In the space of one week, Congressmen Vern Buchanan voted to weaken the nation’s clean water efforts, improve chances that mentally ill persons can obtain guns, undermine worker rights, and make it easier for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials.
He did this based solely on a partisan basis without any consideration for the public good for which the applicable federal rules were designed. Each of these rules had been thoroughly researched by the appropriate federal agency and found to be both cost effective and protective of the environment and the public.
For example, the Interior Department determined that the rule aimed at protecting streams and drinking water in Appalachian states would have preserved several thousands of miles of waterways while protecting the public from water contaminated by coal companies dumping mine debris into them.
Likewise, the IRS ruling was to prevent persons with serious mental illnesses from gaining possession of guns. Mental illness is a major factor in gun deaths in our country, from suicides, accidents and homicides.
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And, not requiring companies to report payments to foreign governments opens up the possibility of those publicly traded companies using company funds to bribe foreign governments, thus making individual shareholders party to such bribes without their knowledge.
Mr. Buchanan apparently did not consider the facts or the meritorious purposes of these policies when voting, he simply voted in political, knee-jerk reaction to policies passed by the previous administration regardless of the merits of those policies and to the detriment of the public’s safety and security. That is what politics has come down to now: strict party line votes based on “us against them” and the public welfare be damned.