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The Huelskamp Factor

KSAL Staff - August 20, 2013 10:25 am

Congressman Tim Huelskamp represents the First District of Kansas. He serves on the House Committee on Small Business and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee.

The Hutchinson News:

One thing is certain: When voters in Kansas’ Big First District go to the polls next year to vote for a representative in the U.S. House, they’ll know exactly who they’re voting for if their choice is Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican.

The twice elected rep makes no bones about his defiance of current House leadership and his so-called mission to fight for American values.

“Kansans didn’t send me to Washington to go-along-to-get-along,” Huelskamp stated in a press release shortly after the publication this week of a McClatchy News Service story that featured the Kansas representative.

Huelskamp offers no apology for taking the word “compromise” out of his dictionary. He wants to march to his drummer and wants others to follow.

There were some signs that Huelskamp, a former state senator, would buck the system in Washington if elected. And since arriving in D.C. he has bucked the system, rocked the boat and irritated longtime Republican conservatives, specifically Speaker of the House John Boehner, who booted Huelskamp off the ag committee.

Many thought the loss of that committee assignment – a member of the Kansas delegation had served on that panel for nearly 100 years – would hurt a farm state like Kansas. Huelskamp also riled Kansans when he didn’t support wind energy tax credits or funds for the National Bio- and Agro- Disease Facility in Manhattan.

He has used his fights with the GOP right to his advantage and loves calling himself a Washington outsider. He has marshaled tea party forces and become their leader.

Despite what one thinks about Huelskamp and his politics, you have to credit the representative for maintaining a consistent stance from the moment he was elected. There are no winds of change blowing through Huelskamp’s D.C. office. Kansans might not like the fact that voters sent Huelskamp to D.C., but he has remained true to himself and the conservative values he espouses.

He is a rebel with a singular cause – representing American values – and rubs shoulders with equally rebellious House members. They are “unafraid, even eager, to defy their party’s positions on everything from the Farm Bill to the budget,” according to the McClatchy story.

And that would be good if the group actually accomplished more than defiance. But it hasn’t.

It is too wrapped up in making sure it doesn’t compromise – even with members of its own party – that it fails to accomplish anything relevant.

Rebellion for the sake of positive change is rebellion most can accept. But Huelskamp and his minions aren’t changing a thing. They will have to compromise in order to effect change.

Huelskamp needs to understand that not everyone agrees with him and he is not always right. He has more opinions than facts – just like most politicians, who need to fashion those opinions into good legislation.

Not everyone agrees with Obama, either. The two and other party leaders need to find their way to the middle.

But Huelskamp likes to attach himself to the word uncompromising. He is not likely to change.

So voters will know exactly what they’re getting if they re-elect Huelskamp next years. They can have Kansas be part of a do-nothing Congress or they can find a representative who multitasks – one who focuses on American values while effecting change that matters.

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