On February 18, 2011, 98 Republicans joined with the whole of the Democratic Caucus in the House to defeat legislation offered up by Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee designed to ensure the House GOP lived up to is “$100 billion in cuts” pledge to nowhere.
As I noted at the time, “Blackburn’s amendment, by its own description, would have ‘reduce[d] spending by 5.5% in 8 non-securiy spending subsections of the bill and reduce[d] Legislative Branch appropriations by 11%.'”
Ushering Republicans across the aisle to join with Democrats in a refusal to cut the budget was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.
It was the first major vote that separated the men from the boys. It showed who the fiscally responsible were and who the fiscally irresponsible were. Eric Cantor himself had co-sponsored the same Blackburn measure three separate times. But this time, the tea party had the votes to actually get it passed. So Cantor led squishy Republicans to the Democrats. And our debt soon went up to over $15 trillion.
Standing with Marsha Blackburn and the conservatives wanting to cut the size and scope of Washington was Congressman Don Manzullo of Illinois.
Following Eric Cantor across the aisle to join the Democrats was Adam Kinzinger, who campaigned as a tea party congressman intent on reducing Washington. His vote showed clearly he really did not mean it.
The day before Adam Kinzinger and Eric Cantor walked across the aisle to join the Democrats, Kinzinger went by himself. On February 17, 2011, the House voted on a measure to strip from the budget an earmark requested by Nancy Pelosi for San Francisco. Pretty much every Republican in the House of Representatives, including Eric Cantor and Don Manzullo both, voted to strip the earmark from the budget.
But Adam Kinzinger joined Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and even Barney Frank to give Nancy Pelosi the money she wanted. They lost the vote.
RedState supported Adam Kinzinger in 2010 against Debbie Halvorson. The whole of the tea party in Illinois went to bat for the young veteran who said he would go fight for the tea party in Washington.
Not long after getting there, reporters started buzzing that Kinzinger was one of the critics behind closed doors of the earmarks ban. In vote after vote, Kinzinger lined up with the Republican leaders in silly deal after silly deal. Reporters noticed that many of those who ran under the tea party banner went straight into a voting pattern similar to the very same Republicans the tea party opposed.
Adam Kinzinger had not become a tea party leader, but a leadership flunky. His voting record is a disappointment
Republican Leaders in Washington have been at war with conservatives this past year for daring to hold Republicans accountable for their promises. Leadership staffers complained about the Heritage Foundation. The Leadership staff ridiculed conservatives opposed to Planned Parenthood.
Adam Kinzinger stood with that leadership. In fact, roughly 70% of the tea party backed congressmen fell in line behind the leadership betraying the people who sent them there.
Consider, if you will, that Eric Cantor has a 60% rating in the Heritage Action for America scorecard. It is, more so than the American Conservative Union or any other ratings list, the best indicator of conservatives in Congress.
This race should be a no brainer for conservatives, fiscally or socially. We must support Don Manzullo. If we are unwilling to stand up for a man who stands up for conservatives even against his own party, then why should we ever expect any man to stand with the movement against the party?