Members of congress exists in two different cultures–the Washington DC political culture, often described as ‘Inside the Beltway’ and their congressional district culture. A successful representatives satisfies the needs of both.
When in DC our congressman, Tom Reed, bounces between following the GOP leadership (John Boehner/Paul Ryan) and extreme Tea Party leadership (Carl Palidino). The GOP took over the House of Representatives during the 2010 election (officially Rep. Reed became a representative right after the election in November, 2010) and we saw:
- an opposition to raising the debt ceiling (not paying our bills) with lowered our Country’s Credit Rating for the first time since World War 2
- the closing of the government
- The fate of our neediest, our schools, and our military was hog-tied by the sequester
Our congress earned record negative ratings by:
- voting against aspects of the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times
- trying to defunding Homeland Security
- changing the Social Security voting rule
- promoting eliminating our Disabled Workers from receiving their earned benefits
- being anti-science
- being anti-safety regulations
- being anti-marriage equality
- (although the House passed the Violence Against Women Act, Rep. Reed missed the vote)
The House refused to discuss (and vote on)
- gun safety measures
- our war with ISIS
- revamping immigration
- climate change
The GOP’s economic programs
- increased the power of corporations and Wall Street
- refused to raise the federal minimum wage
- negatively affected the benefits to the middle and lower classes of our society
Following the Inside the DC Beltway GOP Agenda, brings Rep. Reed the funds needed to campaign. As of August 22, 2016, PACs has brought in over $1.5 million to his campaign coffers for this election (Center for Responsive Politics).
When in the NY 23rd, Rep. Reed realizes that he needs to impress his constituents. He proposes legislation that sounds like it would benefit many NY23rd-ers. The following is a sample of Rep. Reed’s proposed bills of 2015. The problem is they do not fit in the Republican platform. All were referred to (GOP lead) committee(s) and none have gotten out of the committee. None have been voted on by the House members. (Please note that I picked 2015 examples instead of 2016 examples because they they have been sitting in the committee for around a whole year.)
- H.R. 2208: Hospice CARE
- H.R. 1760: Buy Smarter and Save Act of 2015
- H.Res. 186: Supporting the goals and ideals of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
- H.R. 1549: Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act
- H.R. 3591: Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act
- H.R. 3037: Hospice Care Access Improvement Act of 2015
- H.R. 2754: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make the work opportunity credit permanent.
- H.R. 2511: School Attendance Improves Lives Act of 2015
- H.R. 2382: Enable More Parents to Opt-Out Without Endangering Resources Act
- H.Res. 207: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding establishing a National Strategic Agenda.
- H.R. 1002: Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015
- H.R. 663: Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015
- H.R. 617: Clinical Trial Cancer Mission 2020 Act
- H.R. 510: To establish a uniform and more efficient Federal process for protecting property owners’ rights guaranteed by the fifth amendment.
- H.R. 1178: Ensuring Equal Access to Treatments Act of 2015
- H.R. 3110: National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2015
to see the whole list of Rep. Reed’s proposed bills follow this link.
Rep. Reed is using these feel good proposals to impress the voters that “he cares”, and to conceal his votes that shows that he doesn’t.
Shame on us if we are duped into re-electing the him this November.