Representative Trey Gowdy is Darrell Issa’s Henchman and Big Part of the Problem

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A friend of mine recently asked me about South Carolina 4th District House Representative, Trey Gowdy’s vote on a Storm Relief measure in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The $9.7 billion dollar bill would cover insurance claims of owners whose homes were either destroyed or damaged. Gowdy’s vote was “eff ’em.” The bill passed overwhelmingly (354-67). He also opposed the HR 152 $50.5 billion emergency aid and future preventative measures legislation for 3 Eastern states.

Thanks to published weekly roll call legislator voting records, we can examine other votes cast by Gowdy, the arrogant “L’enfant terrible” of Darrell Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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Trey Gowdy’s votes define him. Here we go! In March of 2011, he voted against a measure that would have assured that a stopgap budget wouldn’t be used to privatize Social Security and either cut Medicare benefits or switch Medicare to a voucher plan. Of course he supported defunding National Public Radio. He worked to pass HR 2560 that barred Congress from raising the national debt ceiling until the states passed a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. The sequester was born out of negotiations based on this bill.

Around Christmas, 2011, he voted yes on a comprehensive bill that included speeding up construction of environmental monster, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and reducing the maximum number of weeks for jobless checks from 99 to 59. You are aware that the majority of Keystone’s output will be for export aren’t you?

While on the subject of oil, in early 2012, Gowdy voted to pass HR 3408 tripling America’s offshore oil and gas production by 2027 and authorizing Keystone once again.

Fact: the oil industry is not leasing lately. And why should it? There are already 26 million leased offshore acres that remain idle and 20 million acres onshore in the same state; no exploration, development or production. Why would you need to “authorize” anything offshore? Supposedly these measures would bring an extra $4.3 billion into the Treasury over the next decade. ROTFLMAO!!! ThinkProgress estimates that big oil will realize $40 billion in tax breaks in that decade. BTW, Exxon 1st Quarter earnings for 2013? $9.5 billion! A later June, 2012 Democratic House bill tried to refuse the big five oil companies any new leases unless they relinquished these breaks. Gowdy and his “owned by oil” Republican pals voted that one down pronto.

For such a fierce defender of the 1st Amendment, Gowdy’s vote to substantially weaken the FCC and expose it to continuous judicial review makes little sense unless he’s terrified of a revival of the Fairness Doctrine. On another front, Gowdy voted his eagerness to exempt a broad spectrum of (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) “smaller banks, credit unions et al” from having to abide by Dodd-Frank derivative transactions regulations. “TIMBER!!!”

Gowdy voted against a Democratic motion seeking to prevent health care spending cuts that would reduce benefits and raise the cost of private medical insurance for women and children. The House negated Gowdy’s vote with a later tradeoff associated with a student loan bill to avoid mammoth increases in student loan rates.

In May, Gowdy voted to severely cut such programs as food stamps, school lunches, and subsidies for poor families to buy health insurance and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next decade. This was part of the sequester “deal.”

Gowdy voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Act. Sounds good, but Trey’s VAWA House version, unlike the Senate bill, leaves out expanded protection for battered women who are illegal immigrants, Native American women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians (WT*?) and, of course, gays, lesbians and transsexuals wouldn’t get the full benefits of the bill either. At least homophobes like Gowdy are consistent.

Gowdy voted against an amendment shifting $50 million (literally pennies in budget-speak) from the DOE fossil-fuels budget to programs developing electric-powered vehicles.

Here’s a particularly sneaky Gowdy vote. HR 4078 would prohibit any “significant” federal regulations with at least a $100 million dollar impact on the economy until the quarterly unemployment rate drops below 6%. Programs affected would be Obamacare, the Clean Air Act and the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law. Looks like free reign for insurers, pharmas, polluters and the unsavory financial sector. By controlling red state public employee firings and corporate worker downsizing, the right-wing can pretty much manipulate the unemployment rate above 6% for the duration.

Other votes, space permitting: Somewhere around 37 continuing votes to repeal ACA; fast-tracking permits for the multi-level polluting mining industry; ending a Department of Energy loan guarantee program to companies developing clean-energy technologies. An extraordinary vote for a Neanderthal bill refusing to affirm the EPA scientific finding that carbon pollution is a cause of global warming.

Elitist Gowdy voted for 55,000 visas for advanced U.S. degreed STEM foreigners, essentially a lower-wage favor taking jobs from American workers. The 55,000 would kill a diversity green card program to poorer countries with low emigration rates to the U.S, fully half going to African immigrants. Speaking of wages, Gowdy voted to freeze federal worker pay for a third consecutive year, including the enormous sacrifice or freezing his own wage. Just $174,000 plus investments and mama’s earnings. Poor baby!

He voted against a Democratic sequester bill that would have combined revenue increases sparing the middle-class with targeted reductions in discretionary spending instead of blind, across the board arbitrary percentage cuts. At the same time, hypocrite Gowdy, not wishing to be inconvenienced, voted in favor of ending furloughs of air traffic controllers and reallocated $253 million of the FFA budget in a move mirroring the Democratic bill.

Three of his most recent Keystone bills embraced the pipeline and its pollution dangers like a mother embracing her newborn. No contributing to an oil-spill liability fund; no offsets for tar-sands refining air pollution and a hearty ‘yea’ for approving the pipeline. Equation; Koch money to Gowdy plus oil legislation = whatever the Koch brothers want.

There are a handful of Gowdy votes I agree with, but most of his votes reflect his well-deserved 94% right-wing legislative rating from the Heritage Action Scorecard. A goodly number of his votes had no impact. Sadly, some did.

Trey Gowdy wears his votes proudly. He’s almost as delusional as the people who put him in office. And remember there are a hell of a lot of Gowdy’s in Congress.

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