California Congress member Mike Thompson has introduced a number of bills so far this year. Before listing them and providing links to their texts, a few reminders about how this works.
Many bills are introduced each year, but only a small percentage make it to final passage. Every bill is sent to one of the House's many committees. There it usually dies a quiet death. Some bills are incorporated into larger bills. For example, a bill to give funds to a certain type of corporate farmer might have its provisions eventually included in the omnibus agriculture bill. Some times bills that do become important new laws require being re-introduced session after session. The sum total of this is that you should not read to much into the mere introduction of a bill. Often this is just part of the campaign cycle. A bill gets introduced to please a donor or group of voters, but has no real chance of being passed.
Mike has introduced the following bills so far in this session of Congress:
On Apr 22, 2009 he introduced H.R. 2024: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit against income tax to facilitate the accelerated development and deployment of advanced safety systems for commercial motor vehicles. Safety sounds good. But why automotive companies can't do their research and development our of their own profits eludes me. It also eludes me as to why this is being introduced by a Representative who has, as far as I know, no major automotive assembly or parts plants in his district. Perhaps Mike or his staff can tell us how Mike came to introduce this one.
Also on Apr 22, 2009 Mike Thompson introduced H.R. 2055: To establish a Salmon Stronghold Partnership program to protect wild Pacific salmon, and for other purposes. This makes sense for our district, which used to have a major salmon fishing industry.
On Apr 23, 2009, Mike introduced H.R. 2068: To improve the provision of telehealth services under the Medicare Program, to provide grants for the development of telehealth networks, and for other purposes. This seems like a good idea for a mostly rural district like ours.
On May 6, 2009 Representative Thompson introduced: H.R. 2291: Medicare Early Detection of Cancer Promotion Act of 2009. This sounds like one of those feel-good bills. Early detection of cancer does not work out so well in reality, at least not yet. Billions can be spent in testing people who don't have cancer, yet the tests seem to miss early cancer stages in people who do develop cancer. It is no one's fault, but cancer is a tricky beast. Perhaps if Mike would support universal, single-payer health care insurance for all American citizens, which he has always opposed, we could take his health-care do-gooding more seriously.
And also on May 6, 2009, Mike introduced H.R. 2292: the Healthy Kids for Healthy Futures Act of 2009. It is bad politics to be for sick, uncared for kids. This act is the sort of piecemeal reform that might pass. It provides that health care plans (usually provided by employers) must provide preventative care reimbusement for children, without any sort of charge or deductible. Obviously to the extent insurers are not already in compliance, it will increase their costs, which they will pass on to employers. It does not appear to use tax dollars to provide preventative care for children.
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Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.