Monday, October 29, 2007

Why the S-CHIP flip, Congressman?

Last month, declaring his support for the re-authorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Vern Ehlers said he was very pleased with the program, which Michiganders know of as MIChild. He added:
"Although this bill made some controversial changes to SCHIP, which I do not approve, I believe the overall bill is acceptable and I voted for it," said Congressman Ehlers. "I grew up with acute asthma, and I know personally how important it is for kids to have access to affordable health care. This bill will continue to provide health care coverage to millions of children who otherwise would be uninsured."
Yet while he supported both the original passage of the bill and the attempt to override President Bush's veto, Ehlers las week voted against the new version of the S-CHIP reauthorization.

So why did Congressman Ehlers flip-flop on this important issue? He says he had asthma when he was younger, which I have no reason not to believe. So why would he vote to deny millions of sick children in West Michigan and throughout the nation the insurance they need to live healthy, active lives - and in some cases to survive, period?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ehlers's website gets a makeover - except for the News section

This fall, white is the new Navy blue at Congressman Vernon Ehlers's official website.

While not much of a fan of the Congressman, fair is fair, and I do like parts of the new layout for the site. On the left sidebar, for example, one can go to the Write Your Representative website, search legislation, and get help from his office. Also, you have the opportunity to "Tell Vern what you think!" by taking a poll.

Yet one thing I found notoriously missing is any updated news. The Latest News section of the front page contains unlinked citations to press releases from June. The News section is more recent, containing a couple of items from August 2.

Meanwhile, the Newsroom on Senator Carl Levin's website contains 27 press releases since that day, and Senator Debbie Stabenow's contains 26. Granted, many of these deal with funding for projects in areas outside the Third District, but even so, why doesn't the Congressman's website mention the more than $340,000 earmarked to help stop gangs in West Michigan? Or the two grants worth $330,000 and $270,000 coming to help fight crime in Grand Rapids - the heart of Ehlers's district?

And what does the Congressman have to say about Gen. David Pertaeus's testimony, Alberto Gonzales's resignation, or the passage of the College Cost Reduction Act (which he voted against?

Who knows? You'll just have to Contact Vern to find out.

In the mean time, what do you think of Ehlers's new website?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ehlers attends Iraq panel discussion

Media Mouse has an excellent round-up of a recent panel discussion on the Iraq War. Guess who showed up?

Last night at the Women's City Club in Grand Rapids, Democracy for America's Kent County chapter held a panel discussion titled "Searching for a Constructive Response to our Entanglement in Iraq." The panel featured two West Michigan area professors and a former military chaplain, all of who gave twenty-minute talks on the conflict in Iraq followed by a question and answer period.

Surprisingly, Grand Rapids area congressional representative Vern Ehlers who has recently stated his unwillingness to listen to protestors, attended the event. While it is nice to see Ehlers out in public engaging the current situation in Iraq, the fact that Ehlers chose to attend this particular event--and not any of the other numerous teach-ins that took place before and after the start of the war--is somewhat troublesome for those who have been pressuring Ehlers to end the occupation of Iraq as the three panelists basically echoed Ehlers' position that the United States has a "moral obligation" to the Iraqi people and that the United States must stay in the country to attempt to mitigate the effects of what is for the most part now a civil war. To be fair, Democracy for America cannot be blamed for Ehlers' attendance, but it was unfortunate that all three panelists represented what was at best a "centrist" position on the situation. There was no voice for an immediate withdrawal on the panel, nor for that matters were there any voices calling for a timetable for withdrawal. Ehlers will likely see the panel as bolstering his position, he has recently claimed that he will only listen to "facts" when making his decisions about the war and now he has three area "experts" on record essentially supporting his position on the conflict.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

War costs Ehlers's constituents $818 million - so far

The National Priorities Project has released a fact sheet detailing the cost of the war in Iraq to the state of Michigan and to each congressional district. From Media Mouse:

The fact sheet also highlights the fact that the war has cost residents of the 3rd Congressional District that includes Grand Rapids at least $818 million dollars. According to the National Priorities Project's analysis, that money could have paid for healthcare for 139,738 children for the duration of the Iraq War, 6,595 affordable housing units, or 74 elementary schools. The cost of the war to the city of Grand Rapids ( has been estimated to be at least $236,523,931.

