The House GOP Leadership election this week is a short term “tryout” period, only serving the balance of the 113th Congress which ends on January 2, 2015. No member is beholden to vote for anyone in the 114th leadership election. I certainly reserve my right to vote for a new team in the 114th Congress if necessary.
If the choice is between Kevin McCarthy and Raul Labrador for Majority Leader for the balance of the 113th Congress, I will vote for McCarthy and my constituents and colleagues deserve an explanation. While I like Raul Labrador personally and I know he has the best intentions for our country and our party, he has taken some key positions that prevent me from supporting him for majority leader.
Domestically, our border laws are being ignored by the President, and a humanitarian crisis is ensuing. Mr. Labrador was a key leader attempting to create a path to legal status even while current border and interior laws are being disregarded. This has exacerbated the problem.
I firmly believe that the GOP needs to be the party that believes in a strong America.
Labrador’s positions on national security issues are significantly different from what I believe to be in the best interest of our country. He supported amendments to pull the 2nd Cavalry out of Europe (Coffman Amendment) and to cut an aircraft carrier (Blumenauer Amendment) shortly before Putin invaded Crimea. He has supported amendments that give foreign terrorists more rights than US military personnel overseas (Smith-Amash and Smith-Broun) and he has supported amendments to cut funding for our troops in Afghanistan (Van Hollen & Mulvaney amendments). We are not living in an era when our leaders should present American weakness.
In the Whip race, I support Marlin Stutzman. He demonstrated great courage leading the Republican Conference to change 40 years of precedent in the Farm Bill and break the unholy alliance between food stamps and farm subsidies. The combination of these two programs has resulted in decades of government growth and control of markets. Each of these huge programs deserves to be considered on its own merit.
It is time for leaders who believe in a strong America. I will vote for leadership on the basis of this principle.
CD01 Staff for Bridenstine
Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First District, which covers Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner Counties plus portions of Rogers & Creek Counties. Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. In 2018 he was confirmed as NASA Administrator. To see more of his articles via OKGrassroots while in Congress formerly via Bridenstine.house.gov