Contacting legislators  2014

(Please direct feedback to wwhipple3@verizon.net)  

SAFE periodically contacts members of Congress, primarily those from Delaware, with timely comments re subjects on our agenda.  We typically send one-page letters, with references to the SAFE Website for further details. See the recap of letters below.

Individual SAFE members also contact legislators on their own, e.g., by e-mail (through their respective Websites) or telephone.  For convenient reference, here is some contact information for members of Congress from Delaware.

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SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

October 2, 2014

Members of the Delaware General Assembly

We are a non-profit, independent organization (initially named “Seniors Against Federal Extravagance”), centered in Delaware, which has been doing our thing for 18+ years.

Although SAFE’s primary focus is on national policy issues, many points (such as spending taxpayer dollars wisely, simplifying taxes, and cutting regulatory red tape) are also applicable at the local level.  And we weigh in on Delaware specific issues from time to time, as illustrated in our two most recent newsletters:

http://www.s-a-f-e.org/nwsltr/nwsltr75.htm (federal debt, Delaware education)

http://www.s-a-f-e.org/nwsltr/nwsltr74.htm (EPA regulations, Delaware investments)

If you find the content of these newsletters of interest, we hope you will visit SAFE’s website to read more.  And if you would care to offer feedback, whether pro or con, it would be welcomed.

Sincerely,

William Whipple III
President

090614
SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

September 6, 2014

Senator Chris Coons

CC: Senator Tom Carper, Representative John Carney

According to your 9/4/14 e-mail update, you applauded the EPA’s Clean Power Plan when it was announced in June.

Senator Coons took to the [Senate] floor to urge Congress to support the rules and come together to combat climate change, saying, "If the United States is going to lead the 21st century, we have to be at the forefront of combating climate change, for although we know that meeting this challenge will take global action, the U.S. needs to lead the way."

We would respectfully urge that you reconsider for the following reasons:

1. The manmade global warming theory has not been proven – and with no overall global warming since 1998 it is looking increasingly dubious. 

2. The EPA fudged the cost vs. benefits of their plan.  It would amount to a huge tax on Americans, with very little in the way of resultant benefits.

3.  This is not simply an environmental regulation, it is an attempt to bypass Congress and make law by executive fiat.  Such a result is not permitted under the US Constitution.  Please refer to Article I, Section 1, which reads (emphasis added): “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”

For further discussion, see our June 16 letter to all members of the US Congress. http://tinyurl.com/mo6pao3

Please advise if you have questions or we can help further.

SAFE


081114
SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

August 11, 2014

Senators Carper and Coons, Representative Carney

With Congress in recess for the next several weeks, you may be interested in our assessment of how Congress (on average) has been performing. 

8/11/14 (Blog entry) Congress has been doing better than it’s been getting credit for, and in an election year at that.

It is troubling, however, to observe the seeming complacency about assertions that the president can act on his own if Congress fails to enact legislation to his liking.  That is not what the Constitution seems to provide, and we would urge you to publicly say so.

8/11/14 (Delaware Chatter) - Senator Coons supports executive action to close tax “loophole,” but what about the Constitution?

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

SAFE

See below for a response:

August 12, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about the role of the executive branch in our nation's government. 

I agree with you that the power of the executive branch must be balanced equally with the legislative and judicial branches of our government -- as the founders intended. As your representative in Congress, I have sought to ensure this balance is maintained by holding the Administration accountable for its decisions, and demanding transparency in all matters that do not compromise national security. As legislation comes before the House that specifically deals with the role of the executive branch, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

If you have additional thoughts or concerns about this issue or other federal issues, please feel free to contact my office again. To learn more about the work I'm doing in the Congress, please visit my website at www.johncarney.house.gov. You can also sign up to receive regular e-mail updates from my office by visiting my website or calling my office at 302-691-7333. 

