Democrats on the franking commission — which must approve all official mail — have blocked Republicans from using politically weighted descriptions of climate change legislation, the stimulus bill and other issues, according to e-mails obtained by Roll Call. ...In one particular instance, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) submitted for approval a newsletter that read, "[O]ur nation will wind up paying the price for the Democrat Congressional majority’s special interest agenda.” This language was denied by the franking commission as "too partisan." But Barton's staff uncovered a 2006 newsletter from Nancy Pelosi's office that contained the exact same language about the then-Republican majority; the franking commission approved this piece just months before the Democrats took over the majority.
Several e-mails between Member offices and franking commission staff obtained by Roll Call show that a number of recent GOP mail pieces were initially denied in part because they used the phrase “cap and tax” to describe the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill would establish a cap on carbon emissions, allowing companies that cannot meet the cap to buy offsets from other companies that emit less than their share, otherwise known as cap-and-trade. Republicans argue the measure amounts to a broad tax on consumers. ...
In addition to demanding changes to terminology about the Democratic energy bill, a proposed e-newsletter from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) was returned to his office with notes asking for detailed citations to back up passages critical of Democratic policies. In one instance, the commission asked that the word “Democratic” be removed from the text and “majority” be put in its place.
The franking commission's response: whoops, our bad.