Archive for category ELECTED OFFICIALS REPLYS

ONCE AGAIN SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL (D) WA. STATE SENDS BACK A REPLY THAT IS OFF THE MARK

CANTWELL MUST GO!  SHE IS BAD FOR WASHINGTON AND SHE IS BAD FOR AMERICA AND SHE IS BAD FOR DEMOCRACY!

CANTWELL MUST GO! SHE IS BAD FOR WASHINGTON AND SHE IS BAD FOR AMERICA AND SHE IS BAD FOR DEMOCRACY!

I wrote her a letter explaining my concerns about cutting military spending:

FURTHER CUTS TO MILITARY PAY AND BENEFITS

I am disheartened to learn that the Obama Administration is looking to make deeper cuts into the pay and benefits of current military and retired military personnel. I am always appalled at the fact that the military people are always the first people congress goes after when cutting budgets. It is as if Congress has little or no empathy for the very people who put their lives on the line every day to make this the greatest country on the planet. It is as if they are looked upon as nothing but “cannon-fodder” to use and abuse at will, at the whim of Congress when it is “convenient” to do so, apparently not caring about these people and families who sacrificed so much. It is as though now that there is a consorted, intentional effort to completely dismantle not only the structure of the military, but the notion of honor that goes along with it. With the constant misuse and abuse of the military people by the Federal Government, the notion of serving in the military to serve our nation is being severely negatively impacted. You have to ask yourself, if you were a young person thinking about serving, “What is the benefit to me if I join the military”? In the past, in my era, there was a sense of honor, knowing that America stood for justice and peace, and also knowing that if you stuck with it, there would be a reward at the end, a brass ring, if you like, in the form of the benefits that military retirement brings. Take away all that, and what do you have left..? Answer, very little. Take away the pride and nobility, the barely equitable pay for volunteering to serve, and the retirement benefits, especially the medical, and you have little or no incentive left. If the people see that the Federal Government is NOT going to treat you well in the military, why join? So, with that being said, how is the military going to be able to recruit enough volunteers for service? The short answer is; they’re not. So, unless that is the plan so conscription can be reinstituted, it’s not a good idea to keep punishing the military every time there is a budget shortfall, especially when there are thousands other areas in the government that can and should be trimmed.
With all this being said, I must remind you that your election cycles will be very difficult and contentious should you decide to slight the military any further. While your cycle is not due for several years, you can bet that your party as a whole will suffer a huge loss at the polls should the Democrat Party continue to punish the military people. We are watching your votes in the House and Senate and we are watching the committee actions. Do not fool yourself, WE ARE WATCHING AND WE WILL VOTE ACCORDINGLY. You have to ask yourself; “How many military, active duty, retired and vets do I have in my State or district?” I’ll be there is a bunch..

Here is her reply I got today:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about military spending. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter, and sincerely regret the delayed response.

On March 4, 2014, President Barack Obama submitted his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress. This proposed budget would provide $494.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015, which is about $31 billion less than last year’s requested amount. The request seeks to reduce the number of active-duty soldiers serving in the U.S. Army from 510,000 to about 450,000 by fiscal year 2019, and the number of National Guard and Reserve service members from 831,000 to 798,000. This budget would also increase TRICARE deductibles and copays in an effort to restructure and reduce the cost of military benefits.

I have concerns about the proposed cuts and increases in health care costs. I look forward to learning more about the Department of Defense’s budget proposal and its potential impact on Washington state’s military community. After a decade of war, I know that long and frequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have greatly strained our state’s military families. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind as the budget process continues this year.

I am profoundly grateful for the service of America’s service members and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation. I will continue to work to ensure that the brave men and women of our armed forces have the essential tools and resources they need to accomplish their mission on behalf of the people of the United States. I know this is particularly important in our state, which is home to the tenth largest military population in the country. As such, we have an important responsibility to ensure that our service members and their families are provided the benefits and assistance that they so greatly deserve.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

 

This reply is a non reply and she goes on to further explain that they are going to raise my out of pocket health insurance costs.  Is this the kind of Senator we should re-elect or should the State of Washington recall her?  ALL her replies to me are like this and I am sick and tired of it.

 

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JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER’S REPLY TO MY CONCERNS OVER HR 347 AND OUR 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

Is she doing a good job for us in Washington in DC? Hmmm

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act. It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and it is important for me to hear from folks in our region.

H.R. 347 was passed by Congress and signed in to law by President Obama in March of 2011. This bill updates the Federal criminal code to make it a Federal offense to unlawfully enter the White House, Vice President’s official residency, or places where the President, Vice President, or other individuals protected by the Secret Service are visiting. Prior to the passage of this bill it was considered a minor misdemeanor to trespass upon the grounds of the White House or Vice President’s residency. This bill closes a loophole that could have prevented the Secret Service from fulfilling its responsibilities to protect the President, Vice President, and other individuals it is tasked with safeguarding.

Several people have expressed concerns that this bill could limit their Constitutional rights, specifically the First Amendment rights of protesters. Please rest assured that nothing in this legislation takes away anyone’s right to free speech. Folks will still have the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights and protest at the White House, U.S. Capitol, and other federal buildings. This legislation aims to provide better security for the President, Vice President, and other officials by strengthening penalties for those who enter a restricted building with the intent to do harm.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.jaimehb.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler

Member of Congress

 

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REPLY FROM CONGRESSWOMAN (R-WA) JAIME HERERRA-BEUTLER REGARDING MY CONCERNS ABOUT TRI-CARE CHANGES

HERRERA-BEUTLER

JAIME HERRERA-BEUTLER

Thank you for contacting me about proposals to change TRICARE for Life (TFL).  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with me

America’s military and military veterans are integral to our country’s freedom and independence.  I am grateful for their service and sacrifices, and I am committed to preserving the benefits our servicemen and servicewomen deserve.  I understand your concerns about proposed changes to TRICARE.  I am looking for ways to preserve the program for current and future military veterans.

In 2001 Congress created TFL for military veterans age 65 and older, prior to its enactment military retirees, their families and survivors relied solely on Medicare after regular TRICARE benefits expired.  TFL is designed to pay patient liability after Medicare payments for benefits that are usually covered under TRICARE, but not Medicare.  TFL is available to all Medicare-eligible uniformed service retirees and Medicare-eligible family members or beneficiaries under age 65 who are also entitled to Medicare Part A because of disabilities.  Currently, there are no enrollment fees for TFL, but beneficiaries are required to cover their share of Medicare Part B premiums.

Multiple reports issued by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office have listed TRICARE as one program within our federal budget that needs to be reviewed to ensure current and future military veterans will continue to have access the health care they earned.  Under President Obama’s proposal the first-ever enrollment fee for TFL would be enacted to raise an estimated $6.7 billion in revenue over 10 years.  The enrollment fee would be $200 in 2012 and continue to rise.  The president’s proposal would also increase pharmacy co-pays for military beneficiaries.  The Department of Defense and members of Congress are both reviewing the President’s proposal.  My goal is to find solutions to our debt problems that will allow us to preserve programs like TRICARE and TFL to continue providing important services to our military and veterans.

I appreciate your thoughts on this issue, and I will keep them in mind as I continue working with my colleagues to ensure our military and military veterans receive the support they deserve.   Rest assured, I will not support a plan that

Thank you for contacting me on these important issues. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

MY NOTE:  This is the first reply that I have gotten from her that directly addresses and responds to something in my letter.  The phrase “balances our budget on the backs of our military and veterans” was taken from my letter.

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SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL RESPONSE TO MY CONCERNS ABOUT TRI-CARE FEES

MARIA CANTWELL MUST BE DEFEATED IN 2012!!

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding TRICARE.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I share your concerns about keeping TRICARE affordable.  The health and welfare of those men and women who have bravely served our country both in times of peace and war deserve our full support.  To that end, I have consistently worked to ensure that any TRICARE fee increases proposed by the Department of Defense do not put an undue burden on our soldiers, military families, and veterans.

On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 into law.  This legislation included a provision which gave the Department of Defense the authority to increase TRICARE enrollment fees in order to help reduce the growing cost of healthcare within the Department of Defense budget.  These healthcare costs have grown from $1.5 trillion in 2001 to an estimated $2.7 trillion in fiscal year 2013, an increase of 84 percent.  The National Defense Authorization Act would tie TRICARE yearly enrollment fee increases to the annual cost-of-living increase provided to military retirees, which averages around 3.1 percent.

