Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It's pretty uncommon for anyone to agree with another all of the time. Whether it's your spouse, family member, or even a friend, it is as rare as a public town hall meeting with Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (and that's pretty rare) that we agree with each other on everything. That is unless you are Senator Jeanne Shaheen and President Barack Obama who apparently were on the same page in all but 1% of occasions last year. Maybe it's just me, but I certainly don't agree with this president, or any president, 99% of the time, and poll after poll shows that neither do most Granite Staters.
This isn't just a theory that Senator Shaheen is virtually President Obama's clone in the US Senate, but rather a study backed with facts. CQ Politics/Roll Call, a Washington DC publication that carries a legacy of producing objective and non-partisan Capitol Hill news and analysis, published a study this month detailing the percentage of recorded votes cast in 2013 where President Obama took a position on. They then compared the president's positions to that of each US Senator's votes to analyze how often those in the upper chamber supported or opposed President Obama's agenda.
After reviewing the report, the results for Senator Jeanne Shaheen were staggering to many of us who pride ourselves on Granite State independence from Washington politics. The study found that in 2013, she was lock step with the president in all but 1% of her votes.
To many, it's no secret that from a failing Obamacare to job-killing liberal environmental policies, higher taxes to ballooning debt and deficits, Senator Shaheen has made a career out of her support for far left-wing policies. However, in the same study, even her unabashedly ultra-liberal colleagues in the US House, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), disagreed with the president 11% and 13% of the time respectively. Regardless of your position on the issues, few in New Hampshire would argue against the premise that it takes some serious effort to be more liberal than our state's current Members of Congress.
Realistically, if President Obama was right 99% of the time, Granite Stateers would be proud of Senator Shaheen, however as seen in a WMUR/UNH poll released late last month, over 50% of New Hampshire residents disapprove of the President's job performance. Numbers like that aren't too surprising when you look at his, and apparently 99% of Senator Shaheen's, legislative "accomplishments."
Let's just take their "accomplishment" of Obamacare as an example, which currently has a disapproval rating of 53% in the latest WMUR/UNH poll. Most of us have heard about the millions who have lost their health insurance because of the failing law that Senator Shaheen cast the deciding vote for. This is of course despite what Politifact has dubbed the "Lie of the Year," that you could keep your own insurance under the new healthcare law. However, those aren't just numbers or talking points for the 22,000 New Hampshire residents who have actually had their plans canceled. That is real heartache that has caused legitimate problems for tens of thousands of Granite State families.
Even for those who haven't yet been directly effected by this disastrous law, we have new daunting numbers out of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to remind us how disastrous President Obama and Senator Shaheen's chief legislative "accomplishment" really is. In an eye-opening report released this month, they projected that Obamacare's negative effects on the economy will be "substantially larger" than what they had previously anticipated and likely will cost the nation about 2.3 million jobs by 2021 and contribute to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits. Despite all of this, Senator Shaheen still joins with the president and stands by Obamacare. Why you might ask? It is simply because leadership in the US Senate and White House has told her to.
While their healthcare law is just one example of Senator Shaheen's nearly blind allegiance to President Obama's agenda, it is symbolic of a much larger problem. Our senior senator has gone down a dark path aligning herself and her votes with party leadership and liberal special interest groups rather than New Hampshire values. A legitimate reason could likely be that Senator Shaheen has forgotten what New Hampshire stands for since she refuses to hold public town hall meetings to interact with and listen to her constituents.
Our state deserves an independent-minded US Senator who thinks on his/her own, not one who follows what her Washington bosses tell her to do. We hope that this report, and our organization's efforts to highlight it, encourage Senator Shaheen to remember where she came from and begin aligning her votes with Granite State interests in mind, not the White House's. Considering we the taxpayers pay her salary, we deserve nothing less.
Derek Dufresne is the spokesman for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, which is a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of concerned citizens, community leaders and other stakeholders concerned with promoting and preserving strong families and a strong economy for New Hampshire.