We’ve recently noted that House Republicans have largely been a disappointment when it comes to cutting spending. Since taking control of the chamber in January 2011, the national debt has increased by over $1.59 trillion and reasonable amendments to bills that would cut spending have been shot down with many Republicans opting not to keep the promise they made to voters in the fall campaign. There is also talk of bringing back earmarks, an untransparent process that is often corrupt.
So why are the spending cutters in the House? The Club for Growth has tracked the 25 votes on amendments that would cut spending and found the consistent budget hawks in the lower chamber (I’m only posting those that score 100%, for sake of space):
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Congressman Allen West indicated that he was “fine” with keeping some key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
…West pointed to three popular provisions of the health care law that he would like to see preserved: allowing parents to keep children on their health insurance plans until 26, ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions aren’t denied insurance, and closing Medicare’s prescription drug donut hole…
West is just another Republican walking in line after Majority Leader Eric Cantor expressed his desire to retain some of the same aspects of President Obama’s landmark legislation.
Ostensibly, Republicans have no plan of their own for health insurance reform nor are they serious about freeing up the market. Instead, they are campaigning against the individual mandate in PPACA while piggybacking on some of the less unpopular provisions of the Act. This serves as a great reminder that Republicans do not have any inherent opposition to government intervention, only government intervention with a Democratic authorship. Despite campaigning for the repeal of ObamaCare since its passage two years ago, Republicans are promising to implement a meekly watered down version of the same thing.
Via the Daily Caller’s video producer Sean W. Malone comes this new mini-documentary reflecting on the horrors of 9/11, and an examination of how America and the world reacted in terms of public policy. The video features Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson, Cato Institute vice president for defense and foreign policy studies Christopher A. Preble, Cato research fellow in defense and homeland security studies Benjamin H. Friedman, Heritage Foundation’s director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies James Carafano, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla. 22nd), and Antiwar.com’s development director Angela Keaton.
National security policy, like all other forms of public policy, involves an innumerable series of trade-offs. We should be applying the same rigorous cost-benefit analyses to the Pentagon and DHS budgets that we do to social welfare programs.
The best line in the whole video comes from Tucker Carlson, who quips,
Despite (unsourced) rumors of his resignation and demise, John Boehner (R-OH) was re-elected as Speaker of the House this afternoon as the 113th Congress convened for the opening of its first session:
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.
Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted “present.” Two years ago, Boehner won all 241 available GOP votes.
In a vote that opened the 113th Congress, Boehner received 220 votes, compared to 192 for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the minority leader. Fourteen members voted for other candidates or present. Boehner needed 218 votes to win reelection.
Stories broke yesterday afternoon that Boehner would resign during a meeting with the House Republican Conference. That obviously didn’t happen. Then the rumor was that enough conservative members had said that they were ready to vote to oust Boehner in today’s vote. Again, that didn’t happen.
Here’s how the dissenting members voted:
Defectors from Boehner included Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and two freshmen, Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), all voted for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), but Cantor himself voted for Boehner.
Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) voted for outgoing member Allen West (R-Fla.). Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted for former Comptroller General David Walker. Speakers of the House do not have to be members of the House, although historically they all have been.
Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
House freshman Allen West (R-FL) – a tea party and Fox News favorite – finally conceded defeat to his Democratic opponent on Tuesday. According to a Politico article, “The congressman’s unexpected loss left his advisers, donors and legion of tea party fans searching for answers.”
Here’s one answer: West’s hypocritical votes in favor of federal programs that inappropriately subsidize local concerns apparently didn’t buy him goodwill from voters. I’m referring to West’s votes earlier this year to save the Community Development Block Grant program and the Economic Development Administration, which I previously discussed:
One of the few surprises on election night was Rep. Allen West (R-FL) trailing his opponent, Patrick Murphy. Going by what polls were available, it looked like West would probably win re-election. But after two weeks of failed court challenges and a recount of early votes adding to his opponent’s vote total, West finally conceded defeat yesterday:
Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy Tuesday morning, wrapping up one of the highest-profile and most expensive House races in the country.
“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results, and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election,” West said in a statement.
With roughly two weeks left before election day, Rep. Allen West, the controversial Florida Republican and former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, leads his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, in Florida’s Eighteenth Congressional District, according to a survey put out last week:
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is leading his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by nine points, according to a new FLDemocracy/WPTV/TCPalm poll released Thursday.
Among likely voters surveyed, 51 percent support West and 42 percent back Murphy. Eight percent are undecided.
The battle for the 18 th congressional district, which includes Martin, St. Lucie and northern Palm Beach counties, is one of the closest watched races in the country. The race has been characterized by a flood of advertising—most of which is coming from West who has outspent his Democratic challenger by 4-1.
With bold and often-controversial statements, Tea Party favorite Allen West has been a top target for Democrats nationally because of what he represents.
And if you thought egalitarian liberals were above good old-fashioned race baiting, then you should see this latest attack ad from The American Sunrise PAC:
According to The Shark Tank, the Super PAC was founded by the father of West’s opposition, Patrick Murphy. Thomas Murphy is the CEO of a construction firm, and gave $250,000 so far, which is an unimaginable number for a single donor in most congressional districts.
By showing West as a bully, he his hiting caucasion women IN THE FACE, while grabbing their money. Nevermind West is actually trying to end America’s fiscal recklessness while attempting to protect taxpayers’ dollars.
Politics is an ugly business, especially for conservatives who happen to be black.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) proposed a new idea for an individual mandate. Since it’s now the law of the land where the government can tax inactivity, West says that Congress should pass a law requiring every American to buy a Glock:
Of course, West is kidding, but in theory, Congress could indeed pass such a mandate now thanks to the ObamaCare decision. During a recent chat with my friend, Michelle Ray, I explained that if I was a rent-seeking business, I would be trying to slip some sort of requirement in legislation for Americans to buy my product. Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts floated this in his majority opinion (page 39, emphasis mine):
The freshman class elected to the House during the 2010 mid-term elections came Washington with a lot of hype. After all, this group of 87 members were dubbed the “Tea Party Class” thanks to coming to power during the height of the Tea Party movement. But not all of the members of this class have voted in the best interest of taxpayers, despite some still claiming the mantle of the Tea Party.
Yesterday, the Club for Growth released a study examining the votes of the class, showing that many have indeed been disappointments:
In the 2010 election, 87 freshmen House Republicans came to Washington pledging fealty to the Tea Party movement and the ideals of limited government and economic freedom. The mainstream media likes to say that the freshman class is the most uncompromising group of fiscal conservatives in history…but just how Tea Party are they? Did all 87 freshmen always vote to cut spending and limit the size of government, or did some of them vote like the big-spending R.I.N.Os of the past?
This study was compiled from the Club for Growth’s Congressional Scorecard, which evaluates lawmakers based upon their commitment to limited government and pro-growth policies. What we found was that while some freshmen have lived up to the promises they made to the tea party movement, dozens of them are big-spenders and are no different from many of the veteran Republicans they serve with.
We covered the Club’s Congressional Scorecard back in March, the results of which were based on dozens of voters related to fiscal issues, including the repeal of ObamaCare, cutting market distorting energy subsidies, and a wide range of spending cuts.