Like Paul, Amash opposed last year’s final debt-reduction deal, along with a bloc of heavily conservative freshmen.
Amash 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.
But 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.
“The 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.”
That’s partly because Amash, who represents a safe Grand Rapids-based district, dismisses what he sees as the go-to means for reelection.
“There 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.