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Words from Washington

Congressional mailbag

Each month I receive thousands of emails, phone calls and letters from local residents on a variety of topics. I wanted to share a few questions that I've recently received.

Why is Congress writing the health care bill behind closed doors?

Congressional Democrats and the White House continue meeting in secret to cut deals with special interests in hopes of winning the votes they need to jam through their misguided $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care. I'm backing legislation to stop secret deals and require that meetings held to determine the content of health care reform be conducted in public. The American people shouldn't be shut out.

I oppose a government takeover of health care because it would raise taxes, cut Medicare, force many off of their existing plans, and put the government in the business of making health care decisions - all without lowering health care costs.

What is the Cabin Fee Fairness Act ?

I'm introducing this bill to provide a sensible, long-term solution to keep family-owned cabins in our National Forests affordable and accessible. Unless Congress establishes a fair pricing structure, families in Yakima and Wenatchee may be forced to tear down their cabins because they can't afford the sharp spikes in fees. Providing access to public lands is part of the mission of the Forest Service, and action is needed to make certain that recreational cabins aren't priced out of existence.

What is the status of cap-and-trade?

A cap-and-trade national energy tax passed the House of Representatives last year without my support. Since then, President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged a trillion dollar payment to finance climate change policies in other countries during a summit in Denmark. This, at a time when our nation is already spending trillions that we don't have and contending with an unemployment rate of over 10 percent.

I continue fighting against this national energy tax, and instead support an all-of-the-above energy plan that says yes to alternative energy sources, wind and solar, nuclear power, hydropower, drilling for oil and natural gas in America and yes to all energy jobs.

I appreciate the fact that so many people who I represent in Congress take the time to share their views with me. The easiest way to contact me is through my website at www.hastings.house.gov where you can email me and sign up to receive newsletters.

- Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central Washington's Fourth Congressional District.

1 Bob Story 1/27/2010 3:16 PM

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