These costs have apparently been ignored by Republican Representative Vern Ehlers who represents the Third District. Over the past week, Ehlers--who was questioned about whether or not he would support cutting funding for the war--has refused to do so. Instead, Ehlers has claimed that he initially had "deep reservations" about the war and is unhappy without how it has gone, but has stated that it will be a "bloodbath" if the United States leaves. Ehlers has further said that he will not be influenced by demonstrations but rather will be "swayed by facts."
Media Mouse goes on to list the many "facts" that evidently have not swayed Congresman Ehlers, including the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed, the millions who have been displaced, numerous attacks by insurgents, and the lack of electricity throughout most of teh day in Baghdad.

And let's not forget the eight million Iraqis living in destitute conditions.

So much for 'liberating' them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

GR Press: Anti-war campaign in town to work on Ehlers

Here's The Grand Rapids Press with more:

They have been in town several weeks now, organizing meetings, attending demonstrations, handing out lawn signs, andwriting letters, all aimed at changing one man's mind.

"The only person around here who can do anything about this is Vern Ehlers," said Bryan Finken, 46, a part-time philosophy professor from Denver, about the war in Iraq.


Their effort is part of a national campaign by a coalition of anti-war groups called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. The effort is targeting 40 Republican members of Congress they believe may be wavering in their support for the war.

Those 40, if they change their minds, would give the war's opponents a veto-proof majority in Congress, organizers said. They call their campaign Iraq Summer, modeled after the 1964 Freedom Summer, which registered black voters in the South, and the summer of 1967 protests against the Vietnam War.

America is speaking - is Vern Ehlers listening?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ehlers has $408,000 on hand

The Federal Elections Commission has the numbers:

Raised this quarter: $44,245.00
Raised this cycle: $112,620.00
Spent this quarter: $28,099.75
Spent this year: $84,652.47
On hand: $408,029.95

By the way, OpenSecrets has all the goods on where Ehlers is getting his money, including which companies and industries are bankrolling his campaigns.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

House passes relief for college students; Ehlers opposes it

These days, getting a college education is essential for those who want to be successful throughout life. Moreover, a skilled and educated workforce is critical for the US to get back on the right track.

Key to this is making sure college is affordable. Last year Republicans in Congress voted to cut the Pell Grant and raise interest rates on student loans. Under Democratic leadership, Congress is working to remedy that. An important piece of this effort, the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, has passed the House. Congressman Ehlers, however, opposed it.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education Committee and champion of students, had a few words for those who tried to kill the bill:

"...You don’t like the fact that while you were in power after years of flat lining the Pell Grant, we we’ve finally given them the biggest increase in decades for the poorest kids in this country. You don’t like that so you want to kill the bill. You don’t like the fact that were going to take 5 million middle class kids and extend to them a loan thats interest rate is cut in half? While their families are struggling to get them through college? They’re making sacrifices every year? You’re going to do this? You’re going to kill this bill? Are you proud? Are you proud of this amendment, that you are going to try to kill this bill? Say it louder."

Well Mr. Ehlers, are you proud?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

GR Press: Ehlers gets an earful from protesters

It's nice to see people try to hold Ehlers accountable:

Members of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a national group calling for an end to the war, and Institute for Global Education, a Grand Rapids-based group that preaches nonviolence, waved signs reading "Keep 'Em Safe, Bring 'Em Home" at passing traffic on Michigan Street NW. Some drivers honked and flashed peace signs.
"We're targeting the more-moderate representatives we believe will switch their opinions," said Matthew Arnold, deputy field director for AAEI in Michigan. The group also is targeting Reps. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph; Tim Walberg, R-Tipton; Mike Rogers, R-Howell; and Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia.
Anyone who know Walberg, Rogers, or McCotter well enough knows that they are not moderate. But at any rate, how does Ehlers respond to the protest?

"I've learned not to let protesters sway my views on the issue," the Grand Rapids Republican said. "But, what they are trying to address is real and should be addressed."


