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Meanwhile in D.C...
Congressman John Campbell's weekly message from inside the Beltway

[John Campbell] 3/15/06

I started writing weekly "from my laptop to yours" columns while I was in the State Legislature over 5 years ago. Sometimes, I would struggle to figure out what of any significance happened in Sacramento on a given week that was worthy of your time to read.

Not so in Washington. This is one busy place with lots of stuff going on. Rather than leave anything out, this week I will give you brief reviews of a number of events from your nation's capital:


John Campbell (R-Irvine) is a Member of Congress representing 48th Congressional district [Orange County, California]. He can be reached through his Congressional website. [go to Campbell index]

Economy: Nancy Pelosi's talking points would have you believe that the economy is in a terrible mess under "Republican rule". Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 243,000 new jobs were created last month. Since May 2003, almost 5 million new jobs have been created. Additionally, unemployment is only 4.8% (that is lower than the averages for the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s); GDP and productivity are rising by over 3% annually (best since the 60's for productivity); and after-tax incomes are up 5.4% in the last 12 months. The economy is doing really well. The tax cuts, free trade and overseas investment, so much decried by the other side of the aisle, have worked. We should not forget that.

Children's Safety Act of 2006: I can remember months of debate in Sacramento about the posting of information about child sex offenders on the Internet. This debate was usually followed by no action. But here in just a few weeks, the House overwhelmingly passed a new bill which requires offender registrations be published online in each state and creates new federal penalties for non-registration. This will also make it less likely that we lose track of an offender moving from state to state. Good thing.

Budget Proposal: A group called the Republican Study Committee made up of Members of Congress, including this member, released a budget proposal on Wednesday. This is the budget we should pass. It is patterned after the first budget passed by Congress after Republicans took control in 1994. It balances the budget in 5 years; increases spending, but by less than population plus inflation and revenue growth; eliminates 150 federal programs; significantly restructures 3 cabinet agencies; repeals the Davis-Bacon Act which requires a prevailing wage rate on federal construction jobs; and does all kinds of other good stuff. We will see how much of this makes it into the final budget.

Food Labeling: Just yesterday, we passed a bill that requires federal uniformity of food labeling. This is in response to states (including California, as I have personally witnessed) trying to beat each other with more and more labeling on food products for every substance that the legislature may believe you ought to know about. If this trend continued, your favorite box of animal cookies would have to be produced in 50 different versions to meet each state's pet peeve requirement. This bill puts this authority with the Food and Drug Administration which is why we have that department. This is not the only area where we need to protect interstate commerce with federal uniformity. I remember a bill in the legislature that would have required that separate cell phones be produced to meet special California-only technological requirements. That's nuts.

Quote of the Week: "He is a dumb s--t." - California Attorney General Bill Lockyer speaking of Congressman Mike Rogers’ (R-Michigan) comments that "a pregnant woman buying peas off a shelf in Michigan has the same right to food safety information as a pregnant woman buying peas in California." Mr; Rogers' spokesperson responded that it appears that Mr. Lockyer "does not have a broad vocabulary".


And finally, we received an address to a joint session of Congress from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Even in another language, (most of the speech was delivered in Italian) he was charismatic and dead-on correct about the challenges facing western nations in world affairs today. I will leave you, however, with the final paragraph of the Prime Minister's speech:

"Allow me to conclude by sharing with you a brief story. It is the story of a young man, who had just graduated from high school. His father took him to a cemetery that was the final resting place for brave young soldiers - young people who had crossed an ocean to restore dignity and liberty to an oppressed people. In showing him those crosses, the father made the son vow never to forget the ultimate sacrifice those young soldiers had made for his freedom. That father made his son vow eternal gratitude to that country.

"That father was my father. And that young man was me. I have never forgotten that sacrifice and that vow, and I never will."




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