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Charles Bass (NH-02)
Rep. Bass Faces New Energy Questions [Roll Call, 6/23/11] A poll by Congressman Bass finds sentiment in favor of tax increases to fix the debt ceiling problem
[Keene Sentinel, 7/14/11]
Bass: Companies aren’t people [Politico, 8/29/11] Bass and Guinta make watchdog group’s “Most Corrupt” list [Nashua Telegraph, 9/21/11]
WMUR: Bass Should Distance Himself from Washington In January 2012, WMUR Political Scoop published an editorial that said Bass should distance himself from Washington to appeal to voters. Bass said he wanted to focus on lessening small business regulations, decreasing the country’s dependence on foreign oil, improving job creation, and holding more town hall meetings.
Keene Sentinel: Bass Voted To End Medicare And Turn It Into A Voucher Program In a May 2011 editorial, the Keene Sentinel opined that, “Our purpose here is not to examine the merits of the plan to end the government Medicare program and replace it with a voucher program for limited private insurance. […] Our purpose is simply to demonstrate that, in contrast to what he wrote in his oped column, New Hampshire 2nd District Congressman Charles Bass voted for it.” [Keene Sentinel, 5/06/11] Keene Sentinel: Bass Misrepresented Health Care Law In a February 2011 editorial, the Keene Sentinel criticized Bass for mischaracterizing the health care reform law as a “massive government takeover” of the industry. “Bass votes to repeal the law and says he wants to fashion a set of reforms that seem to be the very things that are in it: ‘patient-centered health care reform that is based on improving care, increasing access, and lowering costs for everyone, all while ensuring that pre-existing conditions are covered.’ That’s from his press release. […]What motivates these people to so deeply mischaracterize the things they purport to oppose?” [Keene Sentinel, 2/12/11] Concord Monitor: Bass Vote Bad for Health, Environment In April 2011, the Concord Monitor criticized Bass’ vote to deregulate greenhouse gas emissions, writing, “It's almost as if, with the Capitol building on fire, Congressman Charlie Bass called for a debate over
who has the authority to turn on the fire hose. Bass, who unlike many of his Republican colleagues believes global warming is real, voted this month for a bill that would forbid the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Congress has proven incapable of taking meaningful steps to address climate change, and Bass himself doesn't see that changing in the foreseeable future. But he nonetheless objects to the EPA's decision to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a threat to health under the 1991 Clean Air Act.” [Concord Monitor, 4/14/11]
Dodged Question on Ryan Plan In November 2011 at a town hall for seniors, Bass dodged a question about his support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. When asked about his vote in favor of the plan by one constituent, Bass did not go into specifics and said only that it was “always his intention to preserve the status of Medicare and Medicaid.” The constituent told the Nashua Telegraph he was disappointed with Bass’ lack of accountability. [Nashua
Defended Vote on Ryan Budget at Town Hall Meeting In November 2011, Bass defended his vote on the Ryan budget and said that it was his intention to preserve the status of Medicare and Medicaid. Constituents of Bass said that they felt shortchanged at Bass’ lack of discussion about the health care industry. One constituent said, “I just wish we could get some straight information on this. But instead, we got the usual dance around. We’re facing incredible increases, and on a very fixed income, that really affects a budget.” [Nashua Telegraph, 11/28/11] Supported Funds to Open Berlin, NH Federal Prison In November 2011, Bass supported the $245 billion “minibus” legislation that included three appropriations bills and a continuing resolution to keep unfunded parts of the government running until December 16. The bill would also open a 1,000 bed federal prison in Berlin, NH. Bass, whose district includes Berlin, said, “This is tremendous news for Berlin and New Hampshire’s North Country. This will be a huge boost to the economic well-being of the area and I’m looking forward to having the doors of the Berlin Prison open once and for all.” He added that he had no problem voting for the minibus bill overall because it was consistent with the $1.04 trillion cap on discretionary spending including in the Deficit Control Act of 2011. Bass said that the prison funding was not an earmark and said, “This is a directive to the agency to do something that is not specific to any project. The prison will be activated because the Congress wants it, the Bureau of Prisons wants it and the people of Berlin want it.” [Union Leader, 11/17/11]
Said He Would Not Vote to Wave Sequestration If Deficit Panel Failed to Meet Goals In November 2011, Bass said that he would not vote to wave sequestration of funds if the deficit panel failed to meet its goals. Bass said, “Well I think that the specter of across the border sequestration, which is what you just described, is very ugly. And that is one of the persuaders, if you will, that members need to be willing to work together and compromise. I, for one, will not vote to wave the sequestration process because I really think that we need to apply maximum pressure on all lawmakers to take difficult positions that require courage to resolve this nation's crisis - just as is going on in other countries around the world.” [NPR,
Voted for Final Debt Ceiling Compromise Legislation In August 2011, Bass voted for the final debt ceiling compromise legislation, the Budget Control Act of 2011. The framework would cut $917 billion in spending over a decade, raise the debt limit initially by $900 billion and assign a special congressional committee, with members from the House and the Senate and appointed by congressional leadership, to find another $1.5 trillion in deficit savings by late November. If Congress met that deadline and deficit target, or voted to send a balanced budget amendment to the states, the debt ceiling would be raised an additional $1.5 trillion. The plan guaranteed a vote on the balanced budget amendment between October and the end of 2011. If Congress failed to take either step, or debt savings of at least $1.2 trillion were not produced, the plan allows the president to obtain a $1.2 trillion debt ceiling increase. That would trigger automatic spending cuts across the government – including in defense and Medicare – to take effect starting in 2013. The Medicare cuts would only affect Provider reimbursements. The legislation included no revenue increases. The bill was passed by the full House, 269-161. [Bloomberg, 8/01/11; S 356, 8/01/11] Said Debt Ceiling Debate Was Best Opportunity to Get Balanced-Budget Amendment, Bothered by Idea of Passing Responsibility to President In August 2011, Bass said he wanted to find a bipartisan deal to avoid default, but that he remained convinced that the debt ceiling debate is the best opportunity to get a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. He also said he was bothered by proposals to pass responsibility for raising the debt ceiling to the president, even if Congress is allowed an opportunity to express its disapproval. Bass said, “This is our chance to get spending under control and address the constitutional issue…Kicking the can, so to speak, over to the White House is not an acceptable solution.” [The Washington Post, 8/01/11] Held Telephone Town Hall with 6,500 People to Address Debt Ceiling Debate In July 2011, Bass held a telephone town hall which 6,500 people joined to listen.
