s vote is a stunning demonstration of how Democrats in the House view our brave troops. They are willing to tell our commanders how to run a war, yet deprive them of the money to execute it. For too long, the majority has relied on Republicans to carry their water to support our troops. Today, the curtain has been pulled back, and all that is left is extraneous spending, job-killing tax hikes, and handcuffs on our military. This is the result of government by fiat. House Democrats have hung our troops out to dry. Rather than soaking every action in partisan politics, it is time for real leadership. I call on Congress to pass a clean funding bill for our troops.”
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03):
“Speaker Pelosi showed once again that there is no sacred ground she won’t soil in her efforts to pander to the most liberal elements of American society. Not even the Democratic caucus is liberal enough for her. She completely hijacked the troop-funding process and handed it over to Moveon.org. Our generals have repeatedly told us we must have this funding by Memorial Day. We’re a week away from that deadline and the Democratic leaders have nothing to offer our soldiers but political games. Give us a bill that funds the troops and funds the troops only -- no Washington spending and no tax increases.”
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today voted in favor of two amendments aimed at combating the significant increases in gas and oil prices and their effects on the American economy and on the family budget.
Isakson praised the Senate’s passage of an amendment that would require the U.S. Department of Energy to halt deposits of domestic crude oil into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as long as the price of crude oil remains above $75 per barrel. The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, was approved by a vote of 97 to 1.
“There are no quick fixes in dealing with this issue, but there are things the federal government can and must do,” Isakson said. “Temporarily halting deposits to the reserve sends the signal to the global market that the United States will take measures to address excessive oil prices.”
Isakson expressed disappointment in the Senate’s failure to approve an amendment that aimed to lower the cost of energy and enhance U.S. energy security by increasing our nation’s domestic supply. The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, failed by a vote of 42 to 56.
"Given our dependence on foreign energy in this country, it is critical for us to consider the development of our untapped domestic energy supplies,” Isakson said. “With skyrocketing gas prices, we must seek every way possible to increase the domestic production of energy.”
Specifically, it would have amended the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to establish projected state lines by extending boundaries seaward to the outer margin of the Outer Continental Shelf for the purpose of pre-leasing and leasing activities in new producing areas.
The amendment would have established a competitive oil and gas leasing program for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain under the Mineral Leasing Act. It would also have amended the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” to strike the definition of renewable biomass and replace it with Senate-passed definition. This is critically important to ensuring that the emerging cellulosic ethanol industry is able to take advantage of all sources of cellulosic biomass.
The amendments were offered as part of a flood insurance bill that passed by a vote of 92 to 6.
Monday, May 12, 2008
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today praised Governor Sonny Perdue for signing an executive order to suspend the state gas tax on off-road diesel. The suspension on the four percent state tax is effective immediately and will be in effect until the General Assembly meets again in January 2009.
“This is an important step in providing relief to many Georgians who have been hit hard by the rising prices of gas,” said Chambliss. “I know many farmers who are grateful for the tax suspension and I applaud Governor Perdue for his leadership. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to provide additional relief for Georgians.”
Chambliss is a co-sponsor of several legislative items aimed at reducing gas prices, including legislation proposed by Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, that would temporarily suspend the federal gas tax during the summer months. Chambliss, along with fellow Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, are also co-sponsors of the “Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008,” legislation to increase domestic energy supply.
On April 29, Chambliss and Isakson, along with 15 other Republican senators, sent a letter to President Bush requesting that the U.S. Department of Energy immediately halt deposits of domestic crude oil into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Chambliss and Isakson voiced disappointment that Bush so far is rejecting the idea.
President Bush praised America's mothers, especially those who've lost sons or daughters during the war on terror and those who gave their lives in service to their country, during his weekly radio address Saturday. An excerpt from the president's remarks follows:
"On this Mother's Day weekend, we think of the many mothers who raised the brave men and women serving our country in uniform. And to those mothers, I offer the thanks of a grateful nation.
