So Was It A Mistake, Reichert?


You can’t always tell who happens to be a budget hawk by how they vote, which is strange for Congress. I mean, they’re whole job is voting, right? Yet, when it comes to hearing what they say and watching what they do, you can notice some distinct departures. Back at the beginning of may, for example, Rep. Paul Ryan and a few other Republicans who enjoy calling themselves budget busters and economic experts “accidentally” voted for a measure that would end project labor agreements on federal construction projects.

The amendment was an effort to end project labor agreements on federal construction projects in 2011. This is the sort of thing one would think that every Republican would naturally vote for. Yet the final vote left the tally standing at a tie which meant the measure failed to pass. Twenty-six Republicans voted against this good amendment, Ryan being one of them…

Ryan and his co-Republican budget hawk, Bobby Schilling both apologized, saying that votes on amendments were coming in such quick succession, they couldn’t honestly tell which amendment that they were voting on and “accidentally” cast incorrect votes on Frank Guinta’s amendment to halt the labor agreements. Ryan told the Washington Times,

Paul Ryan was one of those 26 “no” votes. I asked him why. Before the question was even half out of my mouth, Ryan said that his vote was just a mistake, and that four or five other GOPers who voted “no” made a similar mistake. He said the amendment was one of a series of dozens of amendments all offered in rapid-fire fashion, with just two minutes to vote on each, and that he had just gotten confused on that vote and thought it was the next amendment in line. He said he would vote to ban PLAs the next time the subject came up.

The weird part of all of this is, every single reputationally-hawkish Republican seems to have the same excuse – Schilling, Ryan, Kinzinger – except for one: Washington’s Cong. Dave Reichert, who’s been as silent on this issue as Lindsay Lohan at a plea deal hearing. He voted no according to the records, isn’t the kind of squishy guy you’d expect to give in to the liberal argument in favor of preserving budget bloat, and loves to talk about rooting out corruption anywhere he can find it.

So what gives? Was he confused? Was he blinded with voting madness? Or is he one of those guys who says one thing and really does another? This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that Republicans need to maintain the integrity of the He-Man Union Haters Club if they want to see progress. It’s a little weird to see a member just kind of hanging out in the weeds like that. At least give us some sort-of-unbelievable excuse like your comrades, friend.

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