Blumenauer and Hooley pick up key committee assignments

This just in from Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi's office:

Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been named to the Ways & Means Committee, and Congresswoman Darlene Hooley has been named to the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Both assignments are key committees - and will expand Oregon's influence and power in the Capitol.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    i wonder if this keep Earl in the House and not seeking Smith's seat. W&M is one of the most powerful committees, and as a senior Dem on the ctte, he could do a lot for Oregon and the NW. especially given what a risk a Senate run would be.

  • (Show?)

    Here's the statement from Earl's office:

    Today Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) was offered a position on the Committee on Ways and Means. This is the first time in over a decade that a Representative from Oregon has served on the prestigious committee. The committee announcements, made this afternoon, also included the addition of Darlene Hooley (D-Ore) to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. "This is an exciting opportunity for Oregon, and I am honored to serve with my colleagues on this important committee," said Congressman Blumenauer. "There have been many positive changes in the past two months. I know both Representative Hooley and I are ready to make progress on issues that are critical for Oregon and the country in the next Congress." The Committee on Ways and Means has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures. It also deals with a wide range of policy issues, among them welfare reform, trade agreements and social security. Because all bills dealing with taxation must originate in the House and go through Ways and Means, it is a particularly important committee.
  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Editor:

    Both assignments are key committees - and will expand Oregon's influence and power in the Capitol.

    Bob T:

    In other words, a bigger tap into the Gravy Train.

    That's not progress, my friends. Not at all.

    Bob Tiernan

  • brett (unverified)
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    Oh, so if some other Congressperson who didn't share Blumenauer's and Hooley's values (energy efficient transportation, conservation, etc) were there instead, you think it would be better? Given how the corrupt Republicans drove us from the largest surplus in history to the largest debt (by far) in history by diverting so much public money to anti-public, big-money interests (e.g. Halliburton, Exxon), I suspect that Oregon and America are better served by having fiscally responsible and visionary Oregon leaders on the committees that control how our tax dollars are spent.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Nice going Earl.

    Now, how about some about federal financing to build a 16 lane tunnel on I-5 under the Columbia River to replace that damn bridge. We'll be waiting for the check. Please send soon.

  • Tromper (unverified)
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    I'm shocked that DeFazio was somewhat shot down.

    Or am I?

    They're gearing Blumenauer up for a run against Smith, which may or may not be a mistake.

    Hooley I've no clue about, as she's largely been broken when it comes to voting and charisma. Bankruptcy bill? Food labelling bill? Please. She's ineffectual and has done nothing worthwhile with her Washington horse trading. Why they would grant her increased importance is confounding.

    Bleh, good luck, Earl.

    Better luck, Westlund.

  • (Show?)

    Tromper = Troll. Hooley is a rockstar and a leader.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    brett:

    Oh, so if some other Congressperson who didn't share Blumenauer's and Hooley's values (energy efficient transportation, conservation, etc) were there instead, you think it would be better?

    Bob T:

    I don't know what ever gave you that idea. I'm opposed to the Gravy Train. It's nothing but a method of maintaining a high incumbency re-election rate as well as a system in which states and municipalities have to rely on the national government to dole out money it has no business having in the first place. If the money is ebing handed back to the local government, then obviously the Feds don't need it -- except to manipulate. Did you like the law that required library systems to reduce First Amendment rights if they take Federal dollars? You can thank this system for that, and people like Hooley and Bluemanauer will continue to make it worse even if you get some favorite projects out of it.

    brett:

    Given how the corrupt Republicans drove us from the largest surplus in history

    Bob T:

    The Republican majority post-1994 had nothing to do with it? I always get a kick out of people pretending Clinton did this all by his lonesome. Well, The Repubs had a lot to do with it, although they no doubt got lost when they no longer had a Democrat in the White House to want to compare themselves to.

    brett:

    to the largest debt (by far) in history by diverting so much public money to anti-public, big-money interests (e.g. Halliburton, Exxon)

    Bob T:

    Uh, sorry, but that's not how we came to have the big debt and deficits we have currently. Stop with the talking points.

    brett:

    I suspect that Oregon and America are better served by having fiscally responsible and visionary Oregon leaders on the committees that control how our tax dollars are spent.

    Bob T:

    Blumenauer and Hooley?

    Get real.

    Bob Tiernan

  • brett (unverified)
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    Bob: If the money is ebing handed back to the local government, then obviously the Feds don't need it -- except to manipulate.

