Last month, a group of fiscal conservatives were unceremoniously kicked off of their committee assignements by House Speaker John Boehner. The purge highlighted the schism between GOP leadership and fiscal conservatives in the House and set off the grassroots in their defense.
While these members may eventually find themselves facing primary challenges because of their willingness to stand strong on fiscal issues, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is finding that standing by his principles is resonating well at home:
On Wednesday night, Amash took questions at a town hall meeting at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, a place that honors the presidency and long congressional career of a consummate party loyalist and legislative consensus builder.
Amash, born three years after Ford left the White House, is taking a different path — bucking the GOP leadership on issue after issue, including last week’s challenge to Boehner’s re-election as speaker.
A crowd of about 175 people turned out for the town hall in downtown Grand Rapids.
“It’s been a very eventful last month or two in Congress, to say the least,” Amash said, alluding to his newfound notoriety. “Even I’m sick of seeing myself in the paper.”
But the very warm reception was also a reminder that for a conservative Republican elected from a conservative district, being labeled a troublemaker by the establishment is not necessarily bad politics back home.
Amash said his two main goals as a congressman are to get a handle on spending and to bring transparency to the process. He says Americans need to better understand how Washington works and what Congress does to begin to fix things.
“There’s a system in Washington, D.C., that is not right. And it’s not because people are Republican or Democrat. The whole thing is broken,” said Amash, who has garnered attention for using Facebook to explain each of his House votes.
While he was challenged by one attendee on being stripped of his committee assignment and challenging Boehner, Amash explained, “At the end of the day, the kind of, where you go along with everyone just to get along politics, it doesn’t really do much for the American people. It doesn’t do much for you as my constituents — the people I’m representing.”
Amash really is one of the few good guys on the Hill. He’s not trying to be part of “Team Republican,” he trying to hold both parties in Congress accountable, even his own leadership, when they sell out taxpayers for sake of political expediency.