One caller said, “I t is absolutely disgusting the Congress and president have held the American economy hostage…I will never vote for any of you [if the country defaults on its payments].” Bass responded, “I can certainly understand your anger…I ran for Congress last year because I felt the same way you did.” [The Boston Globe, 7/28/11] Voted Against Reid’s Debt Ceiling Plan In July 2011, Bass voted against Sen. Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt ceiling. Reid’s plan called for raising the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, requiring no additional debt ceiling vote until after the 2012 election. The plan included $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts over 10 years, mandatory spending cuts of $100 billion, $1 trillion in savings from winding down combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $400 billion in interest savings. The legislation included no revenue increases. The CBO score of Reid’s plan said it would reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion. The bill was rejected by the full House, 173-246. [New York Times, 7/25/11; HR 2693, 7/30/11] Voted in Favor of Cut, Cap and Balance Plan In July 2011, Bass voted in favor of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, legislation requiring deep spending cuts, a federal spending cap and a balanced budget amendment in order to raise the federal debt ceiling. Under Cut, Cap and Balance, discretionary spending in fiscal year 2012 would be reduced below fiscal year 2008 levels except for Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans affairs. The plan provided a universal spending cap after 2012. The legislation contained no revenue increases. The bill was approved by the full House, 234-190. [New York Times, 7/21/11; HR 2560, 7/19/11] Constituents Favor Revenue Increases in Debt Deal In July 2011, Bass took an informal poll of his constituents during a telephone town hall. A plurality of the respondents – 49 percent to 46 percent (with five percent unsure) – said they favored new tax revenues as part of a larger deficit reduction package. [Keene Sentinel, 7/14/11] Voted for Cut, Cap and Balance, But Said He Was Willing to Look at Any Proposal In July 2011, Bass voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. Bass said, “We on the Republican side have stuck our chins out and done with pride what the American people asked us to do.” Bass also said he’s willing to look at any proposal, including entitlement and tax reform, which are part of the Senate plan, but that it wasn’t the time to raise tax rates. [New Hampshire Union Leader, 7/20/11]
Said Debt Limit Deal May Be “Only Chance” to Reign in Spending In July 2011, Bass said, “I will not vote for a debt limit increase which doesn’t include some substantive spending cuts and reforms…We have the opportunity here to fulfill what we promised to voters, which is to rein in the spending in Washington, and this may be our only chance to do it over the two-year cycle.”
[New Hampshire Union Leader, 7/10/11]
Bass: Ryan Plan Not “Exact Answer” but “A Good Step in the Right Direction” In June 2011, Bass voiced his support for the Ryan budget plan, what he called “a good step in the right direction.” Bass commented that the Republican plan was not the “exact answer” to the Medicare plan, “But it puts forth a plan and a framework which we can address.” He said that Republicans “are faced with the challenge of selling something new. ‘The problem is that it’s easier to be against change than it is to be for it…Everybody understands the status quo, so you don’t have to sell the status quo, if it’s working.” [Concord Monitor, 6/21/11] Sponsored Bill to Establish Committee Focused on Wasteful Spending In June 2011, Bass introduced legislation “that would establish a new select committee in the House whose sole function would be to find ways to cut wasteful federal spending and protect American taxpayers. Bass commented, ‘This is a common-sense proposal to get us started on a path to fiscal responsibility and economic growth and one that we know can work.” [Office of Congressman Bass, 6/16/11] Bass’s District one of the 10 Hardest Hit by Ryan Plan In June 2011, a Bloomberg analysis listed Bass’s congressional district as one of the top 10 districts most affected by the Ryan plan. “Nine of the 10 districts throughout the US with the most people age 45-54 are represented by Republicans.” [Office of Congressman Courtney, 6/15/11] Bass: “Global Community will Understand” if U.S. Approaches Default on Debt In June 2011, Bass commented on the possibility of a default if the debt ceiling is not raised. “There is a difference between strategic or technical default and default where you really don’t have the economy to support the spending. We are not at that point yet. We could be…But I think the global economy will understand that the United States has the ability to meet its obligations. But it’s not going to be able to do it over the long term if we can’t control the growth of government.” [CNN’s State of the Union, 6/12/11] Bass: “Willing to Vote to End” Oil and Gas Subsidies In June 2011, Bass commented on oil and gas subsidies and said, “I’m willing to vote to end that subsidy if it’s part of a recognition on the part of the Democrats who support this, that they’re willing to look at the real issues, which is getting from $250 billion a month of deficit down to 0.” [CNN’s State of the Union,
Voted Against Clean Debt Ceiling Raise
In May 2011, Bass voted against HR 1954, a clean federal debt ceiling raise of $2.4 trillion. The bill was rejected by the full House, 97-318. [HR 1954, 5/31/11] Bass “Not Convinced” Debt Default is the Same As “Real Bankruptcy” In May 2011, the Valley News reported that, “U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H., is singing a Tea Party tune when it comes to the budget.” Bass said, “‘I'm not convinced that technical default is the same as real bankruptcy. I'm increasingly convinced that this debate may be the critical debate in setting a path to a balanced budget and reducing our nation's debt, and if the president is willing to start negotiating with the House and Senate on this issue, I think he can make progress.’” The Valley News continued, “That's a somewhat different stance from late February, when Bass told the Valley News that the country ‘can't afford to default on our obligations.’” [The Valley News, 5/19/11] Bass Said Ryan Budget Was The Beginning Of A Discussion In an op-ed published in May 2011 in the Keene Sentinel, Bass wrote, “In the recent budget resolution that I supported, we have begun the discussion by providing suggestions on how to improve Medicare. While far from a final solution, this budget is the first step in a process that will and should lead to changes based on the input policymakers receive from their constituents and other stakeholders.” [Keene
Bass Accused Ryan Plan Critics Of Using “Scare Tactics” In an op-ed published in May 2011 in the Keene Sentinel, Bass wrote, “Recently, outside special interest groups have started a campaign to tell seniors in New Hampshire that I voted to ‘end Medicare’ and turn it into a ‘voucher’ program. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is unfortunate that some are using political scare tactics to try and derail a debate before it has even begun. […]The debate needs to be based on facts, not the distortions of those who want to use the debate for political gain.” [Keene Sentinel,
Continuing Resolution Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1473) to fund the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year while also reducing spending by nearly $40 billion from Fiscal Year 2010 levels. Bass said, "This Continuing Resolution is just the first 100 yards of a 26-mile marathon. While not perfect, this agreement will allow Congress to fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year and get to work on next year's budget and appro-priations process. More importantly, it reflects Congress' commitment to controlling spending and getting the federal government to live within its means. We can finally put the debate on this bill behind us and get back to work on pur-suing policies that strengthen our economy and allow the private sector to create jobs." [Office of Congressman Charlie Bass, 4/14/11] Supported Funding for Local Prison
