Monday, December 3, 2007

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) Questions Massa's "Fitness to Serve in Congress"

So Massa thought he had a campaign issue with Congressman Kuhl's bipartisan fact-finding mission to Brazil. Instead, a leading Democrat congressman from New York responded to the criticism by questioning Massa's "fitness to serve in Congress" and an editorial appeared in the D&C stating that "Massa's assertion that learning more about ethanol production in Brazil doesn't help Kuhl's constituents, who include Monroe County residents, is wrong" (Emphasis added). Massa ultimately apologized to the Democrat congressman in question, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel.

Here's a statement from Congressman Kuhl on the matter:
WASHINGTON – Dec. 3 - U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (R-Hammondsport) issued the following statement today about Eric Massa's apology to Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) after Massa made inappropriate comments on the congressional delegation mission to Brazil:

"Over the last few days Mr. Massa has made false accusations and insulted the reasoning behind a bipartisan congressional delegation mission to Brazil. Friday during an interview with Brian Tumulty of Gannett News, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) who chaired the congressional delegation trip to Brazil, was asked about Mr. Massa's statement. Rep. Engel responded by calling it a cheap shot and questioned "[Mr. Massa's] fitness to serve in Congress." Mr. Massa then called Rep. Engel's Washington DC office to apologize for his inappropriate comments."

"While I have grown accustom to Mr. Massa's misguided and self-serving attacks, it is unbelievable that he would attack members of his own political party and then upon getting criticized by a Democratic leader, turn around and redact his comments. This bipartisan congressional delegation trip allowed nine representatives to see firsthand how energy independence can positively affect the economic and environmental welfare of a prosperous nation. It is unclear how Mr. Massa believes a trip to Iowa by this delegation would produce equally valuable results."

"This trip has allowed us to gain a greater understanding of South America's largest and most populous nation and meet with Brazilian leaders, including the Vice President, in an effort to form a stronger alliance. As our country faces the challenges of the twenty-first century, it is imperative that we work in tandem with our global partners to find solutions to benefit us all. We cannot ignore the great progress and ideas emerging from all corners of the world. As representatives of the United States, we have the duty to ensure our constituents have access to the best the world has to offer and to work unilaterally to improve the lives of all Americans."

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