So…What Are Your Representatives Up To?

We’ve all heard the stories about stupid legislation being pushed and considered in D.C. and often wondered how these people couldn’t just figure out what was REALLY important.

Well today I found a doozy. While reading one of the many discussion forums I belong to, someone posted this site. What was interesting about it was just the other day I was thinking that I’d have to look to see if there was some place on line that I could find out what bills were being introduced in the House and Senate in DC instead of waiting until the damned thing was voted on to learn about it. Well, the Universal All saw to it that I found that place and presented me with this site. I didn’t have to dig at all to then find this bill that I thought was a joke until I clicked on “read the bill” and it took me to the Library of Congress site that I usually find all the bills on.

You really have to read this one for yourself because you wouldn’t believe it if I told you!

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2008 (Introduced in House)

HR 6068 IH

110th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 6068

To establish a grant program to assist States in inspecting hotel rooms for bed bugs.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 15, 2008

Mr. BUTTERFIELD (for himself, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, Mr. PAYNE, Ms. MATSUI, and Mr. JEFFERSON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


A BILLTo establish a grant program to assist States in inspecting hotel rooms for bed bugs.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2008′.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that–
    • (1) on February 12, 2008, a thorough inspection of a hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire, found that 16 of 117 rooms were infested with bedbugs;
    • (2) cimex lectularius, commonly known as bed bugs, travel through the ventilation systems in multi-unit establishments causing exponential infestations;
    • (3) female bedbugs can lay up to 5 eggs in a day and 500 during a lifetime;
    • (4) bedbug populations in the United States have increased by 500 percent in the past few years;
    • (5) in 2004, New York City had 377 bedbug violations and from July to November of 2005, a 5-month span, there were 449 violations reported in the city, an alarming increase in infestations over a short period of time;
    • (6) in a study of 700 hotel rooms between 2002 and 2006, 25 percent of hotels were found to be in need of bedbug treatment; and
    • (7) bed bugs possess all of the necessary prerequisites for being capable of passing diseases from one host to another.

SEC. 3. BED BUG INSPECTION GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) Administration; Amount- The Secretary of Commerce, in cooperation with the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, may provide grants to an eligible State to assist such State in carrying out the inspections described in subsection (c). The grants shall be in amounts determined by the Secretary, taking into consideration the relative needs of the State.
    (b) Eligibility- A State is eligible for a grant under this Act if the State has established a program whereby not fewer than 20 percent of rooms in lodging facilities in such State are inspected annually for cimex lectularius, commonly know as the bed bug. The Federal share of funding for such a program shall not exceed 80 percent.
    (c) Use of Grants- A State may use a grant received under this Act to–
    • (1) conduct inspections of lodging facilities for cimex lectularius, including transportation, lodging, and meal expenses for inspectors;
    • (2) train inspection personnel; and
    • (3) educate the proprietors and staff of lodging establishments about methods to prevent and eradicate cimex lectularius.
    (d) Application- To receive a grant under this Act, an eligible State shall submit an application to the Secretary of Commerce in such form and containing such information as the Secretary shall determine.
    (e) Definition of Lodging Facility- For purposes of this Act and the requirement under subsection (b) for State programs receiving funding under this Act, the term `lodging facility’ means any individual hotel, motel, or inn that makes available for commercial lodging more than 10 individual rooms.
    (f) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012 to the Secretary of Commerce for the grants authorized under this Act.

SEC. 4. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    The Secretary of Commerce shall transmit a report to Congress not later than 3 years after the issuance of the first grant authorized under this Act, which shall contain an assessment of the effectiveness of the grant program.

In reading the comments on the Washington Watch page, I was hysterical. I’d say it was about 50/50 for those who think this bill is necessary and important, and those like me who think our representatives have more important things they should be doing.

Seriously though, I don’t for one minute believe that the issue of bed bugs is something you should just ignore; on the other hand, I also don’t believe that legislation needs to be passed into law to guarantee inspections and clean up. Let’s face it, this is something that falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health in each municipality/town/city/state.

IF more money is really needed for more inspectors then I’m sure in the interest of public health, since the bill mentions this being a public health issue/epidemic, then the good taxpaying citizens won’t mind paying an extra dollar or two in taxes for more inspectors. Or maybe the hotels can just add an extra $5 per night to their room rates, I’m sure the guests would willing pay it knowing the hotel was on top of keeping them safe from bed bugs.

Hotels, motels, inns, etc all get inspected by their local Health Departments anyway for various reasons, for the guests’ safety. THIS just happens to be something that IS also a Health Department issue and should be included. No new laws are needed, just expand and enforce all existing rules, regulations, etc.

This bill is talking about guaranteeing $50 MILLION per year for 3 years (2009 thru 2012) of your taxpayer dollars for something that I personally think should have been part of the regular inspections anyway. This country is TRILLIONS of dollars in debt now, thanks to bush’s unnecessary war, and the feds want to tack on another $150 MILLION? Don’t you just love how they have no problem spending OUR money on their pet projects but balk about not having enough money for schools, infrastructure, border security?

What is going on lately that we constantly need a new piece of legislation out of DC for every little thing? This used to be the home of the brave, but we seem to have become a land of scared, weak children who can’t seem to function without nanny governments seal of approval.

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~ by swfreedomlover on July 10, 2008.

3 Responses to “So…What Are Your Representatives Up To?”

  1. OMG! Do I hear you loud and clear on this one! Sheesh! Makes you wonder if Congress thinks they are our nannies or absurd bill writers! Someone save us from ourselves!

  2. Actually, they obviously think they are both AND the saviors of ourselves to boot…………….THAT IS A NIGHTMARE!!!!

  3. My wife and I dealt with bedbugs at the beginning of the year. It was horrible. We still think this bill is scarier yet. People who think they can micromanage you and *your* money on this level will try any damn thing.

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