I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am grateful for the trust Delawareans have placed in me and I take very seriously my responsibility to represent them in Congress. I look forward to seeing you as I travel up and down our state.

Sincerely,

John Carney
Member of Congress

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SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

July 18, 2014

Dear Representative Carney:

CC: Senators Carper and Coons

This responds to your 7/17/14 letter re the need for “Congress to move forward on a bipartisan basis to sensible immigration reform.”

We agree the system is not working and needs to be fixed.  Having done our due diligence on the Senate immigration bill, however, we don’t agree that it was a “good start.” In our opinion, a very different approach is needed. Please see the SAFE study that is posted on the Political System page of our website: Immigration Reform (June 2013), and a recent update posted on the Blog page: http://www.s-a-f-e.org/blog.htm (7/7/14).

The current flood of minors from Central America was not precipitated by rising violence in Central America, as you suggest, but rather by a prevalent belief (supported by administrative practice and a statute enacted in 2008) that the people involved would be allowed to stay if they made it across the border.  Report: Unaccompanied minors coming to US for amnesty, not fleeing violence, Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com, 7/16/14. http://tinyurl.com/qzqw86m

Realistically, the way to fix the problem is to amend the 2008 statute so that minors from noncontiguous countries can be returned promptly to their home countries just as minors from Mexico are treated if they attempt entry.  The word would soon get around that there is no “permiso” for illegal entry by Central American minors.  Otherwise, these folks will keep coming – no matter how much money is spent on border security, looking after them, and scheduling judicial hearings that most of them will not show up for.

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

SAFE


July 17, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about this issue. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

Let me begin by saying that our nation's immigration laws are outdated and broken -- there are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. At the same time, many workers with the skills and experience American companies need are unable to obtain visas to work here legally. We need a modern immigration system that will both safeguard America's security and promote its prosperity. In my view, that requires Congress to move forward in a bipartisan way toward sensible immigration reform.

As you mentioned, there has been a flood of undocumented children at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks, which has further called our current immigration policies into question. The arrival of thousands of unaccompanied minors is primarily due to the widespread violence and unrest in certain Central American countries. It's a travesty that the parents of these children feel that sending these youth to our borders is the only way to keep them safe and give them the opportunity for a better future. That said, the influx of these unaccompanied minors at our borders has set off a humanitarian and security crisis. 

The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill that represents a good start to solving our nation's immigration crisis. It would have allocated more than $40 billion in new resources to adequately deal with border security issues, like the current influx of undocumented children. For more than a year, I have urged House leadership to allow this bill or any other comprehensive immigration reform proposal to come to a vote before our chamber. 

Refusing to act continues to threaten our national security and quality of life for residents of border towns and cities.  Without a legislative fix, we will continue to see crisis after crisis at our border. In the meantime, we need to address the situation that confronts us, which is the sad reality of tens of thousands of children who are here without parents, and in many cases, with no safe home to return to. As Congress considers options to address the current crisis, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

In closing, let me reiterate that a smart immigration policy is not only good for Delaware and the country -- it's the right thing to do. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. Making pragmatic reforms is important to ensure that our laws fit today's needs, while maintaining our nation's position as a beacon of hope for people all over the world. 

I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am grateful for the trust Delawareans have placed in me and take seriously my responsibility to represent them in Congress. I look forward to serving you in the coming years.

John Carney
Member of Congress


SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/
 

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July 17, 2014

Dear Senator Coons:

CC: Senator Carper and Representative Carney

This responds to your 7/14/14 letter re the Senate immigration bill that was passed in June 2013.

Our basic thoughts on this matter were communicated in a June 28 note, copy pasted in below for convenient reference.  In case you or your staff did not read the underlying SAFE study, it is posted on the Political System page of our website: Immigration Reform (June 2013).

