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Can Jim Gerlach disguise himself as a “Champion” for Change?

Running Away from 6 Years of Failed Policies

Jim Gerlach apparently agrees that he and the Bush Administration have been leading this country in the wrong direction. In a recent mail piece, the Gerlach campaign boldly states “Change Has a Champion…Congressman Jim Gerlach.” Rather than take responsibility for championing the policies that have led us to record deficits, skyrocketing health care costs, and the continuation of Bush's failed policies in Iraq, he is now masquerading as a “Champion” for change.

“Jim Gerlach is misleading the voters of 6th District using convenient political jargon, but not having the record to support his claims,” said Roggio Campaign Manager Liz Conroy. “There is a real choice for change this year. There is a choice between giving tax cuts to people who make over 300 thousand dollars a year rather and solving our healthcare crisis. There is a choice between subsidizing the oil companies and preserving social security benefits for our Grandchildren. There is a choice between spending endlessly in Iraq and paying down the debt. Change is about new priorities, not empty rhetoric.”

 “Champion” for Change?

Does a "Champion" for Change vote with George Bush 100% of the time on Iraq?

Gerlach Opposed Setting Benchmarks for Success in Iraq

In July 2005, Gerlach voted against a measure requiring President Bush to set public benchmarks for measuring U.S. progress in Iraq in areas such as defeating the insurgency, establishing democratic institutions and bringing U.S. troops home. Representative Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), who made the motion, urged benchmarks “so we know exactly what we need to do to achieve success in Iraq. Up to this point, Congress has abdicated its responsibility on Iraq. The Republican leadership has provided the administration with a blank check when it comes to Iraq.” [Aberdeen American News, 7/24/05]. The motion failed 203-227. [HR 2601, Menendez motion, Vote #398, 7/20/05]

Gerlach Opposed Investigation into Contractor Spending in Iraq

In 2005, Gerlach voted against an amendment to provide $5 million to establish a select committee to investigate reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, including contracting procedures, protection against money laundering, and the allocation of contracts to foreign companies and small businesses. In October 2004, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board released an audit of the Bush Administration’s management of Iraqi oil proceeds and other funds in the Development Fund for Iraq. Problems found involved hundreds of millions of dollars, numerous sole source contracts and missing and nonexistent contract files. [Committee on Government Reform Minority Staff,] The $5 million would have been transferred from Pentagon funds to the congressional budget. [Washington Post, 3/20/05]. The amendment failed 191-236. [HR 1268, Vote #72, 3/15/05]

Gerlach Opposed Accountability in Iraq

In 2007, Gerlach voted against requiring the president, by July 13, to submit to reports to Congress on the progress the Iraqi government has made in meeting political and military benchmarks. Within seven legislative days of receiving the reports, Congress would then have two votes on releasing the remaining $52.8 billion “fenced” funds — one on an amendment that would require the Defense Department to use the fenced funds solely to redeploy troops from Iraq, and a vote on a joint resolution releasing the funds to the Pentagon for ongoing operations in Iraq. [CQ House Action Reports, No. 110-5, 5/09/07] The bill passed 221-205. [HR 2206, Vote #333, 5/10/07]

REAL CHANGE: Bob Roggio’s priority is to bring the troops home from Iraq. He will work with the new President to achieve a responsible withdrawal and work to encourage the Iraqi Government to take responsibility for reconstruction.

Does a “Champion" for Change vote to weaken ethical restrictions on Congress?

Voted To Weaken House Ethics Rules

In 2005, Gerlach voted in favor of curtailing the ways ethics investigations can be launched. Republicans passed a package of House rules that required at least one Republican to agree before the ethics committee begins an inquiry. Former Ethics committee Chairman Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) broke with GOP leaders on the House floor, saying he thought the changes were a mistake since they were done without bipartisan discussion. The rules passed, 220-195. [HRes 5, Vote #6, 1/04/05]

Opposed Closing the Lucrative “Revolving Door” Between Lobbying & Lawmakers

In 2005, Gerlach voted against a measure to prohibit Members of the House from negotiating lucrative job deals that capitalized on their committee membership. The measure was rejected, 196-219. [HRes 5, Vote #5, 1/04/05]

Voted To Allow Lobbyists to Wine & Dine Congress

In 2003, Gerlach voted to weaken House ethics rules, pushing through language that would allow lobbyists to cater meals to members’ offices and let charities pay for lawmakers to travel and stay at golf resorts and other locales. The rules passed, 221-203. [HRes 5, Vote #4, 1/07/03]

REAL CHANGE: Bob Roggio believes that we must fight for an accountable and transparent government. We need to go further than restricting the number of years that public officials have to “cool off” before lobbying Congress. We need to curtail the influence of special interests in governance by demanding a lifetime ban on ex-lawmakers becoming registered lobbyists.

Does a “Champion" for Change take over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Big Oil, and vote to subsidize the oil and gas industry?

Gerlach Voted for Final Energy Bill that Gave Billions to Oil, Gas and Nuclear Industries

In 2005, Gerlach voted for the energy conference report that exempts oil and gas industries from some clean-water laws, streamlines permits for oil wells and power lines on public lands, and helps the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. One obscure provision would repeal a Depression-era law that has prevented consolidation of public utilities, potentially transforming the nation's electricity markets. It also includes an estimated $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks for most forms of energy -- including oil and gas, "clean coal," ethanol, electricity, and solar and wind power. The bill included $2 billion for "risk insurance" in case new nuclear plants run into construction and licensing delays. And nuclear utilities will be eligible for taxpayer-backed loan guarantees of as much as 80 percent the cost of their plants. The bill passed, 275-156. [HR 6, Vote #445, 7/28/2005; Washington Post, 7/30/05; Passed 275-156; R 200-31; D 75-124; I 0-1]

Gerlach Voted Against Bill that Would Repeal Big Oil’s Tax Breaks

In 2007, Gerlach voted against H.R. 2776, a bill that would add energy derived from waves, tides, ocean currents, free flowing rivers, free flowing canals, and other marine sources to the list of qualified energy sources for the purpose of claiming renewable energy credits, unless diversionary structures such as dams or impoundments are used (Sec. 102). This bill also repeals the 9 percent tax deduction for income attributable to "the sale, exchange, or other disposition of oil, natural gas, or any primary product thereof" (Sec. 301). The House passed the bill 221-189. Republicans voted 9-178 (Vote # 835, 8/4/07). NOTE: This bill was appended to the end of an omnibus bill H.R. 3221, which passed the House 241-172 and Gerlach voted in favor of H.R. 3221. Republicans voted 26-163 (Vote # 832, 8/4/07).

For a Second Time, Gerlach Voted Against Bill that Would Repeal Big Oil’s Tax Breaks

In 2008, Gerlach voted against H.R. 5351, a bill that would extend tax credits for wind facilities, closed loop and open loop biomass facilities, geothermal and solar facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash combustion facilities, and hydropower facilities for three years (Sec. 101). The bill creates new "clean renewable energy" bonds and designates a $2 billion limit on those bonds, which would be allocated to qualified projects of public power providers and cooperative electric companies (Sec. 104). It also prevents tax deductions to major integrated oil companies for income resulting from the domestic production of oil and gas (Sec. 301). The bill passed the House 236-182. Republicans voted 17-174 (Vote # 84, 2/27/08).

REAL CHANGE: Bob Roggio has pledged to not accept ANY campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries.

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A New Direction

Bob Roggio on the Issues