I am profoundly grateful for the service ofAmerica’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation.  As such, I believe we have an important responsibility to ensure that our veterans are provided the benefits and assistance that they so greatly deserve.  Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the state of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for WashingtonStateresidents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov

.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

 MY NOTE:

Notice how she dodges the questions and does not address my concerns.  She just explains how its going to be…….

 

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REPRESENTATIVE JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER (R-WA) REPLIES ON POSTAL REFORM ACT

HERRERA-BEUTLER

JAIME HERRERA-BEUTLER

November 2, 2011

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Postal Reform Act.  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washingtonand I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) continues to provide Americans with an invaluable service obligation to homes and businesses across the country, ensuring that mail is delivered in an affordable and timely manner.  The Postal Service faces significant, long-term financial pressures and budget shortfalls caused by reduced mail volume, revenues, and the burden of prefunding retiree health benefits.  It is important to note that the USPS is subject to federal government oversight, but the USPS supports itself through the sales of postal services and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Postal Reform Act would create the Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority to restructure the USPS and reduce its costs.  It would also create the Commission on Postal Reorganization to review the USPS network and infrastructure and recommend closures and consolidations, which would go into effect unless rejected by Congress.  The goal of this legislation is to provide structural and financial reforms to the USPS to cut costs.

The Act would be the most fundamental reform of the USPS since it was created from the former Post Office Department in 1971.  As introduced, I do have several concerns .  For example, one of the provisions authorizes an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury.  Another concern is the Act does not address some core issues necessary to return the Postal Service to financial stability, including the need to decrease or suspend the current mandates requiring retiree health benefit pre-payments, which costs the Postal Service $5.5 billion annually until 2016.

While I recognize the need to preserve services that many Americans consider essential, such as six-day delivery and universal postal coverage, we must make sure the USPS makes the changes necessary to survive.  I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the Postal Service fulfills its obligation as well as to help improve the Postal Service’s efficiency.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.
Sincerely,
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

(NOTE: The correspondence I sent her on this issue was through a website where you fill in the blocks and input the letter.  I did not save the information and that is why the original letter is not shown here.  Anyone who knows my positions on these issues can easily fill in the blanks and figure out what I would have said….)

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(UPDATED 102011) RETIRED MILITARY MEDICATIONS CO-PAYS TO INCREASE 1 OCT –

I just found out that my co-pays will be going up with Tri-Care for all my meds, that is, unless I sign up for Tri-Care Home Delivery.  Here are my letters to my elected officials;

300018 Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]

“I am retired Air Force and I have Tri-Care as my and my wife’s health insurance. We have just received news that my co-pays for my medications are going up across the board, unless I sign up for Tri-Care home delivery system.  I am not at all happy about this on many levels.  1.  You were supposed to NOT allow the government to balance the books on the back of the retired GI’s.  2. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the government cannot and does not perform at the same level as the private sector.  There is no doubt in my mind that my medications will get “toyed with” by some bureaucrat with a mandate to save as much money as possible.  And that they will do so at the expense of us retired military.  The drugs will come from the lowest bidder and I have zero confidence in proper handling and storage of these sensitive compounds.  I can guarantee that you will not have my vote if this course of action by Tri-care is not stopped and reversed.  Your own website states “Maria has been a tireless advocate of ensuring our nation’s veterans have access to quality affordable health care. In 2005, when news broke that veterans were going to be charged higher annual fees and copays, Maria took to the floor of the U.S. Senate and fought for $2.7 billion in veterans’ health care funding. Maria believes military retirees should be allowed to take a tax deduction for their TRICARE supplemental premiums. In 2003, Maria worked hard to block premature closures of VA health facilities across the nation with Senator Patty Murray. She pushed for a measure requiring a full study on the impact of closing any facility before any action was taken, and also supported a measure requiring a Congressional review before a facility could be scaled-back or closed. Maria has sought to make veterans health care a mandatory program, with funds set aside based on inflation and the size of the veterans population, as part of the Veterans Health Care Funding Guarantee Act.”  What happened to your support here?  We GI’s made it possible for you to have your job, you need to stand up for us now that we have served our country honorably. I want a reply to this message as I post all my correspondence to my ELECTED Officials.  I am sure my readers will want to read your reply verbatim.”

MARIA CANTWELL’S REPLY: 092011

Thank you for contacting me about funding for military benefits.   I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response. Government has a responsibility to spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, but it also has a responsibility to provide certain services and guarantees to the American people. I take both of these very seriously. To ensure that we have the ability to defend our borders, maintain our infrastructure, educate our children, and more, it is imperative that we keep our financial house in order.  A principal responsibility of the U.S. Congress under the Constitution is to provide for the national defense.  I take this responsibility very seriously, and I am committed to and continue to support legislative efforts to maintain the effectiveness and readiness of the U.S.’s armed forces by raising our soldiers’ quality of life, improving housing conditions for military personnel and their families, and modernizing our force capabilities to effectively meet future threats. I am profoundly grateful for the service of America’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation. Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the State of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

MY NOTE: OBVIOUSLY A FORM LETTER.  NICE PERSONAL REPLY…..SHE IS GETTING MORE LIKE EX-CONGRESSMAN BRAIN BAIRD ALL THE TIME..

300076 Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]

Thank you for contacting me regarding the recently created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, of which I am a co-chair.  I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for this process. As you may know, on August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law after its bipartisan passage through Congress. Following an initial down payment of almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction through cuts to discretionary spending, this legislation created a Joint Select Committee tasked with identifying further deficit reduction of approximately $1.5 trillion.  In the event the Committee is unable to produce a plan to meet that amount, immediate across-the-board cuts will be enacted that will come from both defense and non-defense spending. In accordance with the legislation, Committee members were to be appointed by Majority and Minority Leaders in each chamber of Congress. On August 10, 2011, I was asked by Senate Majority Leader Reid to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I agreed to accept this role because I take the goals of this Committee seriously and because I believe that it is time for members of both parties to work together to improve our nation’s financial future.  Currently, I am working with my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to address our national debt and deficit in a balanced and bipartisan manner.  I know we need to make the tough choices that put our country on a more sustainable fiscal track but I also know that we must protect the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable who are struggling mightily in today’s economy. I do not want to pass an unsustainable debt along to my own grandchildren and will be working tirelessly toward a bipartisan plan that reduces our deficit without neglecting the need for investment in areas that help to spur economic growth, create jobs, and promote our country’s long-term competitiveness. I appreciate hearing from you about your priorities for the Joint Select Committee and I will certainly keep the suggestions of Washingtonians in mind as I work with my colleagues to address our fiscal situation. Please continue to pass on your thoughts, as they will help me and my fellow Committee members as we take on this challenge.  You can also visit http://deficitreduction.gov for further information about the work of the Joint Select Committee, and if you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

412486 Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R, WA-3]

Thank you for contacting me about military benefits. It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I am committed to ensuring our military will continue to have the tools they need to do their job both now and in the future.  I am also committed to making sure our servicemen and servicewomen and veterans will continue to have access to the services they need and benefits they have been promised. America’s military and military veterans are integral to our country’s independence, and I recognize the many sacrifices our military makes to uphold our country’s freedoms and safety.  I am grateful for our military’s sacrifices, and it concerns me when people do not show military members and veterans the respect and thanks they deserve.  America’s military has been strong in battle, unwavering in loyalty, and unmatched in honor and I commend them for their unparalleled bravery and service to this country. Since coming to Washington D.C. I have focused on getting our country’s fiscal house in order.  Our nation is facing a $14 trillion deficit, and we have many difficult decisions in front of us.  I believe there are places to cut wasteful spending throughout our federal budget, including the Department of Defense, but I will not support cuts to services and benefits for our active military and veterans. Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 to raise our nation’s debt limit, in order to meet our nation’s obligations.  The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is a bipartisan, 12 member committee that was created as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011.  The committee is tasked with making recommendations to cut wasteful spending by $1.2 trillion and finding solutions to our nation’s debt problems.  The committee’s recommendation to Congress is due on November 23, 2011. I appreciate your thoughts on this challenging issue, and I will keep them in mind as I learn more about the committee’s recommendations.  I am optimistic that Congress will continue to find bipartisan solutions to our debt crisis. Rest assured, I will not support a plan that balances our budget on the backs of our military and veterans. Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerrreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

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(UPDATED 051811 – 102111 WITH REPLIES) MY LETTER TO CONGRESSWOMAN JAIME HERERRA BEUTLER (WA-7TH GOP) ON THE PROPOSED INCREASE TO TRI-CARE RATES WITH RESPONSE FROM SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL INCLUDED

Click the pic to go to her web site contact page

It is being reported that the House Committee ok’s a rate hike for us Tri-Care working retirees.

