Albio Sires on Technology
"Ask anyone living and working along the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and you'll hear countless stories of how it has improved quality of life and generated new business opportunities along the route," Rep. Sires said. "When it comes to transportation, when you build it, people really do come. Investing in our infrastructure is good for both the economy and the environment."
The federal lawmakers also urged their colleagues in Washington to pass a long-term fix to fully fund the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which will go bankrupt in this summer, reducing or slowing reimbursements to states for critical highway repairs and transit projects.
Sen. Menendez introduced the Prepaid Card Consumer Protection Act to rein in hidden fees and strengthen financial protections for consumers who use prepaid cards. The bill also requires full disclosure of all fees before a consumer buys the card.
"I applaud Senator Menendez in his efforts to guard the American consumer from retailer's failures when it comes to security breaches," said Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ). "I intend to support similar legislation with my colleagues in the House of Representatives in ensuring security breaches such as this one does not happen again and to make sure all transactions are protected and secure."
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill will cripple National Public Radio, public radio stations, and programming that is vital to over 27 million Americans. We are now voting to deny the public access to one of our Nation's most credible sources of news coverage. This bill does not save a penny. This legislation does not serve any fiscal purpose, but it does serve an ugly ideological one. This legislation is not about reforming NPR. It is about punishing NPR. It is vindictive, it is mean-spirited, it is going to hit the smallest stations in rural areas particularly hard. Public radio is indispensable for access to news that's hard to get, especially where broadband service is limited.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. RICK BOUCHER (D, VA-9): Fully 6.5 million households are totally unprepared for the transition on February 17; these 6.5 million households will lose all of their television service, and that number represents about 5.7% of the total American television viewing public. If almost 6%of the nation's households lose all of their television service, I think that most people would declare that the digital television transition has been a failure. In recognition of that reality, this legislation would delay the transition until June 12.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JOE LINUS BARTON (R, TX-6): The majority is trying to fix a problem that I do not think really exists. We have sent out 33 million coupons: 22 million of those coupons have been redeemed, and 11 million coupons are outstanding. The outstanding coupons are being redeemed, I think, by about 500,000 a week, something like that. In my opinion, you could keep the hard date and not have a problem, but if you think there is a problem, it is not from lack of money. We have appropriated $1.3 billion. About half of that is still in the Treasury, so the redemption rate is only about 52%. Even though we are delaying this until June 12 if this bill becomes law, according to the acting chairman of the FCC, 61% of the television stations in America are going to go ahead and convert to digital. 143 television stations already have converted, and in those areas where they have converted, I am not aware that there has been a huge problem.
Rep. LANGEVIN. One issue that has been repeatedly addressed is whether telecommunications companies should be granted immunity against pending lawsuits for their involvement in the earlier surveillance program. This legislation preserves a role for the U.S. court system to decide independently whether the telecommunications companies acted in good faith. Only after that review would the courts decide whether the telecommunications companies deserve any form of liability protection.
Opponents argument for voting NAY: Rep. LEVIN. I oppose this bill because of the provisions that would confer retroactive immunity on the telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. It sets a dangerous precedent for Congress to approve a law that dismisses ongoing court cases simply on the basis that the companies can show that the administration told them that its warrantless surveillance program was legal. A program is not legal just because the administration claims that it is.
Rep. NADLER. The House must decide today whether to uphold the rule of law & the supremacy of the Constitution or whether to protect & reward the lawless behavior of the administration and of the telecommunications companies that participated in its clearly illegal program of spying on innocent Americans. The bill is a fig-leaf, granting blanket immunity to the telecom companies for illegal acts. It denies people whose rights were violated their fair day in court, and it denies the American people their right to have the actions of the administration subjected to fair & independent scrutiny.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007 - Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Related bills: H.R.743, H.R.1077, H.R.3678, S.156.
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, roads, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. But the Committee has jurisdiction over other aspects of our national infrastructure, such as clean water and waste management, the transport of resources by pipeline, flood damage reduction, the economic development of depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, activities of the Army Corps of Engineers and the various missions of the Coast Guard.
When combined, these areas of jurisdiction provide a comprehensive view of how communities across the United States are connected to one another, how infrastructure affects the growth and flow of commerce at home and abroad, and how an effective government can improve the lives of its citizens.
|Aviation||Tom Petri (R-WI)||Jerry Costello (D-IL)|
|Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation||Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)||Rick Larsen (D-WA)|
|Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management||Jeff Denham (R-CA)||Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)|
|Highways and Transit||Jimmy Duncan (R-TN)||Peter DeFazio (D-OR)|
|Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials||Bill Shuster (R-PA)||Corrine Brown (D-FL)|
|Water Resources and Environment||Bob Gibbs (R-OH)||Tim Bishop (D-NY)|
A BILL To ensure that amounts credited to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are used for harbor maintenance. This Act may be cited as the 'Realize America's Maritime Promise Act' or the 'RAMP Act'.
IN GENERAL- The total budget resources made available from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund each fiscal year shall be equal to the level of receipts plus interest credited to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for that fiscal year. Such amounts may be used only for harbor maintenance programs. GUARANTEE- No funds may be appropriated for harbor maintenance programs described in such section unless the amount described in paragraph (1) has been provided.
Congressional Summary: TIGER Grants for Job Creation Act: Congress finds the following:
Opponent's argument against bill:(The Reason Foundation, July 6, 2012):
The US Constitution authorizes Congress "to regulate Commerce...among the several States." However, the five non-motorized transportation projects, the six transit projects and the six multimodal projects TIGER Grants have funded serve no national need. Some of the port, passenger rai
Congressional Summary:Disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 22, 2008, relating to broadcast media ownership. Declares that the rule shall have no force or effect.
Proponents' Argument in Favor:Sen. DORGAN: The FCC loosened the ban on cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations. We seek with this resolution of disapproval to reverse the FCC's fast march to ease media ownership rules. The FCC has taken a series of destructive actions in the past two decades that I believe have undermined the public interest. [Now they have given] a further green light to media concentration.
The FCC voted to allow cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the top 20 markets, with loopholes for mergers outside of the top 20 markets. The newspapers would be allowed to buy stations ranked above fifth and above.
The rule change was framed as a modest compromise. But make no mistake, this is a big deal. As much as 44% of the population lives in the top 20 markets. The last time the FCC tried to do this, in 2003, the Senate voted to block it.
This rule will undercut localism and diversity of ownership around the country. Studies show that removing the ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership results in a net loss in the amount of local news produced in the market as a whole. In addition, while the FCC suggests that cross-ownership is necessary to save failing newspapers, the publicly traded newspapers earn annual rates of return between 16% and 18%.
This Resolution of Disapproval will ensure this rule change has no effect. This is again a bipartisan effort to stop the FCC from destroying the local interests that we have always felt must be a part of broadcasting.
|2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology:||Albio Sires on other issues:|
Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2017:
Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2017:
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