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Letters: How Lawmakers Can Help Fix Harrisburg, The GOP’s Normalization of Lying, and GOP House Majority Hearings

We kick off 2023 hearing from Bucks County Beacon readers.

Lawmakers Can Fix Harrisburg by Voting “No” on Current Legislative Rules 

Change is always difficult in Pennsylvania, but the time has come for our Representatives in Harrisburg to listen to the people and change the rules for how our Legislature operates.  

Current Legislative Rules allow any one of six majority party gatekeepers to block any bill for any reason – regardless of support within the Legislature or from the public.

The intersection of power and money in Harrisburg runs deep. But there is a growing movement of interest and concern regarding the fiscal and political health of our commonwealth. Our support base from Fair Districts PA and Fix Harrisburg continues to grow in every corner of the commonwealth, fueled by citizens determined to see better rules in law to safeguard PA’s redistricting and legislative processes. 

Our request to legislators of both parties: Vote NO on Tuesday on rules that take away your right to represent us or on rules resolutions presented without adequate time for review. We believe rules should provide avenues forward for bipartisan solutions – in committee, on the chamber floor, and in the opposite chamber. 

Fair Districts PA and Fix Harrisburg are mobilized and watching the actions of all of our Legislators as they vote on the rules for the next two years. We urge them to do the right thing for the people of Pennsylvania.

Nancy J. Krablin, Downingtown

The Normalization of Lying in the GOP

Republican Congressman-elect George Santos took lying to a whole new level when he not only lied about his past, but essentially invented a fake identity. His education history, employment history, claimed charitable activities, social history, and family background are all fabrications.   

This is a predictable result of the normalization of lying on the public stage, which Donald Trump turned into an art form.   

This has to stop.  

Congress may have to seat Santos because of a 1966 Supreme Court ruling, but the Republican Party doesn’t have to keep him. The Constitution says each legislative body can “punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.” Will Republicans step up to the plate and engage in a bipartisan effort to force expulsion for his bizarre, possibly illegal, ethical violations?  

Don’t hold your breath.

Karen Stoehr, State College 

Will a Republican House Majority Turn Committee Hearings into Bad Political Theater?

House Republicans have taken back the majority and will be sworn in on January 3. As such, the majority party decides the makeup and subject of committee hearings. 

George Santos, recently elected to a New York district, has been accused of a long list of lies about qualifications and ethical questions; some might even prove to be criminal. It would seem logical to hold off his swearing-in until these allegations are investigated and he is cleared of wrong-doing. A hearing in the Ethics Committee for several mis-statements should be conducted.  

Throughout the campaign for November 8 midterm election, the Republican party’s focus and concern was on “the economy.” It was assumed, therefore, hearings on the economy would be first and foremost.

For instance, a hearing to examine why 1 million U.S. citizens were diagnosed and over 1 million died from Covid; the effects on jobs, housing, healthcare; how our government should prepare in the event of another pandemic.

There is scientific evidence that  another pandemic, worse than this one, will happen. We should get our facts and preparations in order now. 

If Dr. Fauci is asked to testify, it should be as a medical consultant, not to accuse. 

If accusations are considered, they should begin with Mr. Trump and why he would: deny there was a “huge” problem before extensive hospitalizations resulted, suggest hydroxychloroquine and bleach as treatments, and denigrate the use of masks and social distancing. 

With just this one important issue staring the country in the face, on November 19, 11 days after the election, House Republicans held a press conference to announce their first and foremost concern: an investigation of “Hunter Biden’s laptop.”

“Hunter Biden’s laptop” boils down to a hard-drive (the actual laptop having been turned over to the FBI years ago) which holds salacious photos of Hunter and some emails regarding connections and salaries from Ukrainian oil and gas and Chinese companies. These facts are certainly questionable and unethical; but not illegal. The goal is to tie a nefarious connection and benefit to President Biden.

If such dealings were illegal, Ivanka Trump’s connections with Chinese companies for her clothing line should have prompted changes to government laws. It did not. However: “China and Saudi officials spent hundreds of thousands at Trump hotels.” (New York Post, Caitlin Doombos, November 14, 2022) “Foreign Officials spent more than $750,000 at Trump’s D.C. hotel.” (NPR, November 15, 2022)

How about hearings on those facts?

Barbara Stakes, Oakford

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