DownsizeDC.org
May 5, 2008
Big Business Loves Big Government
By James Wilson
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . Quote of the Day:

"Why not take advantage of the clever Downsize DC system like I just did? Invest five minutes today to sign up, and then from time to time you, too, can help bombard congress and pressure them into doing the right thing with your money."

- "creator," a blogger at Truth Realm

Subject: Big Business Loves Big Government


Politicians tell us that government protects the people from the cut-throat practices of Big Business. But in truth, Big Government is in bed with Big Business. If I were CEO of a major corporation - let's call it the Big Widget Corporation - I would love Big Government. That's because I could:

  • lobby Congress to subsidize the widget industry, explaining how vital widgets are to the economy.
  • lobby for tariff protection against imported widgets. This will allow my company to gouge American consumers with higher prices.
  • lobby for regulations that would drive my smaller competitors out of business.

But what is good for the Big Widget Corporation's shareholders isn't necessarily good for the American taxpayers, who must pay for this special treatment. That's why we want the Big Government-Big Business marriage to end in divorce. We can break up the marriage by changing the way Congress does things.

  • John Shadegg's Enumerated Powers Act would would require Congress to reference the specific clause(s) of the U.S. Constitution that grant them the power to enact the law they are considering. Because the Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to subsidize industries or grant special favors for particular businesses, Congress will have an impossible time justifying special-interest legislation. Tell Congress to pass the Enumerated Powers Act here.
  • Downsize DC's One Subject at a Time Act would prevent Congress from adding unpopular or special-interest legislation into otherwise popular and much-needed bills. You can tell Congress to introduce this bill here.
  • Downsize DC's Read the Bills Act (RTBA) would prevent bad provisions and special favors from sneaking into bills at the last minute. If you have not sent a message to Congress telling them to introduce the RTBA, or haven't done so in a while, you can do so here.
You can also help us by joining the Read the Bills Act coalition. Visitors to your blog or website will see our web-ad, which will take them to the RTBA campaign page where they will learn more. In turn, we will link to your site at our blog and announce your membership in a Downsizer-Dispatch. For information on joining the Coalition, click here.

This week we welcome three new members to the Coalition:

