Thompson Times May Newsletter (2010)

May 1, 2010

Green Thumb

Thompson helps plant flowers at the intersection of College Avenue (Route 26) and University Drive in State College. The event was part of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s garden and green space planting project on May 22, 2010.

 

Thompson Supports America Speaking Out

When traveling through the 5th District in Pennsylvania, I have heard over and over again that Washington isn’t listening to the concerns of the people. 

House Republicans plan to offer a new policy agenda, but we want to include the American people in building that agenda.  Wouldn’t that be surprising to find the Congress actually taking the time to listen to the people?

The Republicans repeatedly have offered ideas when they disagreed with the Democratic majority.  We are committed to smaller more accountable government while watching the unfortunate reality of more and more spending against the will of the people.

AmericaSpeakingOut.com is a new website where anyone, of any or no political party, is welcome to tell Republicans their suggestions, solutions, directions, policies and principles.   On the website people can debate the ideas posted by others and share the debate with friends and neighbors.  Here is the address:  https://www.americaspeakingout.com

I believe this dialogue of ideas will allow full and open discussion and ultimately allow us to implement the priorities of the people.  This effort will utilize new communications tools for people to express their hopes and dreams for this nation.

We will be listening.

What Would You Cut?

You know that Washington has a spending problem. Both parties bear some responsibility for the path the government has taken. But it is time to take the road less traveled. The one where government must do the same thing families do every day at the kitchen table— make decisions on how to tighten their belts.

A new website has been started called “YouCut”. It allows American citizens to vote to cut wasteful spending in Congress. The purpose is to challenge the spending spree that has dominated Congressional thinking. The site puts forth five suggestions per week for cuts to the budget and allows you to choose which one you think should be voted on by the House of Representatives.

The Republican leadership has promised to take the winners to the floor of the House for an up-or-down vote.

The cut, for which almost 30 percent of people voted, was to cut a program in the new stimulus law called the “welfare emergency fund.” It provided $5 billion in new federal money in 2009 and 2010. The funds were to be spent on “non-recurrent short-term assistance” for welfare and food stamp recipients. That included a one-time $200 per child “back to school” payment. But as CBS news reported, the funds didn’t always go for notebooks and backpacks in New York state. Instead there were marked increases in lotto and cigarette sales and the report says people bought iPods and video gaming systems, as well as flat-screen televisions.

The second week of YouCut, voters decided they would cut a proposed 1.4 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers from next year’s budget. That would be about a $2 billion savings in the 2011 fiscal year. The cut would not affect the pay raise for the military.

Some critics have said these cuts are too small to affect the debt. But a journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step. Many of us in Congress have been recommending cuts, but we have been ignored. Perhaps if it comes from the people, suggestions will be taken seriously.

Please visit https://www.republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut and vote.

Agriculture Committee Hits the Road for Farm Bill Hearings

Starting back in April of this spring, the Agriculture Committee on which I serve, held a series of field hearings in agricultural areas across the nation, in order to have input from farmers and experts on farm policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.

The Committee also takes comments from the public on its website: https://agriculture.house.gov/inside/feedbackform.html The farm bill deals with conservation trade, marketing, food assistance, farm support, energy and rural development, and nutrition - all things important to farmers. The current farm bill was enacted in 2008 and parts of it will expire in September 2012.

The economic downturn has hit hard at our farmers and ranchers, and in the 5th district, dairy farmers especially. This period of information gathering is extremely important, which is why I attended a number of the field hearings. Over the May 14th through 18th period, I was at field hearings in Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and South Dakota.

Agriculture has a role in the economic and environmental health of our country and we need to work toward policies to strengthen U.S. agriculture and provide long-term stability for our farmers and ranchers to compete in the global marketplace. Most farms are small businesses and remain the backbone of the strength of the economy in rural America. These hearings and public input are key to those policy decisions for the future.

Thompson Awarded U.S. Chamber Spirit of Enterprise Award

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue awards a Spirit of Enterprise Award to Rep. Glenn Thompson. “The Chamber applauds Representative Thompson for supporting the private sector and job growth through these difficult times,” said Donahue. In order to win the award, a Member must vote on 70 % of the key votes designated by the Chamber. Thompson scored 87 %.