House Committee Okay’s TRICARE Increase

Week of May 16, 2011
Last week the House Armed Services Committee gave the go ahead for the Obama administration’s plan to begin to raise out-of-pocket costs modestly for working-age retirees TRICARE beneficiaries. This would be the first increase in TRICARE Prime enrollment fees in more than 15 years. If approved the committee’s budget bill would allow DoD to increase premiums by $30 a year for individual coverage and $60 a year for family coverage. The HAS defense budget would also allow DoD to raise the TRICARE Prime premium on an annual basis, but not at the rate they requested.

I have written you on this subject in the past and you have stated that you will not support any increase in these rates that us Vets would have to absorb.  This is just another nail in the coffin for us, especially with the economy being in a shambles, and the price of gas being through the roof. I find this situation to be unacceptable and I hope you do not support this increase, even as “modest” as it may seem.  It is not appropriate and if it comes to fruition, it is not going to go unnoticed by us military retirees.

051811: HER REPLY

May 18, 2011

Thank you for contacting me regarding proposed increases in health insurance fees paid by retired veterans under 65. I sincerely appreciate the dedication and sacrifice made by our service members and their families.  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

The White House has ordered the Pentagon to decrease spending, not counting the costs of its combat operations, by $78 billion over the next five years.  Amongst an array of cost cutting measures, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he will seek to offset billions of dollars by increasing fees paid by retired veterans under 65 for Defense Department health insurance.  Increases in fees for Tricare require Congressional approval, and similar proposals have been rejected in the past.

U.S. debt is becoming a long-term national security threat.  I support strong spending reforms, but increasing fees for retired veterans is not the first place we should look for quick reductions in federal spending. Please know I will keep your concerns in mind should further action be taken on this issue.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.herrerabeutler.house.gov

For additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL’S RESPONSE 102111:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding TRICARE.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I share your concerns about keeping TRICARE affordable.  The health and welfare of those men and women who have bravely served our country both in times of peace and war deserve our full support.  To that end, I have consistently worked to ensure that any TRICARE fee increases proposed by the Department of Defense do not put an undue burden on our soldiers, military families, and veterans. The Department of Defense (DOD) has requested authority to tie TRICARE enrollment fee increases to the National Healthcare Expenditure Index, which has an average annual increase of 6.4 percent.  DOD has said that this change is necessary in order to reduce the rapidly increasing costs of military healthcare.  The Senate Armed Services Committee reported its version of the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act on June 16, 2011; this proposed legislation would require the Department of Defense to tie annual TRICARE fee increases to the annual cost-of-living increase provided for military retirees that averages around 3.1 percent. I am profoundly grateful for the service of America’s veterans and for the sacrifices they have made to defend and preserve our great nation.  As such, I believe we have an important responsibility to ensure that our veterans are provided the benefits and assistance that they so greatly deserve.  Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues on behalf of the many veterans in the state of Washington.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at

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Representa​tive Jaime Herrera Beutler – RESPONSE TO MY LETTER REGARDING HEALTH CARE..

 

Representa tive Jaime Herrera Beutler

April 11, 2011

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding implementation of last year’s health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

I realize many families in Southwest Washington are struggling to find access to quality affordable health care, and ensuring that citizens in Southwest Washington have access to quality, affordable health care is a top priority for me. However, I believe we need true transformational health care reform that does not increase taxes or government spending. This is why I voted to repeal last year’s healthcare bill, because I do not believe we should continue to borrow 42 cents of every dollar spent from future generations to pay for today’s policies.

I am a cosponsor of a bill that would allow patients to purchase health care across state lines, because more insurance companies competing for your business will lower the cost of insurance and give you more choices. I also support Association Health Plans for small businesses which will let individuals have the same tax breaks big corporations have.

These proposals are far from the ultimate solution to our county’s health needs, but they are significant because they allow more people to choose the health care that meets their needs.  Those of us in Congress have more work to do – like ensuring there are safety nets to help for our most vulnerable.  Please know I will not rest until we have put in place innovative reforms that promote access to health care for all Americans while also protecting future generations from crushing debt.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.herrerabeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

 

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(UPDATED 022811) REPLY FROM REP. HERRERA-BEUTLER REGARDING THE INCREASE IN TRICARE PREMIUMS OF RETIRED VETS

REP. HERRERA-BEUTLER (WA,3RD)

February 23, 2011

Thank you for contacting me regarding proposed increases in health insurance fees paid by retired veterans under 65. I sincerely appreciate the dedication and sacrifice made by our service members and their families.  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

The White House has ordered the Pentagon to decrease spending, not counting the costs of its combat operations, by $78 billion over the next five years.  Amongst an array of cost cutting measures, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he will seek to offset billions of dollars by increasing fees paid by retired veterans under 65 for Defense Department health insurance.  Increases in fees for Tricare require Congressional approval, and similar proposals have been rejected in the past.

U.S. debt is becoming a long-term national security threat.  I support strong spending reforms, but increasing fees for retired veterans is not the first place we should look for quick reductions in federal spending. Please know I will keep your concerns in mind should further action be taken on this issue.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.herrerabeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on these issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress

MY LETTER TO HER:

I am retired Air Force.  I retired in Feb. of 2005.  I initially enlisted in 1975, and at that time, being a serviceman in the United States Military meant something and there were some pretty good benefits of being in the military.  Being in the military meant that you could go to the Base PX, or BX, depending on where you were.  At that time, you could expect to get discounted pricing on most items in the Exchange.  Because the military pay was not very good, it was the only way you could expect to make “ends meet” and make it from payday to payday.  The same was also true of the Base Commissary.  Grocery shopping at the Commissary was the only way you could afford to put decent food on the table, especially if you were not and NCO, when the pay started to get better.  Along with those benefits, medical care was always provided.  Active Duty personnel and their families could be assured that their medical needs would be met.  This benefit was also provided to the retirees simply because, They Earned It, by 20+ years of faithful, dedicated service to their country.  Well, in the 35 + years since my initial enlistment, I have witnessed a slow, methodical “whittling away” of these benefits at the hands of our elected officials.  The prices in both the BX’s and the Commissaries has risen to the point where it is no longer cost effective to shop on base, AND our medical care has been under attack since the DOD decided to change over to Tri-Care several years ago.  Being AGR in the Air National Guard, we were “geologically separated” from any military medical facility because we are over 100 miles from any active duty military base.  When we were forced to transfer to Tri-Care, all us AGR’s various Dr.’s dropped us like a hot rock because of the small amount Tri-Care reimburses the care givers.  We were left high and dry and were forced to find a care-giver who would accept “Tri-Care” patients.  For some of us, that was a daunting task.  Since then, many of us “Tri-Care” people have had significant difficulties with the Tri-Care system.  I knew we were in for a rough ride when I found out that Tri-Care has a Congressional Office.  That tells me, there are significant problems with this system we were forced into.  Now, to top it off, the DOD is planning to significantly increase our premiums for this sub-standard plan.  My costs are planned to go up $2000 more a year.  This is simply unacceptable.  I know that we sent you to Congress to make the touch choices, but, you need to understand that, by taking this action, you will be severely and adversely effect the quality of the military.  Initially, what will happen is, people like me, still in the system, who are career because they are working for the benefits, will leave.  This means that a huge portion of the “Brain Trust”, the very people the military depends on to train and lead, will depart.  To say “retention” will suffer, is an understatement. This will also effect future enlistment because there will no longer be any incentive to go in the military.  Why would anyone go into the military, be put in harms way, sacrifice and dedicate yourself to your duties, if there is no longer anything worth staying for?   Doing this for “just a paycheck” will not suffice..  So now the DOD is going to saddle the retirees who are still of working age, with an additional financial burden, right when we cannot afford it the most.  It is my considered opinion that mistreating the very people that sacrificed so much for this country is not only wrong headed, but immoral.  I urge you to not support any plan to saddle the military, both active and retired with anymore financial burden.  The retirees, especially the disabled, cannot and should not be expected to sacrifice any more.  They, we, me, we have all sacrificed enough and can ill afford any more hardships.  The economy is hurting enough as it is.  This is nothing short of “insult to injury”.

I URGE ALL VETS TO WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES NOW!!

UPDATED 022811

MILITARY BENEFITS BEING PUT ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK?