"I'm no supporter of war, but that's over the hill now," he said. "The question is what can we do from here ... and we're going to need a presence there at this time." (emphasis added)

Friday, June 15, 2007

From Media Mouse: Ehlers Introduces Voting "Reform" Legislation

Media Mouse has the scoop:

Last month, Grand Rapids area Congressional Representative Vern Ehlers Republican) introduced the Voting Enhancement and Security Act of 2007 (HR 2360) in the House of Representatives. The bill would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to establish state guidelines for an independent and verifiable voting record on electronic machines, require state auditors to certify audit plans, and require states to develop contingency plans and emergency ballot protocols.

Republicans on the House Administration committee--on which Ehlers is a ranking member--are urging their colleagues in the House to vote for Ehlers' bill instead of another popular voting reform bill known as HR 811. That bill would require that electronic voting machines generate voter-verified paper trails and require them to be in place by 2008 and would require mandatory audits of a portion of precincts in federal races. A key difference is that Ehlers' bill does not require changes by the 2008 election, nor does it require the paper trails that many voting reform organizations have sought. Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice Under Law of New York University said that Ehlers' bill "does nothing to address the serious voting system security vulnerabilities experts have identified" and cites it as an example of Republicans using the tough deadline imposed under HR 811 to ensure that Congress does not address the security and accuracy of voting machines.

However, some critics of HR 811's deadlines have introduced legislation
calling for paper trails. On May 25, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Ballot Integrity Act of 2007 that would implement safeguards to prevent errors and tampering at the polls, require states to use voting systems with voter-verified paper records subject to public manual audits in the 2010 federal elections, and ensure that voters are not denied the right to vote by faulty purges of voting rolls.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

House pases bill to combat price gouging - Ehlers opposes it

Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, you know that the price of gas has passed $3 per gallon. Some worry it will soon eclipse $4 per gallon soon.

In response, US Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) introduced HR 1252, the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act. This bill would provide penalties for those who take unfair advantage of consumers at the pump. (Read more here.)

The bill passed 284-141 - a veto-proof majority - with 56 Republicans joining all but one Democrat in supporting the bill.

How did Michigan's members of Congress vote?

Bart Stupak (D)
Dale Kildee (D)
Candice Miller (R)
Thaddeus McCotter (R)
Sander Levin (D)
John Conyers (D)
Carolyn Kilpatrick (D)
John Dingell (D)

Pete Hoekstra (R)
Vern Ehlers (R)
Dave Camp (R)
Fred Upton (R)
Tim Walberg (R)
Mike Rogers (R)
Joe Knollenberg (R)

Two Michigan Republicans joined all six Michigan Democrats in supporting the bill. The other seven - including Vern Ehlers - don't seem to care about the pain being inflicted on American drivers. Yet Republicans in the State Legislature oppose the idea of raising taxes to fix the state's budget crisis. (While painful, a tax increase would go a long way in avoiding the alternative: cuts to education and higher tuition. More on that later.)

I don't know about you, but I'd rather see my money go to help our schools than help oil industry executives who don't need it.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ehlers featured on front page of Daily Kos

Vern Ehlers is famous in the progressive blogosphere now:

Another failure to plan:

In a grim sign of the times, the "Wall of the Fallen," set up by House Republican leaders in June, is almost full. The mounting death toll from Iraq has forced U.S. House staffers to study how to reconfigure the display in the lobby of the Rayburn Building - the largest office building for members of Congress - to squeeze in more names.

...New names are added to the display every few months, but none have been added since November. [...]

In the current format, there is space for about 130 more names, but 506 Americans have died since mid-November.

Apparently a member of the, "no one could have anticipated" club, Republican Rep. Vernon Ehlers said that he recently realized:

Boy, we could have a problem. More space is needed.

More space. Yes, that's the problem.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Ehlers: Hate crimes okay if based on gender, sexual orientation

The US House Thursday passed a bill designed to expand the nation's hate-crimes laws to include those crimes that are based on gender or sexual orientation. 25 Republicans joined with 212 Democrats in votng for the bill, which President Bush is threatening to veto.

