Saturday, August 07, 2004

Post from Our Congress re Stenholm v. Neugebauer

What follows is lifted directly from the Our Congress website. Randy is in trouble in Abilene over his vote on military housing funds. Let's get this encouraging news to voters in 19 West.

TX-19: Neugbager Blasted By Reporter-News For Anti-Military Vote
by
Vince Leibowitz Aug 2nd

Congressman Charles Stenholm (D-Abilene) got an unexpected boost in his CD 19 race against fellow incumbent Randy Neugebauer (R-Lubbock) Sunday from the Abilene Reporter-News' editorial page, which put the hammer down on the freshman Congressman for siding with U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) over the district's veterans.
At issue is the $10 billion military construction bill the house passed and sent to the Senate just before the summer recess, which would have aided Abilene's
Dyess Air Force Base.
On July 21, Neugebauer voted against a Bush administration request of $500 million for future military housing construction, some of which would have been at Dyess. The measure failed 212-211. A single vote--which the Reporter-News notes should not have been Neugebauer's, sent the measure to defeat, and "directly exerted a negative impact on Abilene's economy."
The Reporter-News notes:
Who opposed the administration on this matter? Not House Democrats, including Rep. Charles Stenholm of Abilene, who voted to support the White House and our troops by increasing military housing funds.
No, the opponents who shot down the White House plan were House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock and other GOP House members pounded into line by DeLay - who broke House rules by extending the roll call 23 minutes beyond its 15-minute limit so he could hammer reluctant Republicans into getting the votes to defeat Bush's proposal.
Texas Congressman Chet Edwards (D-Waco) called this vote "a slap in the face to America's military families. They have a right to be outraged, and they will be."
The Reporter-News further notes:
What sort of rationale did DeLay and House Republicans present for opposing a Republican president whose re-election drive is based so centrally on the military's role in the war against terrorism? Supposedly, cutting $500 million out of future military construction was meant to show that the Republican-controlled Congress, which has been justly criticized for its free-spending habits, was actually capable of some fiscal restraint.
Given the billions Congress has thrown around during the last four years, it's laughable to think that trimming $500 million from military housing would ''prove'' a conservative attitude toward spending.
The paper also notes that, "Stenholm's record as a fiscal conservative doesn't need to be proved. Ask former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, if you have any doubts on that score. Stenholm's advocacy for Dyess is also widely acknowledged. The final House bill as passed included $28.6 million for military family housing at Dyess plus $3.3 million for a new Dyess refueling vehicle maintenance/crash rescue facility that Stenholm had requested.
The paper then lowers the boom on Neugebauer:
Meanwhile, Neugebauer has campaigned in Abilene's new District 19 as a strong supporter of Dyess. Evidently, that depends on whether the House majority leader says it's OK.

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