Category Archives: US House PA-7

Molly on the Issues: Climate Change

email from Molly Sheehan, 12/7/17

It is time for a practical approach in Congress. A system where a problem is addressed based on the best possible solution for the people, and not for political gain. After earning my PhD in biochemistry and biophysics I’m eager to apply my scientific skill-set to work for the people in Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district.

So many of the issues facing our country are improved upon when scientific reasoning is applied.

Research is available on all of the topics our decision makers in congress debate. However researched positions and pragmatic solutions are often overlooked in favor of funding and political gain. I would like to upset that system. I’m running to overcome the practice of being in debt to the special interests that help win elections. I’m running in order to save our environment, because science says it needs saving. I’m running because Congress needs someone who knows how to protect our fields, streams, and backyards from pollutants and toxic industry practices. We need an advocate for our children and for preventative long term solutions that look beyond the next election cycle.

Climate change presents serious threats to both public health and national security and there is still time to drastically improve our future outcomes. I believe investment in green energy research is the key to removing our dependence on oil from unstable regions which in turn slows climate change. As our environment shifts and becomes unpredictable, resources will become scarce in certain regions, leading to wars and increased global instability and health disasters. Crafting policies that will prevent such instability is paramount for preventing the future loss of both American citizens here at home and our soldiers stationed abroad.

Read more about my stance on climate change as well as other issues I will prioritize as the Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District.

Daylin Leach on Climate Change

from Daylin Leach for Congress (PA-07)

Climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. The science is absolutely clear on this issue, and it is apparent in the extreme weather conditions we see occurring all too often around the country and the world. We cannot afford to play politics with an issue of such grave importance, and in Congress I will work with leaders from across the political spectrum that are willing to find reasonable solutions to curbing our country’s carbon output as I have done in the state legislature where the first bill I successfully passed encouraged inclusion of hybrid vehicles in the state fleet and where I supported enacting Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require Pennsylvania’s energy companies to produce 18% of their energy through renewable technology.

There are many creative market-based solutions to solving climate change:

Under a cap-and-trade system, we as a country would decide how much carbon we want to emit every year, and give companies the right to emit a certain amount of carbon based on those goals. Companies that emit less than their goal can trade their credits to companies that produce more. This system encourages innovation and competition.

Another option is a carbon fee and dividend system which would place a predictable fee on businesses’ carbon emissions that would be revenue neutral for the federal government as it would be redistributed to American households in a yearly dividend. This system would both encourage reduction in carbon emissions while putting more money into middle class households and spurring the economy.

My commitment to protecting the environment and fighting climate change are among the reasons I have been recognized by environmental groups for my leadership on these issues. I am committed to continuing to work with other leaders in Congress to address this imminent crisis to our environment, our economy, and our way of life.

Trump Score updates

Data from FiveThirtyEight.com

Congratulations to Rep. Costello (R-06), whose Trump Score has declined from 94% to 90.6%, since he voted against H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (which passed the House; it would allow anyone in the country who has a concealed gun permit to carry a gun anywhere, obviously an invitation for mayhem and anathema to those who believe states still have some rights). He is now 24.5% more Trump-friendly than his district.

Rep. Meehan (R-07) has sunk to a Trump Score of 85.7%, based on the same vote. His voting record is now 25.2% more “Trumpish” than his district.

Rep. Smucker (R-16), meanwhile, has boosted his Trump Score to 96.4% by voting for H.R.38, but his ‘Trump plus-minus” score is only 16.6% since his is a much more conservative district.

Sen. Toomey has achieved a 90.4% Trump Score, about 3 times Sen, Casey’s 29.6%. Naturally there are some votes where the parties actually still agree, like confirming an FBI director or keeping the US government open for business.

The Trump Score measures how often a legislator votes as Number 45 wishes.

An Open Letter to Rep. Pat Meehan on the GOP Tax Plan

from Molly Sheehan (Scientist. Mother. Proud Progressive. Democratic candidate for PA-7 US Congress. mollysheehan.org)
Nov 30

Dear Rep. Patrick Meehan,

I want to voice to you great concerns regarding the current tax packages in Congress. The legislation you have written and the Senate is about to pass will result in some of the most egregious and detrimental tax changes that have ever been inflicted upon the American public. Your actions will be economically disastrous for tens of millions of American workers and their families and represent a massive transferral of wealth to a small segment of our population. You have made it clear from your actions on the Ways and Means committee that you are determined, no matter the costs, on representing these minority interests at the expense of the economic livelihood of the majority of your constituents. You and the donor class that you represent are clearly engaging in outright class warfare.

You continue to wage this war through a campaign of dishonesty and obfuscation. You, your committee, the Republican majorities in Congress and the President all continue to spew economic lies and fallacies with no historical grounding. It is clear this plan will have dire ramifications to the economic viability of real people here in Pennsylvania. I know this because I have been out among the voters of the 7th district, speaking to them about their concerns and since you will not venture out to assess their discontent let me tell you: they are scared and they are angry! You would certainly know this if you actually met regularly with the people, on the streets or in public meetings and townhalls.

Your tax plan is antithetical to everything we hold to be American. It rewards passive gluttonous hoarding of wealth while increasing taxes on hard-earned wages and work. When a child works hard to get a scholarship, you will tax their parents on it. When they work to pay off their loans, they will not be able to deduct the interest. When they get into graduate school and work for a teaching job to cover their tuition, you will tax them on it. Your elimination of subsidies to ACA recipients coupled with the removal of the medical expense deduction will be devastating for seniors and a majority of Americans. People who have worked their whole lives and planned a responsible retirement in ACTS communities may no longer be able to afford their homes. Heck, your plan even disallows teachers in underfunded schools from deducting $250 for purchasing school supplies.

You are playing tricks on families, where they may see a modest tax decrease this year, but that will be followed by subsequent larger increases while corporations keep their breaks. It is all an elaborate smoke and mirrors trick to steal both your constituents’ hard-earned money and midterm election votes before the most vulnerable you represent are hit with the full consequences of your actions.

Yet, if you are extremely wealthy with passive income or if you are a large corporation, this plan makes it easier for you to keep your non-earned money. Your plan coddles the children of multi-millionaires by doubling the qualifying estate to $11 million. It also allows these millionaires to use loopholes new and old to avoid paying an appropriate level of taxes on income accrued passively. And for corporations you slash corporate taxes without instituting any reforms that would force business to “trickle down” such windfall to their employees. Rather, shareholders will see huge gains and those without large stock portfolios that show up for work everyday will be stuck with increasing taxes.

This plan rewards laziness and is born out of your own. You and your party could not even be bothered to pay for the money you are stealing today. Rather, your plan is to skyrocket the national debt, forcing our children to pay for your and your donors’ luxury lifestyles.

My message to you today concludes with a suggestion and a warning. I suggest that you stop leading us down a path to recession and increased wealth disparity, and use your position on the Ways and Means Committee to dramatically re-write this tax plan in a manner that protects the vital economic interests of the majority of the hard working people in the 7th Congressional District. Or more simply, oppose the plans outright! My warning is a reminder that these same people who are scared and angry have recently mobilized by the thousands to elect Democrats all throughout your District. If you fail to represent these people, there is no gerrymander that will be able to protect you, you will no longer be afforded the privilege of representing the 7th!

Sincerely,

Molly Sheehan