CNN has more on the bill:

Under current law, hate crimes are subject to federal prosecution only if the acts of violence are motivated by race, religion, color or national origin. Federal prosecutors get involved only if the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or participating in interstate commerce.

The White House says there is no need for the expanded bill because state and local laws already cover the crimes it addresses, and there is no need for federal enforcement.

In addition to allowing greater leeway for federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate crimes, the House bill -- which was passed on a 237-180 vote --provides $10 million over the next two years to aid local prosecutions.

According to the article, critics of the hate-crimes legislation say it will target pastors who preach against homosexuality. Two points in that regard. First, the bill targets those who commit crimes based on gender and sexual orientation, NOT those who believe homosexuality is wrong.

Second, I'm a straight man, and I personally believe marriage is between one man and one woman. But if one of my friends from the GLBT falls victim to a hate crime, I would expect nothing less than for the perpetrator to receive swift justice.

But Congressman Ehlers and 179 of his colleagues do not see it that way. They believe that the current law, which criminalizes hate crimes perpetrated based on religion, race, national origin, or color, is sufficient enough.

But a hate crime is a hate crime, regardless of the basis on which it is perpetrated. Until Mr. Ehlers realizes this, he will probably keep receiving zeros on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Ehlers: Gonzales must go

I can't say I saw this one coming.
Republican Congressman Vern Ehlers of Grand Rapids says he thinks U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should step down.

Ehlers made the remarks before giving an update on the Congress and current events at a noon event at Calvin College.

Gonzales is under fire from the Democratically-controlled Congress for the recent firing of eight U.S. attorneys, including one from West Michigan.

Ehlers won't comment on the merits of the firings but says he disapproves of the way Gonzales carried them out.
If you ask me, the fact that Ehlers and another Republican congressman have called on Gonzales to step down, seems to weaken the argument that this is just a witch-hunt.

Thanks to Nazgul at Michigan Liberal for pointing this out.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ehlers once again refuses to support our troops

Media Mouse has the scoop:

On Friday, Grand Rapids Congressional Representative Vern Ehlers voted to continue the occupation of Iraq by voting against a supplemental spending bill that sets a September 2008 deadline for the United States to withdraw from Iraq. In voting against the bill, Ehlers joined nine Michigan Republicans in a 218-212 vote. According to recent polls, 25% of Michigan residents want the United States out of Iraq immediately while another 33% want the United States out within the next two to three years. Despite this, Representative Ehlers continues to support the occupation of Iraq, stating recently in the media that it would be "stupid" to "pull out" of Iraq. Since 2002 when Ehlers voted to support the invasion of Iraq, Representative Ehlers has voted in favor of every funding request and has remained committed to the occupation of Iraq. An examination of his statements and votes over the past four years shows that Ehlers has been a consistent supporter of the war despite his alleged desire to "end this conflict and stop the casualties."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

GR Press: Protest arrives at Ehlers's Door

More and more citizens are holding Congressman Ehlers accountable for his actions.

Demonstrators on Saturday took part in a nationwide protest to highlight the war's fourth anniversary.

"There's no question this war is a disaster," East Grand Rapids resident Martha Hayes said, standing near East Beltline Avenue and Burton Street SE.


Ada resident Don Wilson said he hadn't protested anything in his 75 years, but couldn't ignore this effort to bring an end to the war.

"It's not a Democrat or Republican issue, the war. The groups should unite and bring this thing to an end."

Before long, the 150 or so protesters took that message to the Grand Rapids home of U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers. They marched down his street, getting a thumbs-up from a neighbor down the street. One put fliers in doors that read, "CRIME ALERT! One of your neighbors has provided legal and financial support for the following crimes: The killing of more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers, approximately 650,000 Iraqi civilians torture of prisoners, and paying contracted mercenaries to prosecute the war in Iraq."

I certainly do not approve of using profanity to get one's message across. Nonetheless, the Congressman needs to be aware that just because he has consistently won re-election by a landslide, doesn't mean he can't ignore the voice of the people he was elected to represent.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ehlers named 'Public Enemy of the Middle Class'

Those who have been following Congressman Ehlers closely shouldn't be too surprised by this.