"Your sons and daughters are defending our freedom with dignity and honor, and America appreciates the sacrifices that your families make in the name of duty.
"On this Mother's Day weekend, we remember the mothers grieving a son or daughter lost in the service to their country, as well as the children who lost a mother in uniform.
"We share their pride in these wonderful Americans who have given everything to protect our people from harm. Nothing we say can ever make up for their loss.
"But, on this special day, we hold them in our hearts, and we lift them in our prayers.
"I wish every mother listening this morning a blessed Mother's Day, including my own. And I have a message for every son and daughter listening this morning: Remember to tell Mom the first thing tomorrow how much you love her."
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 8:49 AM
Friday, May 9, 2008
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced key negotiators have reached an agreement on the farm bill conference report. Leaders will seek signatures on the report language from members of the Senate-House Farm Bill Conference Committee this week. Sen. Chambliss championed several provisions in the bill including a measure to exempt IRS-approved education and retirement accounts from counting against the asset limit for food stamps.
“This is a tremendous victory for all Georgians from the producers who grow the food we eat, to those seeking assistance to feed their families,” said Sen. Chambliss. “Our goal was to take the most successful components of the 2002 farm bill and incorporate input from producers across the country to improve current law, and we did just that. This farm bill strengthens our nation’s food security, protects the livelihood of our producers and provides investments in nutrition, conservation and energy. Americans all over the country deserve a new farm bill and we have written a bipartisan and fiscally responsible plan that merits support of the entire Congress.”
Sen. Chambliss highlighted the following reforms and improvements to be included in the report:
Commodities: Eliminates the “three entity rule” and implements reformed payment caps for commodity program benefits; provides producers of eligible commodities an option to participate in a revenue-based counter-cyclical program; includes newly created disaster assistance program; maintains non-trade distorting direct payments; rebalances rates for the counter-cyclical program and non-recourse marketing loan program; reforms the cotton marketing loan program and provides an assistance program for the textile industry; maintains fruit and vegetable planting restriction; and creates a planting flexibility pilot program for processed fruits and vegetables in seven states.
Conservation: Provides $4 billion in new funding for conservation programs, including investments in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Farmland Protection Program, and the new Conservation Stewardship Program; reauthorizes the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP); includes Sen. Chambliss’ provision to help producers improve habitat for bobwhite quail, wild turkeys and many other species on CRP acres; strengthens the focus on private and tribal agricultural and nonindustrial forest lands throughout the title; and directs the Secretary to establish the standards necessary to ensure producers and landowners can receive credit for proactively mitigating climate change.
Peanuts: Maintains separate subtitle for peanuts; preserves the target price, direct payment rate and marketing loan rate established in the 2002 farm bill; provides for a mechanism to ensure handling and associated costs are not deducted from a producer’s loan rate; maintains separate payment limits for peanuts; and includes CSP incentive for producers moving towards an optimal crop rotation.
Nutrition: Invests over $10 billion in new spending for critical nutrition assistance and food aid programs including $1 billion for Sen. Chambliss’ Food Stamp Savings and Investment Act to exempt IRS-approved retirement and education savings accounts as countable assets to encourage long-term self-sufficiency; provides $1.2 billion in new funding to support local food banks; and expands the Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program for school children.
Rural Development: Improves the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program to deploy broadband internet service to rural America; provides $120 million in funding for the large backlog of water and waste water projects; provides $15 million for the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program to help assist small businesses in rural America; and creates the SouthEast Crescent Authority, which encourages economic development in Georgia and throughout the Southeast.
Research: Creates a new National Institute of Food and Agriculture to increase the visibility of competitive agricultural research; provides $230 million in mandatory funding for the specialty crop research initiative; and $78 million in mandatory funding for organic research.
