This is a continuation of our series highlighting members who hail from red districts, yet represent the priorities of House Speaker John Boehner and leadership instead of conservatives. Part 1can be viewed here.
Indiana is home to three new members of Congress who rode a conservative wave to Congress in 2010 and 2012, yet they have chosen to represent Boehner and the boys instead of fulfilling their campaign promises. We can choose to reelect these minions for the establishment over the next 20 years or we can utilize these heartland districts to find grassroots leaders. It is our choice to make.
Congressman Larry Bucshon was swept into the House in his Evansville-based 8th congressional district amidst the Tea Party insurrection in 2010. Yet, Bucshon immediately became a member of the pro-abortion, big labor-backed Republican Mainstreet Partnership.
During his first term in Congress, Bucshon voted down-the-line with leadership, earning a 64% score from Heritage Action. Despite campaigning on the promise of a balanced budget and cutting spending, he voted to raise the debt ceiling and against efforts by RSC members to cut spending.
In 2012, he still ran as a Tea Party member, noting that “his views are right in line with the majority of Tea Party members.” Yet, he supports federal legislation limiting scope of practice for alternative healthcare providers, such as optometrists and chiropractors – the antitheses of free market healthcare reforms advocated by the Tea Party.
Last year, Bucshon introduced a bill overriding state regulations of these healthcare providers, forcing them to disclose all their licensing and qualifications in advertising, while granting broad authority to the Federal Trade Commission to regulate and penalize offenders. When we start pushing for free market healthcare reforms in the future, we don’t need more members who will serve as tools for the American Medical Association (AMA).
On paper, Republicans retained control of the conservative Marion-based 5th district of Indiana. Dan Burton retired and a Republican did win the seat. But that is where the similarities end. With only 30% of the vote, Susan Brooks, the most liberal candidate in a crowded field, slipped into Congress and quickly became a water-carrier for leadership.
Brooks immediately became a member of the pro-abortion, big labor-backed Republican Mainstreet Partnership. She has voted against most attempts to roll back spending and in support of bloated bills to increase spending, earning her a 58% from Heritage Action.
More recently, she has supported the Ryan-Murray bill, the omnibus, farm bill, and the bill in October funding Obamacare and raising the debt ceiling. At the time, she echoed Obama’s fallacious talking point about default almost verbatim:
“In simple terms, hitting our debt ceiling means not having enough money to pay all of our bills such as Social Security payments, Medicare and Medicaid payments, Treasury bonds and interest payments on our debt. When you cannot pay your credit card bill your credit rating is downgraded, so hitting the debt ceiling could also mean the nation’s credit is downgraded for the second time in three years.”
Yet, despite her bold declaration about default, she didn’t have the moxie to vote for the latest debt ceiling suspension last month, presumably, because leadership had the votes to pass it with Democrat support.
Like most of Boehner’s bootlickers, Brooks is a big supporter of amnesty, and even had the temerity to praise the Gang of 8 bill – the most egregious piece of legislation since Obamacare. She will clearly be part of any effort to push amnesty thought the House in the coming months and years.
Although Brooks was not in Congress to vote for the bailouts, she has confirmed her support for bailing out Chrysler. Brooks is also a big proponent of limiting private gun sales.
She should get some credit for not pretending to be conservative or playing the Washington double-game. She is quite open about her lack of conservative beliefs. The question is if Republicans are going to continue electing a Democrat-lite from Indiana’s 5th District.
Todd Young, who represents south-central and southeastern Indiana in the 9th District, is another one of those 2010 freshmen who ran on a Tea Party platform. Yet, he immediately became a member of the pro-abortion, big labor-backed Republican Mainstreet Partnership. He votes down-the-line with leadership, earning him a 59% from Heritage Action.
If there is a time when leadership needs a rank-and-file member to carry their water, Young will be one of the first and most alacritous in line. After voting to suspend the debt ceiling yet again in October, Young sponsored a vacuous non-binding resolution to disapprove the debt ceiling increase. The resolution was just ceremonial thanks to Young’s previous vote, but much like Senator Mitch McConnell, he sent out a press release dishonestly giving the impression that he was fighting Obama on the debt, while obfuscating his previous consequential vote.
With Boehner announcing his intention to run for another term as Speaker, and given the fact that amnesty will be his biggest priority, do we need to waste conservative seats on members who will rubber stamp his agenda?