Goodlatte and Trump pull a fast one on taxes

To celebrate the House of Representatives’ approval of the Republican tax heist (which Congress ultimately passed with zero Democratic support), Congressman Goodlatte posted this tweet highlighting the alleged benefits for ordinary working people:

Surely even Goodlatte realizes what a joke the “taxes on a postcard” and “do away with special interest loopholes” pledges turned out to be. And President Trump gave away the game yesterday when he said honestly (for a change) that the corporate tax cuts– not middle class tax cuts– are “probably the biggest factor in this plan.”

It would be interesting to know how much Goodlatte will benefit personally from the tax plan compared to his less well-to-do constituents. But we are as likely to find out about that as we are to see President Trump’s tax returns.

Congresswomen ask Goodlatte for hearing on women’s allegations against Trump

The four Democratic women who serve on the House Judiciary Committee have written to committee chair Bob Goodlatte asking him to schedule a hearing on “the serious but credible allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct leveled against the current President of the United States by at least 19 women.”

“I understand the instinct to want to change the subject”

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday called by Congressman Goodlatte in an effort to undermine the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign and administration, ranking Democratic member Jerrold Nadler delivered a devastatingly powerful opening statement which ought to shame Goodlatte and his fellow Republicans but likely won’t. Watch:

Goodlatte celebrates death of net neutrality

It comes as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal the 2015 rule requiring internet service providers to give equal and open access to all internet content for all users.

Federal regulators voted Thursday to allow Internet providers to speed up service for websites they favor — and block or slow down others — in a decision repealing landmark Obama-era regulations overseeing broadband companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

The move by the Federal Communications Commission to deregulate the telecom and cable industries was a prominent example of the policy shifts taking place in Washington under President Trump and a major setback for consumer groups, tech companies and Democrats who had lobbied heavily against the decision.

The 3-2 vote, which was along party lines, enabled the FCC’s Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, to follow through on his promise to repeal the government’s 2015 net neutrality rules, which required Internet providers to treat all websites, large and small, equally. The agency also rejected some of its own authority over the broadband industry in a bid to stymie future FCC officials who might seek to reverse the Republican-led ruling.

Nor is it surprising that Congressman Goodlatte tweeted his support for the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality.

Or that Goodlatte has received more than $236,000 in campaign contributions from the ISP giants AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

In a previous post at Goodlatte Watch I debunked Goodlatte’s claims that ending net neutrality would benefit consumers and that antitrust enforcement alone would provide sufficient protection.

Did anyone dare to hope that by announcing his retirement from Congress at the end of next year, Goodlatte would feel free to do what is right for his constituents rather than his big-money donors?


Slash yes, constituents no

I don’t mind that Congressman Goodlatte takes the time to meet with rich and famous  rock musicians like Slash and Steven Tyler to talk about copyright protection.

But it would be nice if he was as willing to hold a face-to-face town hall meeting with his not-so-rich and not-so-famous constituents here in the Sixth District (which he hasn’t done since 2013) to answer questions about things like taxes, health care, deregulation, Donald Trump, etc., etc.

Goodlatte sides with Trump against FBI and Mueller

Last August Congressman Goodlatte welcomed the Senate’s confirmation of Christopher Wray, President Trump’s choice to replace the fired James Comey as director of the FBI.

“He has a long and distinguished legal career, including serving as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division under President George W. Bush and Assistant U.S. Attorney in Georgia. Mr. Wray’s public and private sector service make him extremely well suited to lead the FBI…”

But with President Trump trying to undermine the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign and administration, Goodlatte took a sharply different tone when Wray appeared Thursday as a witness before the Goodlatte-chaired House Judiciary Committee.

Republicans, led by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, questioned whether bias in favor of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or against the president has crept into the high ranks of the FBI or Mueller’s probe. Republicans questioned whether bias affected a now-closed probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server.

“It does appear to me that, at the very least, the FBI’s reputation as an impartial, non-political agency has been called into question recently,” Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte cited Trump’s December 3 tweet that the FBI’s reputation is “in tatters” and he echoed Trump’s assertion of political bias against the president among investigators. 

Republican criticism about Mueller’s probe intensified following a recent revelation that a top FBI agent assigned to the special counsel’s team allegedly sent anti-Trump texts last summer. Mueller removed the agent, Peter Strzok, after learning of the allegations.

Wray said the FBI is working with the Justice Department to review text messages allegedly sent between Strzok and other agents to determine if there is anything in them that’s improper.

There is no evidence that Strzok’s political views, or the views of any other investigators,  influenced their work.

Goodlatte refuses to call hearings on anything related to potential wrongdoing by Trump, his campaign or his administration, while placing a higher priority on yet another investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

He thus continues his role as the president’s loyal defender. For how long? If Trump tries to cut off the investigation by firing Mueller, will Goodlatte will finally find the courage to stand up to him?

This is what “country over party” looks like

I’m prepared to stand corrected, but as far as I can tell, Congressman Goodlatte has not once in his 25 years in Congress taken a principled position that overrode partisan considerations.

This is in stark contrast to his mentor, the late Republican Congressman Caldwell Butler, who in 1974 bravely supported the impeachment of President Nixon while most of his fellow Republicans were backing Nixon.

Mr. Butler dealt with hate mail and bomb threats, but his stiffest opposition came from his mother, who wrote him that his future “will go down the drain if you do not stand with your party at this critical time.”

“Dear Mother,” he wrote. “You are probably right. However, I feel that my loyalty to the Republican Party does not relieve me of the obligation which I have.”

Although Goodlatte won’t be standing for reelection in 2018, I don’t expect him to break with the habits of the past quarter-century.  But I hope he gets a chance to see this. It’s a Twitter post by Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Flake is also retiring at the end of his term next year. Like Goodlatte, he voted for the misbegotten Republican tax plan. But unlike Goodlatte, he understands that keeping the accused sexual predator Roy Moore out of Congress is more important than whatever temporary legislative advantage the Republicans would get by Moore’s election– even if it means supporting his Democratic opponent.