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2 Comments

RESPONCE FROM SENATOR PATTY MURRAY ON HER POSITION WITH REGARD TO THE INTER-AMERICAN ARMS TREATY

JUST SAY "NO" TO PATTY MURRAY - -I SUPPORT DINO ROSSI

As you will read, this is a non-answer, just as I thought I would get from her.  I didn’t think she would tip her hand as to her position on this issue.  I for one am sure she is all for it.  I have no reason to believe otherwise;

—-

Thank you for contacting me regarding Senate approval of the UN Small Arms Treaty. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you may know, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution charges the Senate with advise and consent responsibilities to any treaty considered by the President.  I view this responsibility to be one of my most important duties as a U.S. Senator. As the Senate considers each treaty, I consider each issue with the same level of respect, scrutiny and courtesy that I believe all treaties deserve.

The United States has a long history of using treaties to address collective security threats and various other transnational issues.  For example, the North Atlantic Treaty, signed April 4, 1949 has enabled the United States to develop a long and productive relationship with other nations as a partner in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  NATO troops have served in conflicts across the world for the past 51 years and currently serve in Afghanistan today.  Another example of a treaty is the Antarctic Treaty.  The Antarctic Treaty, signed by President Eisenhower and ratified by the United States Senate on August 10, 1960, regulates the use of the continent of Antarctica.  The Antarctic Treaty specifically protects scientific endeavor, prevents militarization in Antarctica, and was the first arms control treaty of the Cold War.

As the Senate considers future treaties, I will definitely keep your thoughts in mind.  If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I may be of assistance.
Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

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(UPDATE 5-13-10 WITH REPLY FROM SENATOR CANTWELL)WHY DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION NEED SHOTGUNS? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW…………ORIGINAL POSTING 3-11-10

WHY DOES DEPT. OF EDUCATION NEED THESE POLICE SHOTGUNS? CLICK THE PIC TO SEE THE REQUEST

Why in the hell would the Department of Education want to buy shotguns?  To protect themselves from the students???  No, really, why?!?!?  I think we deserve an answer so I wrote my reps:

My Letter:

I am compelled to write to you because I am at a loss as to understand why The Department of Education would be purchasing shotguns as indicated in Solicitation Number: EDOOIG-10-000004?  Not only am I wondering why The Department of Education would want these in the first place, but also since it is a felony to have any firearms on any school property in the United States?  I require a detailed explanation for this request.

We’ll see if we get an answer, let alone a satisfactory answer…………………………………………………………

UPDATE 5-13-10

SENATOR CANTWELL REPLY:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Department of Education’s recent purchase of shotguns. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue and sincerely regret the delayed response.

As you may know, on March 8, 2010 the U.S. Department of Education filed a solicitation request for the purchase of 27 Remington Brand Model 870 12-gauge shotguns. In response to inquiries regarding this purchase, the Department of Education released the following statement:

“The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education and is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms. The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and is in compliance with Federal procurement requirements.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Education, I would encourage you to visit: www.ed.gov/oig

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

4 Comments

REPRESENATIVE BRIAN BAIRD (D-WA) ACTUALY REPLIES TO MY HEALTH CARE LETTER

Like the coward he is, he is not running for re-election because he knows it would take a miracle and he is on the wrong side of democracy.

Thank you for contacting me about health reform. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

There was no question in my mind that our current health care system could not be sustained and needed to be improved. Because of my background as a health care professional, working for more than twenty years before entering Congress, having focused extensively on health care during my time in Congress, as a parent of two young children, and as someone who has listened to countless constituents and groups from across the professional, patient and political spectrum, there is no other issue before Congress that has received as much of my personal attention and effort.

Providing health care is not a political issue for me, it was my chosen profession, it is something I feel deeply about, and it is a service to which I have dedicated much of my life.

Recognizing the urgent need for reform, I did everything I possibly could to evaluate the merits of the proposals before me. I read the entire House and Senate bills, plus the reconciliation legislation. I studied the Congressional Budget Office analyses of both bills plus the reconciliation package. I read reports by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and numerous others. At my specific request, the Democratic caucus held an unprecedented number of meetings with policy and legislative experts to go over in detail the text of ! the legislation and alternatives.

Beyond studying the legislation put forward by the Democrats in Congress, I also made a sincere and earnest effort to read and evaluate criticism of that legislation and consider alternative proposals, including proposals from members of both major political parties and independent groups. I also put forward my own proposal for comprehensive health care reform.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was not a perfect bill when it came to the House floor for a final vote on March 21. But the passage of the bill will make some key improvements over our unsustainable status quo:

First, and importantly, the final bill contains mechanisms to eventually lower health care costs to individuals, business, and government. These include core changes to Medicare compensation practices; real competition and choice of plans through a health insurance exchange; procedures to allow cross-state insurance purchases; evidence based quality of care guidelines to reduce treatment errors and hospital acquired infections; tangible and proven programs to seriously tackle fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid; plus multiple other mechanisms long championed by health care economists and practitioners.

Second, people who already have insurance will no longer live in fear that if they get sick or lose their jobs they will lose their coverage. Discrimination against pre-existing conditions and rescissions of existing policies will end if this bill becomes law. Having met numerous individuals and families whose lives were turned upside down because of illness and loss of coverage, and having treated patients who delayed needed health care because they had lost their insurance, I cannot overstate how important this is.

Third, in contrast to prior legislation, including previous expansions of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, which were not paid for and added more than a trillion dollars of deficit spending, this legislation will be paid for and does not add to the deficit. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next two decades the Affordable Care Act will lower the Federal debt by more than one trillion dollars relative to current law. I recognize fully that this CBO estimate itself contains a number of shortcomings, among them excluding the costs of the Sustainable Growth Rate fix. I believe it is imperative that these concerns be addressed and at the end of this document I offer some suggestions for how to do this.

Fourth, small businesses will immediately have assistance to help provide insurance for their employees and will have access to far more choice and competition when the exchange is created. At the same time, most small businesses will be exempt from employer mandates, and those with existing health insurance will be able to keep their insurance as is if they choose to do so.

Fifth, young people, who have been particularly affected by the economic downturn, will immediately be able to stay on their parents’ health plans long enough to give them time to obtain employment and insurance on their own.

Sixth, tens of millions of hard working American citizens who cannot afford health care or who lost their insurance when they lost their jobs will soon be able to purchase a basic policy with support commensurate to their needs. This will not only improve their own health and economic productivity, it will reduce costly trips to the emergency rooms, alleviate the costs of uncompensated care that currently threatens to bankrupt many hospitals, and help detect and treat illnesses in their early stages before they become more costly and more lethal.

Seventh, seniors who face unexpected and unaffordable costs for prescription drug coverage will now have the so-called “donut hole” in coverage under Medicare part D closed through a combination of additional assistance and reduction in pharmaceutical costs. Again, this increased coverage is paid for in this bill rather than adding to the deficit.

Eighth, critical shortages in health care professionals, particularly general practitioners, nurses and certain high need specialists will be reduced through education assistance and other mechanisms.

Ninth, key reforms of the insurance industry will help rein in exorbitant premium increases and anti-competitive practices.

Tenth, long standing inequities in compensation rates that have disadvantaged our Northwest region and other parts of the country will finally begin to be corrected, in the short term through adjustments to hospital and provider payments, and in the longer term through a more comprehensive review and overhaul of how payment rates are set. This is something I have worked especially hard on since before I was elected to Congress and throughout the current process.

Having identified some of the positive features of the Affordable Care Act, there are many things I would have liked to change about the legislation:

Foremost among these is the sheer complexity of the bill. This complexity was not created by the legislation itself but is the result of the need to modify so many pre-existing programs at the state and federal level. Again, I would have much preferred that we replace these with something much simpler, but that is not likely to happen in the near future regardless of which party is in the majority.

Consistent with legislation I have previously introduced, I would also have preferred more specific and comprehensive reforms of the medical liability system. Although there are provisions in the bill which I support to promote alternatives to litigation, a more thorough approach that protects patient’s rights, promotes quality of care, and reduces the numbers and costs of lawsuits would add substantially to the savings in health care costs across all programs.

A third change would be to accurately account for and pay for the “Sustainable Growth Rate” fix in Medicare, which is estimated to cost more than $200 billion over the next ten years. I would recommend reducing the potential provider payment reduction by some degree, but not entirely, while at the same time increasing tax revenues to pay for any fix without increasing the deficit. In addition, and I recognize this will not be politically popular, we should give greater attention to basing not only health care but all entitlements on a needs basis. If the alternative to this is passing more deficit and debt on to our children, I believe the more responsible choice is needs adjustment.

