(Anne Eller of affiliate WLMA contributed to this report)
Going against the wishes of congressional Republican Party leadership, 54 GOP members of the U.S. House voted against a three-week continuing resolution on March 15 to keep the federal government operating and avoid a possible shutdown. The CR eventually passed, despite their objections.
One of those Republican House members breaking ranks was 4th District Congressman Trey Gowdy. In a recent interview with Greenwood affiliate WLMA, Gowdy said he was not pressured by the leadership to vote for the resolution. Gowdy says he explained to the House Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that he was merely voting the wishes of the people he represents.
Gowdy says he understands that Speaker of the House John Boehner is walking a political tightrope because, while the GOP controls the House, Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
Gowdy points out that 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney put up an amendment to the H.R. 1 budget proposal calling for federal spending to be pushed back to 2008 (pre-stimulus) levels. However, it only received 74 votes out of the 240 in the Republican Conference. Gowdy says Mulvaney’s proposal had great merit, and he would like to see debate on cuts of individual programs rather than an across-the-board approach.
Gowdy says he had dinner with McCarthy and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor the night of the second resolution vote and explained his position. Gowdy says he knows Republican leadership has to think of setting policy, while keeping in mind that the next election cycle is approaching.
Gowdy says he does not envy their position and is quite comfortable in representing the people of the 4th District instead.