Please note that SAFE did not simply criticize the Senate bill; we offered an approach to immigration reform that might actually work.  For example, it’s not enough to “shore up employment verification;” unless the E-Verify system is made mandatory and enforced, it will continue to be irrelevant.  Similarly, adding more and more procedural rights for illegal immigrants is a bad idea as this will ensure that enforcement breaks down entirely. 

Also see “Revisiting the illegal immigration problem,” updating our analysis for the current crisis along the southern border. This essay is posted on the Blog page of our website. http://www.s-a-f-e.org/blog.htm (7/7/14).

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

SAFE


Dear Senator Carper:

CC: Senator Coons and Representative Carney

Re your 6/27/14 note advocating House action on S. 744, Border Security, Economic and Immigration Modernization Act:

We are concerned that this bill would (1) exacerbate the scourge of illegal immigration, and (2) cost the government (federal, state and local levels) a great deal of money.  Please see the following SAFE study, which is posted on the Political System page of our website: Immigration Reform (June 2013 critique of proposed legislation to secure the border and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants).

 

Recent developments suggest that the administration has lost interest in enforcing the nation’s current immigration laws.  This undermines the credibility of whatever promises have been or might be made in connection with the proposed legislation, rendering resolution of the issues very difficult.  

As for your assertion that S. 744 would “grow our economy by almost one trillion dollars,” did you consider the cost of current American residents dropping out of the work force and living on the dole (food stamps, unemployment compensation, disability awards, healthcare subsidies, etc.) while unskilled immigrants take their jobs?  According to a recent study, that is precisely what has been happening.  ALL of the net jobs gains in the US [since 2000] have gone to immigrants, Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 6/27/14. http://tinyurl.com/mlcc5xa

We have no bias against immigrants, but if they come here they should do so in accordance with the laws of this country – rather than sneaking in or overstaying their visas.  Moreover, the prime objective of “immigration reform” should be ensuring that this will start happening, not creating new rights for illegal immigrants, hiring attorneys to represent them at taxpayer expense, signing them up for hearings that they can simply fail to appear at, etc.

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

 

July 14, 2014

Thank you for contacting me about reforming our immigration system.  I appreciate your taking the time to express your views on this important issue.

America is a nation of immigrants, who have directly contributed in making our nation strong, proud, and innovative.  Immigrants helped to build our nation’s infrastructure, contributed to intellectual debate and scientific discoveries, and enriched our culture through works of literature, art, and music.  It is important to recognize the critical contributions and advancements that immigrants have made to American society.

In my two years here in the Senate, I’ve supported measures that create a path to citizenship for those already in the United States, unite families, and expand the opportunity for the world’s best and brightest, who are often educated in the U.S., to remain here and pursue their ideas.  Comprehensive immigration reform, however, is necessary to address not just these issues but also to create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million here out of legal status and to shore up employment verification and improve our ability to enforce our immigration laws.

In May, I was proud to participate in the Judiciary Committee’s three week long consideration of just such a bill. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would create an earned pathway to citizenship that is tough, yet compassionate. Undocumented immigrants will be given a chance to come out of the shadows and earn legalized status if they pay their taxes and a fine, learn English, and prove themselves capable of contributing to the economy. They will also have to get in the back of the line, behind other hopeful immigrants who have applied for green cards through existing legal channels. It would improve employment verification of eligibility to work, lessening the incentive for immigrants to come here illegally. The bill also borrows key features from a bill I recently introduced along with Senators Hatch, Rubio and Klobuchar, the Immigration Innovation (I2) Act of 2013. These provisions will allow for greater immigration by U.S.-educated high skilled workers and will improve the capacity of the U.S. education system to produce home grown scientists and engineers.

I also fought for the inclusion of several amendments that will make our immigration more humane and consistent with our national priorities, needs, and values. These amendments, which the Committee adopted, would bar perpetrators of systemic killings from finding refuge in the U.S., limit dangerous deportation practices at our borders, ensure accountability for detention immigration, allow asylum seekers to gain work authorization more speedily, allow immigrants in deportation proceedings to examine relevant portions of their immigration file, and more.

