Sleeping Blue Dogs

Yesterday, Americans for Limited Government released the voting records of some 90 Blue Dog and other so-called “moderate” House Democrats on twelve key votes in 2009.

Bottom line: When it comes to profligate spending, the Blue Dogs are anything but watchdogs. And the moderates make Paris Hilton look tight-fisted.

The ALG analysis includes votes on the $789 billion “stimulus”, bankruptcy mortgage “cramdowns,” ACORN funding, a $108 billion International Monetary Fund expansion, the Waxman-Markey carbon emission caps, the $2.1 trillion “public option” health system, the $154 billion assistance program for bankrupt states, and the $290 billion debt limit expansion.

In short, they were some of the most controversial measures to pass the House this year. And to be certain, they all passed.

Instead of being stalwart financial watchdogs, these so-called “moderates” in the House have turned out to be nothing more than supine lapdogs sleeping through the greatest financial burglary in human history. They have proven unable or unwilling to stop a single piece of budget-busting legislation this session.

The analysis was conducted to gauge a caucus that touts itself for being “fiscally responsible.” According to the Blue Dogs’ website, “In the 111th Congress, the Coalition intends to continue to make a difference in Congress by forging middle-ground, bipartisan answers to the current challenges facing the Country. A top priority will be to refocus Congress on balancing the budget and ridding taxpayers of the burden the debt places on them.”

However, by and large, the Blue Dogs and other so-called Democrat “moderates” voted with Pelosi & Co. to spend more than $3.6 trillion in 2009. The analysis shows 856 Yea votes and only 207 Nay votes. Over 80 percent of the votes cast by these “conservatives” and “moderates” acquiesced to the unprecedented spend-a-thon that is putting taxpayers on the hook for a debt that, quite simply, can never be paid back.

In 2009, the national debt soared to over $12 trillion. By 2011, it will top the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at over $14 trillion. By 2020, it will surpass $20 trillion.

As ALG President Bill Wilson noted yesterday, “By its own measure, the Blue Dog coalition has not succeeded. The House of Representatives this year alone has voted to spend more than $3.6 trillion, to nationalize the health care system, to strangle the nation’s access to energy, and to bankrupt the Treasury—and yet the Blue Dog and so-called ‘moderate’ Democrats have done nothing to stop the profligate financial catastrophe unfolding at the nation’s Capitol.”

To be fair, a few of the members in the analysis did vote Nay on some of the more controversial measures: Bobby Bright (AL-CD2) voted Nay on 9 out of the 12 votes. So did Walter Minnick (ID-CD1). And Parker Griffith (AL-CD5), who now caucuses with House Republicans, voted Nay 7 times.

Others, like Charlie Melancon (LA-CD3) and Glenn Nye (VA-CD2) did not get religion on spending until the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-tax” bill of last summer. Then, they proceeded to vote Nay on the remainder of the expensive measures. Largely, though, these five Representatives are the exception, and not the rule.

Take the cases of Mark Schauer (MI-CD7) and Dina Titus (NV-CD3). Self-described “moderates,” they voted against expanding the national debt limit by $290 billion. Of course, that was after voting in favor of every single big-spending initiative throughout the year, all of which will place upward pressure on the deficit.

Some members actually voted for every single contentious measure they were present for, according to the analysis: Leonard Boswell (IA-CD3), Sanford Bishop (GA-CD2), David Scott (GA-CD13), Joe Baca (CA-CD43), Dennis Moore (KS-CD3), Jane Harman (CA-CD36), Adam Schiff (CA-CD29), Dennis Cardoza (CA-CD18), Henry Cuellar (TX-CD28), Loretta Sanchez (CA-CD47), Mike Thompson (CA-CD1), Tim Bishop (NY-CD1), John Hall (NY-CD19), Bob Etheridge (NC-CD2), John Spratt (SC-CD5), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-CD15), and Steve Kagen (WI-CD8).

In 2010, these members will need to find some way of restraining Congress, before the people report to the polls in November to be the final judges of their representatives’ austerity—and integrity. But, to do that, they’d have to first wake up and take note of the fact that they slept through—or aided and abetted—the greatest robbery in American history.

In the end, nobody will believe the Blue Dogs and other so-called “moderates” in the House Democrat Caucus really stand for anything if they cannot, in fact, stop anything.

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