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Open letter to Jack Bergman

To the editor:

Your latest newsletter touts your co-sponsorship of the REINS Act in the U.S. House. This bill is intended to strengthen oversight of the Executive Branch and prevent abuse of power. It’s worth noting that this bill, or a version of it, has been introduced by every Congress since 2011. I heartily endorse the intent of this bill.

However good the intent of the bill, I would like to point out that there is a reason for Executive Overreach. Overreach is frequently prompted by the failure of Congress to pass laws, leaving our Executive branch without laws to follow. While oversight is needed, your time might be better spent to introduce laws that would eliminate the need for Executive Action. Rather than signing onto someone else’s bill, why not author your own bill that would solve real problems. For example, you could introduce a bill to reform Health Care by replacing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Trump said that this would be easy. How about immigration reform? Let’s clean up that area and lay out clear guidance for our Executive Branch that doesn’t leave so much to Executive Branch whims. How about an infrastructure bill that would put people back to work and fix our roads? I’m sure that there are many areas like this that would be good uses of your (and your colleagues’) time.

The list of co-sponsors for the REINS Act reads like a Who’s Who of those in Congress that voted to subvert our democracy by disenfranchising voters in many states. I would ask: Are these the people to oversee our Executive Branch? Over the last few years Trump has taken executive action to remove protection for natural resources and voter and consumer rights, threatened military action against Iran, refused to turn over to Congress his tax returns and many other actions that might be considered Executive overreach. You have voted against all Congressional attempts to limit those actions. I would ask why you feel that it is important to exercise oversight since you have consistently refused to do so in the last four years.

You – and your co-sponsors – have had ample opportunity to demonstrate oversight of the Executive Branch of our government and have failed to do so. It is the height of hypocrisy to now tout your support of the REINS Act.

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