Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "Safe Haven for Heroes Act"

Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger will introduce (on Tuesday) new legislation that would make it illegal to protest at military funerals within the state of Maryland.

The "Safe Haven for Heroes Act" comes after the decision last week by the Supreme Court that says funeral protests, such as those by the Westboro Baptist Church, are permitted under The First Ammendment.

“We need to thank God for the service and sacrifice of our American military fighting for our freedom,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “The right to free speech is a valuable liberty that we all cherish as Americans. While I respect the recent Supreme Court decision, I wanted to find a way to stop groups like Westboro from using military funerals as occasions to promote their own political agenda and inflict incalculable harm on the grieving families of our troops.”

Ruppersberger stated that the bill would enable groups such Westboro to exercise their right to free speech without disrupting the funerals themselves or forcing funeral participants to encounter the protesters.

According to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center the Westboro Baptist Church protestors has been identified as a hate group. Westboro Baptist Church has protested nearly 600 military funeral in over 20 years.

Who: Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Maryland Veterans

What: Ruppersberger to Announce Legislation to Prevent Protests at Military Funerals

When: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
12:30 p.m.

Where: Linthicum Veterans Memorial
Camp Meade & Maple Road
Linthicum, Maryland

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rigell's Office On Va. Eastern Shore To Remain Open

Congressman Scott Rigell has announced he will continue to operate an office on the Eastern Shore to better represent the needs of his constituents.

Sylvia Parks will continue to be the Eastern Shore's liason to our elected Representative in Washington DC. Below is the Eastern Shore office's contact information.

Eastern Shore Office
Post Office Box 447
23386 Front Street
Accomac, Va. 23301
757-789-5175 fax

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Swearing In Ceremonies For Rigell On Wednesday

Scott Rigell will become the new second district congressman tomorrow. Rigell will be officially sworn in during ceremonies at Capitol Hill.

The new house majority leader John Bohener has decided to make the swearing in ceremonies low key so as to demonstrate the seriousness of the issues this Congress will face.

After an overall swearing in ceremony, each of the new representatives will be sworn in personally by Boehner. Melody Scalley will be at the ceremony and the following press conference and will be reporting on the activities.

Rigell defeated incumbent Congressman Glenn Nye in the November election, one that saw the Republicans win a 63 seat majority in the House.

The Second District was one of three that changed parties from Democrat to Republican. Two other Democrats, Tom Periello and long time Congressional veteran Rick Boucher also lost their seats.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Virginia Lawmakers Cite Ways They Would Cut Spending

Richmond, Va. Balance the budget. Rein in spending. Stick a hungry government bureaucracy on a diet.

Those were mantras of Virginia's Republican congressional candidates who won big in Tuesday's elections. But within weeks, the critics will move to the corridors of power and it will be their unbalanced budget and their national debt.

Within their immediate control are their $174,000 annual salary and an office budget of roughly $1.5 million. We asked Virginia's three Republican congressmen-elect what they personally are willing to cut.

Scott Rigell, who defeated Rep. Glenn Nye, D-2nd, promptly issued a series of reforms he says he will follow whether they are enacted into law or not.

The car dealer from Virginia Beach says he will roll back his congressional office budget to 2008 levels and allow government trips only on official business -- "real official business."

He has pledged a 12-year term limit and he wants to "reduce the incentive to stay in Congress" by replacing the current retirement system with a 403(b) match program.

He has even sketched out rules on mail -- "Only two direct-mail pieces will be sent each year, no closer than three months prior to an election, standardized in form and content, one page only, using recycled paper and black and white ink."

That kind of up-front commitment is smart politics on Rigell's part, said Steve Farnsworth, a political analyst at George Mason University.

"I think the one thing that voters cannot stand about politicians is hypocrisy," he said. "A congressman-elect who promises to cut his own office expenditures, that's absolutely a smart move for congressmen looking ahead to 2012. That's what people want to see."

A challenge for Republicans over the next two years will be to demonstrate that they can make change happen while they control the House but not the Senate or White House, he said. That split in power makes it virtually impossible to repeal the health-care legislation, for example.

"That's why it's such smart politics for Republicans to look at things that are more directly under their control, like their own office expenditures," he said.

. . .

Rigell's plan is pretty specific, and while the other congressmen-elect did not offer the same level of detail, they gave some insight during the campaigns.

