MoCTrack Special Report Talking about your GOP Incumbent Representative’s voting record

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20 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 09.07.20This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to the Demcast and Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

We are deep into election season, and if you’ve done any election-related volunteering this season you’ll know how much the pandemic has changed campaign behaviors. Until this year, any politico would tell you that direct, interpersonal  contact – canvassing or door-knocking – was the single most effective campaign tool in the toolbox.  But Covid-19 has kicked canvassing to the curb.

That means for there to be direct, interpersonal conversations with voters, it falls upon all of us to hold those talks within our small circles of friends, families and neighbors. What you will find below will provide some talking points that you may wish to use in those conversations, so that you can inform those within your circle about the shortcomings of your GOP incumbent.

The first section will outline five patterns in the voting history of PA-09’s Dan Meuser, PA-10’s Scott Perry, PA-11’s Lloyd Smucker, PA-12’s Fred Keller, PA-13’s John Joyce, PA-14’s Guy Reschenthaler, PA-15’s Glenn Thompson, and PA-16’s Mike Kelly.  You’ll see a short script for each topic, followed by a chart that shows how each of these lawmakers voted for the specific bills being discussed.  

And don’t worry, constituents of PA-01’s Brian Fitzpatrick – we’ve got a special section at the end just for you, since Fitzpatrick’s voting record is a bit different than his GOP colleagues. He might not be an exact clone of his fellow Pennsylvania Republicans, but he still has his share of awful votes to talk about!

Read on to learn about patterns in your GOP incumbent’s voting record from this 116th Congress.

Part ONE – Drug Pricing
GOP Incumbents voted AGAINST efforts to lower prescription drug prices

GOP Incumbents
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

SCRIPT

“Each time the House brought up bills to lower prices on prescription drugs, our Congressman voted against it.  Even though drug prices are skyrocketing, our representative said NO each time Congress tried to put some pricing limits on the pharmaceutical industry.”

BILLS & VOTES

LINKS to more information

Part TWO – Health care
GOP Incumbents SUPPORTED the Trump Administration’s attacks on the health care system and REFUSED to expand coverage 

GOP Incumbents
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

SCRIPT

“Our Congressman supports taking health care protections away from people with pre-existing conditions – he voted in support of it!  And each time there were bills to help Americans by expanding subsidies or protecting them from junk insurance scams, he voted against them.”

BILLS & VOTES

LINKS to more information

Part THREE – Pandemic Response
GOP Incumbents voted AGAINST extending unemployment, additional stimulus payments to all Americans and oversight


GOP Incumbents
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

SCRIPT

“Our Representative has been happy to renew coronavirus bailouts for businesses, but is unwilling to help folks like you and me. He voted against giving us another stimulus payment, and he let both the unemployment payments and homeowner/renter protections expire. And on top of that, our Congressman was unwilling to vote for oversight and transparency on what businesses are getting bailouts.”

BILLS & VOTES

LINKS to more information

Part FOUR – Election Fairness and Security
GOP Incumbents voted AGAINST efforts to secure our elections infrastructure and expand voter access


GOP Incumbents
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

SCRIPT

“Our Congressman voted against all efforts to make our elections system more fair and more secure. Time and again he voted against bills that would have provided states with more money to fund improvements to their boards of elections.  And he opposes efforts to provide equity in voter registration and voter access.”

BILLS & VOTES

LINKS to more information

Part Five – Pro-Corporation/Anti-Worker
GOP Incumbents voted AGAINST bills to protect workers from corporate wrongdoing


GOP Incumbents
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

SCRIPT

“When faced with a decision between what is best for workers and what is best for big business, our Congressman sides with the corporations every time.  He voted against raising minimum wage, against revealing outsourcing practices of corporations, and against rptoecting older workers from discrimination. He is supposed to represent us, but our Representative sides with the donor class in every vote he takes.”

BILLS & VOTES

LINKS to more information

MoCTrack Special – Brian Fitzpatrick’s Top Ten WORST Votes

If you were to go only by Representative Fitzpatrick’s press releases and public statements, you’d have an image of his legislative accomplishments that is divorced from reality.  He would have you believe he’s an independent thinker, and the local press amplifies this by fawning over his every vote against the party line. In reality, though, not a single one of Brian Fitzpatrick’s votes against his party have gone anywhere. Mitch McConnell has not allowed a Senate vote on any of those initiatives, and there’s no chance of them becoming law. So when Fitzpatrick plays the maverick, he has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by burnishing his reputation.

Let’s look past all that.  What you will find below is a rundown of ten Fitzpatrick votes, many of which you won’t have read about in the news. These ten votes tell you EXACTLY who Brian Fitzpatrick is and what he stands for.  And they paint a picture of an opportunistic and loyal Republican intent upon protecting President Trump, who votes to benefit his donors above all else, including his own constituents.

