Tim Skubick: Rep. Amash not the most popular man in Washington - New York News

Tim Skubick: Rep. Amash not the most popular man in Washington

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - What’s up with Justin Amash?  Apparently the West Michigan GOP Congressperson is not the most popular guy in the nation’s capitol with fellow members from Michigan. But then, knowing him, he’s not exactly trying to be nor does he apparently give  a hoot that he's not.

In a town known for going along to get along, the maverick legislator is not a charter member of that club.

Try this on for size.

During a recent contentious federal budget debate, Congressman Paul Ryan needed every GOP vote he could muster on his committee. He approached Mr. Amash to nail down one more affirmative vote.

As the two talked, according to a source who retold the story, Mr. Ryan was ready to walk away but wanted to make sure he had Mr. Amash’s support applying the doctrine of “trust but verify.”

Mr. Amash assured him he did, but just as Mr. Ryan dashed off, Mr. Amash added a footnote. “If there is a no vote on the committee, I may not vote yes.”

Ryan wanted to know if that included a no vote from any Democrats?

Mr. Amash reportedly said that’s exactly what it meant. Let's just say Mr. Ryan was not a happy camper.

There was no going along to get along,  going on there and sometime there after, Mr. Amash was unceremiously removed from the Ryan committee.

“Do you know how badly you have to mess up to have that happen?” observed one D.C. insider.

The Detroit News recently reported that most of the members of the Michigan GOP Congressional delegation have not contributed one thin dime to Mr. Amash’s re-election bid now underway.

That means heavy-hitters such as Congressmen Dave Camp, Fred Upton, Mike Rogers and Candice Miller have apparently and deliberately stiffed their “colleague.”

Or maybe they just forgot?

Yeah. Right.

Mr. Amash is not without his supporters but they can hardly be called mainstream Republicans.  There’s money from Ted “ Let’s Shutdown the Government” Cruz and Rand Paul.

Soon to be ex-Congressperson Mike Rogers was in this town the other day and while he did not single-out Mr Amash by name, there was little doubt that the veteran Mr. Rogers is not exactly a fan.

Mr. Rogers talked about what he calls a “dangerous trend” concerning “selfish” politics.  “It’s all about them,” he offered adding that some candidates are more worried about “me” and not the party.  And without mentioning names, he obliquing suggested “some are near by.”  Hint.  Hint.

The soon to be radio talk show jock is from the school of cooperation.  “If you get 80% of what you want, take it and come back another day to get the other 20%.”

Increasingly in D.C. he sees those, again no names mentioned, who want all or nothing at all.

“We had a chance to reduce the number of federal job programs from 42 to 26,” but other Republicans wanted them all eliminated, he reports. And they did not vote for the cut. The net results:  There are still 42 federal job programs.

As you talked to Mr. Rogers the frustration was palpable and you sense he is not alone regarding this all or nothing at all attitude.

Mr. Amash told the newspaper he doesn’t really follow this stuff and as for support, “I’m getting plenty of support from my colleagues around the country.”

Or put another way many of the Michigan congressional folks who know him the best, want the least to do with him.  In fact two of them may donate to his GOP opponent Brian Ellis.

Can a guy who doesn’t go along to get along, get re-elected?

West Michigan voters will decide that in August.
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