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The Congressional Connector

Week of October 3 - 7, 2005

House Energy Bill Would Do Nothing to Reduce High Gas Prices
As the Connector goes to press, the House is debating an energy bill that its sponsors call the Gasoline for America's Security Act,or GAS Act.  The stated goal of the bill is to provide relief to the American people from the sharp rise in gasoline prices following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and encourage the construction of new refineries.  In fact, the legislation would do little to reduce gas prices.  The GAS Act gives significant regulatory subsidies to the refining industry at a time when the industry is enjoying record profits.  The legislation also severely limits the ability of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and punish gas gouging and market manipulation.  Rep. Levin strongly opposes the GAS Act.  Instead, he is the cosponsor of legislation to give the federal government new tools to clamp down on price gouging during energy emergencies.  The legislation would give the Federal Trade Commission specific authority to investigate and prosecute those who engage in predatory gasoline pricing.

National Committee to Preserve Social Security Delivers Over 1.4 Million Petitions Declaring Support for Social Security to Rep. Levin
On October 6, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, led by President Barbara B. Kennelly, joined members of its Senior Rally Corps to present over 1.4 million petitions and letters opposing the privatization of Social Security to Representative Sander Levin, the Ranking member on the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee. The National Committee launched a campaign in early 2002 to alert the American public of the dangers of privatizing Social Security.  "These petitions and postcards are just more evidence the American public has solidly rejected the privatization of Social Security,"said Rep. Levin. "The strength and value of Social Security is the major reason for this rejection. Americans can rest assured that we will fight to protect such an invaluable program. I am grateful to the National Committee and its members for staying active during this fight, and their determination to fight on if Republicans in Congress continue their plan to dismantle Social Security."

House Approves Measure to Fund Homeland Security 
On October 6, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $31.9 billion Homeland Security funding measure for 2006.  The measure funds the Coast Guard, border and port security, state and local first-responder grants, immigration and customs enforcement, and other programs funded by the Department of Homeland Security.  The legislation was approved on a vote of 347 to 70.  Rep. Levin voted for the bill.}

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