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Updates for 2012 and 2013 Coming Soon!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

We are proud that the Madison Performance Index was able to spark a national discussion among conservatives about the need to elect more principled conservatives from red districts and states.  Our index ranks the members by juxtaposing their scores from conservative organizations to the Cook Partisan Voting Index or the member’s respective district.  These scores only reflect 2011 voting records.  Now that we are through with 2012 and the 112th Congress, we are ready to update the scores when the organizations publish their legislative scorecards.

We plan to update the scores to reflect their complete record for both 2011 and 2012, to be archived under the 112th Congress.  In addition, we will update the map to reflect the new membership of the 113th Congress.  Aside for the change in membership, there will be some substantial changes in the ratings of most districts.  Due to redistricting and the new results from the 2012 presidential election, the Cook PVIs for the new Congress will change.  The final archived scores for the 112th Congress will still reflect the old districts (with the old PVI) – the ones they represented when elected in 2010.  We obviously won’t have the new scores for 2013 until the year is over, but we will continue to update our write-ups on the new members and new voting reports on selected legislation that will be considered in this Congress.

We look forward to updating this site to serve as a one-stop-shop resource for conservatives to examine the voting records of Republican members of Congress.

Stay Tuned!

Good Job by Freshmen on Flood Insurance Bill

Friday, January 4th, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

In one of the last votes of 2012, the Senate passed Obama’s bloated Sandy “relief” bill (H.R. 1) 62-32.  The $60.4 billion price tag makes this the most expensive disaster aid bill on record.  It’s full of special interest projects that have nothing to do with the emergency, as witnessed by the fact that 64% of the funds will not be spent until FY 2015.  [Taxpayers for Commonsense has a good rundown of the wasteful provision.]  Nonetheless, the bill passed with the support of 12 Republicans.  However, due to the expiration of the 112th Congress this week, the bill expired, requiring a new bill to originate in the House.

Earlier today, the House restarted the process in the new Congress by commencing with the vital disaster funding in a separate bill (H.R. 41).  They passed a $9.7 billion package that dealt with immediate disaster relief.  The bill increased the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program from $20,725,000,000 to $30,425,000,000.  While conservatives agree with the imperative of passing this (and only this) component of the disaster package, it is problematic that the funding was not offset.  Congress designated the funding as emergency spending and therefore not subject to any discretionary or disaster relief spending caps established by the Budget Control Act.  If we ever plan to get our budget under control, we must offset even this type of emergency spending.  There are plenty of areas where we could find an extra $10 billion to cut.

Moreover, while we owe it to the Sandy victims to deal with the immediate problem, we must enact long-term reforms for the flood insurance program.  The program already owes taxpayers $18 billion in borrowed funds from the last bailout.  Congress passed a bill in 2011 that was supposed to solve the very problems that we are dealing with now.  At some point, we must chart a course towards privatization of this institution.  Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the new chairman of the Financial Services Committee, spoke strongly about this on the House floor and has promised to bring major reform legislation to the floor this year.

Despite the fact that this was a very difficult vote due to the sensitive nature of the disaster and the demagoguery surrounding it, 67 Republicans voted no.  This is not the type of vote for which I’m going to beat up on those who voted yes, but it’s interesting to see that many freshmen voted no.  They are off to a solid start, and that is a good sign.  Here is the list of freshmen:

Matt Salmon AZ-5 No
Doug Collins GA-9 No
Tom Rice SC-7 Yes
Tom Cotton AR-4 No
Ted Yoho FL-3 No
Ron DeSantis FL-6 No
Trey Radel FL-19 Yes
Richard Hudson NC-8 No
Robert Pittenger NC-9 Yes
Mark Meadows NC-11 No
George Holding NC-13 No
Tom Massie KY-4 No
Andy Barr KY-6 No
Scott Perry PA-4 No
Keith Rothfus PA-12 No
Bret Wenstrup OH-2 No
Dave Joyce OH-14 Yes
Jackie Walorski IN-2 Yes
Susan Brooks IN-5 No
Luke Messer IN-6 Yes
Ann Wagner MO-2 Yes
Kerry Bentivolio MI-11 No
Chris Collins NY-27 Yes
Kevin Cramer ND-AL Yes
Jim Bridenstine OK-1 No
Markwayne Mullin OK-2 No
Randy Weber TX-14 No
Roger Williams TX-25 No
Steve Stockman TX-36 Yes
Steve Daines MT-AL No
Chris Stewart UT-2 Yes
Doug LaMalfa CA-1 Yes
Paul Cook CA-8 Yes
David Valado CA-21 Yes
Rodney Davis IL-13 Yes

We’re proud that Madison Project candidates – Ron DeSantis, Roger Williams, Kerry Bentivolio, Mark Meadows, and Tom Cotton – stood strong in the face of such a tough vote.

A crisis should not be used as an opportunity to play on people’s emotions for the purpose of perpetuating bad public policy.  If we don’t reform these programs now to include more privatization and state control where there will be more local accountability, we will continue down the same path with every future natural disaster.

 

Is There Really a Difference Anymore?

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike.  No questions, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.  [Animal Farm, last paragraph]

Republicans were ushered into power in 2010, buoyed by limited government populism spawned by the Tea Party.  They publicized a document called the GOP Pledge to America.  You should take some time to read it.  There are many interesting declarations in there.  You’ll find lectures about the need to let the legislative process work; about the 3 day legislative transparency rule; about not spending most of the time on banal suspension bills; about cutting taxes; about getting rid of Obamacare; about cutting spending.  Interesting indeed.

Republicans began their session in 2011 promising an immediate cut of $100 billion in spending.  They lied.  Ultimately, they only cut $352 million off of the FY 2011 budget.  How fitting it is for them to end the 112th Congress by increasing spending by $330 billion…along with hiking taxes, letting every aspect of the Obamacare tax hikes slide, and obviating our leverage with the debt ceiling by agreeing to a sequester trap to coincide with the next battle.

Yes, we know…wait until March, and they will really extract concessions from Obama…just like they did $2.1 trillion ago.  Except that they have already said they will never “allow us to default,” and they have communicated that fact to the Democrats. 

Here is a spreadsheet of the voting tally from the Madison Performance Index.  Take a look at it, and try to decipher the pigs from the men.  Many of those who got us into this mess in the first place, including Cantor and McCarthy, joined the free ride and gave out hall passes to vote no.

Parting question: will Cantor and McCarthy purge themselves from their committee assignments for voting against the leadership scorecard?