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Last Saturday, over 200 conservative activists came together to honor Congressman Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma for his courageous vote against John Boehner’s re-election for speaker. The event was organized by Tulsa 9/12 Project President, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith. Ronda did an incredible job bringing together activists from across the state to make the event an awesome success.
Why was this event such a big deal?
To be frank, it's hard to do the right thing in Congress. From the moment Members are elected, they face intense lobbying from every special interest group under the sun.
As Congressman Bridenstine explained at the event:
"…You get to Washington and everything favors the status quo. If you want to raise money from the lobbyists and the political action committees in Washington DC, you’ve got to favor the status quo, because the lobbyists, the political action committees, and all the people who fund your campaign, in both parties, support the status quo. You want to get your name on a bill, you gotta support the status quo. Some of us have had our [bill sponsorships] removed from bills because they needed them to pass, and they didn’t want them to pass with my name on it. It happens.
If you want to chair a subcommittee, or chair a full committee, you gotta support the status quo. If you want to move up the ladder in seniority, you gotta support the status quo. So everything, when you look at Washington, DC, everything supports the status quo. And when people get there, they learn this, they understand it and all of a sudden, they’re supporting the status quo."
And despite all this pressure, Rep. Bridenstine continues to not only vote right (he has a 98% lifetime score with FreedomWorks), but is a leader in the Liberty Caucus in the House. He was the first Congressman to publicly oppose Boehner, and his leadership caused a break in the dam that resulted in 23 of his colleagues joining him opposing the Speaker.
When a grassroots conservative like Rep. Bridenstine does the right thing, we need to remember to thank them. If we’re going to make freedom work in Washington, its going to be through one tough vote at a time.