Energy: Invests $320 million for new loan guarantee program for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries; provides $300 million in the Bioenergy Program to provide assistance to biofuel production plants for the purchase of feedstocks; provides $118 million for biomass research and development efforts; reauthorizes and provides $250 million for grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; and authorizes a new program, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to help producers transition to new energy crops for biofuel production.
Specialty Crops: Invests $466 million in mandatory funding for Specialty Crop Block Grants; provides $230 million in a new Specialty Crop Research Initiative; invests $377 million to address pest and disease management and disaster prevention; provides $20 million to establish a national network of diagnostic centers to ensure safe root stocks for nursery crops; invests $5 million for organic data collection; and provides $22 million in new money to help farmers transition into organic production.
Livestock: Establishes a catfish grading and inspection program in the Department of Agriculture; incorporates an industry compromise that provides for mandatory COOL for meat, chicken, produce, peanuts, pecans and macadamia nuts and addresses several of the implementation cost concerns; incorporates an industry compromise to encourage the interstate shipment of State inspected meat; and makes arbitration voluntary for livestock and poultry producers.
Miscellaneous Provisions: Improves the Outreach and Technical Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.
The Senate-House Farm Bill Conference Committee is expected to approve the report this week, before going to the full Senate and House for consideration next week. Upon passage, the conference report will be sent to the President for his signature to become law.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 5:20 PM
Rep. Gingrey was recognized at the U.S. Capitol this morning (May 8, 2008) by U.S. English, Inc. for his dedication to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Rep. Gingrey was one of a select number of House members honored with an “A in English” award based on his votes and co-sponsorships of official English legislation in the 110th Congress.
“I am pleased to present this award to Rep. Gingrey for his efforts to unite our diverse nation under the common language of English,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. “Rep. Gingrey has been a strong supporter of official English policies during his time in Congress. At a time when there is renewed interest toward preserving what unites us as a nation, we are grateful to Rep. Gingrey for his dedicated and enthusiastic support of this issue.”
“A in English” honors were awarded to members who received “A” grades on the U.S. English, Inc. legislative scorecard for the 110th Congress. Legislation that factored into the decision included co-sponsorship of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act, as well as a series of Congressional votes on reducing multilingualism in government and allowing employers the flexibility to enact English-in-the-Workplace policies. A full listing of the votes and grades can be found at http://www.usenglish.org.
According to several recent nationwide polls, an overwhelming majority of Americans support making English the official language of the United States. Polls conducted by Zogby International, the Winston Group and Rasmussen Reports have all found more than 80 percent of Americans in support of official English policies, with strong majorities among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 5:12 AM
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed The Georgia Forest Land Protection Act of 2008, HB 1211, at the Swainsboro Pine Tree Festival and Timber Expo.
“I am pleased to sign this legislation that promotes forest land conservation throughout the state and coincides with the Conserve Georgia campaign that we kicked off two weeks ago,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “These bills would not have made it to my desk without the hard of the many legislators joining us here today.”
HB 1211, sponsored by Rep. Richard Royal, creates a property valuation classification of forest land, which has no acreage cap and allows all property owners including businesses to put their property into covenant and receive the tax benefits. This legislation becomes effective upon the passage of a related constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2008 (HR 1276).
“The Georgia Forest Land Protection Act of 2008 will protect the state’s environment for years to come and will allow our forest land owners to continue their ownership of these valuable resources by reducing the terrible burden of unfair property taxes,” said Rep. Richard Royal. “In addition to maintaining the state’s forest land, it will also help ensure clean air and water.”
By entering into a covenant to utilize the forest land for conservation purposes for at least 15 years, Georgia’s private property owners will have the advantage of a lower tax burden on qualifying land for as long as the land is kept in its natural state.
Governor Perdue and Rep. Royal were joined at the bill signing event today by Rep. Jim Cole, Rep. Jay Shaw, Rep. Butch Parrish, Rep. Jimmy Pruett, Sen. Ross Tolleson, Sen. John Bulloch and Sen. Jack Hill.
