Get to Know Adam Kinzinger by his Voting Record

Posted by on June 7, 2012

Adam Kinzinger, a freshman Republican Tea-Party Congressman in the Illinois 16th District, had been swept in office on the wave of the Tea-Party craze. Taken under the wing of Eric Cantor (VA-7) and anointed a “Young Gun” of the Republican Party.  So, who is this man being groomed as a long-term playmaker for the GOP? Some analysts have calculated Kinzinger to have only a ninth-grade speaking level, but I’m more concerned with getting to know him by what he has done for his constituents from his voting record.

I. No Surprises Here

We all should know, as a Tea-Party Republican, Kinzinger will absolutely hate anything to do with affordable healthcare for the average citizen. So it comes to no surprise on January 19, 2011, Kinzinger voted yea to the Repeal of the Health Care Bill. Similarly, on February 1st, 2011, he voted to repeal the CLASS Act, a voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living services and supports. The CLASS program is designed to expand options for people who become functionally disabled and require long-term services.

Unfortunately, more and more Americans are going without health care. The costs are staggering and only increase each year. These escalating costs have been on the rise for decades and trying to use the Affordable Care Act (Obama-care) as a scapegoat is not only disingenuous but is outright malefic manipulation. People need health care, it’s that simple. And the Affordable Care Act would reduce these costs. It’s good for you, it’s good for me, and it’s good for America, period.

II. Downright Baffling

I can fully understand the desire for government to limit unnecessary spending. We cannot efficiently govern with a bloated and wasteful government. I get it. In March, the Tea-Party lead GOP decided to turn their guns on National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service.  Following in step, Rep. Adam Kinzinger voted to prohibit Federal funding of NPR. This, in itself is not out of the ordinary. The Republican Party has been trying to strip government subsidies from public broadcasting almost since its inception in 1967. Gingrich in the mid-1990s might be the most unforgettable battle, but Presidents Reagan and Nixon also went after these subsidies too. President George W. Bush tried to cut funds to public broadcasting each year he was in office.

When Kinzinger voted nay to prohibit the use of Federal funds for NASCAR I had to scratch my head. Is he a man of integrity? I thought he wanted a smaller, more responsible government. Why defund beneficial public broadcasting subsidies only to shift these funds to private NASCAR sponsorships? The type of representation from Kinzinger is becoming clear.

III. The Housing Crisis & Relief

Most homeowners affected in the housing crises are not criminals. They are not low-life bums. They are hard-working Americans struggling to make ends meet. Kinzinger would have you believe these people knowingly bought homes in unstable neighborhood markets. Unfortunately, when the housing market crashed, every homeowner, especially in harder hit areas, was adversely affected. If you were or are still underwater, a term used when you owe more on your mortgage than your house is currently worth, Kinzinger says too bad, you are on your own. In March 2011, he voted to terminate the FHA refinance program which specifically aimed to help these Americans. This program assisted those individuals who suddenly were “underwater” because of the impact of the crash in their surrounding community. These Americans were current on their mortgage and had a credit score of 500 or greater.  

Less than a week later, Rep. Adam Kinzinger also voted yea to terminate the Neighborhood Stabilization Act; a program whose goal is to help struggling communities in need of temporary relief from the avalanche of foreclosures and abandoned homes. Furthermore, Kinzinger voted to terminate the Emergency Mortgage Relief program. Think he voted like this because the housing crash is over? Think again. More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years are now “underwater” and owe more on their loan than their house is worth.  

Kinzinger’s votes on these bills disproportionately affect the low- and moderate-income communities. Is this merely coincidental? It would be naïve to answer yes. Voting against temporary assistance for struggling Americans does not sound like a man who has the best interests of his constituents in mind. Rather, like a man fighting to increase the profits of domineering Wall-Street banks and bankers.

IV. The War Machine

Poll after poll show a majority of Americans want to end the wars in the Middle-East, especially in Afghanistan.  We Americans have grown very war-weary. These wars are now the longest in America’s history surpassing the previous record of the Vietnam War of 8.4 years. The War in Afghanistan is now almost 11 years in duration and we Americans have had enough.  One might think a representative of the people would vote the will of the people, right? Not Kinzinger. In May 2011, he voted against removing troops from Afghanistan.  

The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, besides being a mouthful, does not seem to be malicious…until you dig a little deeper. The goal of this little doozy of a bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan, is to stop “harmful” Defense cuts and enact responsible spending reforms. Innocent enough in the summary, the devil is always in the details. In short this bill would prevent cuts to the Defense budget while gutting $50 Billion dollars from the social safety net including programs for food stamps, energy assistance, and even reducing allotments for Medicare. Also repeals funding for the Affordable Care Act, practically guaranteeing its failure. How do you think Mr. Kinzinger voted on this bill? If you answered, “yea” then you are catching on. On March 10, 2012, Kinzinger voted in support of an ever-growing government war machine and against aid for the poor.

Kinzinger does not care for struggling hard-working Americans. Time and again, Kinzinger proves he is a yes-man for the Republican agenda. Ignoring the will of Americans and his constituents, Representative Kinzinger has shown he does not work for them rather for his highest paid lobbyists and sponsors. Voting for the common good is not part of his game-plan.  It’s pay to play politics, if you want Kinzinger to represent your views in Washington, you had better line up and contribute millions of dollars to his campaign or have the last name of Koch.

View a record of Kinzinger’s key-voting record here.

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