Congressman Hon. Tim Bishop- LIFT sponsored
March 25, 2011 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Congressman Tim Bishop first came to LIMBA when he had made a decision to run for the seat held by Felix Grucci in 2002. He had been provost at Southampton College and he was relatively unknown. Recently he won re-election in a very hard won race. His report and observations were the subject of today’s meeting.
Mr. Bishop began to talk about the budget and how out of balance it has become, but the portion of the budget that is being attacked is not where the real money is. The budget is currently $1.5 Trillion in deficit and he agreed that must be addressed. He noted that the budget that the congress wants to pass would mean a big setback for Long Island. Money potentially lost at Brookhaven National Laboratories would result in 950 high paying jobs being lost. What is of equal importance is the research work that would be delayed, thereby losing the future jobs that the research would lead to.
Pell grants are being challenged. Education of 9 million students nationwide would be affected. Again this will hamper job recovery down the road, "this is eating the seed corn" according to Bishop. Cutting out the heart of innovation and growth makes no sense. All of these cuts are painful and counterproductive.
Incentives for companies to expand their production and engineering must be stopped. Why incentives a company to manufacture elsewhere? he asked. Why do we educate foreign students to the doctorate level and then make America inhospitable. Why not encourage them to stay instead of forcing them back to their country’s of origin.
During the Q&A someone asked if farm subsidies were in the budget. The answer was yes, despite the fact Suffolk is the largest farm county in the state Long Island gets none of it. Farm subsidies remain untouched, and those subsidies are given to the largest agri-businesses in the country, not the small farmer.
Another question on military spending came up, and how we still have about 650 bases around the world. "Couldn’t we close some of those?" The answer was yes and we could do a lot more. Bishop gave the example of the alternate engine for fighter jets that was rejected by the Secretary of Defense, is still in the spending bill and that engine will add billions to our deficit.
Then the congressman quoted the words of the President of Shell oil from a few years ago, when he said. "If oil prices rise to $70/barrel, there is no reason that could justify those subsidies. You may have noticed oil prices are $106.
Tim asked when will we see federal money available for public sewer systems. His answer was, not any time soon.