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Summer Recess: Earl Blumenauer

OPB | Aug. 10, 2011 9:30 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:27 p.m.

We may as well get it out of the way first thing: Representative Earl Blumenauer is possibly best known for his bow-tie and bike-riding. He supports alternative transportation options like light rail and bike-to-work programs and speaks strongly against subsidies to big oil. He advocates for public broadcasting and against the closing of local post offices. He wants a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan and believes high tariffs on footwear should be reduced. He supports the Clean Air Act and wants to reform the crop insurance system.

But recently, the biggest issue for him — and all members of Congress — has been the country’s financial situation. He voted against the final debt deal (breaking ranks with President Obama, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and most of the Oregon delegation). And as a senior member of the House Budget and Ways and Means Committee, he has come out strongly against the downgrading of the U.S. debt by Standard & Poor’s:

I suppose it is hard to give ‘chutzpah’ a bad name, but S&P is certainly pushing the limit with its downgrade of US debt. Their errors are not limited to just the $2 trillion dollar miscalculation in their rush to play the downgrade card. These people have been the subject of a rare bipartisan consensus in Washington that S&P and their fellow ratings agencies weren’t just complicit in the financial meltdown; they actually aided and abetted the reckless behavior that created it by completely failing in their duty to analyze the bogus financial instruments that were involved… The meltdown and the painful yet necessary policy response would have been largely averted if S&P and its fellow rating agencies had managed to do their job.

We’ll find out more about Blumenauer’s perspective on the current financial situation — and what needs to happen to improve it. We’ll talk to him about bikes, big oil, and whatever else might be on your mind.

In this summer recess season, what questions do you have for Representative Earl Blumenauer?

GUEST:

  • Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

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