Every Republican swears up and down that he/she supports limited government, a balanced budget, and free markets. Yet, once again, only a fraction of Republicans in Washington were able to stand for those ideals. The House and Senate passed the Obama highway bill/student loan stimulus on Friday with overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. [Read more about the bill here and here.]
Among other things, this bill bundled together three major policy extensions. Republicans pledged to end that practice – a practice which forces members to vote for or against one component because of another extraneous portion of the bill. Although we believe that conservatives should have opposed every aspect of the bill, some members possibly wanted to support just the flood insurance provision and not the student loan or transportation extension. It makes no sense to bundle them together for the purpose of getting out of town before the holiday week. Yet, that’s exactly what they did.
Here’s a color-coded spreadsheet of the House vote sorted by Cook PVI (most Republican to least Republican district). We’ve got a lot of red state Republicans who have no interest in balancing the budget, limiting government, or restoring free markets.
It’s votes like this that separate the men from the boys. Upon closer scrutiny, you will find that only a small fraction of the party actually supports the principles of the Republican Party. As we’ve pointed out a number of times, and will continue to show at The Madison Performance Index, many of our most conservative districts are represented by statists.
After the Supreme Court failed to uphold our Constitution, we must focus our attention on Congress. We applaud the 52 GOP House members and 19 senators for supporting limited government.