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Kudos to Rep. Tom McClintock and Selected House Freshmen

The Club for Growth announced a study last month of how freshmen members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted once arriving on Capitol Hill. In announcing the study results, the Club for Growth said:

“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.”

If you follow the link, you can see the names and Club scores. The average score for a freshman Republican was 71%. At their blog, the Club for Growth also said they “found that for many of the freshmen Republicans, promises of fiscal responsibility have proven to be empty.” Other notable findings in the Club for Growth Freshmen Study include:

  • A majority of freshmen Republicans voted against the conservative Republican Study Committee budget.
  • Only 14 freshmen Republicans signed a pledge promising never to raise the debt ceiling until “Cut, Cap, and Balance” had passed.
  • The two freshmen in the Republican Leadership received vastly different scores, with Rep. Tim Scott receiving a 92% and Rep. Kristi Noem receiving a 60%.
  • Charlie Bass ran for the seat he lost in 2006 by declaring that the agenda of the tea party “is exactly the same as mine.” He received a pathetic 48% in 2011. (emphasis added)
  • The Ten Highest scoring freshmen Republicans were Reps. Amash (100%), Huelskamp (100%), Labrador (100%), Mulvaney (99%), Walsh (99%), Stutzman (99%), Quayle (98%), Duncan (97%), Gowdy (97%) and Ross (96%). (emphasis added)
  • The Ten Lowest scoring freshmen Republicans were Reps. Rivera (47%), Grimm (46%), Stivers (45%), Runyan (45%), Gibson (44%), Hanna (44%), Fitzpatrick (43%), Dold (42%), Meehan (42%) and McKinley (37%). (emphasis added)

FWIW, Rep. Charles Bass is from New Hampshire, and his phone number on Capitol Hill is (202) 225-5206, according to THOMAS.

A day or so later, Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute took a look at how the 87 freshmen voted on three selected pieces of legislation. DeHaven wrote in his May 17 post at Cato@Liberty, which quipped that "freshmen Republicans switch from tea to Kool-Aid:"

“The study comes on the heels of three telling votes taken last week in the House that should have been slam-dunks for members who possess the slightest regard for limited government and free markets. Alas, only 26 of the 87 members of the “Tea Party class” voted to defund both the Economic Development Administration and the president’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program (see my previous discussion of these votes here) and against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank (see my colleague Sallie James’s excoriation of that vote here).

“I assembled the following table, which shows how each of the 87 freshman voted. The 26 who voted for liberty in all three cases are highlighted. Only 49 percent voted to defund the EDA. Only 56 percent voted to defund a new corporate welfare program requested by the Obama administration. And only a dismal 44 percent voted against reauthorizing “Boeing’s bank.” That’s pathetic.” (emphasis added)

The 26 freshmen are easily identified on the chart that DeHaven posted with his explanation.

DeHaven’s post caused me to take a closer look at the scores of the 26 freshmen in the Club for Growth study as well as their scores from the National Taxpayers Union in rating how members of Congress voted in the 112th Congress.

  • The Club for Growth gave three of the 26 freshmen class members a perfect score of 100%. Nine received scores of 90-99%; six received scores of 80-89%; four received scores of 70-79%; and four received scores of 60-69%.
  • The National Taxpayers Union rated the 26 freshmen this way: twelve received an A; three received a B+; nine received a B; and two received a B-.

At NTU’s blog, Government Bytes, the NTU meets with some of the winners of their Taxpayers’ Friend Awards.

Finally, on Friday, Mr. DeHaven looked at three additional votes at Cato@Liberty, writing:

“Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) introduced three amendments to the recently passed Energy & Water appropriations bill that would have eliminated a slew of business subsidies at the Department of Energy. Unfortunately, House Republicans once again teamed up with their Democratic colleagues to keep the corporate welfare spigot flowing.”

DeHaven then made two more points to show how bipartisanship really works on Capitol, i.e, how "Republicans join Democrats to save corporate welfare (again):

“First, Democrats voted overwhelmingly to continue to subsidize commercial interests. And here I thought Democrats were concerned about the have and have-nots.

“Second, Rep. McClintock deserves a round of applause for his efforts. These votes speak volumes about a member’s beliefs about the proper role of the federal government. A lot of members—especially Republicans—talk a good game when it comes to spending, limited government, free markets, etc. However, when the time comes to put their money where their mouths are, many choose to instead put other people’s money in the mouths of special interests.”

Not surprisingly, only 16 of the 26 freshmen who voted for all three of the previous three votes analyzed by DeHaven, voted for all three of Rep. McClintock’s amendments. Rep. McClintock writes more about the three amendments at Breitbart’s Big Government. The 16 freshmen Representatives were:

  1. Sandy Adams (FL)
  2. Justin Amash (MI)
  3. Steven Chabot (OH)
  4. Blake Farenthold (TX)
  5. Paul Gosar (AZ)
  6. Tim Huelskamp (KS)
  7. Raul Labrador (ID)
  8. Jeff Landy (LA)
  9. Mick Mulvaney (SC)
  10. Mike Pompeo (KS)
  11. Ben Quayle (AZ)
  12. Todd Rokita (IN)
  13. Dennis Ross (FL)
  14. David Schweikert (AZ)
  15. Marlin Stutzman (IN)
  16. Rob Woodall (GA)

So kudos to California’s Rep. Tom McClintock and to the 16 representatives listed above. And the lesson to be learned is that ratings from such groups as the National Taxpayers Union are worth reviewing before you walk into the walk into the polling booth. If you have the time, take a few moments to telephone the Capitol Hill (202-224-3121) offices of Rep. Tom McClintock and the 16 freshmen members listed above, and congratulate them on their fiscally responsible votes.

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