    Brett: It sounds like you're opposed to the whole idea of a national government. I think that question was settled in 1787. Agreed that Ds and Rs can abuse the system, but I still like what the system can do -- and has done, on occasion -- when not abused and exploited by the bandits who controlled Congress for the past few years. In any case, we're going to have this system as long as we don't go back to the Articles of Confederation, and if we're gonna have it, I like Earl's vision better than the current crowd's. He could hardly do worse.

    Bob: The Republican majority post-1994 had nothing to do with it? I always get a kick out of people pretending Clinton did this all by his lonesome. Well, The Repubs had a lot to do with it, although they no doubt got lost when they no longer had a Democrat in the White House to want to compare themselves to.

    Brett: As soon as Clinton wasn't there to control them, look what the Rs did -- squandered the national treasure on giveaways to those who need it least, start expensive wars on false pretenses, shortchanged the vets and soldiers that fought in it, stalled efforts to protect the environment and future generations, etc. etc. It'll be nice to have the grownups in charge again, even if it'll take 'em a decade to get us out of the hole the Republicans dug over the past six years.

    Bob: Uh, sorry, but that's not how we came to have the big debt and deficits we have currently. Stop with the talking points.

    Brett: You might want to watch Iraq for Sale. But you're right; thanks for reminding me that the major source of the debt isn't even profligate Republican waste, fraud and abuse -- but instead those tax cuts that helped the billionaires, cut resources for those who actually need a hand, and still gave us the most anemic economic growth since the last Republican recession.

  • LT (unverified)
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    . She's ineffectual and has done nothing worthwhile with her Washington horse trading. Why they would grant her increased importance is confounding.

    Tromper, I'm guessing you don't live in the 5th district or if you do are unacquainted with veterans and others who have been helped by the excellent constituent work of Hooley's office.

    In the entire history of the 5th District, the members elected from that district have been: Denny Smith Mike Kopetski Jim Bunn Darlene Hooley.

    Which of those do you think did the best job--or are you angry about a few votes where someone disagreed with you and therefore they are worthless?

    What do you think of her record on veterans issues, or doesn't that matter?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Brett:

    It sounds like you're opposed to the whole idea of a national government. I think that question was settled in 1787.

    Bob T:

    There's a world of difference between a national gobvernment doing things national in scope, and a national or central government acting as bagman or middleman handling billions and billions of our tax dollars to give it more power than it needs. Think about it. I don't mind paying for programs that are national in scope, but I detest a system in which billions and billions are collected by the Feds and then doled out to state and local governments where it was in the first place.

    It's also very distracting to those in the national govbernment, don't you think? I mean, they love having the power that comes with this Gravy Train, but wouldn't you rather see them pay more attention to national issues that states cannot deal with (like foreign policy) than to look into complaints about little museums and traffic lights?

    Bob Tiernan

  • (Show?)

    Ways and Means? Isn't that chaired by the notorious Ward Heeler, Charlie Rangel?

    Putting a squeaky clean Oregon Pol like Earl into the mix is a very smart move by Pelosi.

    She can't choose the quality of politician that the voters send her, but she can do triage to try to keep her kidz honest. Putting some folks with integrity on the varous oversight committees is very smart.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    From a fly on the wall at Earl's office yesterday, it seemed he was not happy with his reassignment. He wanted to stay on the International Relations Committee.

  • (Show?)

    Bob Tiernan, you are talking out your backside. Clinton passed the 1993 tax increases without a single vote by the GOP, taxes which was not cut until after Bush got into office. The Clinton administration at the same time also reduced the size of the Federal workforce to the smallest since the Johnson administration (which was prior to several entire agencies coming into being mind you) and as a result of the the combined effect of the resulting economic boom and the ability to retire high-interest debt, handed surpluses for the next decade to the Bush administration who promptly flushed it down the toilet.

    The GOP controlled Congresses from 1994 onward did NOTHING to change the revenue structure of the Federal Gov. after Clinton pushed through those tax changes under the then Dem controlled Congress sans a single GOP vote. The results speak for themselves.

    You have bought into the typical anti-Gov. GOP/Libertarian non-think that is simply devoid of reality. That said, and getting back to the topic of this thread which you derailed... I think that Hooley getting Energy and Commerce is a welcome sign. If she can manage to actually focus on things like bringing renewable energy to Oregon it will go a long way in making progress here in the Northwest both economically (since Bush took office we have seen 30% increases in energy which has been a huge drain on the economy) and environmentally. It also will be a step towards deescalation in our meddling in the ME as well if we can move closer to energy independence.

