Since announcing our opposition to the three-week spending bill, along with FRC Action and the Club for Growth, our stance has driven media coverage of Congressional action.
Our unique formula of a DC-based team and conservatives across the country is working, holding Members of Congress accountable to their conservative mandate. The press clips below demonstrate our initial success in driving the debate, but we have a lot of work to do between now and when the CR expires on April 8th.
Many conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill are coming out against the proposed 3-week short term CR extension. The press — ever infatuated with GOP infighting — wants to write a story about Republican on Republican violence over the issue of whether the abortion and Obamacare riders are attached to the overall bill. And to be sure, there is indeed a significant difference of opinion here between many conservatives and their fellow Republicans in leadership circles on these matters and others.
But the bigger issue is one of courage.
I just got off the phone with Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) who called to let us know that he had problems with the score we gave him on our After Action Report for the spending votes on H.R. 1.
Rep. Wittman voted to cut spending 4 times over the course of 11 votes. He also missed the other 10 votes so his overall score of 36 percent was based on less votes than many others. Rep. Wittman was not alone in missing votes. Other congressmen missed multiple votes as well but we did not include missed votes in tabulating our scores. Scores were based only on votes cast.
Rep. Wittman missed a large string of votes because of a tragedy in his family — his father recently passed away. He tells me that had he been present for the 10 votes he missed he would have voted in favor of spending cuts on every one of them which would have brought his ratio up to 14 votes in favor of cuts out of 21.
We take the Congressman at his word that he would have voted for these cuts and are terribly sorry for the loss he and his family has endured.
In conservative circles, “read my lips” is a loaded phrase that invokes President George H.W. Bush’s broken promise and subsequent tax increase. Republican lawmakers understand the connotation, which is why many observers were shocked when Speaker John Boehner invoked the phrase, saying: “read my lips, we’re going to cut spending.”
The battle lines are now drawn. By invoking that phrase, Speaker Boehner sent a clear message to the American people: House Republicans will not, under any circumstance, back down. Heritage Action strongly supports Speaker Boehner’s principled stand.
Over the weekend, we reported on the happenings at the Heritage Conservative Member Retreat at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Many of the members in attendance were freshmen fresh off their 2010 midterm victories. Many others were seasoned conservative members of the Republican Study Committee — the most conservative caucus in the House of Representatives.
Virtually all of them had one thing in common: a determination to cut spending in a big way. Read more to see media coverage and how conservatives will push for more spending cuts.