Friday, July 06, 2012

What Has the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ever Done for Us?

One of the arguments that supporters of Congressman Fred Upton use is that he should be supported because of his position as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It is stated or implied that this benefits the 6th district or conservatives in general.

Fred Upton being chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is great--for Fred Upton. He raised two million dollars from big corporations eager to buy influence. He got endorsements from several beltway conservative organizations hoping that he won't bury the bills they support. He's a bigshot in Washington.

But how does this benefit us? Nobody has explained how this is supposed to benefit the 6th district. The main "benefit" that powerful congressmen provide their districts is pork projects. But even those often benefit a few connected cronies rather than the public at large.

As for conservative issues, Upton may hold some good positions, but he is unreliable at best. The bill he is best known for was the incandescent light bulb ban, which he trumpeted in 2007, but later tried to pretend he never supported.

He also changed his position on global warming, and passed a bill manipulating daylight savings time.

Any of the potential Republican replacements for Upton as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee would be more conservative. That includes Joe Barton, John Shimkus, and Joe Pitts. So his position is no benefit to conservatives.

Conservatives would benefit from a congressman who is actually a movement conservative and who would fight for conservative values. That's not Upton.

No comments: