Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 6th, 2007 at 2:39 pm
[See below for YouTube version of McHenry's statement.]
Last Saturday the House of Representatives passed Energy Independence legislation that amends a section of the IRS code to include "bicycles" in the definition of transportation covered by the qualified transportation fringe benefit.
Introduced earlier this year by Congressman Earl Blumenauer as H.R. 1498, the provision calls for a $20 monthly benefit for riding a bike to work.
However, according to Blumenauer, even this modest amount sparked some heated opposition -- even ridicule -- from other House lawmakers.
Patrick McHenry, a republican from North Carolina stood alongside the poster above and said bicycles were an "antiquated" solution to our energy crisis. He posted the video of his speech on his website with the title, "Congressman McHenry Slams Democrats' Antiquated Energy Plan."
Here are excerpts from his statement on the House floor:
"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."
Wow. I can't even imagine how I would respond to this if McHenry was my representative. Thank goodness we've got Earl huh?
UPDATE: Someone YouTubed the video of McHenry's statement...