Representative Cecelia Ortega, House Majority Whip wrote:
First of all, gentlemen, it hardly befits your office- to so blatantly misrepresent the arguments presented for this omnibus, or the response to your requests. Make no mistake, I'm glad our friends across the aisle have finally expressed their concerns. It is childishly claiming your request was ignored when it was, in fact, responded to that I take exception to, as well as the insinuation that the Coalition has tried to "rush through" the bill without scrutiny. Everyone is being allowed your chance to debate this bill, and you have the right to make requests as to the presentation of legislation. You do not have the right for other legislators to accede to your demands any more than any member of the House does, and my disagreement with your rationale for dividing the bill has already been stated.
Furthermore, and it galls me that this has to be addressed when I could be discussing the points you've made about the actual legislation, neither former President Roux-Johnson nor his actions have anything to do with this bill. Quite frankly it's embarrassing for a grown man, much less a Mountain States congressman to have to tie his pet cause to every matter of business brought up- we're here to discuss this bill, not the actions of Roux-Johnson, certainly not the Republican Conservaties' hostility to the freedom of MSAmerican socialists to elect their representatives. I understand that the Republican conservatives, Minority Leader Carpenter especially, are used to name calling and putting together straw-men in their debates with the socialist caucus, so I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised at this unprofessional subject-changing and name-calling. Nonetheless, I can at least ask that you not pad out your statements with subjects unrelated to the matter at hand.
As for the bill itself, my colleagues again resort to blatantly misrepresenting this bill: They decry us as hating and attempting to kill the free market, when we seek to make the market *more* free- to fix decades of building convolution in the tax code. We are encouraging more participation in the economy, especially from those who support it the most while benefiting the least from their contribution. If I were to employ the "common sense" of my colleague Representative Goodwin, I suppose I might see reforming and removing graft from an increasingly out of date and regressive tax code as encouraging "bureaucracy and red tape". I'm sure I'd see child labor laws, the minimum wage, and the Thirteenth Amendment as anti-business as well.
I am disappointed to see my fellow representatives try to deceptively paint writing flexibility into this bill as ignorance. The aims of this bill are quite clear, as is the fact that it has been constructed so as to give the Executive departments responsible for achieving these goals the necessary room to work with their counterparts in state-level institutions to ensure that the federal approach to these issues is as effective as possible. Would you like us to call for testimony from the schoolboards of every state, Mr. Goodwin? Or perhaps you'd rather we define a too-stringent set of guidelines and hold everyone to it despite their needs, and in so doing remove the ability to adjust the approach as needed? You see, if we don't allow some educational institutions to continue their existing policies even if they are successful in achieving the aims of this bill, we lose the ability to learn from them and improve our approach to helping schools that are still struggling. Furthermore, I hardly think it appropriate to say that pulling taxpayer subsidization of institutions which withhold actual scholarship from students and instead charge them for a degree rather than an actual education is harmful to education. Far from it, the Progressive and Socialist parties are taking a stand for academic integrity, here.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you conveniently the plight of the MSA's students for the sake of railing against the political left or decrying the Department of Health, Welfare, and Education as a think tank, but I am nonetheless disappointed.
Representative Raymond Freeman, AR wrote:
If I might pick up on addressing the comments from the Republican Conservatives, and I will not dignify their insulting suggestion that I or Representative Ortega have deceived our fellow party members, I think their belief that this bill is somehow inimical to business, or anti-market, is misunderstanding. My fellow party members might see this as being overly charitable of course, and perhaps they are right, given the history of the House Republicans when it comes to insulting those of us across the aisle, however weakly. Nonetheless, I will try to not assume ill-will on behalf of my colleagues further to the right.
The simple fact is, that leaving the markets alone does not work- has never worked- for this nation in the long run. It did not work for us in the 1930s. It did not work for us when the reign of Stassen and Cargo left our finances in arrears. It will not work for us now. the Progressive party seeks to keep the free market free, something that it won't remain if certain unscrupulous businessmen, shielded from responsibility, abuse tax loopholes to accumulate more wealth and control of the market while putting the burden of revenue on the working class and keep them from having the means to participate, no matter how hard they work. The economy sometimes needs to be stimulated, anti-competitive practices need to be confirmed. Believe it or not, markets are not ecosystems. They are like a watch: they must be kept oiled and wound and repaired when the springs wear out.
As for the idea of placing an undue burden on businesses by holding them responsible for actually compensating their employees for spending their time and energy making these companies run, you must completely misunderstand the legislation, which explicitly states that companies struggling to do so would receive the help of the government in this regard. Furthermore the idea that the economy will grow without the working class -the vast majority of MSAmerican consumers- having the wages to pay for goods and services besides the bare necessities, and sometimes not even all of those, is frankly preposterous. We cannot afford to not guarantee the people of the MSA a living wage not only because it is just, but because it is the only way to grow the economy.
As for cooperatives, my Republican colleagues have failed to explain how they could interpret the Omnibus this way: the legislation makes no mention of cooperatives nor does its wording indicate that cooperatives would be given preferential treatment. If Representative Hanson refers to the proposed exemptions for family-staffed businesses, or non-profit organizations where employees willingly offer their work for a cause they believe in, or the proposal that businesses actually unable to comply with the need to fairly compensate workers would be helped to do so with tax breaks, then he sorely stretches the limits of my charity in believing that he intends to misrepresent rather evident facts. I would recall what my friend Representative Ortega said: your insistence on dragging unrelated matters into debates is an embarrassment to your party and this chamber.
If I might be forgiven for speaking bluntly now, but there is little justification for me to be so gentle. Minority Leader Carpenter is dead wrong: he and his fellow Republican Conservatives have successfully proven only that they will transparently attempt to distort the facts in their attempt to heap scorn on sensible Keynesian economic policy, insulting the intelligence of every member of this chamber. Furthermore, they insinuate this omnibus to be some far-left ploy when this bill has been constructed to be extremely moderate: inclusion of leeway to set and adjust guidelines to the effectiveness of educational institutions and the MSA's economy, guarantee of the basic promise of a livable wage for honest work, an attempt to end the unequal burdening of the working class that keeps the poorest MSAmericans locked in a vicious cycle of poverty, and a plan for reducing the amount of wealth hoarding that reduces revenue, retards economic growth, and increases inflation.
If Mr. Carpenter does not think the MSA wants that sort of justice for itself, I'm beginning to see where the real problem is.