Ginni Thomas

Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Rep. Geoff Davis

Ginni Thomas Contributor
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Born in Montreal and raised in Hebron, Ky., Rep. Geoff Davis comes off as a passionate, prickly conservative in his fourth term. Davis serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is fast becoming known for focusing on the need to restrain government overreach and keep regulators accountable.

Battle-tested from a decade of political controversy and pressure from both sides of the political aisle, Davis is confident that he knows best how to govern in turbulent times: by choosing his shots carefully.

This former Army Ranger and West Point grad started his life out in a home fraught with physical violence and desperation. Out of that chaos emerged a man who sponsored — and attracted bipartisan co-sponsorship for — the Hearth Act, a $2.6 billion federal law targeting homelessness. President Obama signed it in 2009.

In the last Congress, Davis introduced the REINS act, which aims to force up-or-down congressional votes on future major regulations. Davis’s name is likely one you will hear more and more as Americans wake up to the reality of regulatory excess.

His votes have earned him a 92-percent rating from the American Conservative Union, an 83-percent-conservative score from National Journal and 63 percent from the new Heritage Action scorecard.

This last rating seems to rile Davis, and he makes no bones about it. His inflammatory accusations against Heritage Action and its scorecard were so direct and intense that The Daily Caller will be interviewing that organization’s leaders next week for a rebuttal. Davis’s unguarded moments reveal the difficult and sometimes messy trade-offs that politics guarantees on an almost daily basis. Watch this space for more.

Discuss your thoughts on the role of The Heritage Foundation and its new Heritage Action scorecard, which gave you a 63 percent rating as a conservative

“Heritage Action is a self-interested fundraising organization led by a former Giuliani staffer who is not taking counsel from real conservatives … It is a worthless organization to the conservative movement. I’ll be the first to say that.”


Your view from 30,000 feet up, and in your district?

“I’d be reminded of the quote that Washington, D.C. is ten miles by ten miles surrounded by reality, and that’s very evident right now. The real battle is not simply a battle on particular policies … it’s about a battle of worldviews.”

Are House Republicans making adequate progress to stop the Obama agenda?

“We’ve made historic changes with regards to spending and cuts to spending. The one reminder I give to my conservative friends is that we control one half of one third of the government.”


Why does Washington believe it can pass “jobs” legislation that actually creates jobs?

“The response from this very liberal Democratic member was, ‘You Republicans just don’t get it. It’s not the private sector that funds the public sector; it’s the public sector that funds the private sector.'”


What is the role of regulation and why is the REINS Act so valuable?

“Congress is part of the problem with rule-making … By having a bill like the REINS Act, I think it’s going to increase the level of scrutiny that [members of Congress] take in studying legislation.”


Talk about your background and the path you took to public service.

“I went through some real challenges growing up. I joined the Army two weeks out of high school when I was 17, and never looked back.”


For more on Rep. Geoff Davis: