Carper’s Connection – July 2011

Dear Fellow Delawarean,

Every day, I talk to Delawareans up and down the First State, whether through my office or at my local grocery store. They tell me that they are working hard to provide for their families and make our community a better place to live and work. They also share their expectation that their elected officials in Washington will do what’s right – work together, compromise, and govern effectively to make best decisions for our nation. I couldn’t agree more. I am constantly trying to bring the Delaware Way – an approach to governing that stresses bipartisanship, compromise, and results – to Washington. This is what Delawareans and all Americans expect and deserve from their leaders.

Addressing the U.S. Debt Ceiling and Budget Outlook

Nearly two years ago, our nation suffered the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, Congress and the Obama Administration continue to work to find a solution to our fiscal crisis that starts to rein in our massive federal debt and raises the debt ceiling so the federal government can meet its financial obligations and maintain our good standing with our lenders. Failure to raise our debt ceiling — the legal limit on borrowing by the federal government — would result in dire economic consequences for Delaware and our nation.

I believe we must do the right thing and act now to raise the debt ceiling and curb our federal debt and deficit.

Learn more about my views on the debt ceiling and our nation’s budget issues here.

Watch my recent Carper’s Corner post about the debt ceiling below:

Unveiling the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza’s Highway Speed E-ZPass Lanes

This week, leaders from the First State and the Obama Administration celebrated the official opening of the highway speed E-ZPass lanes at the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza. I joined Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, Sen. Chris Coons, Rep. John Carney, Gov. Jack Markell, and DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt to champion this important American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, which will not only reduce motorists’ traffic frustrations but will also mitigate the amount of harmful air pollution emitted from idling cars.

View more photos from the I-95 toll plaza event here.

Earlier this month, Gov. Markell and I toured the state-of-the-art facility and got a hands-on look at the technology behind the highway speed E-ZPass lanes.

Learn more about the facility and its importance to Delaware and Delawareans below:

Supporting Offshore Wind Energy in Delaware and Throughout the United States

The U.S.’s addiction to dirty fossil fuels comes at a high economic, health, and national security cost. Each year, we import billions of dollars worth of foreign oil from unstable countries that don’t share our national interests, send thousands of pounds of harmful air pollution into our atmosphere, and bear the brunt of high gas prices that hurt families and businesses. The time to find a solution to our energy crisis is now, and the need to invest in renewable, clean, American energy has never been greater.

The First State has been – and continues to be – a leader in offshore wind energy development. For years, I have been working with Delaware’s Congressional delegation, Gov. Jack Markell, and others across Delaware to bring wind energy development to the seas off of Delaware’s shores. To incentivize and accelerate investments in offshore wind, I recently introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act. This bill provides the offshore wind industry enhanced stability by extending vital investment tax credits for up to 600 wind turbines. These tax credits provide much needed support to our own NRG/Bluewater Wind offshore project. This bill is another step in my effort to bring offshore wind and its benefits – from jobs to cleaner air to renewable, home-grown energy – to Delaware and the rest of the nation.

Learn about the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act and what I’m doing to support offshore wind in Delaware by watching my recent Carper’s Corner post below:

Learn more by clicking on the offshore wind feature on my website here.

Enhancing Anti-Wasteful Spending Efforts in the Federal Government

One year ago this month, President Obama signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA) into law. I helped lead that bill through Congress and to the President’s desk, along with Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Reps. Charlie Wilson (D-OH), Dina Titus (D-NV.) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA.), and we all were there to watch the President make this law – which reduces government spending by weeding out waste, fraud and abuse – a reality.

In an effort to build on that landmark legislation, I recently introduced the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2011, a bill that takes additional steps to identify, prevent and recover improper payments by federal agencies. This bill brings the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act to the next level and makes it stronger, more robust and more effective at preventing, recovering improper payments and protecting our scarce taxpayer dollars. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) joined me as cosponsors of this important legislation.

With warm personal regards,

I am,

TC Signature

U.S. Senator Tom Carper