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Simpson Slams Club for Growth

Mike Simpson is no fan of the Club for Growth. But that may be okay, since the feeling appears to be mutual.

On the same day that Club for Growth announced that it would sponsor a primary challenger to the Idaho Republican, Simpson told CQ Roll Call that members who listen to the conservative group ought to rethink why they are in Congress.

If members are here just to listen to Club for Growth, Simpson said, “If that makes you vote one way or another, then hell, fire your staff and just listen to whatever their scorecard is.”

“I think there are a certain number of members who are influenced substantially by the Club for Growth and Heritage Action and, ‘Oh, man, what that does to my scorecard and everything,’” Simpson said.

He said Wednesday night that groups like Heritage Action and Club for Growth were to blame for tanking the farm bill, and because they did, Congress would eventually end up with worse legislation.

“What’s going to happen, because they sunk the farm bill, a Republican farm bill, that had reforms in it [for] both the farm programs and in the [food stamp] programs, what they’re going to end up with is a bill that is more to their dislike,” Simpson said. “The bill moves more in the direction that the Club for Growth and Heritage Action don’t want.”

While frustrated with the impact that the outside groups have had on the legislative process, Simpson said he was unfazed by the primary challenge.

“Club for Growth is who they are. They do what they do.”

“It doesn’t bother me that the Club for Growth is going after me,” he said. “That’s okay. That’s the way politics are, and if I can’t defend myself, then that’s the way it is.”