Deplorable Congressional Action

Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” line was one of her least well received of the 2016 election. I thought it was in large part accurate. I cannot think of a more appropriate word to use when describing the actions of 107 Congressional Republicans last week. I feel so strongly about this that at the risk of having a somewhat boring and cumbersome to read article I am naming each one of them herein. As Justice Louis Brandeis famously stated, “Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Let’s explore.  

I seldom compliment President Trump; mainly because he almost never merits it. Whether by fortune or prowess he made a good move last week when he agreed to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi’s idea of putting three must pass pieces of legislation together. Even this incredibly inefficient Congress managed to pass them in a single week (hardly warp speed). Theoretically that leaves the rest of the month (more about that in a future article) to attend to other matters.

Displaying real leadership (something Paul Ryan is incapable of and in this situation even Mitch McConnell couldn’t deliver) Schumer and Pelosi delivered every single Democratic vote. The three issues were the initial Harvey relief, raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a government shutdown. The initial bill in the House only dealt with Harvey relief. It passed with three “nay” votes; all cast by Republicans (Justin Amash of Michigan; Andy Biggs of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky). The Senate took up the combined bill which passed 80-17. When it returned to the House for concurrence the legislation passed 316-90. 87 Republicans joined the “brain trust” of Amash, Biggs and Massie in voting nay.

The final bill is HR 601 as amended by McConnell. It raised the debt ceiling so the Treasury could borrow the necessary money (at extremely low interest rates) to pay the bills Congress had previously authorized for payment. It kept the federal government running. It also provided funding to allow FEMA to continue helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I’ve heard all the feeble excuses that were offered to defend votes in opposition. Here is the bottom line: any vote against this bill was a vote to welsh on debts, close the shop down, and tell the victims of Harvey their fellow Americans had no interest in helping them or all or some of the above. A vote against this bill was not only deplorable it was down right un-American!

Here is what I am calling the Dishonor Rolls:

In the Senate: Bob Corker of Tennessee, Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Deb Fisher and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Risch of Idaho and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

In the House: Justin Amash and Bill Huilenga of Michigan, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith of Nebraska, Jim Banks, Luke Messer, Todd Rokita and Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Andy Barr, James Comer and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson and Mac Thornberry of Texas, Andy Biggs, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, David Schweikert and Bruce Westerman of Arizona, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais, John Duncan and David Kustoff of Tennessee, David Brat, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Wittman of Virginia, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne, Gary Palmer and Martha Roby of Alabama, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton of Colorado, Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, George Holding, Richard Hudson, Mark Meadows, David Rouzer and Mark Walker of North Carolina, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Doug Collins, Jody B. Hice and Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, Sean Duffy, Mike Gallagher and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Ron Estes, Lynn Jenkins and Kevin Yoder of Kansas, Matt Gaetz and Ted Yoho of Florida, Garret Graves of Louisiana, Andy Harris of Maryland, Vicky Harzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner of Missouri, Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, French Hill of Arkansas, Trey Hollingsworth of Idaho, Randy Hultgren, Darin La Hood and Peter Roskam of Illinois, Duncan Hunter and Tom McClintock of California, Evan Jenkins and Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Warren Davidson, Jim Jordan, Jim Renacci, Michael Turner and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, Mike Kelly, Scott Perry and Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania, Markwayne Mullin and Steve Russell of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Chris Stewart of Utah along with Lee Zeldin of New York.

I could spend days marveling at the ridiculous votes but let me simply point out seven. Four Texas Representatives and one Louisiana Representative voted nay. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana which means they voted against recovery aid for their home states. As I write this article (Sunday) Hurricane Irma (as had been predicted) is battering Florida yet two Florida Representatives voted nay. In addition to deplorable I’ll add crazy to at least these seven votes.

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