In April 2011, while testifying before the House Budget Committee, Bass expressed the need to fund prisons, namely a prison that was built in his district in 2011. “This state-of-the-art, $276 million federal prison is estimated to create more than 300 new jobs and have a $40 million annual impact on my congressional district, but right now [in 2011] it sits empty,” said Bass. [thelobbynh.com, 4/06/11] Flip-flopped on NPR Funding In April 2011, the Concord Monitor reported that Bass had voted to de-fund National Public Radio, despite previously acting to protect the same funding in a 2005 appropriations bill. In response to an inquiry from the Monitor, a Bass spokesperson said, “As a longtime listener and supporter of New Hampshire public radio broadcasting, Congressman Bass recognizes the value and quality of this noncommercial service. However, as we continue to work to improve the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs, we have many tough funding decisions to make as we rein in the uncontrolled spending of the past couple of years.” [Concord Monitor, 4/03/11] Voted Against Amendments to Defund EPA In 2011, Bass voted against amendments that would block funding to modify the national primary ambient air-quality standard, classify fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous material and implement mining regulations from the EPA. He also voted against defunding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). [The Hill, 02/22/11] Bass Voted To Eliminate Federal Funds for Memorial Bridge In February 2011, Bass voted to eliminate federal spending for numerous projects, including New Hampshire’s Memorial bridge. New Hampshire and Maine officials expected about $20 million from the federal government to help replace the aging Memorial Bridge. Bass said, “Clearly, the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth should be a priority for the New Hampshire delegation to preserve, and I will certainly work with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Congressman Frank Guinta to make sure that happens.” [WMUR, 2/22/11] Bass Voted Against Amendment Cutting $450 Million In F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Back- Up Engine In February 2011, Bass voted against an amendment which would cut $450 million in building a back- up engine for F- 35 Joint Strike Fighter. Bass voted in favor of continued funding for the engine because he also “supports competition within the program,” said his spokesman, Stephanie Dubois. [Union Leader.com,
Business and Consumer Issues
Worked to Keep SBIR Program in Place In December 2011, Bass sought to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which gives competitive research and development grants to small businesses across the country. Bass said, “This program has been authorized by a series of short-term extensions over the last several years, and I support a long-term reauthorization that will give the federal government and small businesses applying for the grants more certainty in the planning process. With small businesses creating the majority of new jobs in our state, it only makes sense to preserve programs like SBIR that help them expand.” [Charlie Bass E-Newsletter, 12/9/11] Voted for REINS Act In December 2011, Bass voted for the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Federal agencies to submit regulations with an annual economic impact of $100 million or greater to Congress for approval. The bill passed the House by a vote of 241-184. Bass said, “Any small business owner in New Hampshire can describe the endless federal, state, and local regulations they must comply with, some of which are unnecessary or overly burdensome and hamper expansion and growth. Unelected bureaucrats, who cannot be held accountable by the American people like Members of Congress can through elections, have been implementing rules and regulations at an incredible rate. The Administration’s December 2010 report on federal regulations listed more than 4,200 regulatory actions under development alone. This bill will promote a more transparent and accountable rulemaking process in our federal government and ensure the American people have a voice in the process.” [Charlie Bass E-Newsletter, 12/9/11] Bass: Companies Are Not People In 2011, Bass responded to a question at a town hall meeting regarding Romney’s comments on corporations by saying "I don't believe that companies are people.” [Politico, 08/29/11] Opposed Government Regulation of the Internet In 2011, Bass cosponsored of H.J.Res. 37, which would void the FCC’s net neutrality rules that propose allowing government regulation of the Internet. “The FCC’s rules to regulate the Internet threaten to strangle this engine of technological and economic growth by stifling innovation and creating unnecessary uncertainty.” [The State Column, 03/16/11]
Campaign Finance Issues
Challenger Raised $325,000 in Fourth Quarter In January 2012, Ann Kuster reported that she raised $325,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Kuster ended 2011 with “well over” $800,000 in cash, according to her campaign. [Roll Call, 1/12/12]
Bass: I Don’t Support Super PACs In January 2012, Bass said he did not support the existence of “Super PACs,” which were created following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. “Sad to say, without getting into the constitutional issues, the Supreme Court has greatly broadened the definition of the First Amendment so that these Super PACs can sort of operate outside of the political structure,” he said. “It’s bizarre that we have a campaign, campaign committees, party committees, every penny has to be accounted for and reported every 10 days and so forth, and yet there’s this whole other political advocacy world that’s completely unregulated; and I don’t support that, but it’s there.” [NPR,
Opponent Kuster Raised $360,000 In October 2011, Kuster reported raising around $360,000 in the third quarter. 89 percent of Kuster’s money was received from individuals. Bass has yet to release his third quarter fundraising table. [Politico,
Spent $7,920 of Campaign Money at Vineyard Vines In August 2011, Bass spent $7,920 worth of campaign funds at Vineyard Vines and categorized the expense as donor gifts, without specifying what the gifts were. Bass’ spokesman said that, “We simply purchased some gifts for donors. They're New Hampshire themed." Vineyard Vines is a Connecticut-based retail company specializing in neckties, shirts, and tote bags with bright colors and whale patterns. [Concord Monitor, 08/29/11] Reported Campaign Contributions from Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan In July 2011, Bass reported $2,000 in campaign contributions from the CEO of New England Wood Pellet, Steven Walker; $4,000 from Friends of John Boehner; $10,000 from Rep. Eric Cantor’s ERIC PAC; $5,000 from Rep. Paul Ryan’s Prosperity PAC; and $1,000 from Halliburton. Bass also reported $229,250 in individual payments. [Bass Victory Committee, 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 7/15/11] Topped by Democratic Opponent in Fundraising In July 2011, Bass’s office reported that the Congressman had raised $303,000 during the second fundraising quarter, a record for the Congressman. Democratic candidate Annie Kuster topped Bass’s fundraising with $365,000 during the same quarter. [Politico, 7/07/11]
Crime & Public Safety Issues
Bass Wrote Letter To Federal Bureau of Prisons Requesting Funding For Berlin Prison, Blamed Democratic Congress For Lack Of Funding
According to the Associated Press, in May 2011, “New Hampshire Congressman Charles Bass is urging the Federal Bureau of Prisons to redirect any available funds from this fiscal year to open the vacant prison in Berlin. Bass, a Republican, wrote a letter Thursday to William Dalius, assistant director of the bureau. He noted that the prison is expected to have a $40 million annual impact on the North Country and will provide 300 jobs.” In his letter, Bass wrote, “It is unfortunate this brand-new federal prison in Berlin is sitting vacant right now because Congress couldn't do its job and pass a budget or any of the spending bills last year.” [Associated Press, 5/6/11; Office of Congressman Bass, 5/06/11] Berlin Prison Money Was Originally Included In Senate CR, But Not In House CR In March 2011, the Associated Press reported that the funding for the Berlin Federal prison, “was not included in the House version of the budget and it's been eliminated in the latest budget proposal from the Senate. The initial amount allocated in the Senate version was $28.5 million.” [Associated Press, 3/16/11] Aide Said Bass Was Working To Get Prison “Funded As Soon As Possible” In a March 2011 article about the lack of funding for the Berlin Federal prison in the 2011 federal budget, a Charlie Bass spokeswoman, Stephanie DuBois, said Bass “‘strongly supports the Berlin federal prison and recognizes the positive impact it has had and will continue to have on the Berlin community. […] He is working with the rest of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation to determine the best means to get this project funded as soon as possible.’” [Associated Press, 3/16/11] Supported Building of Federal Prison in District In 2011, Bass supported building a federal prison in his district. A spokeswoman for Bass said that he "strongly supports the Berlin federal prison and recognizes the positive impact it has had and will continue to have on the Berlin community." The money was not included in the House version of the FY 2011 budget and it's been eliminated in the latest budget proposal from the Senate. [boston.com, 03/16/11]
