Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, is openly opposing a pair of proposed congressional bills that will essentially save the vaping industry if passed. HR 2058 attempts to reduce or eliminate much of the financial burden associated with the FDA approval process for "tobacco products." And the Cole-Bishop Amendment, which recently passed the House Appropriations Committee last Tuesday by a margin of 31-19, attempts to redefine the FDA deeming regulation's predicate date of February 15, 2007 to the modern day.
If HR 2058 is approved by the Senate, then the vaping industry would no longer be required to pay the million-dollar fees associated with the controversial Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) of the FDA. Retailers also fear the PMTA because the FDA has only approved one application in the past six years. If HR 2058 doesn’t pass, then the end of the vaping industry as we know it could be just around the corner. According to Schultz’s recent comments on the House Floor, that seems to be precisely what the DNC Chair wants.
“It would seem to me that the only reason this industry exists, the only reason the e-cigarette industry exists, is that there are some that would like to hear and believe — although, we don’t have data to attach to that — they have been able to eliminate their addiction to cigarettes through this product…But the reality of this industry, the purpose of the development of this product, is to keep people addicted to nicotine and then to raise to bring up another generation of children who will be addicted to nicotine and will become addicted to nicotine in a much more benign way because of how these products are marketed.”
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
But this is what Schultz does. She’s notorious for offering opinions without knowing the facts. Some would say that she may even be an outright liar, purposely distorting facts just to gain a glimmer of the spotlight. In 2012, she appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 discussing then-Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s views on abortion. She was so ill-informed for the interview that Mr. Cooper essentially destroyed her on public television. Later that year, Rep. Schultz was also accused of lying about her affiliation with a Super PAC known for creating a television commercial blaming Romney for the death of a cancer patient. The list goes on and on.
Even this year, in March 2016, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is accused of trying to rig her state election in an attempt to eliminate her first-ever primary opponent, Tim Canova. Perhaps because of her reputation for being an attention seeker, her congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle seem to be ignoring her recent anti-vaping rant. However, Paul Blair from Americans for Tax Reform is not so willing to hide his contempt.
“It’s a shame that out-of-touch politicians like Debbie Wasserman Schultz don’t have the capacity to engage in a 21st-century debate about the most significant advancement in public health in decades,” stated Blair. “She might learn something that wasn’t in her morning talking points from the anti-science quit-or-die crowd whose holier than thou attitude doesn’t align with reality and stands to kill jobs and harm public health.”
- Paul BlairWhile the vaping industry is always horrified to be placed in the same category as Big Tobacco, most vaping advocates expect their politician representatives to be well-versed in the differences between an e-cig and pack of Marlboros, especially in 2016. Vapers don’t expect the American public to fully comprehend the differences, but most would agree that members of the House of Representatives should probably have a better handle on the subject by now.
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