In response to their full frontal, unapologetic assault on the middle class agenda in the 110th session of the U.S. House of Representatives, Americans United for Change today dubbed eighteen Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, ‘Public Enemies of the Middle Class,' including: Michelle Bachmann (MN-6), Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), Steve King (IA-5), Scott Garrett (NJ-5), Bill Sali (ID-1), Brian Bilbray (CA-50), John Doolittle (CA-4), Roy Blunt (MO-7), Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6), Steve Chabot (OH-1), Tom Davis (VA-11), Thelma Drake (VA-2), Vernon Ehlers (MI-3), Mike Rogers (MI-8), Dean Heller (NV-2), Jon Porter (NV-3) and Peter Roskam (IL-6).

Specifically, Americans United took issue with the Representatives' votes against: 1) H.R.2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act which would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 1997 from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years; and 2) H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, which would level the playing field for middle class workers by fixing a badly broken system for forming unions and bargaining with big business and Corporate America for better pay and improved benefits. Both bills passed in the U.S. House with bipartisan support, and Americans United for Change, the non-profit advocacy organization perhaps best known for leading the fight to beat back President Bush's disastrous proposal to privatize Social Security in 2005, is now urging Members of the U.S. Senate to do the right thing and move each element of the middle class agenda to the President's desk.

"More and more of America's working people are struggling to make ends meet, and our middle class is disappearing," said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Americans United for Change. "At least two meaningful pieces of legislation to reverse this trend have already come before Congress this year - and, unfortunately, these eighteen Members were no where to be found when the middle class families they represent needed them most. Just last week, they each opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give middle-class workers a fair shake by fixing a badly broken system for forming unions and bargaining with Corporate America for better pay, improved benefits and retirement security. Earlier this year, each of these Members opposed the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. They couldn't even be counted on to stand up for the most vulnerable workers in their states who live in borderline poverty. A week later, half of these Members took their insensitivity towards the middle class plight a step further by opposing legislation to make college more affordable by slashing student loan interest rates in half. It's a question of priorities and a question of values - and it's clear that each of these Members have lost touch with the values of middle class Americans, whom overwhelmingly support these important initiatives. Until they get their priorities straight in Washington and stop pandering to the special interests at the expense of working people, we will continue to identify each Member as their districts' ‘middle class public enemy #1.'"

While more than 18 Republicans voted against both the minimum wage increase and the Employee Free Choice Act in the House, these 18 were selected as public enemies of the middle class because they either come from districts where these issues have gained added resonance because of the growing disparity between the wages of workers and corporate executives or because they had been identified as persuadable on these issues.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ehlers refuses to oppose escalation of war

An update on Jeff's post from earlier this week:

Congressman Vern Ehlers was one of 182 members of Congress who voted to oppose standing up to President Bush's plan to escalate the war in Iraq. Congressman Fred Upton of St. Joseph was one of 17 Republicans to join almost every Democrat in supporting the non-binding resolution, but Ehlers just didn't have the gumption to say yes.

A full text of Ehlers's speech to the House can be found here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ehlers loses his ability to stand

Vern Ehlers must have a physical ailment, not too suprising for a bloke his age. As the US House of Representatives debates their non-binding resolution against the Bush escalation in Iraq, Vern Ehlers has lost the use of his voice, and perhaps his legs. This is the only explaination that I can come up with.

Ehlers has decided to remain mute on this resolution. The Detroit News reports that Ehlers and two other Michigan Republican Representatives have decided to not let their constituents or the nation know where they stand, or sit, on the issue.

As debate opened Tuesday on a congressional resolution opposing more U.S. troops in Iraq, three of Michigan's Republicans held their positions close to the vest.

The three who wouldn't say whether they will support President Bush: U.S. Rep. Candice Miller of Harrison Township, who is Michigan's only member on the House Armed Services Committee and an increasingly vocal skeptic of President Bush's Iraq policies; Fred Upton of St. Joseph, and Vern Ehlers of Grand Rapids.

