Ranting Against Big Government - But Voting for It

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Drudge is currently linking to a Brietbart TV  video titled “‘USA! USA!’ Congressman’s Anti-Big Government Rant Gets Standing Ovation on House Floor.” In it, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) unleashes an oratorical blast against the stifling regulatory regime in Washington. It’s good stuff, but, unfortunately, Rep. Kelly’s anti-big government credentials are questionable.

The Pennsylvania freshman Republican is a member of the so-called “Tea Party Class.” His campaign website says the following:

America needs to have a business conversation. Along with many of his colleagues in the 2010 freshman class, Rep. Kelly has played a role in changing the debate from “How much do we grow government” to “How much do we shrink government.” If nothing else is accomplished in the 112th Congress, both sides of the aisle are now acknowledging that we cannot continue to bankrupt the future for our children and grandchildren. Mike has supported, voted for and co-sponsored a number of pieces of legislation that aim to reduce the size and scope of government. As long as he is serving the 3rd Congressional District, Mike will continue to be an unwavering voice for fiscal responsibility in Washington.

I’ve been trying to keep an eye on how the Republican freshmen are voting on bills and amendments to eliminate (or reauthorize) big government programs. On six recent votes, Kelly voted for big government every time:

  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Economic Development Administration.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have defunded the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, a new corporate welfare program requested by the Obama administration.
  • He voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Essential Air Service subsidy program.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have shut down the Department of Energy’s Title 17 loan guarantee program—the program that gave birth to Solyndra.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Community Development Block Grant program.

So much for voting to “reduce the size and scope of government.”