The Right Choice?

House Republicans decide November 14 who will be the next chair of the House Republican Conference. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) faces off against Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), chairman of the Policy Committee.  Both Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former Vice President Dick Cheney (R-WY) once held this important position. Whoever wins stands to play a significant role in setting the ideological agenda of the Republican Party during Obama’s second term. For grassroots conservatives, the choice is clear. Rep. Price possesses the more steadfast track record of principled conservatism.

Remember when proponents of Keynesian economic theory seized control of both Democratic and Republican Party leadership during President George W. Bush’s second term? Nancy Pelosi introduced The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, while fiscal luminaries such as Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, and Rahm Emanuel co-sponsored the bill. Conservatives such as Virgil Goode (R-VA), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) bucked party leadership and opposed the act. Most importantly, Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ voted “yes”; Rep. Tom Price, boldly voted “no” on this so-called stimulus bill.

Just how bad was this stimulus bill that McMorris Rodgers supported? Look no further than Section 202 of the act, which states the legislation does the following:

Establishes a temporary loan limit increase for FHA-insured mortgages in specified high-cost areas for which a borrower received credit approval by December 31, 2008.

Grants the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) discretionary authority to increase loan limits in 2008 based upon the size and location of residences in particular areas. Directs the Secretary to publish the median house prices and mortgage principal obligation limits as revised by this Act not later than 30 days after its enactment.”

In 2009, Rep. McMorris Rodgers supported yet another Keynesian styled stimulus package! This legislation increased the maximum single family loan guarantees commitments under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) by more than 25%. In addition, the McMorris Rodgers backed stimulus package increased the limit for Ginnie Mae commitments on mortgage issue guarantees. In fact the Republican Study Committee advised that this second stimulus act expanded the “size and scope of government,” citing the increased “lending authority for the FHA and the GNMA.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers communicates the party talking points quite well. She has played a significant role in advancing the conservative message. However, we need a fiscal conservative who can stand up to even Republican leadership when necessary. Rep. Tom Price exhibits this required tenacity to lead.