Politics

Penalty for Part D Enrollees Should Be Eliminated

The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit is a huge cost-saver for our seniors and I do not want people who listened to political criticism of the program to be penalized. I will join Nancy Johnson in the effort to allow Seniors to enroll penalty-free in the next enrollment period.

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Protect The Rights of Artists in The Digital Age

The music industry has evolved from simple business models focused around the distribution of physical items such as compact discs to a dynamic digital marketplace where new business models evolve rapidly. The laws that set out the framework for the digital licensing of musical rights in this industry are outdated, and some say beyond repair. Digital music is the future of the music industry; the laws that enable this industry to operate need to look to the future as well.

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D.C. Voting Rights-A Morally and Politically Worthy Cause

How often in politics do moral clarity and political considerations peacefully co-exist?  Legislation to be considered this week by my Government Reform Committee does exactly that.  The legislation corrects an historic wrong by finally granting the citizens of the Nation's Capital a voting voice in Congress.  By expanding the membership of the House to 437, the legislation creates room to give the District of Columbia a voting seat in the U.S. House -- and balances that out with an additional seat for the state next in line for representation (which happens to be Utah). 

That political balance -- Democratic D.C. and Republican Utah -- is key, and consistent with the balance (slave states and free state; Alaska and Hawaii) used throughout our history.  The legislation is also consistent with Congress's plenary power over D.C., as described in legal analyses done for our Committee by Ken Starr, Viet Dinh, and others.
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Consumers Deserve To Pay True Cost for Gas

On May 3, the House passed the Federal Energy Price Protection Act of 2006, [HR:5253], a bill giving the Federal Trade Commission the authority to prosecute instances of price gouging in the market for gasoline, diesel fuel, crude oil, home heating oil and biofuels. The bill passed 389-34, with my support. I am well aware of the pain that my constituents are experiencing at the pump and they deserve to know that the price they pay for gasoline reflects its true cost.

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Immigration Reform Needs Security and Not Amnesty

Last night, President Bush addressed the nation to discuss the important issue of border security and illegal immigration. The President's comprehensive approach to reforming our immigration system meets America's border and interior security needs while providing a rational, non-amnesty temporary worker program. I have seen the imminent problems on our border and it is obvious that the current situation is not sustainable. Our immigration system is broken and it is desperately in need of an overhaul. The National Guard will provide a supportive, temporary, non-law enforcement role in securing the border and then it will be up to us in Congress to develop a long-term solution.

I am hopeful that this deployment will soften opposition from 'enforcement only' advocates in Congress and encourage them to work toward a comprehensive solution. As the Senate resumes debate on immigration legislation, I encourage them to include a non-amnesty temporary worker program that is citizenship neutral. Meaningful immigration reform must consist of much more than just added boots on the ground, taller fences and improved technology. It will require changing how people can enter the country legally. President Bush has stood firm in his belief that we must enforce the rule of law in this country and do so in a manner that is compassionate and respectful of human dignity. A solution can be reached, but we must set aside our prejudices, biases and fears in order to do so.

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Bush Border Approach-Step Forward, Step Back

Illegal immigration threatens our national security and strains our healthcare facilities, schools and social services. President Bush made one step forward and one step backward during tonight's address. I am encouraged by his plan to increase our security by positioning National Guard troops on the border. This will provide essential - but temporary - security along our porous and vulnerable borders. The better alternative is to enact a comprehensive border security program to our immigration policies by constructing fences, bolstering our border patrols and escalating our surveillance capabilities.

I strongly disagree with the President's call for a guest worker program. A guest worker program is nothing more than amnesty wearing make-up - it's easier to look at, but just as ugly underneath. The simple truth is that if you break the law to come to this country, you will not respect it once you're here.  

 
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We Need to Reform Credit Card Industry

Credit cards are good things.  They have helped people pay for items they want and need, and that is good for the economy.  But some warning signs signal a need for some changes. That is why I have introduced legislation that takes some simple, common-sense steps to stop abusive practices by credit card companies, educate cardholders, and stiffen the penalties for violations.  I think it deserves to be enacted.
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Bush's Border Approach is Bold-Our Borders Must Be Secured

For any immigration reform to work, our borders must first be secured. For years, I have worked to beef up the resources at the border, and over the last decade, Congress has tripled the number of agents enforcing border and immigration laws. This has helped, but illegal immigration persists. Bringing the resources of the National Guard to bear will free up the Border Patrol and help them be more effective.

While Congress works on more permanent solutions, including comprehensive immigration reform, I am pleased that the President is taking this bold step, which many of us have been urging, and I will be working with other senators to provide the support this initiative requires.
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It's Not Window Dressing - I Salute Bush's 3-Pronged Approach

President Bush is absolutely right that immigration reform must be three-pronged: increased enforcement, a temporary worker program, and a humane, realistic approach for dealing with the illegal immigrant population currently in the U.S.

Obviously, simply addressing the enforcement side of the issue might be more politically expedient, but you have to salute President Bush for recognizing that we can’t solve the problem without a temporary worker program and insisting that Congress include one as we debate an immigration reform bill.
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Re: President's Border Plan is Election Season Window Dressing

Last night, the President has proposed a plan to increase the security of our nation's borders. The American people expect and deserve border security that works and a strong policy to resolve the current illegal immigration problem. Unfortunately, the President's plan shifts responsibility for this important requirement from the civilian agencies of the Department of Homeland Security to the already overstretched National Guard.

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