Sen. Seabaugh nominated to Henry Toll Fellowship by Lt. Gov. CagleSen. Seabaugh nominated to Henry Toll Fellowship by Lt. Gov. Cagle
State Senator Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) has been nominated by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to join the national Henry Toll Fellowship program sponsored by the Council of State Governments. He is among 80 nationwide nominees appointed to participate in this prestigious leadership seminar in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Being nominated for the Henry Toll Fellowship is quite an accomplishment and Senator Seabaugh is very deserving of this nomination,” added Lt. Gov. Cagle. “He has worked diligently and I appreciate the leadership skills and value he brings to his job in the state Senate.”
The Henry Toll Fellowship program is the oldest and most widely recognized leadership development program for state government officials. It is the only leadership program that is open to all three branches of state government. The Fellowship is named in honor of Henry Wolcott Toll, founding father of the Council of State Governments and a Colorado state senator from 1922 to 1930. Toll has long been remembered as an innovative champion of state government, a courageous opponent of racism and a tireless visionary.
“Throughout my tenure in the General Assembly, I have worked hard to provide quality leadership,” said Sen. Seabaugh. “I feel this program will further enhance my leadership skills to become a more effective lawmaker. I am pleased to have been chosen to take part in this important national program.”
Sen. Seabaugh was first elected to the Georgia state Senate in 2000. In 2002, only his second term, his colleagues elected him Senate Majority Whip, a position he continues to serve. His leadership and input has shown to be invaluable regarding key initiatives to improve the lives of all Georgians.
The Toll Fellowship seminar in Lexington takes place September 27-October 2, 2008.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 5:46 AM
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA) introduced H.R. 5691, legislation to eliminate the potential for individuals to fraud programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP, so that these programs can instead be used to benefit those truly in need. The Medicaid and SCHIP Abuse Prevention Act of 2008 will help ensure that these programs continue to be made available for the most vulnerable and needy in this country.
“SCHIP and Medicaid were originally designed to be safety-net programs for those most in need in our society,” said Gingrey. “However, these assistance programs for low-income Americans are now being hijacked, and their funds misused. By exploiting inadvertent loopholes in the statute, some states are allowing people to disregard significant portions of their income in order to appear poor on paper, even though their actual income is much higher.”
For example, there is a state whose statutory upper limit for SCHIP is 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, which is $42,400. However, by using income disregards, this state allows people to enroll in SCHIP with incomes up to $74,200 per year, which is 350% of the FPL. Yet, nearly 25% of this state’s children – whose families make under 200% of the FPL – are uninsured, leading many to argue that by focusing on higher income families, the state is ignoring the very people it should be helping the most.
Disregarding whole blocks of income – a practice already being employed by as many as thirteen states – for the sole purpose of making an individual eligible for a government entitlement program is an egregious practice that manipulates the very intent of these programs. In order to ensure these programs serve children and individuals who ACTUALLY qualify as “low-income,” the Medicaid and SCHIP Abuse Prevention Act of 2008 will institute a gross income cap of 250% for SCHIP and Medicaid eligibility. This legislation will limit any income disregards to a maximum of $250 per month or $3000 per year.
“Placing a firm eligibility cap on SCHIP and Medicaid is the best way to ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are spent on those most in need, and will not be diverted to people who already have the ability to purchase their own health insurance plan without taxpayer-funded assistance,” continued Gingrey.
Introducing the Medicaid and SCHIP Abuse Prevention along with Congressman Gingrey are original co-sponsors, Rep. Feeney (R-FL), Rep. Walden (R-OR), Rep. Herger (R-CA), Rep. Bartlett (R-MD), Rep. Kingston (R-GA), Rep. Broun (R-GA), Rep. Miller (R-FL), Rep. Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Price of Georgia (R-GA), Rep. Westmoreland (R-GA), and Rep. Deal (R-GA).
