Michele Bachmann: Michele Bachmann Often Votes Following Constitutionalist, Fiscally Sound Policy, but When It Comes to the Military, Money Doesn't Matter
Kenny, Jack, The New American
Michele Bachmann is hoping to become the first presidential candidate to go directly from the House of Representatives to the White House since James Garfield made the leap in 1880. But a rapid climb up the political ladder is nothing new for the third-term Congresswoman who has gone from defeated school-board candidate in Stillwater, Minnesota, to top-tier presidential candidate in a mere 12 years. Along the way she has become a favorite with the Tea Party movement and is founder of the congressional Tea Party Caucus. A Des Moines Register poll at the end of June showed her in a virtual tie with early frontrunner Mitt Romney in Iowa, where caucus voters will provide the first test for presidential contenders in 2012. She has been among the most visible and vocal opponents of both the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the Wall Street bailout) that Congress passed in 2008 and the following year's rescue of the auto industry that left the federal government the principal shareholder of General Motors. She has introduced legislation to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, described by the president of the American Bankers Association as a "tsunami of new rules and restrictions for traditional banks that had nothing' to do with causing the financial crisis in the first place." Above all, she seeks the repeal of the healthcare reform bill that Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress enacted last year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
"We must remember that ObamaCare is the largest spending and entitlement program in our nation's history," she said during the debate over the "cut, cap and balance" bill passed by the House this summer. "That means, at a time when we can least afford it. President Obama added to our spending problem by the trillions. Without its repeal, we cannot have real economic reform." During the candidates debate in New Hampshire on June 13, Bachmann said that what is needed is "the mother of all repeal bills" to reduce the "job-killing" effects of overregulation. "And I would begin with the EPA," she said, "because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America."
In January 2010, she wrote in a Town-hall.com blog that the $20 billion of the "economic stimulus" program that had been spent to that point had no effect on unemployment levels. "An Associated Press analysis of stimulus spending found that it didn't matter if a lot of money was spent on highways or none at all: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless." Yet while Bachmann has been a fierce and persistent critic of "Washington's spending addiction," she has, like other members of Congress, shown that the home district is not the favorite place to practice fiscal conservatism. In the previous year she had sent several letters to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking stimulus funding for transportation projects in her district through Transportation Investment-Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. And in her letter in support of a $300 million request for a new bridge to "dramatically improve accessibility to the downtown Stillwater retail district," Bachmann cited a Minnesota Department of Transportation estimate that the project would create "a total of 2,970 jobs each year after the project is completed." In a statement to the Minnesota Post, Bachmann defended the requests saying: "I continue to oppose the so-called stimulus package because it has been a failure. It has failed at job creation, has wasted millions on everything from "smoking cessation activities" to "tax breaks for Hollywood movie producers" and has piled a massive amount of debt on our children and grandchildren. It is my obligation as a member of Congress to ensure stimulus dollars are spent on the most worthy projects. I did just that when I supported applications for the TIGER grant program."
A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann, 55, grew up in Minnesota. …