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Amash Explains Votes on Facebook

Bill Clark/Roll Call

Amash said he owes it all to his Facebook, not necessarily his politics.

“People are more interested in transparent representation than they are in Republican or Democratic representation,” he said. “They’d rather have a Representative who is independent and explains all his or her votes than one who votes without explanation. Constituents want transparency. There is a high value in that.”

Facebook Allows Amash Opportunity To Define and Defend Voting Record

Transparency is next to godliness for Rep. Justin Amash, but he also uses  Facebook as his go-to defense when dissenting from his party.

In his first five months in office, the Michigan Republican freshman has often voted “present” instead of taking a yes or no position on legislation.

“One of the reasons I post votes is to explain myself so people can understand why I voted the way I did — especially when I take positions that are independent from my party,” he said. “It helps protect me from misinterpretations of my votes in the media and creates a permanent record of my reasoning.” Check out these dissenting explanations from his Facebook page:

April 9
“Just voted no on a motion to concur in the Senate amendment to HR 1363. The substitute, which we received at midnight, is riddled in cross references. It keeps the government operating through April 15 and cuts an additional $2 billion. This extension paves the way for a deal that will reduce the size of the federal government by 1%. Pray for our country. It passed 348-70.”

April 15
“Just voted yes on the [Rep. Scott] Garrett of NJ Substitute Amendment 4 to H Con Res 34, the FY 2012 budget. This substitute is known as the Republican Study Committee Budget. In FY 2012, the RSC Budget keeps revenue even with and spends $241 billion less than Paul Ryan’s Budget. It also reforms entitlements more quickly and balances the budget sooner than Ryan’s. The amendment failed 119-136-172. That’s right—172 present votes.”

“Here’s an explanation for the last vote: It takes more ‘ayes’ than ‘noes’ (not 218 ‘ayes’) to adopt an amendment. Democrats used ‘present’ votes to keep the ‘ayes’ ahead of the ‘noes.’ Several Republicans switched to ‘no’ so the amendment would fail. If the RSC Budget had been adopted, it would replace the Ryan Budget for a final vote. To return to Ryan, RSC supporters would have had to vote to replace RSC with Ryan.”

May 5
“Just voted yes on HR 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act. The bill requires the Department of Interior to conduct four offshore oil and gas lease sales within the next year. The sales were slated to occur under Pres. Bush’s 2007-2012 oil and gas plan, but they have been delayed or canceled under Pres. Obama. We need to open up domestic energy production. The bill passed 266-149.”

May 4
“Just voted no on the [Rep. Frank] Pallone of NJ Amendment 2 to HR 1214, which requires [the Government Accountability Office] to produce a study within one year to identify the school districts most in need of school health center construction or renovation. This is not an appropriate federal function. It failed 205-210.”

Letter to the Editor

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