Fourth, and again politically difficult, I believe the revenues generated in the legislation fall too heavily on incomes over $250,000. I would rather have seen the revenue burden distributed more broadly on a progressive scale, with more modest adjustments also applied among those making more than $100,000 per year and on up. Broader distribution of revenue increases would have helped further reduce the deficit while more evenly sharing in the responsibility across the population.

After weighing these positives and the negatives, and considering that the status quo was unsustainable, I voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act certainly does not solve all of the problems of improving health care, lowering costs, and reducing the deficit. We must continue to work for further improvements in each of these areas and I am committed to doing so. But on balance, I believe this legislation will be much better than what exists today, and I believe it represents a number of improvements in both content and process over the legislation originally passed by the House.

I have a deep and personal appreciation for the fact that you and so many others have written to me to express your opinions on this vital topic. The fact that so many have taken the time to do so is itself a testimony to both the importance of this issue and the vibrancy of our republic. I am grateful for your input and have weighed it carefully and thoughtfully as I considered this important, complex and difficult matter.

MY COMMENTS: I couldn’t explain it any better as to why he would never get re-elected.  His STATED opinions are in direct contradiction to the Constitution and the Free Market System.  He believes whole heartily in BIG government.  Plus I find it interesting that NOW he decides to answer my letters now that he is not running for office…………Hmmmm

1 Comment

(UPDATED 043010 WITH SENATOR CANTWELL REPLY) LATEST LETTER TO SENATOR PATTY MURRAY ON THE ENERGY BILL NOW BEING FLOATED ON THE HILL

CLICK THE PIC TO SEND HER YOUR OWN LETTER AND TELL HER WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS AND HER CONDUCT

I am writing to express my opposition again, to any and all “cap and trade” global warming schemes, including the latest proposal being floated by Senators Kerry, Liebermann and Graham. Such bills are a very thinly disguised and massive energy tax that WILL destroy jobs, raise electricity and gasoline prices, and make America less competitive. Given the economic state of our nation, this bill should be roundly opposed and defeated-especially considering that a fast-growing majority of voters (57 percent) oppose cap-and-trade. This is not the time to saddle Americans with a bill that experts are predicting will cost billions and potentially dry up millions of jobs over the next 20 years!
I urge you to stand with the American people who oppose the carbon tax plan and as you are up for re-election, voting in favor of this bill will not bode well with the Washington State voters.  If you vote for this Bill, I will work tirelessly for your opponent plus contribute as much money as possible to their campaign to defeat you in November. I see your page no longer has the option of indicating whether I require a reply.  Well, I do.

Sam Lynn

NOTE: Same letter went to Senator Cantwell minus the November reference but a reference to her next election.

Below you will find Cantwell’s reply to my letter.  As you read it, you will see that she has total buy-in on all this junk climate science and is totally committed to furthering the lie by talking as if carbon dioxide is a pollutant and all the other “green” agenda crap in this latest edition of  Democrat/liberal/Marxist party line BS.  She is not deserving of re-election as I state in my reply.  Read it and see for yourself how disrespectful she is by insulting her constituents intelligence.  This is why the Dems can’t be trusted.  They would rather destroy our nation than walk away from this scam………..

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL, ANOTHER "PARTY-LINE" DEMOCRAT Click the pic to tell her what you think too.

SENATOR CANTWELL’S REPLY:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about climate change.  I appreciate hearing from you on what I believe is the preeminent environmental challenge facing our generation and sincerely regret the delayed response.

As you know, scientists have determined that the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, will cause the Earth’s climate to warm, potentially leading to greater occurrences of droughts, floods, and other catastrophic natural disasters.  In Washington, climate change is expected to alter the region’s historic water cycle, threatening drinking water supplies, wildlife and salmon habitat, and the availability of emissions free hydropower.  In fact, researchers project that the annual average temperature in the Pacific Northwest will rise about 2 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2020s and April 1 snowpack could decrease as much as 40% in Washington State by the 2040s.  Considering these potentially serious environmental and economic consequences, I believe that the United States must urgently address this matter, in partnership with the rest of the world.

One of my top priorities as a U.S. Senator has been to fight for legislation to promote the production of renewable energy, incentivize energy efficiency, develop clean technology industries, and protect our environment. While these energy measures provide critical tools necessary to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we also need federal legislation that establishes scientifically based emissions caps. Unfortunately, I have concerns about the cap-and-trade climate measures that have dominated Congressional debate to date because they unfairly penalize the Pacific Northwest’s decades-old reliance on emissions free hydropower.  In addition, they do not recognize that our state’s hydropower system is mature and won’t be able to add much more capacity in coming years, thus any future electricity generation will likely be relatively more polluting.  Some legislative proposals would also effectively penalize Washington State for its years of aggressive energy efficiency measures, making any additional savings more costly for Washington State relative to other parts of the country. Finally, I have strong concerns that some cap-and-trade proposals could provide windfalls to historic greenhouse gas emitters, or allow excessive speculation and manipulation of emission allocation trading markets.  For decades, Washingtonians have been on the cutting edge of clean energy solutions and energy efficiency, setting an example for the rest of the nation.  I have been committed to working with my colleagues to craft legislation that will cut our greenhouse gas emissions without punishing low carbon intensity states.

With that in mind, on December 11, 2009, I authored and introduced bipartisan legislation with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that will put a predictable price on carbon, reduce our nation’s dangerous over-dependence on fossil fuels, and mitigate the threat of global warming.  This bill will accelerate our nation’s urgently needed transition to a clean energy economy, helping ensure America’s leadership in the largest market opportunity of the 21st century while protecting the vast majority of Americans from higher energy prices.

The Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act (S. 2877) gradually limits the amount of fossil fuels entering the U.S. economy by requiring fossil fuel producers and importers to bid at an auction for permits to place their product into commerce. Out of the money raised at the auction, three-fourths goes directly back to every American, and one-fourth goes toward clean energy investment. Eventually, as the amount of carbon allowed into the market declines over time and spending increases in other greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts, the CLEAR Act will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, and by over 80 percent before 2050.

Many Americans are rightfully concerned about rising energy bills during America’s transition to a clean energy economy.  That’s why the CLEAR Act is rooted in protecting consumers, with most of the monthly carbon auctions going straight to your pockets.  This monthly dividend, made out to each American on an equal per capita basis, ensures all but the wealthiest ten percent of Washingtonians (who use the most energy) do not lose money but instead come out ahead.  A typical family of four would receive tax-free monthly checks averaging $1,100 per year, or up to $21,000 between 2012 and 2030.

The remaining quarter of auction revenues are directed to a dedicated trust, the Clean Energy Reinvestment Trust (CERT) Fund, to accelerate the nation’s urgently needed transition to a cleaner 21st century energy system and meet other climate change-related priorities. These priorities include clean energy R&D, low income weatherization assistance, reductions of greenhouse gases in the forestry and agricultural sectors, and needs-based, regionally-targeted assistance for communities and workers transitioning to a clean energy economy.

The CLEAR Act invests in America’s future by positioning the United States as a global leader in clean energy expansion, creating jobs and recharging our economy at home.  With the right policies, millions of green jobs will be created, strengthening our economy, international competitiveness and nation’s infrastructure.  The longer we wait to tackle energy independence and carbon pollution, the larger the economic and social costs of adapting to climate change will grow.  Our time of renewal is now, and I plan to continue pushing the most effective policies to create a cleaner, more diverse and secure 21st century energy system.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov .  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

MY REPLY BACK TO HER:

This is not an acceptable answer in any way shape or form.  I will post your “party-line” reply for my readers to digest.  You will not have my support or vote in your next election cycle because of you position on this issue.  You are basing your actions on what has been proven to be “junk-science” at best, and outright lies and deception at its worst and you are going to attempt to shove this down your constituents’ throats in spite of the overwhelming and convincing evidence to the contrary.  It is my opinion that you are not representing your Constituency in a competent, prudent and honest manner and as such, are not deserving of re-election.  I know for a fact that there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who feel the same way as I and who also will not be voting for your re-election.

