WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Bill Sali today criticized House Democrats for passing sham energy legislation that does nothing to provide relief to Americans hit hard by high fuel prices.
Less than 24 hours after the nearly 300-page bill was filed, the House considered H.R. 6899, the inaccurately-named Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act.
â€œUnder the guise of a comprehensive plan, the Democrats today offered no solutions to increase American production of oil. The Democrats claims they will open up the Offshore Continental Shelf to oil and natural gas production but they do exactly the opposite. This bill will lock up all but 2.7 percent of oil resources off the West Coast,â€ said Sali.
â€œOne of the biggest issues for the folks back home is the price of gas at the pump and the cost of food whose production and distribution is energy-dependent. This phony energy bill does nothing to lower that price. Just like Grape Nuts cereal is neither grapes nor nuts, this legislation is neither comprehensive nor does it protect consumers.
â€œPeople in Idaho and across this country are tired of rhetoric and tired of Congress failing to get its job done. Gas to drive the kids to school and extracurricular activities doesnâ€™t magically appear in gas pumps. We fuel our cars and trucks and heat our homes and businesses because hard working men and women take risks, drill for oil, refine it, store it, ship it and then sell it to individual consumers. We need more of it â€“ a lot more â€“ now.
â€œThe Democrats ‘no-energy’ bill claims to help Americans but in reality, highlights of this bill include no expansion of nuclear power, no development of clean coal and coal-to-liquid technologies, no oil shale exploration, no new refineries and no lawsuit reforms,â€ Sali concluded.
Sali submitted three amendments to the Rules committee for consideration during debate today. But the Democrats decided that no amendments would be allowed during debate on their bill.
â€œWe have been shut out of this process today and even with amendments piled a foot high the Democrats refused to take a vote on any of them,â€ said Sali.
Sali submitted the following three amendments:
The Family Energy Relief Act (FERA) of 2008 which will provide American taxpayers with a tax credit of $1,000 for couples, $500 for individuals and $250 per dependent.
Two year funding (2008 and 2009) of Secure Rural Schools, which Congress has yet to pass even though the funding is vital for Idahoâ€™s rural schools, highway districts and counties.
Education funding for science and technology. As a policy we must maintain the human capital needed to preserve and foster the economic, energy, and mineral resources security of the United States. The Science and Technology programs that produce human capital needed for the energy and mineral resources security of the United States are national assets and shall be assisted with Federal funds to ensure their continued health and existence.
â€œItâ€™s time to make things right with the American people. Congress got us into this mess and itâ€™s high time we acted to address this energy crisis head on. We need all the energy we can get from every source possible. America demands a real energy solution and this bill is not that it,â€ concluded Sali.
H.R. 6899 passed by a vote of 236-189 and now awaits action in the Senate.
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