WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week U.S. Congress passed one of the largest spending increases ever in yet another Continuing Resolution that gave the Democrats everything they wanted and more. Many of North Caorlina’s Republican congressional delegation voted against the measure, recognizing it as anathema to limited government fiscal conservatism.
Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Rep. Mark Walker, led a charge against the Big Government bill, joined by Old North State Republicans Rep. Richard Hudson, Rep. Ted Budd, Rep. George Holding, Rep. Virginia Foxx, and Rep. David Rouzer.
Those Republicans that voted for the massive spending increases include both of our senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis (of course), as well as Rep. Patrick McHenry, and Rep. Robert Pittenger – all Establishment Republicans.
Democrats split their votes on the bill.
Notably absent from the ‘Aye/No’ vote total is one Walter B. Jones. Jones has been one of the most ardent defenders of the nation’s purse strings during his time in congress, boasting on his website that he is the only member to never vote for deficit-expanding budgets:
“… I am proud to be the ONLY member of the House of Representatives to have voted against every bloated federal budget over the past thirteen years. I have also consistently voted against bills that increase the federal debt limit. Borrowing more money from overseas is not the answer to our nation’s fiscal problems.”
Jones even voted against the GOP tax cuts because of deficit and debt concerns. So why did Walter Jones avoid voting on this spending monstrosity that actually grows government, versus allowing people to keep more of their own money?
It could be political calculation. The longtime incumbent representing eastern North Carolina has a couple of primary challengers that could find fault with either a vote fore, or against the legislation.
Voting for the bill would have seen him buck the conservative position yet again, opening him up to critiques of abandoning his principles and supporting Big Government spending, and those critiques would be well deserved if that were the case.
Extending his streak and voting against the bloated budget buster might have been framed by opponents as a vote against the troops (military spending) in a district with a large military footprint. Still, that hasn’t stopped Jones from voting against such budgets in the past.
So why did Walter sit this one out? After more than a decade of campaigning and voting as a deficit hawk, why did Rep. Walter Jones fail to stand up against one of the most egregious abuses of America’s purse strings on record?