Economic and Financial Issues Education Issues
Visited Reading Program He Voted to Cut In September 2011, Bass visited Reach Out and Read, a childhood literacy program that he voted to cut funding for. Regarding the program, Bass said, “Just because I voted to reduce funding for this program doesn't mean I don't support the ideas underlying it. We just need to make decisions in Washington with respect to budget priorities." [wmur.com, 09/29/11]
Supported Budget Cuts to Local Head Start Programs In 2011, Bass supported H.R. 1, the House budget bill that cut nearly $61 billion from the 2011 federal budget. The Union Leader reported on the effects of that vote to Head Start education in his district. Rebecca Johnson, director of family services at the Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties Inc., said the 22 percent reduction for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in the House resolution would eliminate 416 children currently in the program and 135 jobs, and would close 27 classrooms. The group also said the cuts would mean 700 fewer youth service participants would receive Workforce Investment Act job training and the 21,000 New Hampshire students receiving Pell Grants will receive less money. And if the cuts are approved, they said, school districts will receive $3.33 million less to help educate the disadvantaged. [UnionLeader.com, 3/23/11]
Supported Increase in Federal LIHEAP Funding In November 2011, Bass supported an increase in LIHEAP funds after the Senate and House proposed $3.6 and $3.4 billion respectively for the program. In February, Bass sponsored an amendment that called for a $50 million increase in LIHEAP funding. New Hampshire was set to receive $14.7 million in LIHEAP funding for 2012. Bass said, “I have always been a strong supporter of this valuable program. Congress is continuing its work on the funding bill for the remainder of this fiscal year and thus the final funding levels for LIHEAP are not yet set.” [Nashua
Formed Congressional Biomass Caucus In July 2011, Bass formed the first Congressional Biomass Caucus with Rep. Peter Welch. The formation of the council was praised by the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, of which New England Wood Pellet is a founding member. [renewablenergyworld.com, 7/14/11; biomassthermal.org, accessed 7/14/11] Opposed Northern Pass Project In 2011, Bass opposed the Northern Pass Project as it was currently proposed, an infrastructure project that would carry hydroelectric power from Canada to southern New England. The project was lauded as a clean energy alternative to oil. In a letter to Secretary of Energy Chu, Bass said he wanted the energy department to study alternatives to building towers along a 140-mile route through New Hampshire, including burying the lines or using existing rights-of-way. [forbes.com, 4/08/11]
“Didn’t Know” He Could Work on Energy and Health Policy In a 2011 interview, Bass said that during his previous twelve years in Congress he "didn't know" he could work on energy policy or health care. For every single one of those 12 years, Bass served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "There are a lot of things that I thought that I didn't know I could do when I was there before that I realized I could do after I left, and now I have a chance to do now that I am back there," said Bass. When asked for specifics, he continued, "Like, uh, energy, like health care."[WMUR, 3/19/11]
Opposed Keystone Pipeline Bill In February 2012, The Hill reported that the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would reverse Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. Initially, Bass opposed the legislation. [The Hill. 2/07/12] Opposed TRAIN Act In September 2011, Bass opposed the TRAIN Act, which would limit the power of the EPA to regulate certain types of air pollution. Bass said that New England needed the additional environmental protection, stating that “The Clean Air Act has been instrumental in protecting our environment and reducing toxic air pollutants. New Hampshire and the rest of New England need environmental protections that are already in place to be implemented.” [seacoastonline.com, 09/28/11] District Received $1.8 Million in EPA Grants In June 2011, the EPA announced it was providing $1.8 million in Brownfields grants to New Hampshire communities “to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned or contaminated properties. Bass commented, “These Brownfields grants will help to mitigate hazardous materials and revitalize sites in Bristol, Concord, and the Capital Region, helping to keep New Hampshire’s communities safe and clean.” [Office of Congressman Bass, 6/07/11] Voted to Deregulate Green House Gases as Air Pollutants In 2011, Bass supported The Energy Tax Prevention Act. The act amends the Clear Air to state that greenhouse gases are not "air pollutants," and, therefore, can not be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“This legislation is about restoring legislative authority to its rightful owner – Congress – and prohibiting a regulatory agency – the EPA – from implementing policies without proper authority.” [The State Column,
03/16/11; opencongress.org, accessed 03/21/11]
Concord Monitor: Bass Vote Bad for Health, Environment In April 2011, the Concord Monitor criticized Bass’ vote to deregulate greenhouse gas emissions, writing, “It's almost as if, with the Capitol building on fire, Congressman Charlie Bass called for a debate over who has the authority to turn on the fire hose. Bass, who unlike many of his Republican colleagues believes global warming is real, voted this month for a bill that would forbid the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Congress has proven incapable of taking meaningful steps to address climate change, and Bass himself doesn't see that changing in the foreseeable future. But he nonetheless objects to the EPA's decision to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a threat to health under the 1991 Clean Air Act.”
[Concord Monitor, 4/14/11]
Backed Bill to Ban Congressional Insider Trading In November 2011, Bass became one of many politically vulnerable members of Congress to co-sponsor legislation to ban congressional insider trading. [The Hill, 11/24/11] Said He Would Not Defend Any Member of Congress Who Participated in Insider Trading In November 2011, Bass responded to the 60 Minutes piece on members of Congress who participated in insider trading by saying he would not defend any member who participated in such activity. Bass said, “Well first of all, in my own situation, my assets are in non self-directed accounts and I do believe, I don’t know the details of any of these alleged trades that may have occurred, but I would suggest in some instances, those trades may have been controlled by entities that didn’t, weren’t under the control of the members of Congress. But again, I’m not going to defend any member of Congress who acts upon inside information in order to make money. That would be absolutely, totally inappropriate. That’s not the reason why we’re here.” [WGIR-AM, 11/15/11] Condemned Colleagues Who Used Stock Trade Intelligence for Personal Gain In November 2011, Bass criticized his colleagues who used stock trade intelligence for person profit. Bass said, “In my own situation, my assets are in non-self directed accounts.” Not all of his assets are in self-directed or revocable trusts, and he still had privately-held holdings under his control, including $1 million in stock with the New England Wood Pellet in Jaffrey.
