The Madison Performance Index (MPI) is the centerpiece of our new website, but it’s not all we have to offer. In addition to the index, we will also provide background information and commentary for each Republican House member to offer a full picture of their performance in Congress. We will post continuous updates of voting tallies on individual pieces of legislation in both the House and the Senate. That way you can easily track how your member voted on every consequential bill or amendment.
Our first release is the Farm Bill. Nothing embodies the “red state statist” problem more than farm and energy subsidies. Many of these members work together with local special interests to ensure that red states remain dependent on government in anticipation of a constant flow of government subsidies. This bill represents the motherload of dependency for both urban and rural interest. The $970 billion leviathan permanently enshrines the Obama-levels of spending for Food Stamps, perpetuates market-distorting favors for special interests and rich farmers, and creates a new farm program that guarantees farmers 90% of average annual income for many farmers. If the blue state members protect their special interests and if red state members follow suit with regard to their parochial interests, we will never shrink government, restore the free market, or balance the budget.
The Farm Bill passed 64-35. Republicans opposed it 30-16; Democrats supported it 48-5. I would note that a number of the southern Republicans opposed the bill because it didn’t provide enough subsidies for southern crops, not because it proposed too much spending. Thankfully, the House has agreed to scuttle the bill until July out of concern for conservative objections to the bill. We need to continue fighting this thing. It’s legislation like the farm bill that will ensure the budget never balances.
Many of these massive bills provide numerous opportunities to vote on amendments that are of concern to conservatives. It’s extremely tedious to keep track of voting records when there is a series of 70-80 amendments within a few days. This is especially true with the 12 annual appropriations bills, in which the open amendment process in the House (thank you Speaker Boehner for keeping this process) can provide for as many as 100 amendments on a given bill.
To that end, we’ll begin uploading easy to read color-coded spreadsheets where you can view how each Republican senator or congressman voted on some of the major amendments. They will be stored on the “legislation” page of the new Madison site. I’ll try to post each one for the Red State community.
Today, we begin with a number of important amendments to the Farm Bill that can be viewed here. Many of the key spending cut amendments garnered the support of just 15-20 Republicans, and were opposed by numerous red state Republicans.
This is a work in progress, so any and all feedback would be appreciated. Next week we will be updating you on the voting tallies of the House annual spending bills for Agriculture and Transportation/HUD.
Knowledge is empowerment.