What You’re Saying – The Congressional Mail Bag by Bob Goodlatte

The Congressional Mail Bag: What You’re Saying

Each month, my office receives thousands of phone calls, letters, e-mails, and even Facebook messages from folks across the Sixth District. Many have questions about current issues before Congress while some are requesting assistance with a federal agency. Here are a few of the questions I have received in recent weeks:

What is your position on appointing an independent investigator to look into this unbelievable IRS situation?

I agree that a Special Counsel to investigate targeting by the IRS is necessary. Under current law, the Attorney General is required to appoint a Special Counsel when it is determined that the criminal investigation would present a conflict of interest, or if it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel. In May, the House passed H. Res. 565 calling on Attorney General Holder to appoint a Special Counsel. Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee, which I Chair, held a hearing in July on the need for a Special Counsel. The Administration owes the American people an in-depth investigation of this matter and real answers regarding the IRS’s blatant abuse of power.

What can you do about the EPA’s plan to put new carbon control regulations into effect without Congress being involved?

These EPA regulations could place significant additional costs on American businesses and manufacturers and hamper the ability of companies to operate competitively in the United States, possibly forcing jobs overseas. This would be a significant blow to our economy. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 4813, the Protection and Accountability Regulatory Act, which would stop three proposed rules on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants. This would be a step in challenging the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach. It’s the job of Congress to write the laws, not the President.

What can be done to eliminate waste in the school lunch program while ensuring that children will actually want to eat the food served?

Child nutrition programs are vitally important. A growing child can’t learn very well when he or she is hungry. While we can all agree that a nutritious school lunch is important, we must be careful to not over-regulate the school lunch program. I believe teachers, parents, and school administrators, those closest to our students, know better than Washington bureaucrats how to provide nutritious lunches that their students will choose to eat. Recently, I joined over 40 of my bipartisan colleagues in urging Secretary Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide flexibility to school districts participating in the federal lunch program.

I always enjoy hearing from you and learning more about your opinions on the issues of the day. If I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail through my website at Goodlatte.House.Gov or contact one of my local offices. It is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you will stay in touch.