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Entries in Legislation (161)

Thursday
Oct062011

US Rep Bass Bill to Protect Taxpayers Passes House 

Legislation will return unused or reclaimed stimulus broadband funds to U.S. Treasury

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) to protect taxpayer money and return unused or reclaimed stimulus funds passed the House of Representatives unanimously this afternoon.

Bass’ legislation, H.R. 1343, would terminate and rescind American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for broadband projects that have been found to be wasteful, fraudulent, or insufficient.  The rescinded funds would be returned to the U.S. Treasury.  The inspectors general for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have said that ARRA language does not make clear whether and when the agencies must deobligate funds for troubled projects.  Bass’ bill removes that ambiguity.

Bass said:

“Broadband is the gateway to the Internet’s engine of growth, and expanded access to this technology yields both economic investments and job creation.  But as is the case with federal spending on any initiative like increasing broadband access, strong oversight is necessary to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. 

“It only makes sense that Congress requires an accounting of how stimulus funds are being spent and what the American taxpayer is getting for them.  My legislation will make sure there is a clear mechanism for taxpayers to get their hard-earned dollars back from broadband projects funded with stimulus dollars that are deemed fraudulent or duplicative.” 

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) recently introduced companion legislation to H.R. 1343 in the U.S. Senate, where the measure awaits further action.

Bass continued, “This is a taxpayer protection measure, plain and simple, and I want to thank Senator Ayotte for working with me on this issue and ensuring the legislation receives the attention it merits in the Senate.”

ARRA appropriated $7.2 billion to be distributed in grants through NTIA and the RUS in a very short time.  Nearly $7 billion was awarded to 553 recipients ranging from non-profits and local county governments to for-profit businesses.  So far, 29 awards for grants and loans worth $199 million have been returned to the Treasury.  Many recipients have returned the awards because they recognized they will not be successful.  Bass’ legislation will ensure that the law is definitive and quick to reclaim funds if there is reason to terminate an award for reasons of waste, fraud or insufficient performance.

Click here for video of Bass’ speech on the House floor in support of his legislation.

http://bass.house.gov

Tuesday
Oct042011

US Rep Bass Hails Passage of Legislation to Increase Outdoor Uses on U.S. Forest Service Lands; Will help to increase tourism in NH's North Country

WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) today applauded passage of bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that will expand the year-round uses available on ski resorts located on National Forest System lands, including several in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.  The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (H.R. 765) passed unanimously this evening.

Bass, a cosponsor of the legislation, said:

“Like many Granite Staters, I enjoy being able to take advantage of all that New Hampshire’s scenic lands have to offer throughout the year.  It only makes sense that we open up our national forest lands, including the White Mountains, to more opportunities for individuals to be able to enjoy year-round.  This will help to increase tourism and job growth in the North Country, a win for New Hampshire.”

“The development of summer activities at ski areas during the past decade has enabled the areas to help boost the local economy during what used to be considered our “off season.”  Passage of this legislation is important not only to the six New Hampshire ski areas which operate on National Forest Service land, but also to the businesses in surrounding communities, and the economy of the state of New Hampshire as well.  We appreciate Congressman Bass’ cosponsorship of this important bill,” said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH, the non-profit trade association representing New Hampshire’s alpine & cross country ski areas.

Specifically, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (H.R. 765) will clarify the U.S. Forest Service’s ability under the 1986 Ski Area Permit Act to allow for year-round activities at ski resorts on Forest Service lands beyond winter months.  Currently, the law limits only ski-related activities in Forest Service ski areas. 

The legislation now awaits action in the Senate.

http://bass.house.gov

Friday
Sep162011

US Rep. Frank Guinta statement on House passage of the "Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act" 

(Washington – September 15, 2011)    Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-01) released the following statement after today’s passage of H.R. 2587, The Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act.  It was approved in a 238-186 vote and now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration:

“This bill will help create jobs and put more Americans back to work.  It does that by removing burdensome regulations that allow the National Labor Relations Board to order the closure or relocation of American workplaces.  The federal government shouldn’t have the ability to capriciously intrude into the affairs of the private sector by dictating where a private business can establish its workforce.  That’s not only bad government, it’s bad business, too, because it leaves companies facing uncertainty and unpredictability.  This important legislation removes barriers to job growth and restricts the federal government’s intrusion into the private sector.”

Background:  Earlier this year, the NLRB filed a complaint against the Boeing Company for creating work in South Carolina and sought to force Boeing to transfer the work to a unionized facility in Washington.

H.R. 2587 amends the National Labor Relations Act to prohibit the NLRB from ordering any employer to relocate, shut down, or transfer employment under any circumstances, and further eliminates an extreme enforcement remedy.  It also preserves more than one dozen alternative remedies to hold employers accountable for unlawful labor practices and limits the NLRB’s authority in all cases that have not reached a final adjudication before the board.  Furthermore, H.R. 2587 fosters a positive environment for job creators to develop their businesses in the state that offers the best opportunities for growth and job creation.

Thursday
Sep152011

NHDP - Hypocrisy Alert: Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien and Republican Deputy House Speaker Pam Tucker

Concord, NH - During today's session, Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien and his Deputy Pam Tucker introduced a bill to create a committee to review the Local Government Center with "the same investigative powers as the general court." [Bill Text] But just twelve months ago, both O'Brien and Tucker voted against giving state government investigative powers in this matter.  [Roll Call][Bill Text]

 

"Speaker O'Brien must have been taking a page out of the Mitt Romney campaign playbook," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  "He is now co-sponsoring legislation that previously he voted against.  Despite this flip-flop, Speaker O'Brien has been incredibly consistent with one message to the people of New Hampshire, that he cannot be trusted."

 

"The situation with the Local Government Center is a serious issue, and involves millions of dollars of taxpayer money," continued Kirstein.  "But the reasoning behind this legislation is at best unclear and appears to a publicity stunt more than anything.  It sets an unrealistic deadline for the new committee it creates to issue a report.  If O'Brien and Tucker want a do-over, they should be apologizing to voters not introducing redundant bills 12 months late."

Thursday
Jul142011

ALG Blasts House for Defeating Repeal of Light Bulb Ban

July 12th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement condemning the House of Representatives for rejecting a repeal of the de facto federal ban on light bulbs that begins to take effect in Jan. 2012:

"Because the bill repealing the de facto federal light bulb ban was brought up under suspension of the rules, it required two-thirds to pass, and failed to meet that threshold as Democrats united to keep the ban in place.  One has to question House Republican leadership's commitment to getting government out of the way when it cannot even find a way to let individuals choose what kind of light bulbs they want, free of federal dictates. 

"Was this a parliamentary miscalculation? Or was Republican leadership deliberately trying to kill this bill? Unless Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor bring up this bill again under a clean rule requiring a simple majority vote to pass, then the American people will be left with but one conclusion: Republican leadership actually supports the federal ban on light bulbs.

"It is time to stand up for the American people.  This vote was a meaningless gesture.  Either the House's failure to repeal the federal light bulb ban was incompetence, or opposition.  Neither is acceptable to the American people."

Attachments:

"ALG Urges Repeal of Light Bulb Ban, Cites Poll Showing 58 Percent Opposing Bans," Americans for Limited Government, July 11th, 2011 at http://getliberty.org/content.asp?pl=10&sl=5&contentid=714 .