WASHINGTON (Official Wire) — Twenty months into a Congress they have tilted rightward, tea party loyalists are finding that ideological purity can be elusive for conservative lawmakers trying to balance their convictions against constituents’ election-year needs.
Rep. Paul Ryan, who has won tea party praise as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, had a General Motors assembly plant that was about to be shuttered in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., when he voted for the $14 billion auto industry bailout in 2008. The seven-term House Republican also voted for the $700 billion financial industry rescue that same year.
Advertisement - story continues below
He has since criticized both efforts by President George W. Bush to combat that year’s near economic collapse. Yet his votes — plus his support for Bush’s 2003 debt-financed expansion of Medicare to provide prescription drug coverage — rankle conservatives to this day and underscore the challenge of adhering to small-government principles when voters’ bread-and-butter interests are at stake.
Read more at Official Wire. By Alan Fram.