Jul 28, 2008
Republican Reichertís Energy Policy Flip-Flop #1: Price Gouging
Running Scared: Republican Reichert was for price gouging before he was against it
In the spirit of the summer season, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will highlight one of Republican Dave Reichert's Energy Policy Flip-Flops every day this week. If Congressman Reichert can't pick a side, how can he be on voters' side?
This month, the price for gas in Washington State hit a record high $4.35 a gallon. In the 8th Congressional District, middle class families are feeling squeezed, struggling to fill up the tank and staying close to home rather than taking a summer road trip. But Congressman Dave Reichert repeatedly voted against legislation to crack down on price gouging by oil companies making record profits. Scared of Darcy Burner's campaign to get Washington State's economy moving again, Reichert eventually flip-flopped and supported anti-price gouging legislation. But how long will his energy makeover last?
"Middle class families feeling the pinch of skyrocketing gas prices can't afford to take a chance on Republican Reichert's two-faced flip-flopping on energy," said Yoni Cohen, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "All of a sudden, just when he realized he was one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country, Republican Reichert's flipped onto the side of his constituents. But given his previous history of siding with his Big Oil backers against consumers, how do voters know he won't flop right back to opposing sensible and necessary price-gouging legislation if he survives the November election?"
FACT - Oil Companies Have Funded Republican Reichert's Campaigns
- Since 2004, Republican Reichert has accepted $63,928 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 7/24/08]
FACT - Gas Prices Hit a Record High This Month in Washington State
- The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Washington State hit a record high of $4.352 on July 6th. [AAA Fuel Gauge Report, Accessed 7/28/08]
FLIP - Four Times, Republican Reichert Voted Against Anti-Price Gouging Measures
- In 2005, Republican Dave Reichert voted against a motion to provide the Justice Department with the authority to prosecute oil companies engaged in gas price gouging and impose increased criminal penalties on corporations and individuals. Republican Reichert also voted against an amendment to provide the Federal Trade Commission with new authority to investigate and prosecute those that engage in predatory gas pricing and against a motion to grant new authority to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, enforce and then punish gas price gouging and market manipulation [HR 3402, Vote #500, 9/28/05; HR 3893, Vote #517, 10/07/05; HR3893, Vote #518, 10/07/05]
- In 2006, Republican Reichert voted in favor of killing an attempt to bring up a bill that would give both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department the authority to investigate, prosecute and penalize companies engaged in price gouging involving gasoline, home heating oil or natural gas. [HRes 897, Vote #352, 6/29/06]
FLOP - Republican Reichert Eventually Supported Anti-Price Gouging Measures
- In 2007, Republican Reichert voted for legislation to empower the Department of Justice to bring antitrust lawsuits against the OPEC alliance in U.S. courts. Republican Reichert also voted for legislation to prohibit price gouging for fuels in areas experiencing an "energy emergency," set civil and criminal penalties for price gouging and permit states to bring lawsuits against retailers for price gouging. [HR 2264, Vote #398, 5/22/07; HR 1252, Vote #404, 5/23/07]
- In 2008, Republican Reichert voted for legislation to provide consumers with immediate protection against price gouging by allowing the President to declare a state of "energy emergency" and prohibit price gouging in areas where an emergency has been declared. [H.R. 6346, Vote #448, 6/24/08]