Entries in Earl Blumenauer (2)


Rep. Blumenauer Accuses NRA of Political Bullying on Gun Laws

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- As the flags over the U.S. Capitol continue to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week, one Democratic congressman says there is a renewed opportunity “to deal with an epidemic of gun violence” in the United States.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., took to the House floor Monday afternoon to speak out for stronger gun control, blaming the National Rifle Association for poisoning the political dialogue around the controversial issue and “creating phony threats to gun ownership.”

“What is as appalling as the loss of life, is the fact that we not only refuse to do anything about it, but we allow political bullies to intimidate us from even researching the facts,” Blumenauer blasted. “Anytime there is a mass-killing spree, I hope against hope, for a more enlightened reaction.”

Blumenauer targeted the NRA for making it “impossible” to close the gun show loophole, where he said people can purchase “unlimited amounts of guns without a reasonable background check.” He also criticized the gun lobby for helping people on the no-fly list purchase guns while also preventing national security data from being shared between two government agencies.

“The NRA argues that all we need is for existing gun laws to be enforced while they systematically set about to dismantle which laws we have,” he said. “I continue to feel that there’s no reason to permit armor-piercing, cop-killer bullets to be sold like Tic-tac’s, that automatic weapons should be available over the counter with 100-bullet magazines like killer in Colorado had, that facilitate such sprees.”

The nine-term Democrat called on gun owners to “join with politicians, business, [and] the health community to come together to deal with an epidemic of gun violence in a way we would treat any other threat to the safety of our families and our communities.”

“We would study, we would work on solutions together, and we would act,” he imagined. “Sadly, we’re still waiting.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Congressman Launches Inquiry into Cost of Sarah Palin's Tour

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin is set to continue to tour national monuments around the country this summer, and one congressman wants to know how that will affect everyone else.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., sent a letter to the National Park Service Tuesday asking how federal resources were used for the Northeast leg of Palin’s “One Nation Tour,” which traveled from Washington, D.C., to New Hampshire last week. His concern: press accounts of the tour “which provided personal and political benefits to former Gov. Palin, suggest that National Park Service resources were made available to an extent beyond that which an average American family would receive.”

Palin was surrounded by park rangers and, at times, police officers during her tour stops. Last Wednesday, she and her family were accompanied by approximately 10 authorities as they toured the Statue of Liberty.

David Barna, a Park Service spokesman, told ABC News that with the exception of the Statue of Liberty visit, it was business as usual at all the sites Palin saw (with the exception, of course, of dozens of spectators and press following the former Alaska governor).

“We recognize she is not a government official, she is not a candidate for public office, so we treated her as any other celebrity that might come in,” he said. He compared the Park Service’s treatment of Palin last week -- organizing private tours, opening specific monuments early -- to what they might do “for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie."

“If there was any cost, it might have been for the park police at the Statue of Liberty,” he said. “Right now, I don’t know the answer to that."

Barna is seeking answers to Rep. Blumenauer’s question about how much money went into hosting Palin. As far as planning for Palin’s potential visits to other national monuments -- she said she plans to visit the West Coast, Iowa and South Carolina this summer -- he said, “We haven’t done anything, we’re not involved in anything. We’re just like everyone else, waiting to see what happens.”

Aides for Palin declined ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio