Category Archives: Congress

Larson fell short of his dreams

Congressman John Larson told  The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, that when he was young, ““I dreamed of playing sports [professionally]. Baseball always had a greater allure, but I loved football too. Realistically, I wanted to be a [high school] teacher and a coach.”

There’s no denying that playing professional baseball is way cooler than being a congressman. 

 [Larson later became a high school history teacher and coached basketball, baseball, and football before becoming a member of Congress.]

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Filed under baseball, Congress, football, John Larson, The Hill

Larson to take global warming junket

REP. LARSON JOINS SPEAKER PELOSI ON CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

TO ADDRESS SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING

WASHINGTON- Today, Congressman John B. Larson announced that he is participating in a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to Greenland, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium to meet with leading scientists and political leaders working on solutions to combat global warming lead by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.   Earlier this year Larson was appointed by Pelosi to serve on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 

“Global warming and energy dependence are probably two of the most important issues facing the future of our planet,” said Larson.  “This is a unique opportunity to see the global impacts of global warming and meet with global leaders that are addressing global warming in effective and innovative ways. This issue has been ignored for far too long and now it is time for serious solutions and action and I am proud to be a part.”

Congress is drafting wide-ranging legislation on energy independence by July 4 and global warming later this year. Pelosi also created the Select Committee Energy Independence and Global Warming to promote greater understanding of the problem. 

The Congressional Delegation is made up of other members of the Select Committee, including Chairman Ed Markey of Massachusetts; Congresswoman Hilda Solis of California ; Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota; Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon; and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.  Congressman David Hobson of Ohio, Ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee is also traveling.

The bipartisan delegation will be traveling to Greenland and is scheduled to meet with Dr. Konrad Steffen, who is the lead scientist at Swiss Camp located on the Jakobshavn Glacier.  In Europe, the delegation is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, foreign and environmental ministers, members of parliament and leading environmentalists and scientists.

Because of the significance of this trip, the air travel will be carbon offset through the Pacific Forest Trust – a forest conservation and stewardship project that will permanently reduce approximately 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period.  The Speaker will personally pay for this effort.

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Filed under Congress, Environment, global warming, John Larson, Nancy Pelosi, News

Gas prices sure to fall; Larson against price gouging

LARSON VOTES TO CRACK DOWN ON PRICE GOUGINGBill supported by Rep. Larson Passes House; takes important step to end price gouging 


WASHINGTON – As Americans approach Memorial Day and the summer driving season, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1) joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and voted to approve new mechanisms to fight record high gas prices. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Larson voted for legislation to crack down on gas price gouging and OPEC state-controlled entities that conspire to limit the supply or fix the price of oil. Larson’s vote comes as families in
Connecticut are paying an average of $3.27 a gallon for gasoline.  This is more than a 116% spike from when President Bush took office in 2001.  
 

“Families in
Connecticut are feeling a serious pinch at the pump,”
said Congressman Larson. “I was proud to support legislation that will help crack down on price gouging and punish those who attempt to fix the price of oil.  The American people have paid enough.”
 

On Tuesday, the House approved H.R. 2264 to authorize the Justice Department to take legal action against OPEC state-controlled entities that participate in conspiracies to limit the supply, or fix the price, of oil. Nations or organizations that limit oil supply can artificially inflate the cost of gas and hurt American consumers.   

On Wednesday, the House approved The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, H.R. 1252, of which Congressman Larson is a co-sponsor, which would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate and punish companies that artificially inflate the price of gas. The bill sets criminal penalties for price gouging, and permits states to bring lawsuits against wholesalers or retailers who engage in such practices. 

While a bipartisan majority in Congress supports these bills, President Bush has threatened to veto both pieces of legislation. 

“As the summer driving season approaches, too many families are being forced to choose between a bag of groceries and a gallon of gas,” Larson added. “President Bush is wrong to oppose these bills and I urge him to join us in our efforts to bring down the cost of gasoline.” 

The high cost for families come as oil companies continue to prosper. The six largest oil companies announced $30 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2007.  This is on top of the $125 billion in record profits they made in 2006. 

In addition to the legislation approved this week, in the first 100 Hours of the 110th Congress, the Democratic Congress has already voted to roll back $14 billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil companies and reinvest the money in clean, alternative fuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Democrats are also developing an Independence Day package to boldly address energy independence and global warming by rapidly expanding the production of clean, alternative fuels and increasing energy efficiency, which will help protect our environment and bring down the cost of fuel for American consumers.

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Filed under Big Oil, Congress, Energy, fuel, gasoline prices, John Larson, price gouging

‘Star Wars’ gets boost from Rep. Larson

Some peace activists are extremely unhappy with Congressman John Larson’s support for funding anti-missile defense programs.