In June, the Senate passed this bill with a strong bipartisan vote of 68-32. This bill represents a huge step forward towards modernizing our immigration system and I am proud to have supported it. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, I urge you to join with me and insist that the House take up and consider these long-overdue reforms to our nation's immigration system. On an issue of this great national importance, the Senate was able to put aside partisan divisions and come together to do what is right for the nation. It is time for the House to do the same.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  I am honored to represent Delaware in the United States Senate and truly value hearing from Delawareans on issues of concern.  My website, www.coons.senate.gov, can provide additional details about my work in the Senate, including legislation and state projects.  I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues that matter to you.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Coons
United States Senator

062814
SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

June 28, 2014

Dear Senator Carper:

CC: Senator Coons and Representative Carney

Re your 6/27/14 note advocating House action on S. 744, Border Security, Economic and Immigration Modernization Act:

We are concerned that this bill would (1) exacerbate the scourge of illegal immigration, and (2) cost the government (federal, state and local levels) a great deal of money.  Please see the following SAFE study, which is posted on the Political System page of our website: Immigration Reform (June 2013 critique of proposed legislation to secure the border and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants).

 

Recent developments suggest that the administration has lost interest in enforcing the nation’s current immigration laws.  This undermines the credibility of whatever promises have been or might be made in connection with the proposed legislation, rendering resolution of the issues very difficult.  

As for your assertion that S. 744 would “grow our economy by almost one trillion dollars,” did you consider the cost of current American residents dropping out of the work force and living on the dole (food stamps, unemployment compensation, disability awards, healthcare subsidies, etc.) while unskilled immigrants take their jobs?  According to a recent study, that is precisely what has been happening.  ALL of the net jobs gains in the US [since 2000] have gone to immigrants, Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 6/27/14. http://tinyurl.com/mlcc5xa

We have no bias against immigrants, but if they come here they should do so in accordance with the laws of this country – rather than sneaking in or overstaying their visas.  Moreover, the prime objective of “immigration reform” should be ensuring that this will start happening, not creating new rights for illegal immigrants, hiring attorneys to represent them at taxpayer expense, signing them up for hearings that they can simply fail to appear at, etc.

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

SAFE


061614
Secure America’s Future Economy
http://www.s-a-f-e.org/

June 16, 2014 


MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
[Individually addressed, e.g., Senator Tom Carper, Delaware]

SAFE is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization, with members in Delaware and over 20 other states, which has been advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996.

This letter is about the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan,” which would impose reduction goals for CO2, etc. emissions at the national and state level.  We recommend that Congress amend the Clean Air Act to make clear that the agency has no authority to implement this ill-advised proposal.

From a policy standpoint, the CPP (A) is based on the manmade global warming theory, which has been hyped to the hilt but remains unproven; (B) would subject choices for meeting future power needs to government control rather than allowing the free market to work; and (C) paints an unrealistic picture of the likely costs and benefits.

Also, the CPP represents an attempt to legislate (make national policy), which invades the primary function of Congress under the Constitution.  There have been several other examples of Executive Branch overreach lately, and the time has come for Congress to make clear that it is not going to be reduced to a subordinate, increasingly marginal role.

Some members of Congress may not be persuaded by our policy arguments on this controversial subject, but we would hope that our concern about Executive Branch overreach will resonate on both sides of the aisle. With the approval ratings for Congress at near all time lows, one would gather that the American people are looking for something different than you have been giving them.

For a full discussion and supporting references, see “SAFE to Congress: Bin the Clean Power Plan.”  The analysis is posted on the blog page of our website (6/16/14 entry, scroll down as necessary).

Please advise if you have questions or we can help further.

Respectfully,
SAFE

(302) 464-2688
 wwhipple3@verizon.net


021514
SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996 

February 15, 2014

Dear Senator Coons:

Thank you for your response to our January 27 letter re the manmade global warming theory.

