Rep. Justin Amash isnt afraid to break with the Republican Party on legislation he finds unconstitutional. According to Congressional Quarterly, in votes where majorities of the two parties opposed each other, Amash stuck with the GOP 89 percent of the time in 2011.
Amash spent the following five minutes prattling on about Oswald, Disney's first major character, a lucky rabbit that looks like Mickey Mouse.
Amash's love for Disney characters shows that not all his passions are super brainy. But like his wonky delights, he goes to extremes on behalf of his other causes.
Take his transparency and accountability fixation, for example. His belief that Americans should have easy access to their legislators' voting records and rationalizations led him to start explaining every yea or nay he casts on the House floor.
He's the first lawmaker to do such a thing, a tradition he started while serving in the state House. His Facebook reporting has won him praise from other lawmakers, been featured in dozens of newspapers, including Roll Call, and drawn 20,000 "likes."
The "About Me" section on his website details his and his staff's salaries and health care benefits — also in the name of transparency.
"The public wants to see what their Members are doing," he said. "How is taxpayer money being spent? How are Member of Congress voting? So I try to make every effort possible to let my constituents know what is going on in my office."
In the name of transparency and good governance, he won't vote in favor of legislation or amendments he hasn't read, which sometimes leads him to vote "present."
"I think a lot of times Members vote along with their party," he said. "They use the party as a shorthand for how they should vote on things. I just don't operate that way."
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.