An influential conservative advocacy group says many House Republican freshmen have abandoned the “tea party” values they promised to uphold while campaigning for office two years ago.
A new Club for Growth report based on its 2011 congressional voting scorecard shows that freshmen House Republicans received an average score of 71 percent — only 2-percentage points higher than the average for House GOP veterans.
A majority of so-called tea party freshmen voted against the conservative Republican Study Committee budget, says the report, which was released Tuesday. And only 14 of 87 House Republican freshmen signed a pledge promising not to raise the debt ceiling until the GOP’s proposed “cut, cap and balance” deficit reduction passed.
Rep. Allen West of Florida, a high-profile and outspoken face of the GOP freshman class, received an “anemic” score of 64 percent for voting to raise the debt ceiling and by repeatedly voting against spending cuts, Club for Growth said.
The two freshmen elected by their peers to be liaisons to the House GOP leadership team received vastly divergent scores: Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina with 92 percent and Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota with 60 percent.
“The liberal media likes to pretend that these Republicans have fought for fiscally conservative policies, but the facts don’t support their thesis,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Just because the Republicans have a majority does not mean that more pro-growth policies have been passed.”
The 10 highest scoring freshmen Republicans are Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Raul Labrador of Idaho with 100 percent; Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Joe Walsh of Illinois and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana with 99 percent; Ben Quayle of Arizonz with 98 percent; Jeff Duncan and Trey Gowdy, both of South Carolina, with 97 percent; and Dennis Ross of Florida with 96 percent.
The 10 lowest scoring freshmen Republicans are Reps. David Rivera of Florida with 47 percent; Michael Grimm of New York with 46 percent; Steve Stivers of Ohio with 45 percent; Jon Runyan of New Jersey with 45 percent; Chris Gibson of New York and Richard Hanna, both of New York, with 44 percent; Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania with 43 percent; Robert Dold of Illinois and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania with 42 percent; and David McKinley of West Virginia with 37 percent.
“By distributing this report to club members and the public, we hope to raise awareness about the records of the Republican freshmen and believe their constituents will ask what’s happened since they went to Washington,” Mr. Chocola said.
The entire report can be viewed by visiting www.clubforgrowth.org/freshmanvotestudy/