Take a look, for example at this blog, which includes this passage:

In the House of Representatives last week Democratic Party Congress members lead the way to approve money for Star Wars research and development programs in the fiscal year 2008 budget.

Rejecting the recommendations of a sub-committee, Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and John Larson (D-CT) restored $150 million to Pentagon boost phase missile defense programs, $48 million for future missile defense systems, including space sensors, $12 million more for sea-based sensors and language to allow $160 million for a highly controversial European missile defense site.

Joyfully cheering these moves to ensure continuation of space weapons research and development programs, a pro-space warfare organization called Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) reported in an email that, “This shift of priorities from last week’s initial Strategic Subcommittee’s markup shows a bipartisan movement accepted by a Democratic Majority to put forward systems to address future threats and to continue to invest into our countries most advanced boost phase missile defense system, the Air Borne Laser. “

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Filed under Air Born Laser, Congress, Ellen Tauscher, John Larson, missile defense, News, Star Wars

Larson: Strip Bush of his war power to wage war

REP. LARSON REAFFIRMS REVOKING PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY TO WAGE WAR 

WASHINGTON- Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1) issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Senator Robert Byrd yesterday that would revoke the President’s authority to wage war:

“I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate have raised the issue of revoking President Bush’s authority to wage war.  The President callously and carelessly entered this war.  Clearly, things have gotten worse and not better. We cannot afford to have a President that continues to abuse his authority and not listen to the Congress or the will of the American people.  Taking this action would be another important step to keep the pressure on the President.   Congress also needs to look to address the Congressional War Powers Act to ensure that this kind of an abuse of power never occurs again.  In March, I introduced similar legislation in the House and hope that we can work together to take this critical step that can aid in ending this war.”

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Filed under Congress, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, John Larson, Politics, President Bush, Robert Byrd, war, war powers

Rep. John Larson blasts Bush on veto

I think John Larson, our congressman, is right in pushing for an end to this war. Bush needs to compromise so we can pull out with at least some honor and dignity intact. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2007

LARSON STATEMENT ON BUSH VETO OF IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

 WASHINGTON- Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement recognizing the four year anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and President Bush’s veto this afternoon of the Iraq Accountability Act.

“Four years ago today the President wrongly declared victory in Iraq. Four years later, thousands of lives lost, and billions of dollars spent, we still find ourselves in the midst of a quagmire in Iraq—and the situation is getting worse, not better. Yet, tonight, the President chose to veto the Iraq Accountability Act that would forge a new direction in Iraq, fund our troops at a greater level than the President requested, honor our commitment to our returning veterans, but most importantly start to bring our troops home in a safe and responsible way.

“This past November the American people sent us a strong message for change in Iraq. Unfortunately, through his veto President Bush has been derelict in his duty by allowing his own hubris and arrogance to trump the will of the American people. As long as this majority is in the House of Representatives, the President will not receive a blank check for a failed stay-the-course policy that sends our troops into harms way to police a sectarian civil war. It’s time for a new direction, not more of the same. Democrats stand ready to work with the President and Congressional Republicans to find common ground and create a new direction in Iraq.”

Congressman Larson is currently serving his fifth term representing the 1st District of Connecticut. He is also Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

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Filed under Congress, Iraq war, John Larson, President Bush, war

Congressman Larson gains key House position

Our congressman, John Larson, just got tapped as one of 10 Democrats who will serve on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He’ll no doubt do a lot of cheerleading for fuel cells, since they’re made hereabouts, but the position is much bigger than a bully pulpit for local interests.

“The work of the committee is going to be critical as global warming and energy dependence are probably two of the most important issues facing the future of our planet.  Global warming and our dependence on oil risk our economic security, our national security, and threaten our environment and public health,” Larson said, or at least his press release said he said it.

He continued, “In my district and throughout Connecticut, we have successfully expanded the use of fuel cell technology and I plan to bring this to the dialogue. This issue has been ignored for far too long and now it is time for serious solutions and action and I am proud to be a part.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fuel cells may be important, or they may not. Only time will tell, as they say.

But what is important is that the new commitee “will hold hearings and investigations locally, nationally, and internationally to gather the information needed to protect our national security and the environment.  It is charged with recommending to the Congress policies, strategies and other innovations to reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy and prevent global warming.”

They key is that men and women like Larson take that job seriously. These are perhaps the most serious issues our country faces – how to lessen the impact of global warming and make us less dependent on half-assed Arab states that hold us hostage with oil. No empire should have its lifeblood in the hands of kingdoms so fragile and far away. We need to break free.

Larson has a chance here to make a real difference to the course of our history, to shed his party boy image and to advocate  the kind of bold steps that can save us from a potentally dreary future of war and warmth. We do not have to blindly go forward on this same dark path. We can take a different direction.

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Filed under Congress, Energy, Environment, Foreign policy, global warming, Iraq war, John Larson, News, Politics