2 Comments

(UPDATED WITH REPLY) ATTENTION WASHINGTON TAX PAYERS AND VOTERS – DEB WALLACE (17th DISTRICT) VOTES IN FAVOR OF NEW TAXES

Can we trust her? Click the pic to go to the Bill

Hold on to your wallets, our State Legislature has taken matters into their own hands, and as typical tax and spend Democrats, have enacted new taxes in order to close the state budget gap.  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND NOT RAISING TAXES?!?!?  As the reply to my letter to Deb Wallace on 26 Feb she stated, “Thank you for your message regarding tax increases. I want you to know that I will not support any effort to increase taxes or create new ones.  Our unemployment rate is already very high and the state must live within its means just as families in our state must do. Thank you for taking the time to write and please stay in touch.  Deb, Deb Wallace, State Representative,17th Legislative District.”  So as indicated by the information below, she voted in favor of this bill raising taxes.

Click HERE for the story

ESSB 6444
Operating supp budget 2010
House vote on Final Passage as Amended by the House
3/5/2010
Yeas: 55   Nays: 43   Absent: 0   Excused: 0

Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Blake, Carlyle, Chase, Clibborn, Cody, Conway, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Ericks, Finn, Flannigan, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Hurst, Jacks, Kagi, Kenney, Kessler, Kirby, Liias, Linville, Maxwell, McCoy, Miloscia, Moeller, Morrell, Morris, Nelson, O’Brien, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Quall, Roberts, Rolfes, Santos, Sells, Springer, Sullivan, Takko, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Wallace, White, Wood, and Mr. Speaker
Voting Nay: Representatives Alexander, Anderson, Angel, Armstrong, Bailey, Campbell, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dammeier, DeBolt, Driscoll, Ericksen, Fagan, Haler, Herrera, Hinkle, Hope, Johnson, Kelley, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Nealey, Orcutt, Parker, Pearson, Priest, Probst, Roach, Rodne, Ross, Schmick, Seaquist, Shea, Short, Simpson, Smith, Taylor, Walsh, Warnick, and Williams
Absent:
Excused:

My letter to her today:

As outlined in my e-mail letter to you on Feb 24, 2010, I stated some reasons why we Washingtonians should not be hit with higher taxes, your reply on Feb 26, 2010 was and I quote, “Hi Sam, Thank you for your message regarding tax increases. I want you to know that I will not support any effort to increase taxes or create new ones.  Our unemployment rate is already very high and the state must live within its means just as families in our state must do. Thank you for taking the time to write and please stay in touch.  Deb, Deb Wallace, State Representative,17th Legislative District”

As I look at the roll call on ESSB 6444 Operating support budget 2010, I see you voted in favor of these tax increases.  Can you explain to me and my readers why you went back on your word? We voters want to know why you did not keep your word as outlined in your above reply, which I posted along with the original letter I sent.  We will be looking forward to your explanation as to why we cannot take you at your word.  You have proven to us in bold black and white, in your own words that you are not to be trusted.  I for one will not vote for you come your next election cycle.  In addition to that I will contribute as much funds as I can and I will work tirelessly for the conservative that steps up to challenge your seat.  I will be posting this letter and whatever replies I get from your office in explanation of your actions.  And please, tell me if I am in error on this issue if in fact you did not vote for this Bill.

DEB WALLACE REPLY:

Hi again. Thank you for staying in touch on these issues which are so important to the people in Washington state.
I’m sure you are wondering what my vote was about.  I have worked the past several weeks with the legislators who are the budget writers to make significant budget cuts. I have also listened to countless people (visiting, phone calls and emails) from our district who don’t want to see more reductions in their home health care, basic education, reduction in prison beds, college financial aid, to name just a few.
We took over $4 billion in budget reductions in 2009 and the House budget that I supported would cut another $1.3 billion more this year.  Although I understand your concern and anger I represent more than 130,000 people in our district and many have weighed in to say we need to retain vital services. Believe me, many of the people in our district are very unhappy that we will have taken over $5 billion in cuts this biennium and added less than $1 billion in revenue.
When I weighed the elements considered in the House revenue bill I felt that the type of increases (sales tax on bottled water and candy to name a few, eliminating tax incentives) will not unduly hurt people in our district but that the revenue will help stave off the damage to people that further cuts would make.
I can appreciate your concern.  I was also not willing to vote “No” when after the work I’ve done I now think the right decision in this case was to support a balanced approach.
As for you and your future vote; that is exactly why we have elections and that’s our accountability.  I honor and respect that and I am happy that you vote and that you make informed decisions that work for you.
I will look closely at the final budget when it’s worked out between the House and Senate.  We don’t know what will be included yet so I don’t know how I will vote.  I am not supportive for instance of a general sales tax increase.

Take care and I invite you to stay in touch.  Deb

TYPICAL DEMOCRAT POLITICIAN GARBAGE, SAY ANYTHING TO JUSTIFY YOUR ACTIONS……………Vote her out!!

1 Comment

(UPDATED 030710) WA. SENATE BILL 6396 – WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATORS ATTEMPTING TO BAN ALL SEMI-AUTOMATIC GUNS AND ALLOW THE SHERIFF TO COME INTO YOUR HOUSE TO INSPECT YOUR STORAGE OF THESE GUNS IF YOU HAVE THEM

IS THIS WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT OUT OF OUR DEMOCRAT STATE LEGISLATURE? ONLY A TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT WOULD ENACT SUCH DRACONIAN LEGISLATION.

The Liberal/Marxist/Socialists who plan to sponsor the bill are Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina; Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle; and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.  I urge all to write them and tell them that even though you are not one of their Constituents, you will contribute to their opponent come next election, whomever that will be.  But to be sure, there WILL be opponents!

Click the links below to go to each one these peoples web site and click the pic to go to the story.

JEANNE KOHL-WELLES – 36TH DISTRICT (WA-D)

ADAM CLINE-37TH DISTRICT (WA-D)

Check out his bio on his web page and you will read some interesting things about him.  He was a lawyer (Ambulance chaser)  a pro-bono Lawyer for the ACLU, and a board member and chair of the political-action committee of NARAL, the pro-choice advocacy group that supported the Obama Presidential campaign.  No wonder he wants our guns…………..

ROSS HUNTER-48TH DISTRICT (WA-D)

HR 6396 WA ASSAULT GUN BAN I have read this HR and I have to say it is the most draconian, out of line, over the top, extremist, Marxist piece of legislation I have ever read.  To say that it is the Clinton Assault Gun Ban revisited is a complete understatement!!  Click the link and read it for yourself.

MY LETTER TO MY 17TH DISTRICT REPS:

Do I really need to tell you how bad this bill is? As dreadful and tragic the deaths of the people this bill references, you cannot ban a “type” of gun simply because it is a semi-auto. This is nothing more than an attempt to grab guns in the name of safety because some lunatic who was bent on killing someone, did it with a gun that some people don’t “approve” of. The 2nd Amendment is inviolate and attempted bans of this nature have always met with defeat. As you constituent, I am informing you that I do not support this bogus Bill and encourage you to not support it in any way. What will be next, a ban on baseball bats the next time someone kills someone with one of those? I will be following your voting record on this and I want to inform you that if you support this Bill in any way, I will not support you in any bid for re-election and I will work tirelessly for your opponent who is attempting to unseat you.

2nd LETTER TO STATE AND FEDERAL REPS   –   011710

Do I really need to tell you how bad this bill is? As dreadful and tragic as the recent deaths are, this “knee-jerk” type of legislation is not the answer and goes a long way to demonstrate that at a minimum, the Democrats in the Washington State Senate do not have any intention of protecting the 2nd Amendment.  It is my understanding that in the case of the Police Officers at the “Coffee Shop”, the primary weapon used was a revolver, and it was emptied. It is being reported that only 2 shots were fired from what is traditionally considered to be a semi-auto hand gun.  I have completely reviewed the language in this Bill and I as a law abiding citizen, find it appalling and completely out of line.  Section 1.(20)outlines the definition of “Assault Weapons” and as it is written, outlaws many rifles, shotguns and pistols that are in wide use by all manners of Sportsmen and Citizens of this state.  To think that this legislation would have any real, meaningful, effective effect on criminals is simply delusional on the part of the authors and supporters of this Bill.  This Bill is a nothing more than a very thinly veiled attempt at a blatant gun grab in Washington State.  Section 2 (5)(a) gives authorization for the local Sheriffs Office to come into your home and conduct an inspection of your gun storage to determine compliance with this law.  This is outrageous and I am shocked that anyone who values Democracy and the right to the citizens privacy would even suggest such actions. Furthermore, in reviewing Section 3, Table 2, I am amazed at how comprehensive the list of crimes is.  It appears that the only crime not included in the seriousness levels are minor traffic infractions.  Is the intent of this section to enable the State to be able to categorize all citizens as violators of this law, enabling the “lawful” gun grab?  It seems so.  These examples that I have listed is just the tip of the iceberg in reviewing this Bill.  It is rife with draconian rules and provisions.  This is the most offensive attack on the 2nd Amendment I have read in recent years.  It is so ill conceived, poorly crafted that it’s supposed intent is lost on the fact that it is nefarious and malevolent in nature and should not be allowed to come to the floor for vote.