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
We have a lot at stake in this presidential election. As a nation, we face many challenges that will require real leadership from our next president. I have said before that this election will be about the big things, not the small things, and I write to you today about one big issue in particular - the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. If one of my Democratic opponents is elected in November, you can rest assured that given the opportunity to appoint judges, they will appoint those who make law with disregard for the will of the people.
There may be at least two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court during the next presidential term. As president, I will ensure that only those judges who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States are appointed. I will nominate judges who understand that their role is to faithfully apply the law as written, not impose their will through judicial fiat.
If you want judges who will clearly and completely adhere to the Constitution of the United States and who do not legislate from the bench to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, then I ask that you join my campaign for president today by making a financial contribution.
I am proud to have played a role in the appointment and confirmation of two great Supreme Court justices - Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito I need your support now so that as your president I can nominate judges like Justices Roberts and Alito. Judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust. Judges who take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people's elected representatives. Judges who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.
My friends, the future of our country and of the Supreme Court is at stake in this election. If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected - both voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito - they will appoint activist judges. They will appoint judges who legislate from the bench.
I'm sure I don't have to remind you how important even one vote on the Supreme Court can be. Issues concerning states' rights, abortion, affirmative action, the Second Amendment and religious freedom have all been decided by a very slim 5-4 margin.
America needs a leader who recognizes that the people and the states should decide what's best, not the courts. In order to be that leader, I need your financial support immediately.
Please follow this link to make an immediate donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 - any amount up to the legal limit of $4,600.
Thank you for your support.
P.S. To date, my Democrat opponents have raised almost $450 million in their efforts to win the White House. Both Senators Clinton and Obama voted against confirming John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Both Senators Clinton and Obama will nominate liberal, activist judges. As your president, I will ensure that the Supreme Court protects our values. Please follow this link right away to make your donation of any amount, up to the legal limit of $4,600. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, is crucial to our efforts. Thank you.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:18 AM
Monday, May 5, 2008
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today announced that they are co-sponsoring legislation that aims to lower the cost of energy and enhance U.S. energy security by increasing domestic supply. Their co-sponsorship today follows on the heels of a letter Isakson and Chambliss sent earlier this week urging the President to help stabilize gas prices by halting deposits of oil into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“Given our dependence on foreign energy in this country, it is critical for us to consider the development of our untapped domestic energy supplies,” Isakson said. “With skyrocketing gas prices, we must seek every way possible to increase the domestic production of energy.”
“In light of the ever-increasing gas prices, it only makes sense that we would take advantage of domestic sources of fuel that we know exist today,” said Chambliss. “Increasing domestic production is a critical component of a comprehensive energy policy that eliminates our dependence on foreign sources of oil.”
Specifically, the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to establish projected state lines by extending boundaries seaward to the outer margin of the Outer Continental Shelf for the purpose of pre-leasing and leasing activities in new producing areas. It also would allow the governors of Atlantic and Pacific coastal states to submit to the Secretary of the Interior a petition requesting that the area, within State boundaries, be made available for oil and gas leasing. The Secretary must approve or deny such petitions as soon as is practicable.
The legislation would establish a competitive oil and gas leasing program for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain under the Mineral Leasing Act. It also would limit production and support facilities to no more than 2,000 acres on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain and provide for a 50/50 share of revenues between the federal government and the state of Alaska. The bill would direct that $35 million of state’s share be deposited annually into a “Coastal Plain Local Government Impact Aid Assistance Fund” for Alaska communities.
