Like Paul, Amash opposed last year’s final debt-reduction deal, along with a bloc of heavily conservative freshmen.
And like Paul, Amash voted along with a bloc of Democrats against
extending three provisions of the Patriot Act, including one that
permits the continued use of roving wiretaps.
acknowledges that his emphasis on civil liberties — and willingness to
vote contrary to party leadership at any time — is rare within his
conference and among the conservative freshmen elected in 2010.
the real difference between himself and other Republicans, he said, is
that his staff is more likely to be discussing the Austrian School of
economics than ushering in lobbyists and fundraisers for meetings.
“My day-to-day schedule is different from other members’,” Amash said.
role that special interest groups play in this office is a lot less
than in a typical office. I don’t spend a lot of time over at the
Capitol Hill Club raising money in the middle of the day.”
partly because Amash, who represents a safe Grand Rapids-based district,
dismisses what he sees as the go-to means for reelection.
is this belief that if you don’t spend a significant amount of your time
meeting with special interests and PAC fundraisers and the rest, that
you’ll be voted out of Congress,” he said. “It’s a cultural thing. And a
lot of [Republicans] believe ‘I better do this … We’ve got to stay in
the majority, and my seat is very valuable to our party and our agenda.’
I don’t feel any ill will toward them. I don’t think they’re bad
because they do it. But I am a firm believer that if you focus on policy
the support will come.”
Amash has seen some of the proposals he’s
introduced pass — including the measure to ensure that the Pentagon can
contract out certain functions to save money.
Others, such as the
one to block body-scanning machines in airport security lines or a
balanced budget amendment tying federal spending to average annual
revenue levels, have not.