Thursday, January 27, 2011

Republicans: Please Clarify

In his testimony today, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery, Senator Richard Shelby expressed his concern with the speed at which payouts are being made to claimants affected by the Deep water Horizon spill. “We must ensure that individuals and businesses are compensated now, but also put in place mechanisms to assist them with rebuilding and restoration efforts as the Gulf continues to recover from this disaster.” He also requested the dispersal of fines collected by the EPA under the Clean Water Act, “Finally, as we continue with the recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast, Congress needs to swiftly address the allocation of the Clean Water Act fines from the BP oil spill. The entire Gulf Coast faces an enormous ecological and economic disaster – with an estimated impact of as much as $3 billion in Alabama alone. Under the Act, BP could be liable for penalties up to $20 billion.”

We applaud Senator Shelby for his efforts on behalf of the people of Alabama. We are, unfortunately, also very confused. Isn’t Senator Shelby a Republican? EPA, Litigation, Government regulations and fines….

Newt Gingrich is calling for the dismantling of the EPA, with its regulations and fines, to be replaced by what he calls The Environmental Solutions Agency, which would apparently just sort of make suggestions. Now that’s Republican, always against the “needless government regulations” as they call them. Newt would have the oil industry, as well as others, deregulated just as they will be needing regulation most. Deregulation hasn’t seemed to work very well as of late. But that’s Republican.

Several freshman GOP members of Congress are turning down health care coverage as a protest against the health care law. Now that’s republican. Doesn’t make sense, but that’s Republican.

Republicans say “let the market decide.” They want to get rid of a person’s right of legal redress against…well, whoever their lobbyists represent. They want to let the banks be completely deregulated. Everything but your underwear drawer, your phone calls or your body is off limits. That’s Republican. This is the reason for our confusion.

Senator Shelby, did we hear you correctly?

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