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Entries in Legislation (155)

Friday
Jun242011

US Rep Bass Amendment to Preserve Medicare Passes Committee

WASHINGTON – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today passed an amendment offered by Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) that ensures the Committee will oppose any plans that end Medicare and will work on proposals to preserve the program and save it from bankruptcy in 2024.

Bass’ amendment, which passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 28-0 with nine voting present, was offered to the Committee’s Semi-Annual Committee Activity Report, which summarizes the Committee’s recent work and provides a transparent and accountable review of the Committee’s future plans.

Bass said:

“My amendment ensures the Committee will oppose any plan that attempts to end Medicare, stresses our commitment to not changing benefits for those 55 and older, and ensures that we will seek solutions to protect the program for future generations.  Doing nothing to protect and preserve the program is not an option, as some on the other side of the aisle may believe. 

“The Medicare program is facing serious challenges.  The Medicare Trustees, an independent and nonpartisan group, has forecasted that Medicare will be bankrupt by 2024.  And under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare will be allowed to go bankrupt and seniors’ health care decisions will be left to an unelected board of bureaucrats who will decide how to reduce expenditures for the program through the rationing of care.  This Committee is committed to continuing the discussion and finding solutions that ensure Medicare is preserved and protected for current and future retirees.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, of which Bass is a member, has primary jurisdiction over Medicare Part B and D.

The text of Bass’ amendment follows:

“The Committee will recommend opposition to proposals that result in ending Medicare.  The Committee will also recommend support for proposals to repeal provisions that provide an unelected, 15-member body to ration care for those 55 and older, and will recommend proposals to ensure that Medicare does not go bankrupt in 2024.”

http://bass.house.gov

Wednesday
Jun082011

US Rep. Frank Guinta introduces bill encouraging 3-D tech in road & highway design & construction

“3D technology works.  So let’s put it to work for all Americans.”

(WASHINGTON – June 6, 2011)    We depend on computer technology in our lives every day, from making online banking transaction to ordering DVD’s online.  Why not use it to improve design and construction of the roads and highways we rely on, too?  U.S. Representative Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) thinks it’s an idea whose time has come.

Guinta introduced H.R. 2089, “to encourage the use of advanced technologies with respect to transportation projects that receive Federal funding...”  Simply put, the bipartisan-backed bill encourages the use of three-dimensional computer technology (3D) in the design and construction of federally-funded road and highway projects.

An average highway construction project can take years from planning to finish, and can sometimes result in hundreds of millions of cost overruns. Using 3D technology can produce a significant saving of time and money.  [Sources: Federal Highway Administration, November 2008; National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission report, December 2007.]  

“In case after case across the country, 3D technology cuts construction costs, shortens construction time and improves roadway quality.  In a time when federal revenue is very limited, we must stretch every tax dollar and get the most from it.  This technology does that.  It’s good for the taxpayer, good for the engineering and construction crews that design and build our highways, and good for the people who travel on them.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  We’ve seen that 3D technology works,” Guinta added.  “So let’s put it to work for all Americans.”

Original co-sponsors of the bill include Representatives Russ Carnahan (D, MO-3), Steve Cohen (D, TN-09), Thomas Petri (R, WI-6), Heath  Shuler (D, NC-11) and Albio Sires (D, NJ-13).

The legislation has been referred to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on which Guinta serves.

Thursday
May122011

U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta introduces "Bluefin Tuna Fishermen Employment Protection Act" to save NH jobs

Slapping further government restrictions on fishermen would be a crippling blow for the very people who have already suffered so much.  We can’t let that happen.

(WASHINGTON – MAY 11, 2011)    U.S. Representative Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) has introduced The Bluefin Tuna Fishermen Employment Protection Act,” his second major piece of legislation in Congress.  H.R. 1806 would amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973, to provide that Bluefin Tuna may not be treated as an endangered or threatened species. 

“The fishing industry is vitally important to the economic health of New Hampshire’s seacoast,” Guinta said.  “Slapping further government restrictions on fishermen would be a crippling blow for the very people who have already suffered so much.  We can’t let that happen.  The livelihood of Granite State fishermen, plus many others who depend on that industry for their livelihood as well, is on the line.  We must not let them down.”

Guinta explained that the bill is a proactive measure aimed at preventing federal officials from ruling that the Bluefin Tuna should be covered by the Endangered Species Act.  Such a decision would devastate fishermen along the East Coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. 

According to New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department, commercial fishing had an economic impact of $17.3 million in the state in 2009.  At that time, there were 516 commercial fishermen, with 5,023 workers directly involved in the state’s seafood industry.

