Not all members of Congress who identify with the tea party are freshmen. Rep. Tom McClintock won his election in 2008 after 22 years in the California state legislature and an unsuccessful 2003 run for California governor. In the House of Representatives, McClintock sits on the natural resources and budget committees.
The conservative establishment nationwide loves McClintock. He thoughtfully chooses the best moments to remind colleagues of the relevance of America’s Founding, the U.S. Constitution and the need for legislators to have courage of their convictions when voting. Like the old E.F. Hutton ad, his other members of Congress listen when he speaks.
McClintock voted no, with 65 other Republicans and 95 Democrats, on the August 1 debt ceiling increase, offering his typically thorough and compelling commentary to explain that decision. In May 2010, McClintock delivered a floor speech condemning Felipe Calderón on the day the Mexican President addressed the Congress. That video quickly went viral, and was many Americans’ first introduction to the California Republican, who moved west after his upbringing in White Plains, N.Y.
His voting pattern puts him at odds with progressives, the radical environmental movement and big spenders. He often warns Americans about the destructive policies that have caused a mass migration away from his beloved California. Last week, Rep. McClintock sat down with TheDC’s Ginni Thomas to discuss the “Occupy” protests, Solyndra and green jobs, the “super” deficit reduction committee and more.
What are your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street protests?
What gives you hope in today’s often dispiriting American political scene?
With such a clear opponent in President Obama and his policies, why do we see so much intra-party fighting among Republicans in Congress?
Why are you critical of the deficit-reduction “super committee”?
Why can’t politicians see that bad policies have bad consequences? Why do they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again?
What have we learned about green jobs and Solyndra so far?
What lessons can Americans learn from California’s public policy battles over energy and the environment?
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