  • (Show?)

    Ugh...

    taxes which was

    should read:

    taxes which where

  • (Show?)

    From a fly on the wall at Earl's office yesterday, it seemed he was not happy with his reassignment. He wanted to stay on the International Relations Committee.

    That's completely absurd. Nobody goes on Ways & Means unless they really, really work hard at winning that spot. You have to want it to get it.

    And trust me, the Blumenauer folks have been hoping, hoping, hoping for days that they'd get on W&M.

    [I built EarlBlumenauer.com, but I speak only for myself.]

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Brett:

    It sounds like you're opposed to the whole idea of a national government. I think that question was settled in 1787.

    Bob Tiernan:

    Looking at this comment again, I don't know why so many people think that acceptance of a central government means allowing it to have final say on everything even a neighborhood association might do. Or are you saying that you never argue that national marijuana or national assisted suicide laws shouldn't trump state laws because, well, that's a settled argument and the states lost?

    I think you're smarter than that.

    Bob Tiernan

  • brett (unverified)
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    I appreciate your faith in my intelligence. I am indeed smarter than that, which is why I'd never make such a straw man argument. Please don't put words in my mouth. The founders' decision to create a federal system didn't mean that the national government would have all (plenary) authority over American citizens. But one thing it did mean was that the national government would be able to collect revenues from the whole country and spend them in every state. That's the purpose of the Ways & Means committee and the other congressional committees this thread covers. I do believe that the founders made a wise choice; the dreadful experience of the Articles of Confederation years shows the consequences of the alternative you and other anti-government types seem to be endorsing.

    So, given the fact that we do have a Congress that the Constitution charges with raising and spending money for the general welfare, the experience of the past decade of Republican misrule in the House makes me think Blumenauer and Hooley will do a much better job of it than their immediate predecessors, who seem to have been guided more by Jack Abramoff than James Madison. They could hardly do worse.

    This exchange has been really instructive in how trolls can try to twist a progressive's arguments into an easily demolished, straw man position that he never made, and then use that exaggerated impression to hammer at positions as centrist as the Constitution of the United States. It must work great in analysis free, dittohead zones like Lars and Limbaughland, Fox News, and political ads where the Republican financial advantage permits no effective response. It won't work here. Of course, you have my sympathy: trying to defend the worst House of the 20th century makes it difficult to rely on facts and logic and history. Much easier to attack positions I never took. But thanks for showing us again how those tactics work, and forcing us to hone our responses.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Brett:

    But one thing it did mean was that the national government would be able to collect revenues from the whole country and spend them in every state.

    Bob T:

    Again, that depends on whether or not the projects in question were/are national in scope. Much spending would not occur, and did not occur, when you consider the national government's authority to spend it. I'm sorry, but I see nothing about spending money on painting curbs being something national in scope.

    And by "distraction", by the way, I don't mean to imply that the national legislators don't want it that way. They do. There's lots of power in having the money and having all kinds of interests from individuals up to large corporations requesting some of it. The ability to spend this money is also used to punish and reward various legislators every week.

    You may support the ability of the government to collect this revenue, but it's the spending side that's in question. Very little of it is authorized or even wise when considering their proper role.

    Brett:

    the dreadful experience of the Articles of Confederation years shows the consequences of the alternative you and other anti-government types seem to be endorsing.

    Bob T:

    Again, for me to believe that the national government has no authority to pay for painting curbs and a crow-bar museum in Jerkwater County does not make me "anti-government", or pro "Articles of Confederation". Talk about a straw man!

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    As a BlueOregonian from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, I am pleased with Darlene Hooley's work as my congressperson. Representing a majority Republican district, she has taken principled stands a "play it safe" politician would have avoided.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Ditto to what Kari said about Earl and Ways and Means. Probably every U.S. Rep. wants to be on Ways and Means. It was a HUGE deal in 1991 when Mike Kopteski (OR 5th) was assigned to W/M during his first term. I think he had been the first OR W/M member since the defeat of OR COng. and W/M chairman Al Ullman (2nd CD) in 1980. Kopetski left in '94, so it's taken anther decade + to have an Oregon member on W/M. If Earl was supposedly so sad, I'm sure there were dozens of other waiting and salavating for his slot.

    <h2>Also, "Tromper" said DeFazio was "shot down." DeFazio was in line for a transportation subcommittee chairmanship, which I think he wanted and I'm assuming received. If not, I missed something.</h2>
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