by Mark Hand, ThinkProgress, 12/20/17 [Two of the 24 R’s in the Caucus who voted for the tax bill, Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan, represent parts of Chester County.]
Environmental groups and clean energy activists are taking names and planning action against the Republicans who voted for a massive overhaul of the nation’s tax code that includes provisions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling and continues massive subsidies for fossil fuel production.
Members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus — a group formed in early 2016 to bring Republicans and Democrats together to advance meaningful climate change legislation — who voted for the tax bill are expected to attract the ire of groups that have been fighting for decades to protect ANWR and taking steps to prevent the onset of catastrophic climate change.
The vast majority of the Republican climate caucus members joined their fellow GOP lawmakers to vote for a tax bill that, as League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski explained Wednesday, “will turn one of our last remaining wild places into an industrial oilfield.”
The House on Wednesday gave its final approval to the Republican plan in a 224-to-201 vote, clearing the tax bill’s final hurdle in Congress and sending it to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
The House Climate Solutions Caucus currently has 62 members, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Out of the 31 Republican members, 24 voted for the Republican tax bill…..
keep reading at ThinkProgress
Letter to editor from Luke Bauerlein, Phoenixville, Daily Local News, 12/19/17
As a constituent of Representative Costello’s and one of the fifteen citizens that peacefully occupied his office on Thursday, December 7th, I’m writing to provide context for the sit-in and to share my concerns with the way our Representative characterized this action in a fundraising email sent out by his team on Thursday afternoon. Seeing as he was not present, it sounds like he may have been misled about the nature of our visit.
A few points of clarification I will offer up front.
– Our actions were entirely non-violent and lawful.
– We arrived in the congressman’s office at 9:00 AM and left of our own accord at 1:30 PM.
– We were never asked by staffers to leave his office.
– We were asked to step away from an unoccupied staffer’s desk area and back into the “designated public waiting area.”
– We complied with this request.
– We were not informed staff was calling the police….
keep reading at Daily Local News. The letter goes on to refute Rep. Costello’s statement about “inappropriate and disruptive behavior from the radical left” and to critique provisions of the bill.
By Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, 12/8/127
WEST CHESTER >> Fifteen demonstrators urged U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, to vote against a proposed GOP tax overhaul bill during a Thursday sit-in protest at his local office.
Several organizations were represented, including an anti-pipeline group, labor union leaders, religious organizations, environmentalists and West Chester University students.
Protesters entered the congressional office at 9 a.m. and left at 1:30 p.m. Some stood, while others sat on the floor discussing their concerns with Costello’s staff….
keep reading at Daily Local News
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.