A spokesman for Bass said, “Any account Congressman Bass has that is filled with publicly traded stocks is not self directed. For example, he has no control of the underlying assets that make up the mutual funds (which we list by name) or the trust. With NEWP, Three Twins Ice Cream and QM Power; while these are self directed, they are also non-publicly traded stock, so they are not sold in the same manner as stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and are properly disclosed according the rules listed on the disclosure sheet.” [thelobbynh.com, 11/20/11] Named One of Congress’ Most Corrupt Members In September 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Bass to their list of the most corrupt members of Congress. CREW claimed that Bass “misused his position by seeking preferential treatment for his nephew’s business (New Hampshire Wood Pellets), a New Hampshire-based company that produces wood pellet fuel for use in heating systems.” According to CREW, Bass’ personal financial disclosure forms did not accurately portray the reality of his interest in the company. Bass did not comment on the CREW report. [Union Leader, 09/22/11] Bass Recognized by Biomass Trade Organization In July 2011, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) recognized Bass and Rep. Peter Welch for their efforts in forming the Congressional Biomass Caucus. “We strongly support the creation of the Biomass Caucus and commend the leadership of Rep. Bass and Rep. Welch,” the organization said in a release. [BTEC Press Release, 7/14/11] New England Wood Pellet is Member of BTEC. As of July 2011, New England Wood Pellet was listed as both a “Founding Member” and “Sustaining Member” of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, according to the organization’s website. As a “Sustaining Member,” NEWP has “contributed at least $12,500 in support of BTEC's mission.” [BTEC Website, accessed 7/15/11] New England Wood Pellet General Manager is BTEC Chairman. As of July 2011, New England Wood Pellet general manager Charlie Niebling was listed as chairman of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, according to the organization’s website. [BTEC Website, accessed 7/15/11] Bass Received $2,000 from New England Wood Pellet CEO On June 30, 2011, Bass received a $2,000 campaign contribution from Steven Walker, CEO of New England Wood Pellet. [Bass Victory Committee, 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 7/15/11] Connected to Company Suspended by SEC In June 2011, the SEC temporarily suspended Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc., from trading. Laidlaw is a biomass firm with ties to Bass. “When the Concord Monitor first looked into the SEC suspension order, Bass was listed as a senior adviser and nonvoting member of Laidlaw on both the company’s website and his own,” though Laidlaw and Bass said that professional ties had been severed upon Bass’ election to Congress. Bass was formerly a consultant to Laidlaw, and his ex-chief of staff is the political and public relations advisor for Laidlaw. [Roll Call, 6/23/11] Faced More Allegations over New England Wood Pellet
In June 2011, Bass again fought allegations over his promotion of New England Wood Pellet, a biomass firm in which he was invested. Bass’ campaign manager said a letter in which Bass invited the CEO of the firm to New Hampshire “proves only that Bass was attempting to promote alternative energy ‘in general.’” His office denied any conflict of interest and said, “his financial investments in NE Wood Pellet occurred in January 2007, after he left Congress.” [Roll Call, 6/23/11] Bass Accepted Campaign Donations from Utility Company with Pending Project in District In June 2011, The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that Northeast Utilities had donated $9,000 to Bass in the 2010 election cycle. Northeast Utilities is the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire, a utility company proposing to build a $1.2 billion transmission line through New Hampshire called the Northern Pass Project. Bass has come out in opposition to the project, which is currently under study in the NH state Senate. [The New Hampshire Union Leader, 6/12/11] 1998: Supported Ban on Issue Advocacy Commercials Within 60 Days of Election In 1998, Bass said that he supported bans on issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election. Later, Bass had American Action Network running ads on his behalf in his 2010 race against Ann Kuster. On a 1998 questionnaire, Bass indicated that he supported banning issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election:
[Bass Political Awareness Test, 1998]
Foreign Policy Issues – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea
Said Success in Afghanistan Would Come When Afghanis Took Over Country and Pakistan Became a Partner In November 2011, Bass returned from a trip to Afghanistan and said that success would be defined by Afghanis taking over their country and having Pakistan as a partner. Bass said, “The Afghanis have to want to win this war. If this operation is ever going to be a success, then there has to be a different paradigm with Pakistan.” Bass said that he was skeptical about the role that Karzai would play in the transition, and believed that Karzai was “confined to his palace”. [wmur.com,
Pledged “Never” to Cut Funding For Troops In Field But Said US Must “Redefine” Mission in Afghanistan
In June 2011, Bass commented, “I will never vote to cut vital funding for our troops in the field, but I will vote to force Congress and the administration to take a thorough look at our involvement in the region. It is time we redefine our purpose in Afghanistan and start reducing our military presence there.” [Concord
Gay and Lesbian Issues Gun Issues
Supported Bill To Grant Recognition of Concealed Carry of Firearms Across State Lines In November 2011, Bass supported a bill that would grant recognition of concealed carry permits of firearms across state lines. The bill would transfer more power to the federal government over states.
[Union Leader, 11/18/11]
U.S. Chamber: Bass Will Fight “Obamacare” In February 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised Bass in a television ad for his ongoing “fight” against Obama’s policies. Citing Bass’ voting record on the budget and spending, the Chamber invited constituents to call Bass and encourage him to combat Obamacare and spending. [YouTube, uploaded
Health Care Issues
Introduced Bill to Help Breast Cancer Research In October 2011, Bass introduced a bill which would work to end breast cancer. The legislation would create a commission to help identify scientific advances and streamline research to prevent duplication of work. The commission would have three years to make a difference or else it would be disbanded. The goal was to wipe out breast cancer by 2020. Bass said, “To put it in legislative terms, this is really a bipartisan issue. Cancer does not discriminate, and every family has been affected in some way or another by cancer.” [wmur.com, 10/12/11] Bass: Ryan Plan Not “Exact Answer” but “A Good Step in the Right Direction” In June 2011, Bass voiced his support for the Ryan budget plan, what he called “a good step in the right direction.” Bass commented that the Republican plan was not the “exact answer” to the Medicare plan, “But it puts forth a plan and a framework which we can address.” He said that Republicans “are faced with the challenge of selling something new. ‘The problem is that it’s easier to be against change than it is to be for it…Everybody understands the status quo, so you don’t have to sell the status quo, if it’s working.” [Concord Monitor, 6/21/11]
Bass’s District One of the 10 Hardest Hit by Ryan Plan In June 2011, a Bloomberg analysis listed Bass’s congressional district as one of the top 10 districts most affected by the Ryan plan. “Nine of the 10 districts throughout the US with the most people age 45-54 are represented by Republicans.” [Office of Congressman Courtney, 6/15/11] Bass On Saving Medicare: You Can Cut Benefits, Raise The Medicare Tax Or Some Combination Of The Two In May 2011, the Eagle-Tribune reported that Bass defended the Ryan budget. “Ryan's proposal has the potential to extend the life of Medicare another 40 years, Bass said. ‘This is a trust fund,’ he said. ‘You can cut benefits, raise the Medicare tax, some combination of the two or do nothing. We can't do nothing.’” [Eagle-Tribune, 5/21/11] Keene Sentinel: Bass Voted To End Medicare And Turn It Into A Voucher Program In a May 2011 editorial, the Keene Sentinel opined that, “Our purpose here is not to examine the merits of the plan to end the government Medicare program and replace it with a voucher program for limited private insurance. […] Our purpose is simply to demonstrate that, in contrast to what he wrote in his oped column, New Hampshire 2nd District Congressman Charles Bass voted for it.” [Keene Sentinel, 5/06/11] Bass Said Ryan Budget Was The Beginning Of A Discussion In an op-ed published in May 2011 in the Keene Sentinel, Bass wrote, “In the recent budget resolution that I supported, we have begun the discussion by providing suggestions on how to improve Medicare. While far from a final solution, this budget is the first step in a process that will and should lead to changes based on the input policymakers receive from their constituents and other stakeholders.” [Keene