State Sen. Robert Hurt, who defeated Rep. Tom Perriello, D-5th, has said he would vote to reduce the salary of members of Congress. His campaign also says he will use the franked mail system "only for legitimate constituent services."

The lawyer from Chatham said last week in a news conference about his transition plans that he doesn't anticipate greatly altering the number of district offices. There are four in addition to the Washington office.

"Right now I have no reason to believe that we'll change anything [that's] in place, but we will take a fresh look at that because obviously we want to make sure we're as accessible as possible," he said.

Congressman-elect H. Morgan Griffith of the 9th District has advocated for a 10 percent pay cut for Congress, and he wants to end the practice that allows members of Congress to lease a vehicle through the House of Representatives.

"There's got to be a lot of other things like that," he said.

If his pay-cut idea doesn't go over well with his colleagues, Griffith said he will donate the equivalent of a 10 percent cut into the 9th District to not-for-profit charitable organizations.

He said of his early ideas: "They're not going to solve the budget problem, but you've got to start somewhere."

The office budgets for the new Congress have not been decided, but Perriello's for 2010 was $1.46 million, Nye's was $1.48 million and Rep. Rick Boucher's was $1.5 million.

That allowance will not likely vary dramatically for the new members. It is supposed to cover the expenses congressmen incur as part of their official role, and it is based on three major components: staff salaries, office expenses and official mail.

Funding for salaries made up the largest component in 2010, at $944,671. House members can decide how many employees they hire and how much they pay them, but there are caps on how many and how much.

Office expenses include a travel stipend that varies based on the distance of the representative's district from Washington, as well as district office rental expenses. That also varies by member -- space in downtown Los Angeles will cost more than on Main Street in Chatham.

In general, however, members can spend the money as they see fit, as long it complies with federal and House rules. Spending on campaign or political purposes is a no-no, for example.

Voters serious about the spending-cut message this year likely will keep tabs on how their new congressmen operate on Capitol Hill.

"In the new Congress, the tea party's influence will be far larger than their numbers," Farnsworth said, "because so many Republicans are going to be looking over their shoulders wondering if the tea-party activists are going to run a Republican nomination opponent against them the next time they face the voters."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Congressman Elect Rigell Lays out Plan to Reshape Washington

Congressman-elect Scott Rigell has released his plan for reforming Congress. In the plan, Rigell states he attempt to reshape the mindset in Washington, forcing elected officials to be more transparent and frugal with taxpayer dollars.

Rigell says he will aim to change Congressional pensions plans to be more similar to 401(k)s as well as ending free lobbyist and foundation sponsored travel. The plan includes a call to institute 12 year term limits for representatives, posting committee votes online and restoring congressional offices' operating budgets to 2008 levels.

"I want to be very proactive and reach out to all parts of our community," explained Rigell. "We will make absolutely no distinction in constituent service, I will make that so clear to my staff. I'm optimistic that we'll reach out to folks who might not have reached out to us."

Rigell also spoke about the Eastern Shore. "I am proud of our commitment to the Eastern Shore," he said. "One of the first calls I made after learning I had won was to my good friend Ooker, the Mayor of Tangier, and he said 'Scott, we're going to turn out for you on Tangier.'"

Rigell is set to be inaugurated in January.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Locals Speak To Congressional Hopeful Scott Rigell At Town Meeting

Approximately 120 people came to Congressional hopeful Scott Rigell's town hall meeting at the marina in Captains Cove on Monday, September 20. At the event, citizens of the Eastern Shore lined up to ask the candidate questions about issues facing the Eastern Shore, the Commonwealth of the Virginia and the nation.

The overwhelming theme to Rigell's talking points focused around job creation. Rigell several times referred to his experience in small business and said he would use his experience to push for smaller government which will in turn lead to a better environment for investors.

During the questions, Rigell was asked if he would vote to repeal President Obama's healthcare bill. Rigell answered "Yes." He then pointed out that in an earlier debate, Congressman Nye said he would not vote to repeal the bill, though Nye did vote against the measure.

Rigell was also asked if he would vote to impeach President Obama. Rigell responded, "No, the President has not done anything to constitute impeachment." Rigell added later in the town hall "Poor judgment is not an impeachable offense." Throughout the course of questions Rigell stated he would like to reverse the stimulus, support 12 year term limits for Senators and Representatives, downsize the Department of Education and give more rights to state and local governments.

The election to decide the next Congressman for Virginia's 2nd District will be held on November 2nd. Rigell is challenging Congressman Glenn Nye.