Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL14) is sticking out like a sore thumb in the Illinois delegation for voting "no" last Wednesday.
The "no" vote by Hultgren came on the "Substitute Amendment to HR 2775 - Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which reopened the partially closed government until Jan. 15 and raising the debt ceiling until Feb.7.
The entire Illinois delegation voted "yes" for the bill, including all the Democrats and every other Republican in the delegation, including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and the following: Rodney Davis (R-IL13); Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16); Peter Roskam (R-IL6); Aaron Schock (R-IL18), and John Shimkus (R IL-15).
In the bluest of blue states, Randy Hultgren voted "no" and sided with the tea party faction of the Republican Party, says Dennis Anderson. Some analysts believe that Hultgren fears a challenge from the right, in particular from the tea party Republican favorite, former Congressman Joe Walsh.
Dennis Anderson is a Democrat who is once again opposing Hultgren or Congress and is calling out Hultgren's "no" vote on the bill.
Anderson charges that Hultgren has flip-flopped on using a government shutdown as a weapon. But ultimately, Hultgren caved into the tea party faction that controls the House. Anderson said that Hultgren has "joined the 'suicide caucus' that attempted to use the threat of a shutdown as a means of derailing the Affordable Care Act."
"In September, this was scaled back to the inclusion in the ACA of a 'conscience clause' related to coverage of birth control; on Wednesday, before casting the only Illinois Congressional vote against the bill, he said that he would vote 'no' because the bill did nothing to address the Nation’s debt; and on Thursday, that the bill was little more than an attempt at short-term political gain. Today, while again bringing up the debt, he added to his reasons the fact that there was pork in the bill," said Anderson.
Anderson added that "These varying explanations don’t really matter very much when one recognizes that the fundamental goal of the Tea Party wing of Congress, of which Mr. Hultgren is solidly a member, is to see the Obama administration fail, if not on this, then on that or the other. That is not a governing philosophy."
Anderson called Hultgren's vote "reckless and irresponsible" and said his opponent acknowledged that he is "proud" of his vote.
Rep. Hultgren told Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft on WLS AM 89 that "I just felt like this was a really bad bill."
Hultgren felt that reopening the federal government and returning the 800,000 furloughed federal government workers impacted by the shutdown, was a "really bad bill."
Hultgren also felt that the cost to the economy, as pegged by Standard & Poor's at $24 billion over 16 days, was a "really ad bill." Standard & Poor's also projected that during the 16 days of the shutdown, the hit to the U.S. economy was down 0.6% and that the economy would only grow 2.4% in the fourth quarter -- as opposed to the roughly 3% projection prior to the government shutdown.
Hultgren also felt that this was a "really bad bill" in spite of the fact that the U.S. government averted its first ever debt default. The impact of that default is unknown, although most financial experts know it would have been catastrophic.
Warren Buffett warned that threatening to not raise the US debt limit "after you've already spent the money" is a "political weapon of mass destruction," comparing it to poison gas and that it shouldn't be used. Warren is not the only one that sounded the alarm about impending financial disaster.
The Republicans in the Illinois delegation did not agree with Hultgren's position, as evidenced by their votes of "yes."
Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican and part of the House leadership team as Deputy House Whip, said, "We laid out a series of alternatives, all of which have been rejected by Sen. (Harry) Reid and the Senate Democrats. I'm unwilling to risk the full faith and credit of the United States, and it's important that the government pay its bills."
Apparently, Hultgren did not feel the same way as one of his fellow Republicans.
Attempts to reach Rep. Randy Hultgren for comment on Anderson's and his fellow Republican's comments were unsuccessful.
Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.