Obviously you do not share our opinion that the theory is inherently implausible and weakly supported by the evidence.  No purpose would be served by belaboring the point.

We did wonder, however, how you can speak with such assurance about the “facts” of climate change (aka global warming) when – as discussed in the analysis that we cited (http://bit.ly/1lp62lz, scroll down to 1/27/14 entry) – there has been no global warming since 1998 and some scientists think Earth may be on the cusp of an extended cooling trend.

This problem for global warming alarmists was also pointed out in a letter published by the News Journal on February 1. http://bit.ly/1fxjnsk

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

SAFE

February 14, 2014

Thank  you for writing to me to express your thoughts about climate change. I appreciate your taking the time to write to me about this important issue.

Climate change is caused by carbon dioxide  and other pollutants that accumulate in the atmosphere and trap the sun’s heat. Over the last 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest             rate in recorded history and the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990. These changes have serious consequences in the form of glacial melting and sea level rise, increased hurricane strength, and disruption of habitats all over the world.

Because of these facts, I believe we must move swiftly to reduce our use of fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy future by promoting solar, wind, biofuels and other forms of alternative energy. How we power our future is one of the crucial questions of our time, because it has far-reaching implications for our economy, national security, and environment. When America has faced great challenges in the past, our innovative spirit has risen to meet those challenges. I am confident that we will be able to create a new energy future that will allow us to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels.

In April 2007, the Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA found that greenhouse gases created by fossil fuels are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act and could be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – if the agency could confirm that such gases pose a risk to human health. In December 2009, the EPA released its findings declaring that greenhouse gases do in fact “threaten the health and public welfare of the American people.” This authority under the Clean Air Act is an important step toward decreasing our addiction to traditional sources of energy as well as reducing carbon emissions.

During my time in Congress, members in both houses have proposed legislation that would have delayed or blocked EPA regulation of greenhouse gases for the purpose of combating climate change. I was proud to vote to uphold the Clean Air Act by opposing each measure considered by the Senate. Proposals to override the view of scientists at the EPA would put human health and the environment in greater jeopardy, and I will oppose all such measures in the future.

As you know, on June 25th, President Obama announced an updated national strategy on climate change, which sets ambitious goals for carbon reductions and offers a diverse strategy for meeting them. Among the goals outlined in the President’s strategy are new energy efficiency standards, a government-wide review of the nation’s energy needs and capabilities, and a renewed commitment to improving vehicle efficiency. These priorities will help increase our nation’s energy security and mitigate the impacts of climate change. I am working to support this strategy in the Senate as a sponsor of several bipartisan bills—including the Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness Act, the Quadrennial Energy Review Act, and the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act—to increase our energy efficiency, commission a quadrennial review of our energy capabilities, and spur clean energy development and innovation.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I am honored to represent Delaware in the United States Senate, and while we may disagree on this subject, I truly value hearing from constituents on issues of concern. My website, www.coons.senate.gov , can provide additional details about my work in the Senate, including legislation and state projects. I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues that matter to you.

Sincerely,

Christopher A. Coons

United States Senator



012714
SECURE AMERICA’S FUTURE ECONOMY, advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996

January 27, 2014

Dear Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Representative Carney:

It is time to recognize that the manmade global warming theory is inherently implausible and weakly supported by the evidence.  A supporting analysis is posted on the blog page (1/27/14 entry) of the SAFE website.

See also “Heat is on for climate action; Del. delegates hope Obama stands pat,” on the Delaware Chatter page (1/25/14 entry).  It notes your respective statements on this issue, which run directly contrary to our advice.  We hope that on second thought you will decide not to support the president on this issue – if only to avert the continuing subversion of the role Congress is supposed to play under our Constitution.

If you have questions or we can help further, please advise.

William Whipple III
Secure America's Future Economy
(302) 464-2688

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