Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What is Scott Garrett thinking?

Of the bills that passed in the flurry that ended the least productive Congress in our nation's history, two votes by Representative Garrett really stood out. He voted against both the Pool and Spa Safety Act and the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act.

During the campaign, I probably would have put something cheeky like Garrett's "Pro-Drowning" in the Bad Garrett section of the website. But in all seriousness, I would love to know what he and those who voted against this were thinking. Proper drain filters are kind of like seat belts, they're intended to prevent accidental death and were made mandatory by similar legislation. We spend money as tax payers for commercials (which are educational expenses) for seat belts, why he'd be opposed to preventing accidental drownings is beyond me. Because of Garrett and others, this bill failed and will not be enacted.

The second vote is easier to understand. The Dietary Supplement bill closes the loopholes that led to the Ephedra nightmare of a decade ago by firmly placing the burden of proof of safety on the manufacturers of dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs. This is in diametric opposition to Garrett's co-sponsorship of HR 4282 (added as co-sponsor later). As I discussed here, 4282 would have been a massive misuse of taxpayers' funds with potentially fatal effects. Fortunately, this bill was passed in both the House and Senate and sent to the President. Hopefully, he'll sign it.

Preventing accidental drownings or "death by snake-oil" is something I would expect people serving the public to support. However, Garrett's voting record has rarely lived up to expectations.

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