Bass: “I Will Never Support Ending Medicare Or Turning It Into A ‘Voucher’ Program.” In an op-ed published in May 2011 in the Keene Sentinel, Bass wrote, “I will never support ending Medicare or turning it into a "voucher" program, which would merely give seniors a check and force them to fend for themselves to find health care coverage. I believe any Medicare proposal must have guaranteed coverage and safeguards to ensure seniors are getting the health care they have paid for and earned.” [Keene Sentinel, 5/02/11] Bass Criticized Over Vote for Privatizing Medicare In April 2011, Bass was criticized by attendees at a town hall meeting over his vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan – specifically the plan’s changes to Medicare. According to Time Magazine, “The first question out of the gate during his Wednesday town hall in Hillsborough, NH was about his vote for Paul Ryan’s budget. And the second. And the third and the fourth, fifth and sixth questions. [Time, 4/21/11]
According to the L.A. Times, “What is [Bass’] rationale for wanting to change Medicare to a voucher system, questioners demanded to know. How is this going to lower premiums? If the idea is to cut the deficit, why does the Republican budget plan offer tax breaks for the wealthy?” When Bass attempted to defend his vote, a group of constituents pushed back forcefully. “He struggled to defend the GOP plan vigorously, once mischaracterizing a key element. By the time he left, he seemed less than wedded to the details. ‘If there are certain facets of the budget that are manifestly unpopular, I think that should be taken into consideration, but it's too soon,’ he said. ‘This is the beginning of a long conversation.’” [Los Angeles Times, 4/23/11] Keene Sentinel: Bass Misrepresented Health Care Law In a February 2011 editorial, the Keene Sentinel criticized Bass for mischaracterizing the health care reform law as a “massive government takeover” of the industry. “Bass votes to repeal the law and says he wants to fashion a set of reforms that seem to be the very things that are in it: ‘patient-centered health care reform that is based on improving care, increasing access, and lowering costs for everyone, all while ensuring that pre-existing conditions are covered.’ That’s from his press release. […]What motivates these people to so deeply mischaracterize the things they purport to oppose?” [Keene Sentinel, 2/12/11]
Immigration and Border Issues Israel Labor and Working Family Issues
Targeted by Protesters to Pass American Jobs Act In November 2011, a small group of people protested in downtown Nashua to encourage Bass to pass the American Jobs Act, which protest organizers said would add jobs in the education, construction, and emergency service industries. [Nashua Telegraph, 11/10/11] Praised New Job Corps Center in Manchester In August 2011, Bass attended the opening of a new Job Corps center in Manchester and praised the project. Bass said that “equipping young people in New Hampshire with the skills they need to make positive and successful contributions to our state will help the private sector create jobs and grow the economy,"
Other Social Issues
Bass Sponsored Bill To Expand Boundaries Around Military Funerals In Response To Westboro Baptist Church. In April 2011, the Concord Monitor reported that Bass sponsored The Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans Act, which, “will increase the boundary at the service to 300 feet and along access routes to 500 feet. It would also double the length of quiet time before and after the event. […]Bass said he was inspired by a 2007 New Hampshire law, enacted after religious protesters from the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas protested at the funeral of an Army captain from Hampstead.” [Concord Monitor,
Stem Cells Tax Issues
Cosponsored Legislation to Repeal “Death Tax” In December 2011, Bass cosponsored H.R. 1259, which would repeal the estate tax after property passed down a generation. Bass said, “Anyone who has ever had a family business or farm passed along to them after a loved one dies knows how costly it can be to meet the financial obligations of paying the federal estate tax. This tax amounts to double taxation and disproportionately affects many small businesses, which are often times passed along to generations of family members. Currently, the death tax rate is 35 percent, which is set to expire at the end of 2012. If Congress does nothing, the rate will revert to 55 percent in 2013. I have long supported eliminating this costly and burdensome tax as a way to grow the economy and create jobs. It’s estimated that one million jobs would be created if we permanently repealed the death tax and I hope Congress can act on it sooner rather than later.” [Charlie Bass E-Newsletter, 12/09/11] Signed Letter to Encourage Leadership to Act on Repatriation In December 2011, Bass signed a letter to GOP leadership to act on repatriation of overseas capital. The letter said, “Estimates have shown that at least $1.4 trillion in foreign earnings are kept overseas because of the uncompetitive tax policies here in the U.S. Unlocking this capital has the possibility of creating over 2.9 million new jobs, and increasing GDP by nearly $360 billion…As negotiations continue with the White House and Congressional Democrats on a number of expiring tax provisions, appropriation bills and comprehensive tax reform, we strongly urge you to consider repatriation tax policy, this session, to stimulate the economy and get Americans back to work.” [Frank Guinta Press Release,
Thought About Scrapping Pledge to Oppose Higher Taxes in All Cases In November 2011, Bass considered scrapping his pledge to oppose higher taxes even if he was hurt politically by the decision.
Bass said he pledged to, “defend America against enemies, both domestic and foreign. And [he] consider[ed] the debt crisis in this country to be a real threat to the future of America.” [Politico, 11/18/11;
Huffington Post, 11/17/11]
Did Not Consider Political Implications of Signaling Openness to Revenue Increases In November 2011, Bass said that he did not consider the political implications of signaling openness to revenue increases. Bass said, “I really ran to make big decisions, not to win elections.” He said that if the deficit reduction panel released a plan putting the country “on a sustained path back to fiscal responsibility and it costs [him] the election next year, [he’ll] die a happy man.” [Concord Monitor, 11/06/11] Said Raising Taxes Would be Dangerous, But Tax Deductions Should be Examined In November 2011, Bass said that it would be bad policy to raise taxes, but he said that the deficit reduction panel should consider eliminating tax deductions. Bass said, “I don't want the committee to rule out revenues if they have a plan that brings this nation's debt under control.” In addition, Bass said that recommending only the required level of deficit reduction “will not satisfy the outside world's expectation for success in honestly addressing the disparity between revenues and expenditure.” [Concord Monitor, 11/06/11] Would Support Revenue Increases from Deficit Panel Despite Signing Grover Norquist Tax Pledge In November 2011, Bass said that he believed in the Grover Norquist tax pledge but did not think “that debts and deficits [could] continue on its current course”. Bass said, “I have to make a choice if the committee comes up with a big deal, if you will, that includes revenue increases that may be in conflict with the Grover Norquist tax pledge. I would only point out that at the beginning of this year, I took a pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States and defend America against enemies, both domestic and foreign. And I consider the debt crisis in this country to be a real threat to the future of America.” [NPR, 11/04/11] Bass: Would Accept Revenue Increases Based on Level of Spending Cuts In November 2011, Bass said that the right mix of taxes and spending cuts was “a risk [he was] willing to take”. Bass said that “My willingness to accept revenue increases is directly related to the quality and level” of the spending cuts recommended by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. [Bloomberg.com, 11/02/11] Bass: All Options On Table to Reduce Deficit In November 2011, Bass asked the Congressional “super committee” to set its budget cut targets to four trillion dollars.
