Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) was one of 18 members of the United States Senate to vote against a bill to end the government shutdown, and to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of default. [roll call 219] This comes as no surprise. Absolutely no surprise.
For all of Senator Heller’s posturing as Mr. Moderate, his voting record has been indicative of a banner representative of Tea Party America.
#1. NO on the bill to avoid default and end the government shutdown. (H.R. 2775) Roll Call 219. Why would anyone be surprised? Senator Heller also voted against the bill to end the 2011 stalemate. [RGJ 8/11] In the 2011 vote Senator Heller was one of 26 members voting to dive over the edge; in 2013 he was one of 18.
#2. NO on the TARP bill. Otherwise known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, and perjoratively called the Bank Bail Out, there were two votes on this measure in the House. After it failed on the first attempt the stock market tanked. [roll call 674] Thus advised of the economic and financial consequences of a failure to put some props under the financial sector, the House held a second vote. Once more, then Representative Heller voted against the measure. [roll call 681] If there has been a bit of campaign material I’ve received from Mr. Heller that has not reminded me that he was “against the bank bailout” I must have missed it.
There was much to despise about the TARP bill, however, the hard sad unavoidable fact was that our credit markets had ground themselves into a solid freeze in October 2008. While this isn’t a particularly good analogy — think of an engine which has run out of oil — at some point the lack of liquidity creates a seizure. There was an appalling lack of liquidity, and we were in the midst of an equally appalling seizure in capital markets. Representative Heller voted not to add any oil to the motor.
#3. Senator Heller has been a consistent proponent of the so-called Balanced Budget Amendment. Of all the naive and misleading proposals offered to the American public, this ranks among the most egregious. In 2011 he joined Senator Jim DeMint (R-Heritage Action) to introduce this bit of fiscal insanity. [DB] A “balanced budget amendment” would do nothing to help state governments, it would do nothing to promote tax equity, and nothing to make the federal government operate like the state governments. [DB] And, NO, this is NOT like your family budget! as explained here, and here.
#4. He co-sponsored S. B. 712 with Senator Jim DeMint which would have summarily repealed all of the provisions of the financial regulation reform enacted in the Dodd-Frank law. [DB] Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Under the ubiquitous heading of “gettin’ rid of guv’ment regulation,” Senator Heller would have undone every effort made by the Dodd-Frank Act to rein in corporate greed, require banks to maintain adequate capital, require financial institutions to adopt plans for unwinding failed banks, and protect consumers from mortgage and other financial frauds.
What doesn’t say “Tea Party” better than teaming up with former Senator DeMint and Representative Bachmann?
#5. Senator Heller has taken a consistent position in opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
“Senator Heller would gladly allow the insurance industry to continue to offer those junk “defined benefits” plans, to exclude infants and children with “pre-existing conditions,” to spend less than 80-85% of the premiums they take in on actual medical treatment and services. He would repeal the tax cuts available to small businesses which offer health care insurance to their employees, and would allow the infamous “Do-nut Hole” in prescription medication coverage to reopen.” [DB]
All the benefits of the Affordable Care Act notwithstanding, Senator Heller would happily vote to repeal the ACA.
The titans of the financial sector and the major insurance corporations haven’t been Senator Heller’s only concern, he’s also taken the side of Big Oil, voting in July 2010 to protect BP from oversight in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill, and voted not once but 8 times to protect tax breaks for the big oil corporations. [DB] See votes 153, vote 78, vote 80, vote 1140, vote 835, and vote 40.
Still wondering where Senator Heller stands in relation to what remains of the Republican Party?