Stop H.R.4134, the Big Tobacco Bailout

Small Business Champion, Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH)

Happy Wednesday warriors! It’s May 30, 2012 and above, you can see the face of a champion for small business and fair competition. U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette from the 14th congressional district of Ohio has personally sent a letter to every other member of the House of Representatives asking them to STOP the Big Tobacco bailout in the 2012 highway bill.

As we reported yesterday, Congressman LaTourette wrote:

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in urging the members of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Conference committee not to include an onerous provision in the final Highway bill.  The Senate Surface Transportation Reauthorization contains a provision that would eliminate competition from small businesses. It is imperative this provision not be included in the final Highway bill as over one thousand small businesses and their customers across the nation will suffer harmful effects.

Included in the Senate Transportation Reauthorization is a provision that would classify retail establishments that offer roll-your-own tobacco machines as large scale manufacturers of tobacco.  With this classification comes higher taxes which will impose a crushing burden on these establishments. This provision is in opposition to the spirit of this legislation which is to create jobs and to bolster the economy, not to impose further regulation.

The last sentence above is particularly striking. The provision is “in opposition to the spirit” of creating jobs and positive economic activity. It is also a provision that will “impose further regulation.” Those points are exactly right. The Big Tobacco bailout provision will heap unproductive and unnecessary government crap all over small business, all in an attempt to unfairly crush competition. Rep. LaTourette also notes the Big Tobacco bailout will crush more than 1,000 small businesses all across our great country.

TODAY’S MESSAGE: @LawmakerXYZ Oppose the #BigTobacco bailout HR4134 in the highway bill. It’s a job killer! http://bit.ly/NewTax

Thank you, Rep. LaTourette for standing up for small business and taking this fight against this Big Tobacco bailout public. We stand with you and will continue encouraging your colleagues to show the same grit.

JUST SO THE WORLD IS AWARE, this same provision that currently exists in the Senate’s highway bill is also the EXACT same language of H.R.4134, a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Diane Black. She and about 60 Big Tobacco lobbyists have been pushing H.R.4134 like a dope fiend pushes heroin after Sunday church. In fact, here are the suckers who’ve signed on to support H.R.4134 (coincidentally, all of them have taken THOUSANDS of dollars from Big Tobacco in the form of campaign contributions):

Big Tobacco Sellouts (alphabetical):

Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] – 5/8/2012
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] – 3/27/2012
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 4/24/2012
Rep Boren, Dan [OK-2] – 4/18/2012
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] – 3/26/2012
Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [LA-7] – 4/18/2012
Rep Buerkle, Ann Marie [NY-25] – 3/28/2012
Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] – 4/24/2012
Rep Canseco, Francisco “Quico” [TX-23] – 4/16/2012
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] – 4/16/2012
Rep Carnahan, Russ [MO-3] – 4/16/2012
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 5/16/2012
Rep Chandler, Ben [KY-6] – 5/16/2012
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] – 4/24/2012
Rep Coble, Howard [NC-6] – 3/21/2012
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] – 3/26/2012
Rep Connolly, Gerald E. “Gerry” [VA-11] – 4/16/2012
Rep Costa, Jim [CA-20] – 5/16/2012
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7] – 3/7/2012
Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] – 5/10/2012
Rep Ellmers, Renee L. [NC-2] – 3/8/2012
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 4/18/2012
Rep Flores, Bill [TX-17] – 4/16/2012
Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20] – 5/7/2012
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 4/24/2012
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] – 4/19/2012
Rep Hanabusa, Colleen W. [HI-1] – 4/25/2012
Rep Harper, Gregg [MS-3] – 4/18/2012
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] – 3/28/2012
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] – 5/7/2012
Rep Hurt, Robert [VA-5] – 5/9/2012
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 4/19/2012
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] – 3/26/2012
Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3] – 3/20/2012
Rep Kinzinger, Adam [IL-11] – 3/27/2012
Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] – 4/18/2012
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [WY] – 4/18/2012
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 3/21/2012
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] – 3/28/2012
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] – 3/30/2012
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] – 4/24/2012
Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-21] – 3/27/2012
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] – 3/29/2012
Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] – 4/16/2012
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] – 4/25/2012
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] – 3/16/2012
Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] – 3/27/2012
Rep Rokita, Todd [IN-4] – 5/7/2012
Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16] – 3/29/2012
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] – 4/16/2012
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] – 4/24/2012
Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] – 4/24/2012
Rep Schrader, Kurt [OR-5] – 3/22/2012
Rep Scott, Austin [GA-8] – 4/17/2012
Rep Scott, David [GA-13] – 4/24/2012
Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-32] – 4/16/2012
Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] – 4/16/2012
Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] – 4/19/2012
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-12] – 4/19/2012
Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] – 4/19/2012
Rep Sullivan, John [OK-1] – 3/26/2012
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 5/16/2012
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] – 3/28/2012
Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] – 4/24/2012
Rep Walden, Greg [OR-2] – 4/16/2012
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] – 3/29/2012
Rep Welch, Peter [VT] – 4/18/2012
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] – 5/7/2012
Rep Womack, Steve [AR-3] – 4/24/2012
Rep Yoder, Kevin [KS-3] – 3/26/2012

I openly admit, that is a LOT of support for the Big Tobacco bailout. It is AMAZING what Big Tobacco’s money can buy. Is your member of Congress on this list? If they are, tell them to jump off this bill. It might be that they didn’t really understand the provisions of H.R.4134 before signing onto it. Or it might be they understood the provisions, but had no idea we would see what they were up to, trying to slip an anti-competitive, middle of the night, Big Tobacco bailout into law. Either way, they can take their name off this list any time they want when the House is in session. NOTICE: If you happen to be a member of Congress and your name is on the list above, we will happily recant giving you the title of “Big Tobacco Sellout” when you remove your support for HR4134 (Yes, Diane Black. That includes you, too).

Washington Watchdog Groups have taken notice of the Big Tobacco bailout.

Have I mentioned Washington, DC’s public watchdog groups have taken notice of Big Tobacco’s support for H.R.4134? Just like you and me, the watchdogs smelled something funny when lobbyist disclosures for the period covering January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 included MILLIONS of dollars and DOZENS of lobbyists assigned to lobby for H.R.4134. What’s especially bizarre is HR4134 was only INTRODUCED on March 5 and didn’t get a bill number (4134) until later that week! So in the period of less than 20 days, Altria, R.J.Reynolds, and others associated with Big Tobacco spent MILLIONS in support of H.R.4134. WOW, WAS THAT COORDINATED? Gee, if I were a Washington bureaucrat looking to break out of the box, I might look into whether there was any collusion between the Big Tobacco guys aimed at using Congress to crush competition and further enhance a monopoly. But I digress…

OUR MISSION: Continue to press this issue issue with our local members of Congress! STOP the Big Tobacco bailout; STOP H.R.4134. Rep. Steve LaTourette gets it, and you know others do, too. Let’s keep educating people about this Big Tobacco bailout attempt and why it’s wrong. To the Twitter, the Facebook, the emails, phones, online news story comment sections, the Batmobile and beyond! Together, we have taken many steps in our journey and made great progress. Let’s continue increasing the pressure, continue spreading the word, and by all means, continue tearing down this Big Tobacco bailout.

-GR

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One thought on “Stop H.R.4134, the Big Tobacco Bailout

  1. Carol Murra says:

    Romney and other million/billionairs in Congress can thank Kotch Brothers, Alec members, big tobacco and all other “BIG” companies for contributions to their millions/billions in payment for votes. The highway bill, with the sneaky attachment of the tobacco bill is just another way to fight small business. Both should be put to public vote.

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