Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One Month Into His Term: How My Texas Congressman Has Voted

Well Congressman Nick Lampson of Texas CD 22 has been in office for a little over a month now and maybe we need to see a tally of votes on passage so far.

Here is how my congressman has voted so far.

H.J.RES.20: Voted Aye to make further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2007, and for other purposes.

HR 475: Voted Aye to revise the composition of the House of Representatives Page Board to equalize the number of members representing the majority and minority parties and to include a member representing the parents of pages and a member representing former pages, and for other purposes.

HR 6: Voted No to reduce our Nation's dependency on foreign oil by investing in clean, renewable, and alternative energy resources, promoting new emerging energy technologies, developing greater efficiency, and creating a Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve to invest in alternative energy, and for other purposes.

(er . . . no?)

HR 5: Voted Aye to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reduce interest rates for student borrowers.

HR 4: Voted Aye to amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

HR 3: Voted Aye to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.

HR 2: Voted Aye to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.

HR 1: Voted Aye to provide for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Election of the Speaker: Voted Pelosi.

So what is the score you ask? Well according to the Half Empty Analysis of Progressivism Index(or HEAP Index) Nick scores an 85.71 out of a total of 98.4. Well that sure beats the HEAP Index of the preceeding congresswoman, 28.5 out of 124.9, or the one that preceeded her, 0 out of 0 (vacant seat), or the one that preceeded the vacant seat: -127.35 out of 258.8. Yes the HEAP Index has no point of reference at all.

I can get behind each and every one of those votes that Nick cast but one. HR 6. Nick voted no with three other Democrats: John Barrow (D-Savannah, GA), Dan Boren (D-Paden, OK) and Jim Marshall (D-Macon, GA). It passed, but now I have to ask myself this: is Nick going to be voting energy issues that constantly favor the oil industry?

In his statements about renewable resources Nick makes the point that our long-term goal is toward development biofuels technology and bringing technology online that makes use of renewable resources, but that we must not lose sight of short-term needs.

And recall that during the campaign, Nick actively urged his former colleagues to kill a house bill that would have, in turn, killed funding for the RPSEA consortium that would fund research into ultra deepwater oil and gas exploration and production. That this funding comes from the public trough, and benefits private industry is only half the issue. The other half is that oil and gas companies find themselves flush with cash, and can easily fund their own research.

I personally like Nick, I voted for him, I walked the steamy streets of Sugar Land, Missouri City and surrounding unincorporated areas in July and August last year pounding on doors for him.

But what IS it with this flirtation with big oil?

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