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."