Over at his AJC blog, Jamie Dupree notes that many Republican freshman in the House that were elected with tea party support voted against an amendment to the recent defense appropriations bill that would have cut spending by $4 billion:
of the 87 Republican freshmen who entered Congress after winning in the November 2010 elections, only four of them brought an amendment to the House floor on the homeland security budget bill, and really only one of them was truly budget related:
- Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) offered a 10% across the board cut; it won only 110 votes
- Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) offered amendments on the TSA and one on FOIA requests
- Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) won an amendment related to immigration law enforcement
- Rep. Todd Gosar (R-AZ) tried, but failed to block funds related to Davis-Bacon requirements
And that’s it. That was the extent of what the Republican freshman class did in terms of offering amendments to the first budget bill.
There was no Tea Party avalanche of proposed budget cuts.
There was no line-by-line march through the bill to squeeze some more savings.
And over half of the new GOP lawmakers voted against the largest cut offered – the 10% across the board cut, which would have saved $4 billion.
In fact, of the 108 Republicans who voted for that $4 billion cut, 38 of them were elected last November – that means the other 70 were not elected in a Tea Party Tide.
Let’s break down those numbers – 38 of 87 freshmen GOP lawmakers voted for a 10% cut – that’s 44% of the new class.
While I can’t say they were tea party candidates, Georgia Reps. Austin Scott and Rob Woodall both voted against the proposed cut. However, Reps. Paul Broun, Tom Graves, Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland. Phil Gingrey, who loves him some pork, was the only other Republican from Georgia to vote against the cut.
Now, Gingrey and Scott represent districts with a large military presence; however, we’re not talking about debilitating cuts here. We’re talking about $4 billion, which isn’t exactly a lot of money when you look at it. Gingrey is in a safe Republican district. It’s expected that Scott will be given a friendlier district when the legislature meets in August to approve the new lines, so it’s not like their political careers are at stake here.
Given all the talk about spending and the budget from these guys; it’s disappointing not to see them back it up.