  1. NO to Extending Unemployment and Stimulus Payments during the Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the House has passed legislation to help various sectors of our society in phases.  Brian Fitpatrick was fine with extending the programs to help business (H.R. 7010), but when the time came to extend help for individuals, Brian Fitzpatrick said NO. In voting against H.R. 6800, our Congressman denied extended unemployment to tens of millions of Americans, and kept us all from getting another stimulus payment. 

  1. NO to Protecting People from Pandemic-related Evictions and Foreclosures 

Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs and healthcare to this COVID-19 pandemic.  H.R. 7301 would have ensured that they did not lose their home as well.  That bill would have imposed a year long moratorium on foreclosure and evictions. Our Congressman actually voted NO to this concept twice – once on the bill described above, and a second time when he voted NO on the Heroes Act, the phase four pandemic relief bill that also contained a foreclosure and eviction moratorium.

  1. NO to Impeachment

Our Congressman heavily promotes his past as an FBI Agent who worked on political corruption. His very first actions in congress were to introduce legislation promoting “clean” government. But when he was faced with the ultimate in political corruption, a President who used taxpayer money to threaten and coerce a foreign leader to help his own political campaign, Brian Fitzpatrick refused to uphold his oath of office, and failed to put the constitution of our country above his political ties to his party.  When presented with H. Res. 755, Brian Fitzpatrick voted NO on the Abuse of Power article and he also voted NO on the Obstruction of Congress article.

  1. NO to Election Reforms 

H.R. 1 was a broad elections reform package, and would have expanded voter registration, implemented independent redistricting commissions, and instituted new disclosure rules about campaign expenditures by political organizations.  Brian Fitzpatrick voted NO.  This is part of a pattern of unwillingness to approve election reforms, as Fitzpatrick also voted NO to H.R. 4617, to mandate disclosure of foreign assistance by candidates; and NO on H.R. 2722, to provide funding to states to bolster election security.

  1. NO to Human Treatment for Detainees

At the height of the border detainee crisis last summer, the House attempted to pass H.R. 3239, a collection of basic minimum standards that the US government should provide to detainees. Brian Fitzpatrick voted NO.  He said that NO, detainees should not be entitled to medical screenings, soap, and daily showers.  Brian Fitzpatrick said NO, we should not provide toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary products to the people in over government’s care.  He said NO to standards related to minimum space per detainee, toilet access and nutrition needs. BRian Fitzpatrick voted against humane treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants.

  1. NO to Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all Internet traffic equally, and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content or platform.  Brian Fitzpatrick said NO to Net Neutrality, and voted to allow corporations to charge more to consumers, or throttle their internet access, based on the content they access.

  1. NO to Disclosure of Corporate Outsourcing 

Brian Fitzpatrick voted to shield corporations from scrutiny when he voted NO on H.R. 3624. This bill would have required businesses to publicly report how many American jobs they have sent overseas, so consumers could make informed decisions. Fitzpatrick sided with big business, and against his constituents.

  1. NO to Protecting Consumers from Bad Credit Reporting Practices

H.R. 3621 would have revamped the credit reporting process to protect consumers. It would have excluded medical debt from medically-necessary procedures from damaging our credit, and would have also excluded debt when it was found that a lender engaged in fraudulent practices.  Brian Fitzpatrick said NO to those commonsense protection. He placed similar votes on two related bills, voting NO to a bill that would have revamped credit agency dispute resolution and data protection, and NO to another bill that would have strengthened the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including restoring a public database of complaints against banks and lenders that had been shut down by the Trump Administration.

  1. NO to Protecting Abused Employees from Forced Arbitration

One of the revelations of the Me Too era has been that employers with patterns of abusive treatment have relied upon forced arbitration employment agreements to shield their repeated wrongdoings from the public.  Forced arbitration agreements keep those situations out of the court system, and are habitually tilted in favor of corporations against powerless individuals.  The House passed H.R. 1432, to nullify employee forced arbitration agreements, but Brian Fitzpatrick voted NO to helping uncover patterns of abusive employers.

All of those votes outlined above were from the past two years of Congress, when Brian Fitzpatrick was committed to saying NO to reforms to help his constituents.  For the final vote, we want to return to Brian Fitzpatrick’s first term in office, when he was amenable to saying YES.

10. YES to Massive Corporate Tax Cuts

At the very end of 2017, Brian Fitzpatrick voted YES to the GOP’s Tax Reform Package.  That bill slashed corporate taxes, delivered over 80% of the benefits to the 1% – the wealthiest Americans and corporations. This bill also destroyed the ground on which the Affordable Care Act was built and opened the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to energy exploitation after decades of protection. By slashing tax revenues, it laid the foundation for Republican attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The next time you hear someone talk about our Congressman’s voting record, be sure to bring up one of these lesser known items that illustrates the REAL Brian Fitzpatrick.


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