Waxman Tries to Intimidate AFBF

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is continuing his push to intimidate and bully those people and groups that oppose his legislative agenda.

Several weeks ago Rep. Waxman demanded that major corporations appear before the Energy and Commerce Committee to explain the write-downs to their balance sheets in the wake of the new health care reform law.

He is now going after American Farm Bureau for its opposition to his cap and trade legislation and its devastating effects on agriculture and America’s economic future.

On April 12, American Farm Bureau received a letter from Rep. Waxman (D-Calif.).  The letter asks AFBF to provide to the committee “(1) All studies and analyses undertaken [by AFBF] to determine the cost or feasibility of calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions to EPA; and (2) any other documents which form the basis of [AFBF’s] conclusion that compliance with the EPA reporting rule would be costly and burdensome to large agricultural facilities.”

Chairman Waxman cites a letter from AFBF, dated last October, to all members of the House of Representatives urging support for language in the Interior Appropriations bill prohibiting EPA from implementing the mandatory reporting requirement. The letter from Rep. Waxman gave AFBF two weeks to comply with the request.  The unusual nature of the request led Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), ranking Republican member of the Committee, to cite it in a floor speech on April 14.

“Two days ago, Chairman Waxman sent a letter to the American Farm Bureau, opening an investigation into their activities expressing their displeasure with the EPA endangerment finding and the pending cap and trade legislation in the United States Senate.

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned when one of the premier committee chairmen of our great House of Representatives appears to be using his power to intimidate Americans from expressing their First Amendment rights to petition the Congress for redress of grievances.”

AFBF will respond to Rep. Waxman’s inquiry and will provide a copy of the response to state Farm Bureaus after it has been sent.


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