The energy bill just passed by the House contains a provision that would offer a $20 monthly tax rebate to bicycle commuters. When Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) found out, he took to the floor of the House to deliver this speech (via Streetsblog):
A major component of the Democrats’ energy legislation and the Democrats’ answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle.
Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike.
Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: “Save energy, ride a bike.” Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no. They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing.
Apparently, the Democrats believe that the miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil. I cannot make this stuff up. It is absolutely amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Democrats, promoting 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. If you don’t like it, ride a bike. If you don’t like the price at the pumps, ride a bike.
Stay tuned for the next big idea for the Democrats: Improving energy efficiency by the horse and buggy.
Ha ha ha ha! Hoo hoo! Whew … what a wit, this Patrick McHenry. Who is this guy? Let’s find out!
That was him on TV claiming that Rep. Mark Foley’s years of sexual advances on young Congressional pages was a Democratic plot. That was him who signed on to Tom DeLay’s un-ethics bill, which would have exempted the Speaker from Congressional ethics rules … and then went on TV to defend DeLay when the latter was busted taking vacations funded by lobbyists. That was him whose 2004 election field coordinator was indicted for voter fraud. That was him whose campaign manager and chief of staff racked up 21 convictions in court. That was him advocating a military strike on Iran. That was him comparing Congress to high school, complete with "the nice guys that everybody likes, the jocks, the geeks, the bullies."
Right. That guy. A special kind of dimwit. A pipsqueak Terminator of party hackery. The id of today’s Republican party. The reductio ad absurdum of the Bush era. If the dude had any less gravitas he would float into orbit.
Probably not a guy you’d go to for advice on energy policy.