Boehner suggests what Hugo Chavez might have told Markey's committee

April 4, 2008
As an apparent April Fool's joke, the House's minority leader released "testimony" he said Hugo Chavez would have offered if Venezuela's president had been invited to testify before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Never let it be said that US House Republicans don't have a sense of humor.

In an apparent April Fool's gesture, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) released "testimony" which he said Hugo Chavez would have submitted if the Venezuelan president had been invited to testify at the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Apr. 1 hearing on oil profits, prices and alternative energy investments.

Boehner said that Venezuela, the world's sixth largest oil supplier, "would enjoy significant tax breaks under energy legislation recently passed by the Democrat-led House in spite of the socialist dictator's threats to cut off energy supplies to the United States and ongoing anti-American rhetoric and policies."

At the hearing, the committee's chairman, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) told executives from Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp., BP America Inc. and ConocoPhillips that their companies should not oppose H.R. 5351. The bill would shift $18 billion in financial incentives from the biggest US oil companies to alternative and renewable energy research and development programs.

In the "testimony," Chavez was quoted as saying: "Being a socialist dictator is a difficult, and often lonely, burden these days. As more nations move toward democracy, the number of socialist dictators in our world is declining and we can use all the help we can get. As I seek to keep our socialist movement afloat in South America, it is comforting to know that I have such strong allies in the House Democratic majority.

"Though the American economy is struggling and families in your country are feeling the strain from rising costs for everything from food to fuel, I'm pleased that the House majority did not allow these realities to stand in the way of your admirable efforts to raise taxes on them in order to pay for more government spending and, more importantly, my own tax breaks," the supposed "testimony" continued.

Contact Nick Snow at [email protected]