H.R. 5034 is Still Out There

Above the Post Update: I’m bumping this post to give some results to the results of the election day effects on H.R. 5034′s sponsors.
They took a beating. While I doubt the issue of 5034 had much to do with this, the results are still good to hear for foes. I’ve amended the list below to show the fates of the 39 congresspersons who are, as you read this, probably sending their resumes to the lobbying firms who represent the beer and wine distributors. At the end I do a little shallow analysis, and have suggestions for how o deal with this, by no means dead, issue.

Matt Browner Hamlin just put up a good post, reminding me that H.R. 5034 is still lurking on the list of ways Congress can get itself, and us, into trouble next year. In short, this bill would abdicate the Federal Government’s bedrock role of regulating true interstate commerce and especially preventing state regulation of same. It would heavily damage the small spirits, wine, and beer producers, and help out a bunch of big companies with lots of lobbyist cash on hand. (My original screed on this is here. Lance Mayhew’s thoughts on another way H.R. 5034 sucks are here.)

At any rate, while the bill’s sponsor, William Delahunt, is retiring, there are still 151 Co-sponsors to this turd. If your congresscritter is on this list, I’d suggest a call to their office to express your dismay. They tend to be a little more respectful and open-eared this time of the duennial.
As a public service, I include the list here, Elephants and Donkeys alike, below the fold.

Rep. John Adler [D, NJ-3] Lost
Rep. Rodney Alexander [R, LA-5] Rep. Robert Andrews [D, NJ-1] Rep. Michele Bachmann [R, MN-6] Rep. Spencer Bachus [R, AL-6] Rep. John Barrow [D, GA-12] Rep. Shelley Berkley [D, NV-1] Rep. Timothy Bishop [D, NY-1] Lost (Pending recount)
Rep. John Boccieri [D, OH-16] Lost

Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45] Rep. Dan Boren [D, OK-2] Rep. Allen Boyd [D, FL-2] Lost
Rep. Robert Brady [D, PA-1] Rep. Bruce Braley [D, IA-1] Rep. Bobby Bright [D, AL-2] Lost
Rep. Paul Broun [R, GA-10] Rep. Henry Brown [R, SC-1] Retired
Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13] Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2] Lost
Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2] Rep. Michael Capuano [D, MA-8] Rep. Christopher Carney [D, PA-10] Lost
Rep. André Carson [D, IN-7] Rep. Bill Cassidy [R, LA-6] Rep. Kathy Castor [D, FL-11] Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3] Rep. Travis Childers [D, MS-1] Lost
Rep. Howard Coble [R, NC-6] Rep. Tom Cole [R, OK-4] Rep. Gerald Connolly [D, VA-11] Rep. Joe Courtney [D, CT-2] Rep. Henry Cuellar [D, TX-28] Rep. Lincoln Davis [D, TN-4] Lost
Rep. Danny Davis [D, IL-7] Rep. Ted Deutch [D, FL-19] Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25] Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21] Retired
Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15] Rep. Joe Donnelly [D, IN-2] Rep. Steve Driehaus [D, OH-1] Lost
Rep. Thomas Edwards [D, TX-17] Lost
Rep. Brad Ellsworth [D, IN-8] Retired, Lost Senate Bid
Rep. Mary Fallin [R, OK-5] Retired, Elected Governor

Rep. Chaka Fattah [D, PA-2] Rep. Bob Filner [D, CA-51] Rep. Bill Foster [D, IL-14] Lost
Rep. John Gingrey [R, GA-11] Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D, TX-20] Rep. Raymond Green [D, TX-29] Rep. Deborah Halvorson [D, IL-11] Lost
Rep. Phil Hare [D, IL-17] Lost

Rep. Gregg Harper [R, MS-3] Rep. Alcee Hastings [D, FL-23] Rep. Martin Heinrich [D, NM-1] Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin [D, SD-0] Rep. Rubén Hinojosa [D, TX-15] Rep. Paul Hodes [D, NH-2] Lost
Rep. Peter Hoekstra [R, MI-2] Retired, lost in gubernatorial primary

Rep. Tim Holden [D, PA-17] Rep. Rush Holt [D, NJ-12] Rep. Jesse Jackson [D, IL-2] Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R, KS-2] Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15] Rep. Eddie Johnson [D, TX-30] Rep. Samuel Johnson [R, TX-3] Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3] Rep. Jim Jordan [R, OH-4] Rep. Dale Kildee [D, MI-5] Rep. Ronald Kind [D, WI-3] Rep. Peter King [R, NY-3] Rep. Larry Kissell [D, NC-8] Rep. Ron Klein [D, FL-22] Lost
Rep. Suzanne Kosmas [D, FL-24] Lost
Rep. Frank Kratovil [D, MD-1] Lost

Rep. Robert Latta [R, OH-5] Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3] Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2] Rep. David Loebsack [D, IA-2] Rep. Frank Lucas [R, OK-3] Rep. Ben Luján [D, NM-3] Rep. Cynthia Lummis [R, WY-0] Rep. Connie Mack [R, FL-14] Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-2] Rep. Betty McCollum [D, MN-4] Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R, MI-11] Rep. Patrick McHenry [R, NC-10] Rep. Michael McMahon [D, NY-13] Lost
Rep. John Mica [R, FL-7] Rep. Michael Michaud [D, ME-2] Rep. Gary Miller [R, CA-42] Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10] Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1] Lost
Rep. Harry Mitchell [D, AZ-5] Lost
Rep. Alan Mollohan [D, WV-1] Lost in primary
Rep. Patrick Murphy [D, PA-8] Lost

Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18] Rep. Randy Neugebauer [R, TX-19] Rep. Glenn Nye [D, VA-2] Lost
Rep. James Oberstar [D, MN-8] Rep. Pete Olson [R, TX-22] Rep. Solomon Ortiz [D, TX-27] Lost, pending recount
Rep. Frank Pallone [D, NJ-6] Rep. William Pascrell [D, NJ-8] Rep. Edward Pastor [D, AZ-4] Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10] Rep. Gary Peters [D, MI-9] Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7] Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2] Rep. Earl Pomeroy [D, ND-0] Lost
Rep. Bill Posey [R, FL-15] Rep. Tom Price [R, GA-6] Rep. Adam Putnam [R, FL-12] Retired. Elected Ag. Commish
Rep. Mike Quigley [D, IL-5] Rep. Nick Rahall [D, WV-3] Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0] Rep. Silvestre Reyes [D, TX-16] Rep. Laura Richardson [D, CA-37] Rep. Ciro Rodriguez [D, TX-23] Lost
Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16] Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6] Rep. Steven Rothman [D, NJ-9] Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1] Rep. Timothy Ryan [D, OH-17] Rep. Steve Scalise [R, LA-1] Rep. Mark Schauer [D, MI-7] Lost
Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18] Rep. David Scott [D, GA-13] Rep. Peter Sessions [R, TX-32] Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11] Rep. William Shuster [R, PA-9] Rep. Michael Simpson [R, ID-2] Rep. Adrian Smith [R, NE-3] Rep. Christopher Smith [R, NJ-4] Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21] Rep. Zachary Space [D, OH-18] Lost
Rep. Clifford Stearns [R, FL-6] Rep. John Sullivan [R, OK-1] Rep. Betty Sutton [D, OH-13] Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4] Lost
Rep. Harry Teague [D, NM-2] Lost

Rep. Glenn Thompson [R, PA-5] Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2] Rep. William Thornberry [R, TX-13] Rep. John Tierney [D, MA-6] Rep. Edolphus Towns [D, NY-10] Rep. Peter Visclosky [D, IN-1] Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1] Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20] Rep. Lynn Westmoreland [R, GA-3] Rep. Charles Wilson [D, OH-6] Lost
Rep. Addison Wilson [R, SC-2]

That’s 32 Democrats and seven Republicans who are out of Washington now, pending at least two recounts in which the 5034 supporter is behind. That is a full quarter of the sponsors. In regards to a point Matt made in his post, just under half of the Dems defeated were Blue Dogs. Commenter Chris Miller is probably hoping the recounts hold up….

This all looks good, but I’ll point out the following: This bill’s chances may have increased due to the dynamics of this election. The sponsors of this bill could see this as one way they can do favors for well-funded lobbyists without spending any actual taxpayer money. Also, co-sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) will now be the chair of the relevant committee.
In the event you’d like to do something about this bill, may I suggest you follow this link and Write Your Representative. It’s very simple to do, you need only enter your zip+4 and it’ll give you a form for email contact. (A phone call is infinitely more powerful, but hey, takes more gumption.) Here’s the text of my letter:

Congressman _______________,
I am writing to express my opposition to H.R. 5034, the anti-free trade in alcoholic beverages bill, on several grounds:

  1. H.R. 5034 undermines one of the basic reasons our Constitution was written, i.e. to prevent States from regulating and hindering legitimate interstate commerce.
  2. H.R. 5034 favors monied special interests over the markets, and over a tremendous number of small businesses nationwide.
  3. H.R. 5034 will severely impact the quality, price, and variety of products that most Americans currently enjoy. The bill is anti-consumer in every possibly way.

Should this bill come before you in committee or in a floor vote, I expect you to vote against it. Further, I would appreciate a contact from your office shortly, letting me know where you stand on this issue, and why.
Thanks you for your time and attention, and good luck in the next Congress.

If your congresscritter is one of the co-sponsors, may I suggest you replace what’s after the list with this:

I see that you are currently a co-sponsor of this legislation. I sincerely hope that you will reconsider this position. This bill in no way benefits your constituents. I look forward to hearing from you shortly with news of your reconsideration, or justification of your siding with special interests over me and my fellow citizens.
Thank you for your time and attention.

About the author

Doug

I am 48 years old, married with two young daughters. My interests are tennis, reading, computers, politics, and of course cocktails. I run a murder mystery party business that caters to both corporate and private events, Killing Time, murder consultants.

6 Comments

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  • Thankfully it looks like none of my congress-critters have signed on, but it’s still ridiculous. Since I live in a state where the regulators set all prices, and to a degree the selection, it’d be a lot more annoying if I couldn’t get liquor shipped to me from other states.

    This is definitely a case where “free market” principles are being ignored for the sake of cash.

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  • Here they set all prices and ALL selection. It’s ridiculous.
    I also don’t understand why so many states think that for this specific product they have the right to operate in Socialist (or, let’s be honest, in states like Ohio, it’s Communist) fashion. Nor do I understand why more free-market types don’t have more to say about it.

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  • I threw up a post of my own on the subject, so hopefully word will continue to spread.

    Washington is the same way. Total state monopoly. Thankfully there are two initiatives on the ballot right now to privatize liquor sales. I’m hoping that at least one of them will pass, because that’ll put more pressure on other states (I’m looking at you, Oregon) to do the same. Hopefully some day they can all be more like California.

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  • I have been trying to get as much attention to this as possible. I have written a couple of articles about this and have tweeted constantly about it, I am a wine educator, sommelier and consultant and live in Suffolk County, NY. I have voted for Tim Bishop in all elections till this year. He should have won easily, but one contributor to his potential loss is his taking $30,000 of grease from Beer Wholesalers to support HR 5034. This from a congressman that ‘represents’ a wine region. Just a guess, most wine makers are fairly liberal in their politics. I am certain that Bishop lost many votes due to this. Hopefully the same has occurred in other districts.

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