I will tell you again, that if you support this Bill in any way shape or form, I will find it absolutely impossible to support you in your upcoming re-election.  Not only will I not support you, I will work tirelessly for the conservative opponent vying for your seat.  Not only that, I will encourage everyone to send money to your opponent so as to amass a large bankroll to use against you in their campaign in the run-up to election.  I require a response from you on this matter.

REP DEB WALLACE, 17th DISTRICT REP REPLY 012010;

Thank you for writing about the bills that are again threatening our second amendment rights.  I can assure you that I will continue to do everything I am able to see these bills set aside.  I have been successful in the past in working with a select group of legislators on both sides of the aisle to ensure these bills don’t pass.  Thank you for taking the time to write and share your opinion to protect our rights.

Deb

3rd LETTER TO REPS minus Deb Wallace:

In reviewing HR 6396, I find it offensive in the extreme.  It blatantly violates the 2ND AMENDMENT OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS which states that “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. Which by the way was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. It blatantly violates THE 4TH AMENDMENT OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS which states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” It is also a violation of the Washington State Constitution which states “SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”  HR 6396 also unjustly categorizes a large type of weapons as “assault weapons” which are used by thousands of law abiding hunters who are voting citizens.  For example, a father teaching his kids how to shoot safely would be a felon if his Ruger 10/22 .22 cal rifle has more than 10 rounds in it.  A home defense shotgun that has a pistol grip would be illegal and give the advantage to the criminal breaking into your house, who by the way, is not abiding by this law.  This is patently ludicrous, out of line and places the citizens of this state at an unreasonable risk.  As it is already illegal to possess a fully automatic weapon in Washington State as outlined in RCW 9.41.220, I fail to see how this HR will have any effect on keeping the guns out of the hands of criminals.  The 10 round ammo limit is in no way going to deter anything.  As I stated in an earlier letter, the shooter involved in the Police Shooting in the coffee shop emptied a revolver, not a semi-auto pistol.  All this HR does is further violate the rights of the law-abiding citizens, who, by the way, vote, and does virtually nothing to keep the “Ugly Guns” out of the hands of the criminals.  There are enough laws on the books now that if enforced, would help stem the tide of guns getting into the hands of the lunatic criminals in our society.  Is it the intention of the Washington State Legislature to disarm us Washington voters so the criminals can have their way with us?  As a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon, if I have more than 10 rounds in my gun, I will be a felon.  Do you seriously think that the criminal is only going to have 10 rounds in his gun!?  I think not!

Along with many thousands of other voters, I will be watching this HR as it progresses through the Washington State Legislature closely.  If you vote in favor of this HR, I will find it impossible to vote for you come your next election cycle.  Not only will I not vote for you, I will work tirelessly for your opponent and will do all I can to raise moneys for their campaign.  In addition to that, I will also send money to the opponents who run for the seats of the authors of this HR.

UPDATE 012610 WA STATE SENATE HEARING ON THIS ON THIS DATE: The Wa. State Legislature had a public hearing on this today.  Click 6396 SBA JAN 26 HEARING for the official hearing document.  A friend of mine was able to go to the hearing today.  I am awaiting his report. I will post what I find out from him as soon as I get it.

UPDATE 012710: SEATTLE TIMES ARTICLE ON THIS BILL

As this article states, it looks like we may be able to win this, however, we still need to contact our District Reps and tell them NOT to vote in favor of this Bill.  We may be able to meke sure this monstrosity of a Bill never gets out of committee.

UPDATE 012810:  I went around to the local gun shops here in town and was relieved to find out that all of them are all over this bad Bill.  I was informed that our Reps have seen the light and are working to set this Bill aside.  This is great news.  However, if you have not added your voice to this, please still tell your Reps not to vote in favor of this Bill.  Its not over till its over…….

UPDATE 030710: This bill has not moved out of the Judiciary Committee.

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SENATOR MARIA CANTWELLS (REALLY LATE) RESPONCE TO MY LETTER REGARDING HR 675 AUTHORIZING DOD POLICE EXPANDED POWERS

CLICK THE PIC TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL POST

Thank you for contacting me to share your views on H.R. 675. I appreciate hearing from you on this legislation, and I regret the delayed response.  As you know, Representative Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced H.R. 675 on January 26, 2009. If enacted, this legislation would allow the Secretary of Defense to authorize a Department of Defense officer to: (1) execute or serve a warrant; (2) make an arrest without a warrant for any offense committed in the presence of the officer; and (3) carry firearms. H.R. 675 has been referred to both House Judiciary and House Armed Services Committees where it awaits further consideration. There is no companion legislation in the Senate at this time. I believe we must balance our national security and civil liberties. We can achieve both through strong oversight to prevent potential abuses of power. The federal government has a responsibility to protect our national security. It also has a responsibility to respect our civil liberties and honor our privacy. These principles are not mutually exclusive: we can and must achieve both. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as my colleagues and I debate these critical issues. Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

 

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LATEST RESPONSE AND OPINION FROM MARIA CANTWELL ON HEALTH CARE REFORM – IN HER OWN WORDS……

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She is convinced that the unconstitutional government takeover of the health care system is the right thing to do....WOW.....

As is my practice to publish all letters I write and letters I get back from my Legislators verbatim,  you will read below that she is “convinced” that the government takeover of the health care system is the right thing to do.  Read it for yourself.  I have highlighted her statement…….  She must be defeated come here next election cycle.  Maybe THEN when she is in the unemployment line, she will understand when we say “no” we mean “no“. 

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Thank you for contacting me about comprehensive health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. The volume of letters I have received so far this year concerning health care reform has made it difficult to respond in a more timely fashion. I sincerely regret it has taken me so long to get back to you, and I assure you the letters you write are important to me.

As you know, the Senate Finance Committee approved health care reform legislation on October 13, 2009. This legislation, titled America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009 (S. 1796), helps make health care affordable, reduces the federal deficit by $81 billion, guarantees that patients can choose which doctor they want to see, and helps make high-quality, affordable health care coverage available to all Americans.

On July 15, 2009, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved its health reform legislation, titled The Affordable Health Choices Act (S. 1679). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is currently working to combine these two pieces of legislation to create a single bill for the Senate floor. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives is working on its version of health reform legislation, which will be conferenced with the Senate’s final bill and voted on again by each chamber before being sent to President Obama.

America’s current health care system is unsustainable. The cost of health care is skyrocketing at more than twice the rate of general inflation, millions of Americans can no longer afford adequate coverage, and more than 14,000 people lose their health insurance each day. Health insurance premiums have increased 120 percent over the last ten years, and are expected to double again in the next ten years. Sixty-two percent of all personal bankruptcies are the result of medical expenses and 80 percent of these occur in families who already have health insurance. Out of control health care costs must be addressed, and the America’s Healthy Futures Act offers commonsense solutions to significantly reduce the cost of health care.

The America’s Healthy Futures Act offers reforms that will help bring about the needed reductions in the cost of health care while reducing the federal deficit without limiting benefit packages or access to a person’s doctor of choice or disrupting or limiting private health insurance options.

The America’s Healthy Future Act contains my proposal to create a value-index to adjust how Medicare pays health care providers to incentivize high-quality care. Under the current system, doctors are paid strictly by the number of services they provide to patients without regard to how their patient’s health improves. My value-index provision puts the focus back on patient health, paying doctors more when they provide better care to their patients. The director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office stated that this value-index provision is the most significant long-term cost reduction included in any of the health reform bills.

I am convinced that a robust public option would provide Americans with increased choice and competition in the private insurance market and would drive down costs for every American. Currently, 94 percent of America’s insurance markets are dominated by just one or two insurance companies and do not have the competition we need to lower costs and improve coverage. During the Finance Committee debate, I was a cosponsor of an amendment to include a robust public option as part of America’s Healthy Future Act and voted twice to add a public option to the bill. While neither of these amendments passed in committee, I will continue to support reasonably constructed public plan options to ensure that the insurance companies stay honest and accountable.

