The battle over who is the most conservative candidate running for Senate is on. Congressman John Fleming attacked Congressman Charles Boustany over some votes he made in Congress last week before the Memorial Day recess.
The Fleming campaign sent out a press release last week attacking Boustany’s votes on spending and on transgender issues. Fleming’s campaign even went so far to call Boustany “Obama’s bayou buddy.”
Here are the two votes in question, from the Fleming press release:
The first vote noted was on a Blackburn (R-TN) amendment that would have provided a 1% across the board spending reduction to the $37.4 billion Energy and Water Appropriations Act (H.R. 5055). This annual spending measure has grown by 23% over the past 3 years alone and this amendment would have simply provided a 1% reduction. Congressman Boustany was one of only 80 Republicans to vote against this amendment, joining nearly every Democrat – causing the amendment to fail.
This account is largely true. But this writer is not impressed with across the board spending cuts. That’s a lazy way of cutting spending and it doesn’t set priorities. It also treats all spending as the same. But Charles Boustany is a big spender, that is no question.
The second attack is a bit of a stretch though.
The second vote was on final passage of H.R. 5055, which included a provision to codify the Obama Administration’s transgenderism agenda. The Maloney (D-NY) amendment to H.R. 5055 demanded that faith-based organizations abandon their core beliefs and adopt the Obama Administration’s radical social views on transgenderism if they want to continue partnering with the federal government. Unlike Congressman Boustany who voted to support the bill’s final passage which included the Maloney language, Dr. Fleming voted NO because he believes that faith-based organizations should remain free to hire employees who identify with the core mission and deeply-held beliefs of their religious ministry.
But Boustany voted against the Maloney amendment itself. This will be an easy defense for Boustany to make. Usually in this type of bill are projects and programs that would benefit Southwest Louisiana so Boustany can simply say that he was voting the economic interests of his district.
Matt Beynon, the Fleming for Senate Communications Director, said in the press release:
“This week’s votes paint a very clear picture for Louisiana voters. John Fleming wants to reduce spending and voted YES for an across-the-board 1% cut to a bloated appropriations bill while Charles Boustany wants to increase spending and voted NO on the cutting measure. Additionally, Fleming voted NO on final passage for that bloated appropriations bill which also would codify Obama’s transgenderism agenda. Boustany voted YES sanctioning Obama’s radicalism. Two stark contrasts on two key issues.”
A request for comment from the Boustany campaign on these charges has gone unanswered as of writing. We will have the statement from Boustany’s camp when it is available.
But the Fleming wants the battle for the second runoff slot be an ideological battle with Boustany. Let’s see how that turns out.