What is most exciting about the new Congress is not only the increased quantity of Republicans, but also the increased quality. RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) are becoming an endangered species in the House and are at least threatened in the Senate.
This is the closest we have been to a conservative governing majority.
At the Club for Growth, we helped elect 12 outstanding new conservatives to the House, in many cases replacing moderates. In the Senate, some notorious RINOs remain in powerful positions (i.e. Arlen Specter) but excellent new conservatives were elected there also. Here are five newly elected conservatives to keep an eye on:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.)
Too few senators today believe in less government and eliminating worthless federal agencies. The Senate has needed a warrior for fiscal restraint. Tom Coburn will be just that. He will tie the Senate in knots if necessary to stop fiscally ruinous spending bills. He is every lobbyist’s worst nightmare because he can’t be bought.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.)
DeMint was one of the most principled men in the House, receiving the prestigious lifetime “Taxpayer Hero” citation from Citizens Against Government Waste and earning “A” grades from the National Taxpayers Union in four of the five years he served. He was one of 25 Republican heroes who voted against the fiscally irresponsible Medicare expansion bill last year, even though he was told it would hurt his chances of winning the Senate seat. He is author of the most comprehensive proposal for Social Security personal accounts, and is for eliminating the income tax.
Del. Luis Fortuno (R.-P.R.)
Puerto Rico does not have a vote on the House floor. But Fortuno could become very influential in the GOP caucus and nationally. He has star power and is solid on all key economic growth issues. Better yet, he understands them and can explain them in English and Spanish, making him a valuable asset as the GOP reaches out to Latino voters.
Rep. Ted Poe (R.-Tex.)
Judge Ted Poe became a folk hero for his “creative sentencing” (liberals hated it), which included requiring “murderers to hang pictures of their victims in their jail cells, auto thieves to give their cars to victims, and minor offenders to read books from a court-approved reading list.” He is obviously an independent and creative thinker–skills Congress desperately needs.
Rep. Cathy McMorris (R.-Wash.)
The former Republican leader of the state assembly, McMorris is young, attractive, articulate, and a fierce fighter for smaller government and lower taxes. She is exactly what the GOP needs to counteract liberal Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Don’t be surprised if someday she becomes the first woman Speaker of the House.