I Salute 15 Freshmen House Members

Posted by on September 9, 2011 2:00 pm
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I salute 15 freshmen members of the US House for being true to the US Constitution, and for not getting tainted in Washington, DC. I use two votes in 2011 as my guide. These 15 are the only freshmen members who, in my opinion, voted NO correctly both times.

The first vote occurred on March 8, 2011. This was a vote on an amendment sponsored by Tammy Baldwin (WI-2) to amend the Public Health Service Act to enhance and increase the number of veterinarians trained in veterinary public health. This amendment is basically an add-on to obamacare to spend money to pay off veterinarians’ college tuitions. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 280 Ayes, 138 Nays, 14 Present/Not Voting.

The second vote occurred on June 23, 2011. This was a vote on a bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (TX-21) to amend title 35, United States Code, to provide for patent reform. One major change is the switch from a “first to invent” rule for issuing patents to a “first to file” rule. As the name suggests, this new system would grant a patent to the first person to file an application with the patent office, even if someone else had previously invented the same technology. This is not a patent reform bill. This is a big corporation patent give away that tramples on the rights of small inventors. America has dominated innovation in the world for 100 years based on our patent system and protection of risk-takers. Innovation is the one thing we still dominate in the world economy. It is our job engine. The first rule of governing should apply here: If it aint broke don’t “fix” it. The vote was held under normal House rules requiring a simple majority, and passed 304 – 117.

I wish I was able to salute more than 15 freshman House members, but it is what it is. These members are not considered far right Republicans according GovTrack’s analysis. GovTrack considers them centrist and moderate Republicans, and I consider them constitutional conservatives. I have listed the names and a link to the homepage of each of these 15 House members. If you could email or call them to thank them for their service, then that would be awesome. If you are looking for House candidates that you want to support in 2012, then consider this list an excellent starting point. If you live in a district of another freshman House member, then you may want to let them know your displeasure.


Mo Brooks (AL-5)


Paul Gosar (AZ-1)


Steve Southerland (FL-2)


Daniel Webster (FL-8)


Allen West (FL-22)


Austin Scott (GA-8)


Randy Hultgren (IL-14)


Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)


Jeff Landry (LA-3)


Dan Benishek (MI-1)


Justin Amash (MI-3)


Steve Pearce (NM-2)


Chris Gibson (NY-20)


Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25)


Jeff Duncan (SC-3)

7 responses to I Salute 15 Freshmen House Members

  1. Lady Penguin September 9th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    These are the folks that are worth supporting financially, and any other way possible when it comes reelection time. Their challenges are greater for not going along to get along.

  2. eburke September 9th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for bringing these folks to our attention, Pil’…and by looking at votes that often escape common scrutiny.

    As much as we complain about it when ‘our’ folks wander off the reservation, we need to make sure we give kudos to those who stand strong, even when most people aren’t looking.

    • pilgrim September 9th, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I am looking at votes that may come back to bite when they are brought up for a vote in the Senate. The good votes go to a graveyard in the Senate, and the bad votes are taken up. The Senate has just taken up and passed the House patent bill. They have not taken up the amendment to add veterinarian student loan bailouts, but they can take it up.

      • Mike gamecock DeVine September 9th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        I suspect that all of these also voted against the debt ceiling bill as well. More later on the patent bill. My earlier column focused on the exceptions for the Paulson-Geithner pals. I am ignorant of the specifics on the “first to file” change but will study same and get back to you. Great work bro, as usual.

        • pilgrim September 10th, 2011 at 9:38 am

          One reason I did not use the debt ceiling votes is because there were so many of them. It got to the point where the GOP was debating and making compromises with itself instead of staying pat and making Obama and the Dems show their written bill.

  3. Kimberly_Schwartz September 10th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Nicely done, Pilgrim! There is a need for more of this kind of analysis and reporting. The true conservative congressman is, of course, defined not just by the votes on the big attention-getting crisis-moment bills, but also on the bills that don’t necessarily get very much attention. In fact, maybe more so, because, as you pointed out in your comment above on the debt ceiling votes, sometimes on the “big” votes, things get murky and hard to follow. Unfortunately, though, all too often it’s often the votes on the “big” bills that get used in campaign commercials and that can be used to unfairly characterize or mask the true record of a congressman, both in a positive and a negative way.

    I’m glad to see that my congressman made the list. We are proud of Austin Scott here in the Georgia 8th, and I’m very glad that my county stayed in the 8th, as there was some question about that going into redistricting. If the Georgia redistricting plan passed by the General Assembly remains unaltered, Scott’s position should be solidified somewhat. I haven’t heard anything definitive yet about whether he will have opposition, but we will be vigilant and will work hard to make sure he keeps his seat.

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