The legislation also would:
· Repeal a section of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008”, which created a $4,000 fee for new applications for permits to drill;
· Grant the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency authority to accept consolidated applications for all permits required to construct and operate a refinery;
· Establish a 360-day deadline for the approval or disapproval of a consolidated permit application for new refineries and a 120 day deadline for consolidated permit applications to expand an existing refinery;
· Suspend the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for 180 days beginning from the date of enactment;
· Amend the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” to strike the definition of renewable biomass and replace it with Senate-passed definition. This is critically important to ensuring that the emerging cellulosic ethanol industry is able to take advantage of all sources of cellulosic biomass;
· Establish a research program to determine new material science needed for pipelines, pumps, tanks and other infrastructure for transport of renewable fuel blends, either though dedicated renewable fuel pipeline networks or as blends with petroleum products; and
· Repeal a section of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008,” which prohibits the use of Department of the Interior funds to complete final regulations for the commercial leasing of oil shale as statutorily required under the “Energy Policy Act of 2005.”
On April 29, Isakson and Chambliss, along with 15 other Republican senators, sent a letter to President Bush requesting that the U.S. Department of Energy immediately halt deposits of domestic crude oil into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Isakson and Chambliss voiced disappointment that Bush so far is rejecting the idea.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 1:06 PM
By Lynn Westmoreland
Filling up my truck back home this week, I felt the pain at the pump as the price ticked above $90 and kept on going to $93.
Every Georgia motorist experiences the exact same frustration – or perhaps rage – as they fuel their vehicles to go to work, take the kids to school or pick up groceries.
When Democrats were in the minority in Congress in 2006, they howled about $2-a-gallon gas prices and campaigned so diligently on the issue you half expected to see Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi pumping your gas for free at the local station.
I know politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. But the prose needs to at least resemble the poetry. And Democrats’ energy policies since they’ve been in power in no way reflect what they promised on the campaign trail.
In April 2006, Pelosi said: “Democrats have a common-sense plan to lower gas prices.” Other Democratic leaders echoed the same theme: We have a magic plan!
It’s unfortunate no one asked for details of the magic plan. Maybe then we’d have figured out the hocus-pocus was mere sleight of hand.
One fact that I’m sure the Democrats would like to make disappear is that gas prices have risen 55 percent since they took over Congress 16 months ago. In January 2007, average American gas price was $2.33 a gallon. Today, we pay $3.62 per gallon. The extra $1.29 a gallon, the “Pelosi Premium” if you will, is squeezing families, small businesses, school districts and law enforcement agencies.
Since the Democrats have apparently decided to keep their magic plan for lower gas prices under wraps, let’s look at what they have done on energy policy.
While giving lip service to “American energy independence,” they’ve blocked all avenues for increasing U.S. energy production. They’ve blocked drilling for the 10 billion barrels buried beneath Alaskan tundra, they’ve blocked drilling for the 20 billion barrels off the shore of our coasts, and they’ve blocked development of the 1.2 trillion barrels in oil-shale in the Mountain West.
They’ve tried to raise taxes on energy companies by $18 billion – costs that would pass on to consumers. And now two of the most powerful Democratic House committee chairman are calling for hiking the federal gas tax another 50 cents per gallon. I know liberals think higher taxes are the answer for everything, but is THAT their plan for lower gas prices?
The Democrats’ so-called energy bill tells the tale. In more than 300 pages, “crude oil” is mentioned five times, “gasoline” 12 times, “exploratory drilling” two times, and “domestic drilling” isn’t mentioned even once. By contrast, look what IS in the bill: “Greenhouse” 103 mentions, “geothermal” 94 mentions, “renewable” 333 references. Amazingly, the word “lamp” showed up 350 times and even “pool” was in there 47 times. Yes, that’s right: The word “pool” showed up in the energy bill four times more often than “gasoline.”
I’m sure Americans paying $4 a gallon this summer will take comfort in knowing that Congress has taken such a keen interest in pool safety.
The fact is, gas prices have risen because of a sharp increase in global demand and constricted supplies. There is no magic plan to lower gas prices and we do have to focus on conservation and alternative energy sources. But, for now, almost all of our energy comes from traditional energy sources. We have to explore and develop those resources right here in the United States.
It would be one heck of a magic trick if the Democrats strategy of higher taxes and less supply did anything other than make gas prices soar even higher.
Lynn Westmoreland represents Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 12:03 PM