Thunder Radio's March of Liberty
Liberty's Haven
A Republic, If You Can Keep It

Finally, over the past two weeks the House passed 28 bills totaling 725 pages, while the Senate passed 29 bills totaling 286 pages. A list of these bills can be found below my signature.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org The following are the bills the House and Senate passed April 21-May 2. The bills were passed by voice vote except where indicated. Roll call votes for the House are found here, and for the Senate here. The descriptions of bills are essentially taken verbatim from the Congressional Record Daily Digest. Page numbers of bills are based on the pdf display of the latest version from the Government Printing Office. SENATE: 29 bills, 286 pages E. Arthur Gray Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 3196, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 20 Sussex Street in Port Jervis, New York, as the ``E. Arthur Gray Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Dr. Clifford Bell Jones, Sr. Post Office: Senate passed H.R. 3468, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1704 Weeksville Road in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, as the ``Dr. Clifford Bell Jones, Sr. Post Office'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Private Johnathon Millican Lula Post Office: Senate passed H.R. 3532, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 5815 McLeod Street in Lula, Georgia, as the ``Private Johnathon Millican Lula Post Office'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Army PFC Juan Alonso Covarrubias Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 3720, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 424 Clay Avenue in Waco, Texas, as the ``Army PFC Juan Alonso Covarrubias Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page John Henry Wooten, Sr. Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 3803, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3100 Cashwell Drive in Goldsboro, North Carolina, as the ``John Henry Wooten, Sr. Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Sgt. Jason Harkins Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 3936, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 116 Helen Highway in Cleveland, Georgia, as the ``Sgt. Jason D470Harkins Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Master Sergeant Kenneth N. Mack Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 3988, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3701 Altamesa Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas, as the ``Master Sergeant Kenneth N. Mack Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Steve W. Allee Carrier Annex: Senate passed H.R. 4166, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 701 East Copeland Drive in Lebanon, Missouri, as the ``Steve W. Allee Carrier Annex'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Specialist Jamaal RaShard Addison Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 4203, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3035 Stone Mountain Street in Lithonia, Georgia, as the ``Specialist Jamaal RaShard Addison Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Judge Richard B. Allsbrook Post Office: Senate passed H.R. 4211, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 725 Roanoke Avenue in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, as the ``Judge Richard B. Allsbrook Post Office'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Felix Sparks Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 4240, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10799 West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, Colorado, as the ``Felix Sparks Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Military Heroes of Louisville Memorial Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 4454, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3050 Hunsinger Lane in Louisville, Kentucky, as the ``Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Military Heroes of Louisville Memorial Post Office Building'', in honor of the servicemen and women from Louisville, Kentucky, who died in service during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Sergeant Jamie O. Maugans Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 5135, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 201 West Greenway Street in Derby, Kansas, as the ``Sergeant Jamie O. Maugans Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Major Arthur Chin Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 5220, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3800 SW. 185th Avenue in Beaverton, Oregon, as the ``Major Arthur Chin Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Sgt. Michael M. Kashkoush Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 5400, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 160 East Washington Street in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, as the ``Sgt. Michael M. Kashkoush Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Julia M. Carson Post Office Building: Senate passed H.R. 5472, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2650 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, as the ``Julia M. Carson Post Office Building'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Congresswoman Jo Ann S. Davis Post Office: Senate passed H.R. 5489, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6892 Main Street in Gloucester, Virginia, as the ``Congresswoman Jo Ann S. Davis Post Office'', clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Inspector General Reform Act: Senate passed S. 2324, to amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to enhance the Offices of the Inspectors General, to create a Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 42 pages Farm Security and Rural Investment Act Extension: Senate passed S. 2903, to amend Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond April 25, 2008. 2 pages Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act: By 96 yeas to 1 nay (Vote No. 112), Senate passed S. 1315, to amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance life insurance benefits for disabled veterans, 76 pages Genetic Information Nondiscrimination: By a unanimous vote of 95 yeas (Vote No. 113), Senate passed H.R. 493, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment, 110 pages Congressional Gold Medal: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 4286, to award a congressional gold medal to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her courageous and unwavering commitment to peace, nonviolence, human rights, and democracy in Burma, and the bill was then passed, clearing the measure for the President. 2 pages Technical Corrections: Committee on the Judiciary was discharged from further consideration of S. 2829, to make technical corrections to section 1244 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which provides special immigrant status for certain Iraqis, and the bill was then passed. 4 pages Higher Education Act Extension: Senate passed S. 2929, to temporarily extend the programs under the Higher Education Act of 1965. 2 pages Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act: Senate passed H.R. 5715, to ensure continued availability of access to the Federal student loan program for students and families, 13 pages Healthy Start Reauthorization Act: Senate passed S. 1760, to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to the Healthy Start Initiative, after agreeing to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. 8 pages Farm Security and Rural Investment Act Extension: Senate passed S. 2954, to amend Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond May 2, 2008. 1 page Jicarilla Apache Reservation: Senate passed H.R. 3522, to ratify a conveyance of a portion of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation to Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, pursuant to the settlement of litigation between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, to authorize issuance of a patent for said lands, and to change the exterior boundary of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation accordingly, clearing the measure for the President 3 pages. Technical Corrections: Senate passed H.R. 5919, to make technical corrections regarding the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, clearing the measure for the President. 