Rep. Tom Graves is Giving the Establishment a Headache

For decades, the Washington Establishment has focused on empowering the Bigs – Big Government, Big Labor, Big Business, Big Media, Big University, Big Wall Street, etc – at the expense of individuals.  Last year, the individuals sought to turn the tables on the Bigs by electing folks who would push back, aggressively, against the corrupt nexus that is fostered by Big Government.

Yesterday, POLITICO profiled one of those newcomers in a piece with a sensational headline: Tom Graves: A rising House star or a big headache?

If you talk to conservatives around Washington and around the country, it becomes clear that Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) is definitely a rising star.  And if you’re part of the Washington Establishment, he is most certainly going to give you a headache – and that is a very good thing.


The Capitol Hill newcomer has voted against nearly every major government funding measure put forward by the House leadership this year and unapologetically advocated the Republican Study Committee line, even when it contradicted the efforts of Boehner and the leadership — a position that caused Graves to part ways with the GOP whip team earlier this year.

An earlier report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution was similar in theme and noted the friendly conservative confines of Georgia’s ninth district:

His crimson red constituency is reflected in his votes. 

Heritage Action, the advocacy arm of the powerful conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, gives Graves a 97 percent voting record score — tying him for second-most Heritage-friendly House member.

Earlier today, Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham praised Congressman Graves’ principled voting record on Gainsville’s WDUN 550 AM. (Listen to the interview)

When asked by Politico about his voting habits, Congressman Graves was straightforward:

I make decisions as if I’m not coming back.  I’m casting votes in the purest form I can with no assumptions of gaming out the political future, and I think as more members make more decisions like that, we will drive towards better policies.

That is exactly what the American people want to hear!  Unfortunately, it is unwelcomed by too many in the Washington Establishment, which exerts tremendous pressure on conservatives in Washington.  Again, from POLITICO:

The Republican Steering Committee, which decides committee appointments, met last week and considered whether to retaliate against Graves and others who oppose the leadership. The decision was made not to do so, said multiple sources, but there will be quieter, more subtle forms of pressure exerted. Graves is not likely to be part of any congressional overseas trips anytime soon.

Needham and Heritage Action’s COO Tim Chapman detail the stakes in their RealClearPolitics OpEd earlier this week:

The central question of this defining period of time in which we live: Will the Tea Party, with all its iconoclastic energy and goals, succeed in defeating the Establishment? For the country’s sake, let’s hope the answer is yes.

If folks like Congressman Tom Graves get their way, the answer will definitely be yes.

Related Links:
Heritage Action’s Scorecard: Rep. Tom Graves
AJC:  Graves Eyes Upper Rungs of Conservative Ladder

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