Monday, February 16, 2009

A Simple Question

I sent the following to my two US Senators and Congressman last week using their constituent web questionnaires:

"One simple question, requiring nothing more than a "yes" or "no" answer:

Did you read the entire stimulus bill prior to voting for it?'

I have yet to receive any response from any of them, not even a "received your request" email response.

Update 3/17/2009:

Finally, a response! However, as you can see, there is no answer to my question, just more rhetoric, and an invitation to subscribe to his newsletter

Dear Mr. Minor:

Thank you for contacting me regarding our Nation's economy. I appreciate the valuable suggestions and personal experiences constituents have shared with me.

Our economy continues to slow, and like many Americans, I'm concerned that our country is in a recession. This recession highlights the weaknesses in our economy and where we must invest so that we can recover and be stronger and more competitive. We must focus on the basics like infrastructure, research and development, high quality education, and cost-effective health care. The recovery will take time, but I believe we need a sustained, long-term commitment to our economic recovery plan. I believe we must provide the resources to address the challenges millions of American families, businesses, and communities face. The recently-enacted economic recovery package is a good start in making the right investments needed to stabilize the economic decline and shore up the building blocks of our economy.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation will create jobs, restore economic growth, and cut taxes for working families. Since the recession began in December 2007, the nation has lost more than 3.6 million jobs, with 50 percent of those losses occurring within the last three months. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create or save 22,000 jobs in New Mexico and provide unemployment insurance benefits to approximately 70,000 workers who have lost their jobs in this recession.

In order to compete in the 21st Century, we must also have a well-educated workforce, capable of adapting to an ever-changing economic environment. Investing in education now will ensure that the next generation of New Mexico's workers is ready and able to meet the challenge of global competition. This legislation provides $318.6 million through State Fiscal Stabilization Funds to local school districts and public colleges and universities in New Mexico. In addition, the economic recovery package includes additional funding for Pell Grants for the 52,000 recipients in New Mexico.

The current economic crisis has affected all New Mexicans, but none more so than the most vulnerable among us. This legislation will provide urgently needed funding to such programs as the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Head Start, and Senior Meal Programs. In addition, New Mexico will receive an estimated $8.6 million, benefiting an estimated 2,200 households in New Mexico for Homelessness Prevention activities, which include short- to medium-term rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization assistance, and rapid re-housing assistance for those who have become homeless.

Additionally, I am including a copy of a fact sheet that outlines many of the estimated benefits to New Mexico included in this legislation. I would also urge you to visit my website at and the U.S. Department of the Treasury at for additional information on this legislation.

I also understand the concerns many have about the role of the federal government in addressing these challenges. Years of insufficient oversight and poor regulation have unfairly skewed the rules of our financial system in favor of large corporations at the expense of American workers. While I think that it is appropriate to provide federal assistance to strengthen our economy, I also believe that it is essential that there is adequate transparency, oversight, and protections for the American taxpayer against fraud and abuse. I share the concerns expressed about executive bonuses, the unprecedented growth in compensation packages, and "golden parachutes" for CEO's of failed companies. I support imposing limits on compensation packages for executives and ensuring taxpayer assistance is not misused. I believe that Congress and the Administration have a responsibility to the citizens of this country to ensure that companies are held accountable for any unlawful behavior.

As always, I greatly appreciate the views of constituents and I encourage you to stay engaged. Please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind as I work to pass fiscally sound legislation and address the challenges millions of American face. Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of issues of importance to you and your community.

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United States Senator

Why don't I feel "warm & fuzzy"?


Bob said...

Both my Senators and my Congressman voted against it. (Just rubbing it in.)

Jerry said...

This last November was very, very ugly. We went from having one Republican Senator, one Democrat Senator, two Republican Congresspersons, and one Democrat Congressman to a full house of Democrats.

Hopefully we can undue some of the damage in the mid-terms.