The Republican party in America is a joke. Where once could be found conservative ideals, today there is only corporatism. The modern-day Republican party is little more than a brothel wherein greedy self-serving opportunists service their corporate masters.
Don’t believe me?
Exhibit A: The “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011″ (Aka H.R.1) passed on 2011-02-19. All but three Republicans present voted for this bill, with only three voting No. Thankfully, not a single Democrat voted in favor of it, so at least we don’t have to hear how it was a bipartisan effort.
What has me so upset about this spending bill is not the cuts that the Grand Old Party has worked in. For one thing, I expect Republicans to cut money going to poor people and the middle class. I’m not surprised at all when they cut the free fresh fruit and vegetable to schools program from $76 Million to $0, or when they trim over $700 Billion from the WIC program. Standard operating procedure, really.
The thing that has me wondering how any self-respecting conservative can associate with the Republican Party is the many amendments tacked on to the bill that are nothing more than a favor to big business at the expense of our health and safety.
Last fall, the EPA passed their National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement Plants. (Available here.)
SUMMARY: EPA is finalizing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Portland Cement Plants.
The final amendments to the NESHAP add or revise, as applicable, emission limits for mercury, total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate matter (PM) from new and existing kilns located at major and area sources, and for hydrochloric acid (HCl) from new and existing kilns located at major sources. The standards for new kilns apply to facilities that commence construction, modification, or reconstruction after May 6, 2009.
The final amendments to the NSPS add or revise, as applicable, emission limits for PM, opacity, nitrogen oxides (NOX), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) for facilities that commence construction, modification, or reconstruction after June 16, 2008. The final rule also includes additional testing and monitoring requirements for affected sources.
These are new rules and regulations set forth by the EPA, as required by the Clean Air Act. Their purpose is stated clearly in the document.
[New Source Performance Standards] implement CAA section 111(b) and are issued for categories of sources which cause, or contribute significantly to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.
The text of H.R.1 contains the following section (and several others like it):
SEC. 4008. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the rule entitled ‘‘National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement Plants’’ published by the Environmental Protection Agency on September 9, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 54970 et 21 seq.).
This section of the bill was inserted as Amendment 88 by Representative John Carter of Texas. The purpose of this amendment is simply (as far as I can discern) to stop the EPA from enforcing the rule they passed last fall. The one that limits the amount of toxic waste a portland cement plant can spew into the environment.
This is not about curbing spending, this is about bowing down to corporate masters.
You see, it’s no coincidence that the Texas Lehigh Cement Company, which produces over 1 million tons of portland cement every year, is located within Representative John Carter’s district.
Representative John Carter of Texas has decided that the economic well being of the Texas Lehigh cement Company is more important than the health of the surrounding population. Predictably, the rest of the Republicans in the House agree with him.
There are several more examples of this sort of blatant disregard for the public’s well being in the “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011,” blocking the spending of already appropriated money on things such as regulating greenhouse gasses, reporting the sale of multiple shotguns and/or rifles to the same person, and providing a publicly-accesible database of dangerous consumer products.
The list goes on.
I propose an amendment that forces us all to shut the hell up about the Republican Party and until they change their business-first mentality call them by their rightful name, the Corporatism Party.
The ayes have it.