Congressman Patrick McHenry standing with an automobile, which, as it happens, was also invented in the 19th century.
The US House of Representatives approved an energy conservation bill on Saturday that includes, among other things, a tax break of $20 per month for bike commuters, which would take effect at the beginning of next year.
The vote on HR 2776 was largely split along party lines, and was preceded by inspired testimony from Congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican representing the 10th District in my home state of North Carolina.
Here’s McHenry, as quoted in the Congressional Record:
"A major component of the Democrats’ energy legislation and the Democrats’ answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle.
Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike.
Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: "Save energy, ride a bike.” Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no. They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing.
Apparently, the Democrats believe that the miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil. I cannot make this stuff up. It is absolutely amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Democrats, promoting 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. If you don’t like it, ride a bike. If you don’t like the price at the pumps, ride a bike.
Stay tuned for the next big idea for the Democrats: Improving energy efficiency by the horse and buggy."
So proud is McHenry of his witty remarks that he posted the video on his web page.
Like the man said: You cannot make this stuff up.