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The unbearable lightness of being David Rouzer, Brunswick Beacon

Brunswick Beacon, 01.05.23

Have you ever considered how you would behave if you suffered no consequences for your behavior? If you voted to overturn a free and fair election and still got reelected, would you behave like Congressman David Rouzer?

With the federal government’s funding about to expire, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation 69-29 funding the government for nine months. Rouzer voted “NO” but it passed the House anyway, averting a government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained why so many Republicans supported passage: “The bipartisan bill our colleagues negotiated equips our armed forces with resources they need…it’s the outcome our nation’s security needs.”

It includes a 4.6% pay raise for American troops, allows military families to more easily qualify for the basic needs allowance, and relieves food and housing insecurity for the most at-risk service members. Nearly 25% of active-duty service members suffered food insecurity in 2020.

It also includes aid for Ukraine’s defense against Putin’s unprovoked invasion. Sen. John McCain’s national security advisor Anthony Cordesman calls U.S. aid to Ukraine “the most cost-effective investment the U.S. and its strategic partners have recently made in national security.” It strengthens NATO, exposes Russia’s military weakness and deters Chinese aggression, all without endangering American troops.

Rouzer said: “While I applaud the much-needed investments to improve our military’s readiness, including adjustments made for inflation to help our men and women in uniform, I’m voting No.”

Rouzer’s applause rings hollow. He also voted against infrastructure, school safety, the CHIPS Act, combatting Neo-Nazis, lower prescription drug prices and medical assistance for veterans exposed to toxic substances. We were spared the consequences of Rouzer’s behavior because responsible legislators passed them all.

If you could do what you want and still get reelected, would you vote against helping people in need? Or would you consider such votes the behavior of a cipher, a lightweight, a truly hollow man?

Linda McConnell Baker



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