Although Bass pledged not to support any net tax increases, he said, “I don’t believe in raising taxes. I’ve been against that – raising taxes for a long time, but I’m also not going to allow any view on a particular issue to stop me from supporting a plan that will save this nation.” [nhpr.org, 11/02/11] Signed Letter Saying He Was Open to Tax Increases In November 2011, Bass was one of 40 Republicans to join 60 Democrats in a letter to the Congressional “super-committee” that said “all options” should be included in a deficit reduction package, including increasing revenues. The letter stated, “To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. In addition, we know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal well-being.” [thinkprogress.org, 11/02/11] Recommended Deficit Panel to Not Be “Restricted by the Dogma of Either Party” In November 2011, Bass said that the signers of the letter to the deficit panel tried to avoid making specific recommendations to the committee and did not want them to be restricted to their party views. Bass said, “But what we really want them to do is to feel that they can address the issue of revenues, be it through closing loopholes, making the tax code simpler, working, you know, with the Democrats to come up with a proposal. And what we're trying to say, on the one hand, is don't be restricted by the dogma of either party. While on the other hand, understand that you have to come up with a plan that is big and not little.”[NPR, 11/04/11]
“Excited” to Discuss a Presidential Bid with Donald Trump In March 2011, Bass said a potential meeting to discuss a presidential bid with Donald Trump was “exciting.”[The State Column, 3/23/11]
Bass Signed Letter In Support Of EAS Funding In April 2011, the Valley News reported that, “Bass also voiced support for the federal Essential Air Service, a subsidy program that underwrites passenger air service to rural outposts, including Lebanon Municipal Airport. ‘Obviously, Essential Air Service is critical for Lebanon Airport. I would certainly like to see that program continue and I will support that,’ said Bass, who signed on to a letter in support of EAS earlier this month. Proposals in both houses of Congress could eliminate Lebanon's funding of $2.2 million a year. [Valley News, 4/29/11]
Family Research Council Launched Campaign Ad in Bass’ District In 2011, the Family Research Council Action launched a radio ad campaign in Bass’ district calling on Bass to vote for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. [Family Freedom Fund press release, 4/05/11]
Attended Gingrich Campaign Event As Romney Surrogate In January 2012, Bass attended a Newt Gingrich campaign event as a surrogate for Mitt Romney “I have plenty of respect for Newt Gingrich,” Bass said. “I'm trying simply to tell [Romney's] story, respecting the fact that this is an event for the Speaker. I'm obviously not interested in causing any trouble or disruption or anything.” [gq.com, 1/30/12] Criticized State of the Union Address In January 2012, Bass said he disapproved of Obama’s State of the Union address. “Regrettably, it seems like this year’s address is more of a campaign stump speech than a policy directive,” Bass said. “The president’s disastrous policies of more spending, higher taxes, and bigger government will not jumpstart our economy or protect hardworking taxpayers.” [Bass Press Release, 1/24/12] Empathized With ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters In January 2012, during the first day of College Convention 2012, Bass said he understood where the Occupy Wall Street protesters were coming from. [concord-nh.patch.com, 1/03/12] Bass Endorses Romney on NPR In a January 2012 interview with NPR, Bass reiterated his support for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Bass noted that Sen. John McCain’s endorsement will be helpful to Romney as the campaign moves forward. [NPR, 1/04/12] Endorsed Mitt Romney For President In November 2011, Bass endorsed Mitt Romney for president when Romney toured the BAE Systems plant in Nashua and addressed the employees there. Bass said, “Voters in New Hampshire and across our country are looking for a candidate that understands what our economy needs to recover and grow, that has the experience of creating jobs, and has the leadership qualities needed to bring the citizens of our nation back together in these challenging times. I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the candidate that will renew our country’s faith in the American dream.” [Nashua Telegraph, 11/21/11] Defended Romney’s “Corporations Are People” Statement In November 2011, Bass defended Romney’s statement that “corporations are people” and supported Romney’s interpretation. Bass said, “To clarify what I said: corporations are owned by people, they employ people, they provide jobs security for people, the health and welfare of a corporation has a direct impact on the
quality of life of the people that work there. Technically a corporation is not a person per se and the question that was asked to me was specifically that. But the fact is strong employers mean strong secure jobs and that’s what Governor Romney is referring to and that’s what I believe.”
Expressed Disappointment in Gingrich, GOP Presidential Candidates for Deficit Views In November 2011, Bass said that he was disappointed that Newt Gingrich and the rest of the GOP presidential candidates said that they would not accept a deficit reduction deal that favored spending cuts over tax increases by a 10 to 1 ratio. Bass said that Republicans had to reach out the moderates and said that when it came the question of the deficit, “everything has to be on the table”. [Boston Globe, 11/18/11] Praised Newt Gingrich, Called Him an Ideas Man In November 2011, Bass praised Newt Gingrich and called him ideas man, but said that he and other Republicans had to broaden their appeal to moderates. Bass said, “I’m not ashamed to say I respect his intellect and imagination. He’s a futurist and a historian with a somewhat nontraditional view of the world…At some point in this campaign, somebody’s got to step up and say this isn’t about winning the primary, this is about leading America…Now that Newt is the frontrunner or at least the challenger to Mitt Romney, he knows he has the chance to hold these people, and the question is, can he?” [Boston Globe, 11/18/11] Called on GOP Presidential Candidates to Suspend Nevada Campaign Activity If Nevada Moved Up Primary In November 2011, Bass released a statement with Sen. Ayotte and Rep. Guinta calling for GOP presidential candidates to suspend campaign activity in Nevada if they moved their primaries forward. The statement said, “We've monitored the situation closely and have grown increasingly concerned about the adverse impact the current frontloading will have on the New Hampshire primary. Iowa and New Hampshire have long held the lead-off contests, and Nevada must now push back its caucuses to preserve that proven, time-honored tradition. We call on the Republican candidates to suspend campaign activities in Nevada until officials there move back their caucuses.” [Concord Monitor, 11/16/11] Expressed Frustration with Republican Presidential Field, Had Yet to Endorse In November 2011, Bass had yet to endorse a Republican candidate for president. Bass said, “It’s time for candidates to talk about themselves as a president, not as Republicans — not as part of a Republican group trying to be as close to one another as they can in order to win the nomination…The candidate [who] wins is the candidate willing to be different from the other candidates, and I have not seen that differentiation on issues that I can support.” [Politico, 11/06/11] Had Yet to Endorse GOP Presidential Candidate
In November 2011, Bass had yet to endorse a candidate as the New Hampshire primary date came closer, but pointed out that he had endorsed candidates in every election since 1980. Bass said he was looking for a candidate to similar views to his who could beat Obama. Bass said the grass-roots nature of New Hampshire campaigning made the process very important. He said, “What I’m doing is no different than what everyone else (in New Hampshire) is doing,” Bass said. “I want to support the right person for the country.” [Nashua Telegraph, 10/14/11] Spent $5,198 on Advertising From July-September 2011, Bass paid $5,198.70 to Capitol Franking Group for “Advertisements.” [2011
3rd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 10/05/11]
Reimbursed Himself for $4,428 in Travel Expenses From July-September 2011, Bass was reimbursed for $4,428.10 in travel subsistence. [2011 3rd Quarter
Statements of Disbursement, 10/05/11]
Factory Fire in Bass’ Son-in-Law’s Factory In October 2011, firefighters from 13 towns battled a fire at the New England Wood Pellet factory owned by Steven Walker, Bass’ son-in-law. [fhl.firehouse.com, 10/24/11] Bass Joined New England Wood Pellet Board Immediately After Leaving Congress According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Bass joined NEWP’s board of managers Jan. 18, 2007.”
[Nashua Telegraph, 10/14/10]
Met With Top Giuliani Adviser Regarding Giuliani 2012 Campaign In September 2011, Bass was one of many New Hampshire Republicans who met with Rudy Giuliani in order to gauge interest in a possible Giuliani presidential bid. [Wall Street Journal, 09/28/11] Named One of Most “Buzzworthy” Congressman In September 2011, Bass was named the 24th most “buzzworthy” freshmen by Smart Politics, due to his frequent mentions on national news broadcasts. [Union Leader, 09/22/11] Called on NH Republican Chairman to Resign In August 2011, Bass and other top New Hampshire Republicans called for the resignation of New Hampshire Republican chair Jack Kimball. The groups cited poor fundraising and internal division as the reasons for their decision. In a joint statement, the group said, “To ensure that all of the party’s energy and resources are solely focused on electing Republicans, we believe it is time to move beyond this serious distraction. Therefore,
we call upon Jack to put the best interests of New Hampshire Republicans first and step aside as chairman of the party.’’ [The Boston Globe, 8/26/11] Bass Reimbursed Himself $2,937 in Travel Expenses From April-June 2011, Bass was reimbursed for $2,937.75 in private auto mileage and travel subsistence.