Included as part of America’s Healthy Future Act is my Basic Health proposal, which enables states to negotiate with the insurance industry on behalf of their low-income residents for lower cost, higher quality health care. The Basic Health Plan, modeled after Washington State’s Basic Health Plan, moves us toward the goal of covering the uninsured and spurring competition to drive down health care costs. By allowing states to negotiate, coverage will be more affordable and will save taxpayer dollars. In Washington State, we have seen between 35 and 40 percent cost savings through the Basic Health Plan when compared to comparable benefit packages in the private market. This Basic Health model provides a clear way to offer low-income Americans high-quality, affordable health coverage.

I believe Congress must reform our health care system. My goal is to have legislation emerge from the Senate floor that controls health care costs, improves the quality of health care, and helps to cover hard-working Americans who cannot afford coverage on their own. While there remain significant details to be worked out, reform is more necessary now than ever. I am convinced we can help provide the quality health care system our economy and our workforce need while stabilizing our nation’s long-term finances.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Maria Cantwell

United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at

http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

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SENATOR PATTY MURRAY’S RESPONSE TO MY LATEST LETTER ON HEALTH CARE REFORM

She IS NOT listening is she??

She IS NOT listening is she??

Thank you for writing me to share your thoughts on health care reform. It is good to hear from you.

Health care reform is one of the most critical issues facing our nation. Our current health care system is unstable and unsustainable. Too many people do not have health care coverage and many of those who have coverage are worried about losing it in this uncertain economy. Businesses and families are finding it harder and harder to deal with increasing health care premiums.

In addition, Washington state family budgets cannot sustain the continual rise in health care costs and hidden taxes in the form of rising premiums to cover the uninsured. If we do not get health care costs under control, local, state and federal government budgets will have to take on the weight of rising health care costs. While health care reform may require an initial cost investment, I strongly believe that it will pay off in the long term and the cost letting the system become more unstable is much greater. Without reform to our health care system, premiums will continue to rise, coverage will become more uncertain, businesses will lose competitiveness and it will be harder for Americans to have access to care.

After months of hearings and over 50 hours of public markups, I was pleased that on July 15th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed the Affordable Health Choices Act. The Affordable Health Choices Act lays out policy changes for health care reform in America. This package works to rein in health care costs with a goal of lowering them in the long term and ensure that all Americans have access to high quality, affordable health care coverage. It allows those who like their health insurance to keep it and provides options to those who do not have access to health insurance coverage.

This bill includes provisions to implement several key health insurance reforms. For example, insurance companies would no longer be able to refuse coverage to individuals due to preexisting conditions, patients’ out-of-pocket expenses would be limited and all annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage would be eliminated.

On September 9th, President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and outlined what American families and businesses know all too well: our current health care system is simply unsustainable. In fact, the largest private insurer in Washington state raised premiums by seventeen percent last month. It is clear that doing nothing will solve nothing and the status quo is the most expensive option.

The passage of the Affordable Health Choices Act out of the HELP Committee is a major step in the longer process of health care reform. On October 13th, the Senate Finance Committee passed their health care reform proposal, America’s Healthy Futures Act. I am glad that the Finance Committee has produced a bill and now the Affordable Health Choices Act will need to be combined with this legislation in the future. This will take a lot of work and compromise, but at the end of the day we all have the same goal of lowering the cost of health care for American families and businesses.

As the Senate moves forward on health care reform legislation, I will be weighing the many concerns that I am hearing from constituents all across Washington state. As this effort continues, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind. You can find more information on my Website at http://murray.senate.gov/healthcarereform/.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this important issue. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Please keep in touch.

I hope all is well in Vancouver.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray

United States Senator

MY REPLY;

This is the same reply I got from you last time. This is unacceptable. You are on the wrong path on this issue as I stated and I reiterate, I will not support you and I will work tirelessly for whomever runs for your seat come your next election. You need to listen to your constituents, after all, WE’RE YOUR EMPLOYER!!

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SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL’S RESPONCE TO MY LETTER EXPRESSING MY CONCERNS ABOUT THE “CZARS”

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SHE TELLS US ONE THING, THEN DOES ANOTHER. IS THIS SOMEONE WE CAN TRUST TO RUN THE COUNTRY ANY LONGER?

Thank you for contacting me regarding the appointment of presidential advisors. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

As you may know, the term “czar” is an informal term used by the media to refer to a number of positions within the Executive Branch of the Federal government. The term has been informally applied to presidential advisors since the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The term has been applied to a wide variety of positions including: Director of National Drug Control Policy, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, among others. Many of the positions, including the previous three, are long-standing, Senate-confirmed positions. At other times the term has been applied to ad-hoc positions, such as the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, that are created to advise the President on specific issues.

I take my congressional oversight responsibility extremely seriously. Before I vote on any nominee, I undertake a thorough review of his/her record and qualifications. Moreover, the President’s advisors, administrators, and cabinet members are regularly called before Congress to testify. Please be assured that I will continue to press for strong oversight of the decisions and policies implemented by the Obama Administration.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Maria Cantwell

United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at

http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

ADDENDUM 092409:  Click HERE for the real truth of the matter.  It’s not what she says……….

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CONGRESSMAN BRIAN BAIRD’S RESPONSE TO MY LETTER OUTLINING MY DISPLEASURE WITH CONGRESS’S HEALTH CARE PLAN

This guy is a discrace and needs to be unemployed as soon as possible.

This guy is a discrace and needs to be unemployed as soon as possible.

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts and concerns regarding health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, before entering Congress I spent 23 years of my life working as a health care professional. Based on this experience and the past decade representing Southwest Washington, I recognize that addressing the current health care crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. Our health care system suffers from three key problems: access, cost, and quality outcomes. Millions of Americans lack health care coverage, yet as a nation we spend more per capita on health care than any other nation, while often the outcomes trail other nations.

In Southwest Washington alone, the financial and personal repercussions of the existing inadequate system are devastating. Each year in our state unmanageable health care costs harm countless lives, health care providers deliver millions of dollars in uncompensated care, and thousands of individuals remain uninsured. Nationwide, as many as 14,000 Americans are losing their health insurance each day, and by 2018 health care spending is expected to reach $4.4 trillion, or over one-fifth of the national economy. These costs affect all Americans, not only those who lack coverage. Bearing this information in mind, I believe we must act. To do nothing would be to ignore our responsibility to future Americans.

Although I believe the current situation necessitates health care reform, I also recognize that legislation of this magnitude requires the opportunity for thorough examination. For this reason, I have continued to work to ensure a deliberative and open process, insisting on time for my colleagues and me to read the proposed legislation in full, and time for the people we represent to learn and comment on any proposals. I fought to keep this bill from coming to the House floor for a vote before Members of Congress had a chance to take the legislation home for an active dialogue with constituents. To this end, I held five town hall meetings throughout Southwest Washington in August and heard from thousands of constituents at these and other forums. I am grateful for the opportunity this time afforded to hear the concerns and ideas of such a large number of people, many of whom expressed concerns similar to your own. In addition, I met with experts from all aspects of the health care field to discuss their views on proposed legislation.

These town hall meetings gave me the opportunity to dispel myths about the proposed legislation and to hear real and serious concerns about health care reform. Yet I also came away from these forums convinced that the status quo is unacceptable, and the costs of inaction are severe. With that said, my support for reform depends on the quality of the proposal that emerges. There are specific items I believe any health care reform legislation must include.

o Americans currently satisfied with their health care coverage must be able to retain it in full without penalty.

o Insurance providers must be prohibited from denying coverage to individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions.

o This legislation must reduce health insurance costs while addressing the tens of millions of uninsured Americans.

o The legislation must help small businesses and the self-employed obtain affordable health insurance coverage.

o The final legislation must not add to the national debt and thus must be fully paid for.

o Any public insurance option must be self-sustaining and not unfairly cross-subsidized by other government revenue.

Additionally, I am concerned about the number of doctors who do not accept Medicare patients. Many doctors in our region are forced to turn Medicare patients away because Medicare payments in our state are much lower than elsewhere in the nation. Some have even moved their practices to other states where they will receive a higher per-patient reimbursement from Medicare. I have been working in Congress to resolve this inequity and ensure that doctors in Washington State are treated fairly. I am also concerned about providers accepting a greater number of Medicare patients at cost to the quality of care. Over time, incentivizing quality care will cut costs to the system by encouraging more effective treatment.

Health care costs are growing at an unsustainable rate for the American people. I believe we must reform our broken health care system, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the people of Southwest Washington over the coming weeks to draft legislation that will provide every American access to affordable health insurance.

MY COMMENT:  Does it matter that this whole debacle is unconstitutional and is something that Congress should not be messing with???  IT DOES TO ME!!

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