New Hampshire fisherman have been hampered in recent years by federal catch shares that have limited the tonnage of Groundfish they can harvest.  As a result, many fishermen are relying more on catching Bluefin Tuna to supplement their declining income.  Restricting that catch would be financially devastating.

“I have visited the Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative in Seabrook,” Guinta said.  “I’ve met with the people who work the boats, and who process and sell the daily catch.  I’ve talked with small business owners whose companies support the fishing industry.  They all told me about the deep economic hardship they have endured because of catch share restrictions imposed in the last few years.  The fishing industry simply cannot handle any additional government overregulation.  It’s time to protect fishermen’s jobs and to safeguard this important sector of coastal New Hampshire’s economy.”    

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources for consideration.

Thursday
May052011

US Rep. Frank Guinta co-sponsors "Reduce Pain at the Pump Act" to push down gasoline prices

“It’s time to get the government out of the way, remove federal restrictions and start harvesting the oil we have right here at home.  We can’t afford to drag our feet any longer.”

(WASHINGTON – May 4, 2011)   With gasoline prices nearing record highs, and with the busy summer driving season just four weeks away, Congressman Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) is adding his name and support to legislation aimed at helping Granite State drivers. 

Guinta is an original co-sponsor of the “Reduce Pain at the Pump Act.”  The bill is scheduled to be formally submitted on Thursday.  It calls for simultaneous immediate action on three fronts.  First, it repeals President Obama’s “permatorium” on America’s Outer Continental Shelf resources and allows energy production to resume off the East and West Coasts, the Gulf Coast and in parts of Alaska.  It repeals the energy-restricting Bureau of Land Management lockup of western lands to allow energy production to begin there, including programs to accelerate production of oil shale and tar sands resources.  Finally, it provides immediate relief from EPA regulation and mandates that cause artificial price increases.

“People tell me every day that high gasoline prices are taking a serious bite out of their wallet,” Guinta said.  “Working families are hurting, and experts say gas prices will likely keep going up unless decisive action is taken, right now, by Washington.”

Guinta said the “Reduce Pain at the Pump Act” is the best tool for getting government out of the way and to let crews start tapping into more of America’s vast petroleum resources.   

“The pricing crisis that is causing so much financial hardship for so many Granite Staters boils down to the simple law of supply and demand,” Guinta said. “Demand drives up the price.  When you increase the supply, the price goes down.  It’s time to get the government out of the way, remove federal restrictions and start harvesting the oil we have right here at home.  We can’t afford to drag our feet any longer.”

This is the second important piece of energy legislation that Guinta has co-sponsored.  He is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 909, “A Roadmap for America’s Energy Future.”  It calls for the steps taken by the “Reduce Pain at the Pump Act.”

Saturday
Apr302011

US Rep Bass Introduces Legislation to Preserve Dignity at Military Funerals

Says the families of those who have served our country deserve to grieve in peace

CONCORD, NH – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) recently introduced bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that would preserve dignity at military funerals and allow families to grieve in peace.  The legislation would amend existing law to protect military funerals by limiting disruptions and increasing the buffer zone around services.

The Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans (SERVE) Act (H.R. 1591) will limit disruptions by increasing the quiet time before and after military funeral services from 60 minutes to 120 minutes, increasing the buffer around a military funeral service from 150 feet to 300 feet, increasing the buffer around access routes to a funeral service area from 300 feet to 500 feet, and increasing civil penalties on violators.

Speaking at a press conference in Concord with members of New Hampshire veterans organizations on Friday, Bass said:

“The brave men and women who have fought and died for our country deserve the greatest dignity and respect, and their families deserve to be able to grieve in peace.  The SERVE Act will preserve dignity at these solemn events while still protecting the First Amendment rights that our nation’s heroes have fought for.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to move this legislation forward.”

In 2007, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) held a protest at the funeral of Army Captain Jonathan Grassbaugh from Hampstead, who was killed by an IED while bravely serving his country on patrol in Iraq.  Although Grassbaugh was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, his funeral services were held in Hampstead and were protested by members of the WBC. 

In response to this, then-Senator Bob Letourneau (R-Derry) introduced legislation in the New Hampshire State Senate “establishing a New Hampshire Medal of Honor and prohibiting funeral protesters.” When it was signed into law by Governor John Lynch in 2007, the State of New Hampshire joined over 30 other states to create boundaries similar to those established in the SERVE Act.

The military support groups and veterans organizations supporting the SERVE Act include the Gold Star Wives of America, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, the Marine Corps League, the Military Officers Association of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Non Commissioned Officers Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Bass’ bill is companion legislation to a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME).  Congressman Jim Matheson (UT-02) is an original cosponsor of Bass’ bill, which has been referred to the House Armed Services Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and the Judiciary Committee.

http://bass.house.gov