Dear Senators Kerry and Brown,
I am writing as your constituent in the 1st Congressional district of Massachusetts. I support S.1498 - Super Committee Sunshine Act, and am tracking it using OpenCongress.org, the free public resource website for government transparency and accountability.
The 12 members of the super committee are going to have an extraordinary amount of control over matters affecting every citizen and corporation for decades to comes. You know they are going to be the target of influence campaigns from moneyed interests looking to tip the discussions in their favor.
In case you haven't read up on the bill yet, here's a summary from OpenCongress.org:
"Would require the 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. Super Congress) created by the debt ceiling bill to disclose all campaign contributions above $1,000 within 48 hours while serving on the committee."
While I would prefer a flat-out ban on fundraising by these members while serving on the committee, I am writing to ask you to endorse Vitter's bill as a good first step. Please join Sen. Vitter as a co-sponsor and help to bring more attention to this important bill.
Thank You. I look forward to your replies on this matter.
Thank you for contacting my online office. I always appreciate hearing from you, whether you're getting in touch with us for help on a constituent matter or weighing in on the issues being debated right now in the United States Senate -- whatever the reason for your email, please know that we read these emails diligently and please be assured that our office will work in a timely manner to respond to your comments and concerns. If this matter is time sensitive, I'd encourage you to also call my offices inor Washington and speak with a member of my team so there's no waiting and we can begin to help you today. DC 202-224-2742.617-565-8519.
A couple of quick notes:
First, this email account is not technologically able to receive a response to this email, it is only an outgoing account -- so please submit any additional comments through my website at www.kerry.senate.gov -- I always want to hear from you, and I always want to make sure that your feedback and comments are properly received here.
Second, if you are contacting me regarding casework because you need assistance in resolving an issue or filing a complaint, I ask that you go to my website www.kerry.senate.gov/services and download the privacy disclosure form and fax or mail a copy of your email and form to my Boston office. Once we have this information we can begin to process your case.
Lastly, please sign up for my electronic newsletter by visiting www.kerry.senate.gov/newsletter -- it's free, it doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime, and it doesn't waste paper -- but it's another way for us to stay in touch and for me to update you on the work I'm doing and all the issues that affectwhich are being debated and voted on in the United States Senate.
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Dear Mr. Donny Shaw,
Thank you for contacting me regarding federal spending and the bipartisan compromise that was reached to address our nation?s national debt. As always, I value the input of my constituents and appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, federal spending as a percentage of our GDP has exploded in recent years, to levels not seen since World War II. Currently, the United States borrows nearly 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Our country is in the middle of a historic fiscal crisis and we have accumulated more than $14.3 trillion in national debt. Like you, I agree that Washington?s fiscal irresponsibility is simply passing the problem to future generations, mortgaging the future ofchildren and grandchildren. This reckless spending must stop.
Resolving our country?s debt and excessive spending habits will not be easy and it certainly won't happen overnight. It will require compromise from both parties, and a commitment to work together in the months and years ahead to find solutions to ensure that our long-term fiscal challenges do not weaken our country?s ability to grow, create jobs and promote investment. This cannot happen without bipartisanship.
While the bipartisan compromise that President Obama signed into law [P.L. 112-25] on August 2, 2011 is not perfect, I believe it is an important step in putting our fiscal house in order. The legislation avoids default, significantly cuts spending, and doesn?t raise taxes, creating a framework to force Congress to responsibly and reasonably tackle our budgetary challenges. That is why I voted in support of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (S. 365) when it came before the full Senate. As enacted, the compromise framework immediately reduces spending by $900 billion by imposing enforceable spending caps, while simultaneously raising the debt limit. Thereafter, the framework provides that every $1 increase in the debt limit be matched by $1 in corresponding spending cuts. It accomplishes this balance through the creation of a Joint Select Congressional Committee and subsequent spending mechanisms and triggers, all of which result in deficit savings of approximately $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Likewise, the bipartisan compromise includes protections for beneficiaries of important social programs like Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans.
In the coming months, as the Joint Select Congressional Committee begins to tackle these tough issues, I will continue to push for solutions that correct our current fiscal imbalance and our long-term structural deficit. This means Congress must consider proposals to overhaul the current budget process, including reducing and capping spending levels, establishing binding debt limits and imposing triggers if those limits are exceeded, and requiring Congress and the White House to establish budget priorities that clearly increase our economic growth and competitiveness. These reforms are essential if we are truly serious about getting our fiscal house in order.
Like millions of Americans, I have been very disappointed in the political and often heated rhetoric on both sides regarding these issues. The United States should never have reached the brink of a potential default. I will be sure to keep your views in mind as Congress continues to find ways to reduce federal spending and reform our budget process.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Should you have any additional comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit my website at www.scottbrown.senate.gov.
Note to Congressional staff & elected officials reading this: this letter was sent through Contact-Congress features on OpenCongress.org, a free public resource website, but in the future we seek to compel the U.S. Congress to adopt fully open technology for constituent communications. For more information how your office can better handle public feedback through an open API and open standards, contact us -- even today, there are significantly more efficient and responsive ways for our elected officials to receive email feedback than the status quo of individual webforms. For greater public accountability in government, we must make the process of writing one's members of Congress more accessible and empowering. Looking ahead, we will release more data from Contact-Congress letters and Congressional response rates back into the public commons. This will result in a new open data source on bills & issues people care about, as well as encourage best practices in constituent communications and make it possible to grade members of Congress on their responsiveness & citizen satisfaction.