FRED UPTON: HORRIBLE CHOICE FOR ENERGY AND COMMERCE CHAIR
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is one of the most powerful committees in Congress. It oversees federal regulation of telecommunications, food and drugs, consumer protection, public health, environmental health, energy, and interstate and foreign commerce. The ideological revolution promised by the victorious Tea Party and conservative Republican candidates in the mid-term elections will be dealt a serious set-back if the new Chairman of the Committee favors big government. Indeed, the position must be filled by a person committed to eliminating government regulation and restoring a Constitution of liberty. The senior most Republican in line to become the Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman has voted over and over again for expanding the regulatory state. He is part of the problem, not the solution. He has worked mightily to transform the Founding Father’s republic into the bureaucratic oligarchy that now robs us of liberty. His name is Fred Upton (R-MI), and the new Republican leadership must prevent him from becoming the Energy and Commerce Committee Chair.
Like George W. Bush, Fred Upton has no problem favoring vast expansion of the regulatory state. He has voted repeatedly for measures that have expanded the cost, size, and freedom constricting effects of big government. Upton voted for the “cash for clunkers” bill. He voted for the $787 billion Wall Street Bailout, the auto bailout, and Barney Frank’s bill to give the Obama Administration wide latitude in spending $350 billion in TARP funds. He voted against several measures to reduce government spending (including measures to cut millions in pork barrel spending), against extending tax cuts on capital gains and dividends, and against substituting tax cuts for the $787 billion stimulus plan. He has repeatedly voted in favor of measures that would increase taxes and government regulation (including bills for increasing commodity market, food and dietary supplement, and energy regulations). He voted against Congressman Ron Paul’s bill to halt Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Home Loan Bank Board borrowing from the U.S. Treasury.
Upton was one of a very few Republicans that the Obama Administration thought useful to the President’s domestic policy agenda. Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly wrote to Upton in appreciation for his support of the President, writing that Upton would be “the guy we’re going to be looking to” in building coalitions among Republicans to support Obama legislation.
In his present campaign to win over colleagues for the committee chairmanship, Upton has donned sheep’s cloth. He now says (in marked contrast to earlier instances in which he voted for government regulation of health care) that he favors repeal of the Obama health reform law. That about face does nothing more than confirm him to be a man of fickle sentiments, not one with an ideological core that defines his character in politics and not one who can be trusted.
We can only hope that the Republican leadership respects the electorate enough to prevent this enemy of limited government from assuming control of a most powerful committee. The person selected needs to be committed not simply to overseeing a profligate government but to cutting it back, forcing deregulation, and removing government barriers to market entry. The person must be the antithesis of Henry Waxman, the liberal, pro-government Democrat who will be stepping down in January.
He needs to reverse course and drive hard for stripping the agencies of regulatory power now used to censor health information, regulate beyond statutory and constitutional limits, protect industry leaders from competition, and impose prior restraint. He must be committed first and foremost to restoring a constitution of liberty. He must be opposed, intellectually and viscerally, to the present regulatory state and be animated by a desire to restore limited government, separation of powers, and the non-delegation doctrine.
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Upton, a wolf in sheep’s cloth, needs to be viewed in light of his horrible legislative record. He must be rejected in his bid for chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I urge you to write or call House Republican Steering Committee Chairman John Boehner to state your opposition to Fred Upton in his bid for the chairmanship.
© 2010 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved