The Club for Growth goes after Blue Dog Democrats

The Club for Growth has declared war on Blue Dog Democrats, launching a new website called The Blue Dog Report, which documents the fiscal profligacy of these so-called “deficit hawks.” Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, accompanied the launch of the new site with an editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

Every year since 2007, the Democratic advantage in the House has been fewer than the number of seats held by Blue Dogs: If they had wanted to, the Blue Dogs could have made themselves masters of the House. They could have held an effective veto over any bill they pleased, insisting that Mrs. Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and even President Obama himself heed their call for fiscal responsibility.

Instead, the Blue Dogs became Mrs. Pelosi’s lap dogs, voting with her 80% of the time on economic issues. Every one of them voted for the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sixty-three percent voted for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program; 91% voted for the stimulus package in February 2009; 85% voted for the cash-for-clunkers program; 74% voted for President Obama’s debt-tripling 2010 budget; 73% voted for the auto bailout; and 54% voted for the federal takeover of health care.

The evidence is overwhelming: The Blue Dogs are not fiscal conservatives, and only a few can credibly claim even to be fiscal moderates.

Consider the Blue Dogs’ signature legislative priority: “paygo,” the pay-as-you-go rule requiring the House to offset any new spending and tax cuts with spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere in the budget. In 2007, to much Blue Dog fanfare, House Democrats established paygo as a standing rule of the House.

Yet the House has since voted 31 times to grease the skids for new spending by waiving the paygo rule—and Blue Dogs supported the waivers 86% of the time. Five Blue Dogs have voted to waive paygo every single time.

The Blue Dog Coalition isn’t a vehicle to help conservative Democrats influence policy. It is a marketing brand to help vulnerable Democrats deceive voters.

On The Blue Dog Report, the Club notes that Blue Dogs have gone along with the big government agenda espoused by party leaders:

On the biggest, defining votes since the Democrats took the House, the Blue Dogs have voted almost in lock-step with their party leaders.

Fannie & Freddie Bailout 100%
TARP 63%
2009 Stimulus 91%
Cash for Clunkers 85%
2009 Obama Budget 74%
Auto Bailout 73%
ObamaCare 54%

And with one leader in particular the Blue Dogs are more like lap dogs. Of the 62 votes cast by Speaker Pelosi during the current 111th Congress on economic issues, the Blue Dogs voted with her 80 percent of the time. Only two - Reps. Bobby Bright (AL-02) and Gene Taylor (MS-04) - have voted with Speaker Pelosi less than half the time, while three have voted with her every time.

My Congressman, Jim Marshall, is a Blue Dog Democrat. He’s also in a tough fight for re-election against Austin Scott. The website shows Marshall as being difficult to read. He voted against cap-and-trade, Cash for Clunkers and auto bailouts, but he voted for TARP, the stimulus, bailouts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and votes with economic polices of Speaker Nancy Pelosi 65% of the time.

Check out The Blue Dog Report and find out where if your representative is listed.

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