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Fiscal Policy &Junk Science Richard Falknor on 01 Jul 2009 02:27 pm

“Carbon Emissions” What Does GOP Whip Cantor Believe?

Yesterday House Republican Whip Eric Cantor on the David Boze Show covering the Seattle area made excuses here for Republican Representative Dave Reichert’s vote for cap and tax:

Cantor. “Well, listen. You know. The cap and trade bill, as it passed the House, I think it represents an attempt to try and reduce carbon emissions. In my opinion,it is,although may be well-intended, it is not the way for us to go if we are going to be about delivering results for both the environment and if it’s going to be — if we’re going to be mindful of the number-one priority right now,which is jobs.  And that’s where we ought to stay focused to ensure that somehow if we can continue to get back on the path to economic growth so we have the resources necessary to invest in the sound science so that we can actually reduce carbon emissions.”

Last week junk-science-buster Steve Milloy pointed out here

“Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) inexplicably said that ‘removing CO2 from the atmosphere is a noble endeavor.’ God save us from our friends…”

Does the second-ranking man in the House Republican leadership really believe here and here “removing CO2 from the atmosphere is a noble endeavor”?

. . . . . . . . . .

Cantor absolves Reichert – –

Cantor. “Listen. I spoke with Dave Reichert extensively prior to the vote.  I know that he is very concerned about the environment and did not feel that this bill was the best way to address the issue [problem]of increasing carbon emissions.  He was trying to work with Henry Waxman, Ed Markey. And hoping to amend the bill so we could provide more incentives and nuclear energy, so we could provide more incentives for investment in terms of clean coal technologies. Trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, Markey and Waxman were not willing to go along with Dave Reichert’s suggestions in making the bill better. But Dave had hopes of trying to work as the bill goes over to the Senate, hoping to get a better outcome. I do not think and I hope that this bill does not stay in the current shape that it’s in when it goes to the Senate if it were to get out of the Senate. Because I do believe in its current state it is a very very difficult bill to see how … to see that bill go into effect.”

. . . . . . . .

Cantor. “Well, listen.  I obviously disagree with his vote on the bill because I voted against the bill.  And I think that we can do a lot better. I don’t know if Dave’s intention is as well. But I would say that for the voters of the 8th District, Dave Reichert is someone who has gone to Washington D.C. representing the interests of the citizens of Puget Sound and surrounding area. And as someone who frankly has demonstrated a commitment to fiscal conservatism. And he was there with our conference in a vote against the stimulus bill, he’s been there on the votes against the extravagant, wasteful spending of the Democrats when it comes to the $3.6 trillion budget this year. He’s been a committed person as far as low taxes are concerned. Obviously he‘s beginning on Ways and Means in a very big role on the health-reform debate. He is one offering the free market solutions — stressing the ability for working families to have choices in health care, so some bureaucrat in Washington DC doesn’t make decisions for working moms and their kids.”(Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

But does Cantor’s portrait of Reichert as a fiscal conservative hold up under scrutiny? On the conservative side, Dave Reichert, unlike Eric Cantor, voted twice against the bailouts last fall. On the other hand, no House Republican voted for the so-called stimulus this year so Reichert’s vote against that monstrosity is hardly a profile in Republican courage.  But readers themselves can make an overall judgment whether Mr. Reichert is a “fiscal conservative” or committed to “low taxes.” Here are Representative Dave Reichert’s ratings over several years by the National Taxpayers Union, and here is the “2007 RePORK Card” from the Club for Growth, where Mr. Reichert received a “4 %” score.  And here is the most current rating of Americans for Tax Reform, listing Mr. Reichert as a pledge (promise) breaker.

A little big-government history: Mr. Cantor voted for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare Prescription Drug Entitlement, against free political speech in a 2006 vote which George Will called “traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism.” He voted twice for the TARP bill last fall although one wouldn’t know it from his current ‘free enterprise’ rhetoric. The Republican Whip also voted this year for a punitive 90-percent tax.

Do Mr. Cantor’s remarks suggest that he would assign a legislative priority to “reducing carbon emissions” after we are “back on the path to economic growth”? If so, on what basis does he believe this should be done?  To what degree? Stay tuned.

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