What are our representatives in Washington up to?
Home heating oil seemed to be very much on the congressional delegation's minds over the past month. The Republicans in the House delegation are distancing themselves from President Bush. Nancy Johnson's web site looks like a liberal Democrat's page, these days. Is that the Sierra Club honoring her? Is that Bill Clinton? Huh. Strange days.
So what have they been doing?
Sen Joe Lieberman (D)
Sen. Lieberman has joined a bipartisan group dedicated to reducing our dependency on oil by promoting fuel-efficient cars.
Lieberman and Sen. Dodd also secured billions of dollars in defense spending for Connecticut, as part of the massive new defense appropriations bill. Feel free to make oinking sounds.
Lieberman met with President Bush's Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito, and assures us that he will not overturn Roe v. Wade.
"U.S. can cut oil consumption, Lieberman says." Associated Press 17 November, 2005.
Miga, Andrew. "Senate defense bill includes billions of dollars for Conn. firms." Associated Press 16 November, 2005.
Reynolds, Maura. "Senators Feel Assured on Abortion After Alito Visit." Los Angeles Times, 9 November, 2005.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D)
Dodd is helping to sponsor a media shield law that would protect journalists from being compelled to reveal sources. He also contributed to the defense spending bill that will net billions for Connecticut companies.
Dodd also wants oil companies to pay a windfall profits tax.
Kaplan, Jonathan E. "Libby case will help move shield law, says Pence." The Hill 16 November, 2005.
Dalrymple, Mary. "Dem. Senators Use Tax Bill to Squeeze Cos.." 17 November, 2005.
Rep. John Larson (D-1)
Larson was the only member of the congressional delegation to oppose new restrictions on eminent domain.
Larson is also trying to gain a leadership post in the House. At least it would give him something to do.
"Larson only Conn. lawmaker to vote against eminent domain bill." Associated Press 3 November, 2005.
Hearn, Josephine. "Supporter lists escalate Dems’ vice-chair battle." The Hill 27 October, 2005.
Rep. Rob Simmons (R-2)
Connecticut members of the House helped to pass federal funding for eastern Connecticut.
Moderate Republicans, Simmons, Shays and Johnson among them, helped to block oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve.
Simmons also missed the BRAC vote to go to Vegas, but it was a sure thing and he had an appointment.
"U.S. House OKs Millions For Projects In Region." New London Day 11 November, 2005.
Schultz, Jennifer. " Johnson leads GOP moderates to block drilling for Arctic oil." New Britain Herald 11 November, 2005.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3)
DeLauro introduced legislation banning advance notification of inspections by DOL, a bill aimed mostly at Wal-Mart.
DeLauro also panned the White House's avian flu plans.
Gruenberg, Mark. "Wal-Mart in Trouble II." International Labor Communications Association 14 November, 2005.
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-4)
Shays has been in the news for proposing new regulations on Internet communications.
Shays also met with controverisal Iraqi leader Ahmed Chalabi, which drew criticism from Democrats.
Urban, Peter. "Shays under fire for meeting with Iraqi." Connecticut Post 15 November, 2005.
Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-5)
Johnson has proposed new legislation regarding health care techonology and infrastructure.
She has also been promoting Medicare programs in her district.
Broder, Caroline. "Senate bill falls short for HIT funds, Johnson introduces legislation." Healthcare IT News 28 October, 2005.