Correct me if I am wrong here; but what exactly is it that our Representatives do? I mean, aren't they supposed to represent us, their constituents. Aren't they supposed be our voice. We do not have the ability to address the House of Representatives ourselves... for that we elect a mouthpiece, someone who will convey the message of his constituents to his collegues in the House. Assuming that the 3rd district carries the same political tone on Iraq as the rest of the country; 60% of Americans oppose the troop escalation according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released today. So with Ehlers, we have no voice! We are unrepresented. So I would like to think that Vern just can't stand... that perhaps he has lost his voice.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ehlers: State of the Union "focused on issues and answers"

While many Republicans distance themselves from President Bush, Congressman Vern Ehlers is choosing not to.

"President Bush gave a good speech tonight that focused on issues and answers and stayed away from partisanship and divisions. It is my hope that the members of Congress who listened to the speech can take that spirit of cooperation, set aside partisan differences and work to move our nation forward.

"I was especially heartened by the President’s call to strengthen the math and science skills of our children. Since joining Congress, one of my top priorities has been to improve the math and science standards in our nation’s schools. I agree with the President about the importance of ensuring that our children receive the best education and training possible to equip them for the jobs of the future. This will allow our nation to remain competitive in the world economy. I also look forward to working with the President on his pledge to review and improve the No Child Left Behind Act, as I serve on the Education & Labor Committee, which has jurisdiction on this important legislation.

"I agree with President Bush about the necessity for our nation to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Although I may not agree with all of his solutions, we certainly agree on the need to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. His proposal to reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent over the next 10 years is a laudable goal – and one that we can achieve if we truly dedicate ourselves to it. I personally look forward to the opportunity to work to make this goal a reality."

"Finally, I appreciate the President’s call to seek ways to provide health care insurance to the 47 million Americans who don’t have it. There are promising initiatives in the states, particularly Gov. Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal in California. I hope President Bush and Congress pursue this goal and that, together, we can reach a solution."

For what it's worth: Romney is a likely contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ehlers's 100-Hour Scorecard

Democrats were united behind their party's 100-Hour Agenda. Meanwhile, Republicans such as Vern Ehlers were more divided, supporting some items on the Democrats' agenda while opposing others. Here's how Ehlers voted on the six major bills passed by the Democrats in their first 100 hours in power:

Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act
Passed 299-128; Ehlers voted No

Fair Minimum Wage Act
315-116; Ehlers voted Yes

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
253-274; Ehlers voted No

Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act
Passed 255-170; Ehlers voted No

College Student Relief Act
Passed 356-71; Ehlers voted Yes

Creating Long-term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act
264-163; Ehlers voted Yes

Monday, January 8, 2007

Those who can't do... Amend

Good ol' Vern has jumped on the 'Amend the Constitution' band-wagon. Sure, as citizens... we all want a balanced budget. It is the ironic timing which amuses me. Vern has co-sponsored H.J. #1 of the 110th Congress which is a Resolution to create a Constitutional Amendment to Constitutionally mandate a balanced budget.

The irony is in the timing. After six years of rubber-stamping a free-flowing of funds in our largest government EVER... (What is a few billion $$$ here and there amongst friends anyway?) However, now Vern wants to give the false impression that he has suddenly become fiscally conservative.

This amendment wouldn't take affect until 2012 if ratified. Vern and many other Representatives will be out of office in 2012. After showing the inability of the Republican controlled Congress over the past six years to control run-away spending... all the while creating record deficits, they have decided to pass the buck to the next guys!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Ehlers has second thoughts about the war

Vern Ehlers has joined a chorus of Republicans in saying they made a mistake by voting to send troops to Iraq.

Although he voted for a resolution four years ago authorizing President Bush to go to war with Iraq, U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers now says he believes it was a mistake.

"It was a very difficult vote for me," the Grand Rapids Republican said Sunday, the day when the U.S. death toll for the war reached 3,000.

Ehlers added that he cast his vote after seeing what he now believes was faulty intelligence that Iraq possessed the means to produce nuclear weapons.

"I think we should have been much more cautious," Ehlers said, adding that the administration should have used more diplomatic pressure before invading Iraq. "It turned out the intelligence was false."