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An open letter to the Arizona Congressional House Delegation Republicans – I didn’t bother with the Democrats because … well, you know.
It has come to my attention that a recent decision by the Executive Branch provides that Congressional staff will have their costs for compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) subsidized, ultimately by the taxpayers, in the amount of 75% of the cost.
Accepting a perquisite such as that completely breaks faith with your electorate – who receive no such subsidy. Moreover, to permit such an offset for your staff would seem to be a violation, in spirit at least, of your oath to support and defend the Constitution.
One might expect an ethical and committed Congressional Representative to reject this special exemption (deduction, carve-out, spiff, payoff – or whatever term you care to apply) and require his staff to remit the full amount, as does every other Citizen for whom the law applies.
Can you assure me that this is and will continue to be the case in your office?
Please, no excuses, weasel-worded answers, or bureaucratic legalese. Just a simple statement such as, “I and all of my staff will accept no such exemption, subsidy, discount, or reduction. We will, as obligated by our committment to our constituents, now and in the future, pay exactly the same as demanded of the taxpayers we serve.”
And if you have no choice – that the subsidies are, ahem, ‘forced’ upon you and your staff (employees, advisors, consultants – again, let’s not play with words, eh?) – then nothing less than a personal check written to the U.S. Treasury in the full amount to reimburse each and every individual subsidy will suffice, with evidentiary documention publicly provided.
I expect to see an unequivocal statement to that effect on your official House website before you recess and return to meet with constituents.
Don’t tell us, “It’s not that simple.” Yes, it is.
Either you stand with those who sent you to represent your district, or you do not.
Either you are willing to set the example for your constituency and for other, less motivated members of the House and Senate, or you assent to be counted among those for whom personal privelege, power, and ‘perks’ are more important.
Hopefully, we can attend your upcoming rallies, townhalls, and fundraising events, look you in the eye, shake your hand, and say, “Thank you for taking a principled stand.”
If your actions make such expressions of gratitude impossible, you can expect us to be somewhat more direct, and less polite, when next we meet.
Your choice, Congressman.