[2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11]
Bass Spent $5,790 on Advertising From April-June 2011, Bass spent $5,790.24 on advertising, which included three disbursements to Capitol Franking Group and one to FrankingGrid. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11] Bass Spent $260 on Bottled Water From April-June 2011, Bass spent $260.41 on bottled water from Hague Quality Water. [2011 2nd Quarter
Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11]
Opposition Dominated Town Hall In August 2011, organized activists expressed their anger at a Bass town hall for his failure to aid the New Hampshire job market. When asked how working-class Americans contributed to the economic crisis, Bass responded by saying Democrats share blame because Obama has had several years to create jobs and pointed to the failure of the stimulus bill. He also said, “We've got to create an environment in which businesses want and can employ people to do real jobs. And my ideas for that - I know you won't like, but they're the only hope, in my opinion that we have at this point - and that is to lower our corporate tax rate so it's competitive-”, at which point he was cut off by shouts and groans from audience members. [CNN Political Ticker, 8/27/11] Received 51% Score From Heritage Action for America Bass received 51 percent score from Heritage Action for America in 2011. [Heritage Action for America,
Criticized By Portsmouth Mayor for Cutting Funding for Bridge In July 2011, Tom Ferrini, Mayor of Portsmouth, criticized Bass for voting for a federal budget that cut $20 million in TIGER transportation grants allocated to the replacement of the Memorial Bridge. Ferrini said, “During these tough economic times, the people of Portsmouth and the Seacoast area need to know their Congressional Delegation in Washington is working is working to create and preserve jobs… We cannot risk any future delays hindering the replacement of the Memorial Bridget and jeopardizing local jobs.” [patch.com, 7/28/11] Offered Amendment Transferring $20 Million from Interior Department to Land and Water Conservation Fund
In July 2011, Bass offered an amendment to the Interior Department spending bill that transferred $20 million from the Department of the Interior to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. [The Hill, 7/26/11] Bass’ Approval Ratings in the Negative In July 2011, The Hill reported that according to the WMUR Granite State Poll, Bass faces a large approval gap: 39 percent of constituents disapprove of him, and 28 percent approve. This is only the second time since the polling firm began following him in 2001 that he had a negative net approval rating: The first time was in their last poll, conducted in April 2011. [The Hill, 7/12/11] Constituents Supported Tax Increases as Part of Debt Ceiling Deal in Poll In July 2011, Bass conducted a poll of his constituents during a telephone town hall. Forty-nine percent said they supported tax increases as part of any agreement to raise the debt ceiling, while 46 percent said they did not. Fifty-three percent said spending cuts should be part of any debt ceiling deal, and 80 percent said all entitlement programs should be on the table. [Politico, 7/12/11] Opposed to Candidates Signing Pledges In June 2011, Bass commented “I would never want a presidential candidate to sign a pledge…He’s going to make decisions about issues that come out nowhere…No advocacy group should be able to say, ‘The president of the United States will never do something.’” [Slate, 6/22/11] Benefited from NRCC Patriot Program Fundraiser In June 2011, the GOP house leadership raised $1.5 million at a fundraiser for “endangered incumbents,” including Bass, recently named to the NRCC’s Patriot Program. [Roll Call, 6/22/11] Bass Wrote Letter to FFC Urging Protection of GPS from LightSquared Interference In June 2011, Bass wrote to the FCC asking to protect GPS from interference from the LightSquared network because of fears that the network would “overwhelm GPS receivers and create ‘dead spots’ in GPS coverage.”. Bass commented, “I have serious concerns about LightSquared’s base stations overwhelming this vital network and urge the FCC to thoroughly review this serious matter.” [Office of
Congressman Bass, 6/15/11]
Bass: I Vote For Compromises Every Day In May 2011, the Concord Monitor reported that in response to the comment that David Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, made that “I’m not interested in laying down more markers. I am interested in solutions,” Charlie Bass said, “We can't just spend a whole year sending legislation to the Senate that isn't going to be agreeable to them. I vote for compromises every day.” [Concord Monitor, 5/8/11]
Charlie Bass’ Favorables Dropped Significantly After Four Months In Office In May 2011, the Associated Press reported that the “WMUR Granite State poll shows a sharp shift in the 2nd Congressional District, where the percentage of those with a favorable opinion of Bass has dropped from 41 percent in February to 29 percent late last month. At the same time, the percentage with an unfavorable opinion of Bass grew from 28 percent to 45 percent, putting his net favorability rating at minus 16.” [Associated Press, 5/6/11]
Received $2,500 from Honeywell International From October to December 2011, Bass received $2,500 in three separate contributions from the Honeywell International PAC. These contributions bring Bass’ total from Honeywell International to $4,000 year-to-date. [Bass Victory Committee, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12] Received $5,000 from Jeb Hensarling On December 21, 2011, Bass received $5,000 from Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s Jobs, Economy & Budget Fund. This contribution brings Bass’ total from the JEB Fund to $10,000 year-to-date. [Bass Victory
Committee, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Spent $8,000 on Event Lodging From October to December 2011, Bass spent $8,000.13 on Event Lodging from Omni Mt. Washington Resort.
[Bass Victory Committee, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Spent $10,000 on Fundraising Consulting From October to December 2011, Bass spent $10,000 on fundraising consulting from SMC Associates.
[Bass Victory Committee, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Ad Attacked Bass’s Vote Against Medicare In January 2012, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America paid to re-air an ad that attacked Bass for supporting Paul Ryan's budget plan. In the ad, Jane Brickett of Lancaster, N.H., stated, “As a social worker here in the North Country, I’ve spent my life helping people with disabilities. Now, I have a disability. If I didn’t have Medicare, doctor’s bills could wipe me out and put a burden on my five kids. When Congressman Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare, that was an attack on New Hampshire families just like mine. My father worked with Charlie and respected him. I voted for him five times, but Charlie Bass has changed.” [Progressive Change Campaign
Committee and Democracy for America Ad, 1/06/12]
Hoyer Headlined Fundraiser for Kuster
In November 2011, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer headlined a fundraiser for Democrat Ann McLane Kuster. The Cook Political Report listed the race in NH-02 as a toss up. [The Hill, 11/06/11] Seat in Play for Democrats, Favorability at 29 Percent In November 2011, Bass’ seat appeared to be a good pickup opportunity for Democrats due to strong Democratic contender Ann McLane Kuster. Kuster raised twice as much money as Bass in the third quarter and the 2nd district usually leans more Democratic. Bass was put into the NRCC “Patriot Program,” a program for vulnerable members. A WMUR Granite State Poll putt Bass’ favorability at 29 percent. [Boston Globe, 11/06/11]
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