12.08.2010 0

The Fred Upton Promotion Is a Big Disappointment

By Adam Bitely –

The House GOP Steering Committee announced that they have chosen liberal Republican Fred Upton to become the Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee in the 112th Congress. The committee, chaired by Speaker-designate John Boehner, chose Upton because they believed that he was more capable of providing oversight to the EPA amongst other qualities they saw.

To say the least, the selection of Upton is a big disappointment to conservative and Tea Party activists. While this is very disappointing, Upton does have a chance to prove that the decision from Boehner and the rest of the Steering Committee was the right one by doing several things immediately in January.

Upton, upon becoming Chairman, should immediately sponsor legislation that would repeal the ban on the incandescent light bulb—a ban that he originally co-sponsored. On the day of the Steering Committee’s announcement, Upton issued a half-hearted reversal in his position on the ban, saying that he would hold a hearing on the matter should he become Chair. Holding a hearing is not enough. Upton can prove that he has truly changed if he goes through with a full repeal of the ban. The ban has led to the destruction of hundreds, if not thousands, of American jobs. Upton can start to prove that he is indeed the correct choice by making right on this error.

Second, Upton should immediately push through legislation that would cut funding to the EPA. In 2009, Upton was one of 20 House Republicans that opposed an amendment to legislation that would cut funding to the EPA back to the level of funding in 2008. Upton can further prove that he has changed his position and was truthful to the Steering Committee by taking such action. If he allows the EPA to continue receiving the same level of funding, or increased levels, Upton will have effectively stated that he stands along side the Obama administration.

Third, Upton should immediately cease his support of Obama’s big spending legislation. He proudly supported Obama’s “stimulus” bill as well as the spending omnibus bill, which raised spending 8.4% in 2009 on top of the $787 billion “stimulus” bill. With government spending continuing to spiral out of control while the deficit continues to increase, Upton should stop standing with the Obama wing of Congress and put a stop to the out-of-control spending inside of Congress.

The consequences of Upton’s actions have now fallen on Boehner’s shoulders. We have been pleased with Boehner’s actions until this point, especially his support of appropriating money to each government department separately. But Boehner has now taken a huge gamble on Upton—a gamble that could destroy the credibility of his Speakership.

Nobody hopes that we are more wrong on Upton than we do. But we find it troubling that we are asked to believe that Upton changed his own beliefs that he has continually exercised over the course of his extensive career in Congress. Upton may prove our concerns to be unfounded, but until then, we must keep a watchful eye on this committee and especially on Upton.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com.

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