6 pages HOUSE: 28 bills, 725 pages Copper Salmon Wilderness Act: H.R. 3513, amended, to amend the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 to designate the Copper Salmon Wilderness and to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the North and South Forks of the Elk River in the State of Oregon as wild or scenic rivers; 10 pages Wild Monongahela Act: A National Legacy for West Virginia's Special Places: H.R. 5151, amended, to designate as wilderness additional National Forest System lands in the Monongahela National Forest in the State of West Virginia, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 368 yeas to 17 nays, Roll No. 206; 8 pages Coffman Cove Administrative Site Conveyance Act of 2008: H.R. 831, amended, to provide for the conveyance of certain Forest Service land to the city of Coffman Cove, Alaska, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 382 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 207; 4 pages Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Act: H.R. 3734, to rename the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in the State of Idaho as the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in honor of the late Morley Nelson, an international authority on birds of prey, who was instrumental in the establishment of this National Conservation Area; 4 pages Alonzo Woodruff Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 5479, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 117 North Kidd Street in Ionia, Michigan, as the ``Alonzo Woodruff Post Office Building''; 1 page Rocky Marciano Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 5528, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 120 Commercial Street in Brockton, Massachusetts, as the ``Rocky Marciano Post Office Building''; 1 page Private First Class David H. Sharrett II Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 5483, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10449 White Granite Drive in Oakton, Virginia, as the ``Private First Class David H. Sharrett II Post Office Building''; 1 page Marisol Heredia Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 4185, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 11151 Valley Boulevard in El Monte, California, as the ``Marisol Heredia Post Office Building''; 1 page Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 3721, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1190 Lorena Road in Lorena, Texas, as the ``Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry Post Office Building''; 1 page Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act of 2007: H.R. 3033, amended, to improve Federal agency awards and oversight of contracts and assistance and to strengthen accountability of the Government-wide suspension and debarment system; 8 pages Close the Contractor Fraud Loophole Act: H.R. 5712, amended, to require disclosure by Federal contractors of certain violations relating to the award or performance of Federal contracts; 4 pages Government Contractor Accountability Act of 2007: H.R. 3928, amended, to require certain large government contractors that receive more than 80 percent of their annual gross revenue from Federal contracts to disclose the names and salaries of their most highly compensated officers. 3 pages SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act: The House passed H.R. 5819, to amend the Small Business Act to improve the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, by a recorded vote of 368 ayes to 43 noes, Roll No. 217. 52 pages Amending Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond April 25, 2008: The House agreed by unanimous consent to S. 2903, to amend Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond April 25, 2008--clearing the measure for the President. 1 page Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007: The House passed H.R. 2830, to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2008, by a recorded vote of 395 ayes to 7 noes, Roll No. 223. 360 pages Providing for extensions of leases of certain land by Mashantucket Pequot (Western) Tribe: S. 2457, to provide for extensions of leases of certain land by Mashantucket Pequot (Western) Tribe--clearing the measure for the President; 1 page Ratifying a conveyance of a portion of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation to Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, pursuant to the settlement of litigation between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, to authorize issuance of a patent for said lands, and to change the exterior boundary of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation accordingly: H.R. 3522, to ratify a conveyance of a portion of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation to Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, pursuant to the settlement of litigation between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, to authorize issuance of a patent for said lands, and to change the exterior boundary of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation accordingly; 3 pages Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act of 2007: H.R. 3490, amended, to transfer administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands from the Bureau of Land Management to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to take such lands into trust for Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria; 6 pages Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008: S. 2739, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, and the Department of Energy, to implement further the Act approving the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, and to amend the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 291 yeas to 117 nays, Roll No. 226--clearing the measure for the President; 123 pages Financial Consumer Hotline Act of 2007: H.R. 4332, to amend the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act to require the Council to D516establish a single telephone number that consumers with complaints or inquiries could call and be routed to the appropriate Federal banking agency or State bank supervisor, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 408 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 225; 4 pages Corporal Bradley T. Arms Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 5631, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1155 Seminole Trail in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the ``Corporal Bradley T. Arms Post Office Building''. 1 page Amending the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users to make technical corrections: Agreed to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1195, to amend the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users to make technical corrections, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 358 yeas to 51 nays with 11 voting ``present'', Roll No. 229--clearing the measure for the President; 52 pages Making technical corrections regarding the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007: H.R. 5919, to make technical corrections regarding the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007; 6 pages Need-Based Educational Aid Act of 2007: H.R. 1777, amended, to amend the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 to make permanent the favorable treatment of need-based educational aid under the antitrust laws. 4 pages Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire Prevention Act of 2008: The House passed H.R. 5522, to require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust, by a recorded vote of 247 ayes to 165 noes, Roll No. 233. 10 pages Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: The House agreed to the Senate amendment to H.R. 493, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment, by a yea-and-nay vote of 414 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 234--clearing the measure for the President. 42 pages Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008: Agreed to the Senate amendments to H.R. 5715, to ensure continued availability of access to the Federal student loan program for students and families, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 388 yeas to 21 nays, Roll No. 239--clearing the measure for the President; 13 pages Amending Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond May 2, 2008: S. 2954, to amend Public Law 110-196 to provide for a temporary extension of programs authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 beyond May 2, 2008--clearing the measure for the President. 1 page
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