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Facing angry and booing constituents, GOP rep. Herrera Beutler turns against oil subsidies

By Climate Guest Contributor  

"Facing angry and booing constituents, GOP rep. Herrera Beutler turns against oil subsidies"

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As ThinkProgress has been documenting, conservative lawmakers have been facing the ire of Main Street America at town halls all over the country. These Americans are demanding fair sacrifice rather than budget cuts that unfairly saddle the poor and middle class with the burden of deficit reduction.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) came face to face with this growing movement at a town hall in Vancouver, Washington this week.  TP explains what happened next.

Dozens of protesters encamped outside the meeting, waving signs like “Save Medicare: Tax the Rich.” When she tried to defend her vote on the GOP budget that would effectively privatize Medicare, “a chorus of boos and catcalls and shouts of ‘liar’ erupted in the auditorium.” The congresswoman was repeatedly called out by what the local press called a “rough crowd.”

Yet at one point “” perhaps understanding that her constituents were already upset with her enough “” she did endorse a position that put her on the opposite side of most of her House GOP colleagues. She told the audience that she favored ending subsidies to oil companies like Exxon and BP:

Herrera Beutler did not directly address why she has supported making the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. But she said she does favor taking a hard look at military spending and supports ending subsidies for big corporations like Exxon and BP.

Of course, Beutler voted, along with the rest of the House GOP caucus, to protect billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil more than once in the past few months.

Her flip-flop may be evidence that American anger at Big Oil is forcing hesitant conservatives to switch sides. A number of GOP congressmen have told constituents in recent days that they now oppose the subsidies. These include Reps. Joe Walsh (IL), Tom McClintock (CA), and Dan Webster (FL).

- Zaid Jilani, in a ThinkProgress cross-post

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5 Responses to Facing angry and booing constituents, GOP rep. Herrera Beutler turns against oil subsidies

  1. Tim says:

    Of course, Beutler voted, along with the rest of the House GOP caucus, to protect billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil more than once in the past few months.

    Which makes congresswoman Beutler just another member of the Republican party. Let me propose a new better acronym for the erstwhile “GOP”: the PPP: the Pusillanimous Plutocratic Prostitutes! (I’m especially fond of the alliteration.)

  2. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Another sign that the tide may be turning. How many do you need to change sides before scheduling the vote again? I hope somebody is keeping a list of those who have forced into this position at public meetings -could make an interesting publication, ME

  3. adelady says:

    Can the eternal optimists among us see this as a sign of some turning towards more sensible candidates/ policies for the next elections?

    Perhaps I’m not as optimistic as Merrelyn thinking that it might get done sooner, but I do have some hope.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Hope springs eternal, but hope can be deceptive. BHO anyone? Kevin Rudd for desserts. The plutocrats’ lickspittles will either stay away from the rabble, or will promise to be lovely boys and girls, then double-cross, as ever. The current political caste, the political parties, the MSM and vast ranks of the public are irredeemably lost to morality, decency and rationality. That is so because the economic system that dominates society completely, is essentially based on premises that are not just anti-human, but anti-life, but some still seek to profit from its destructive energy. Generation after generation this type have dominated the rest, but now they have dug their own, and our, grave. Still the crisis is surely at hand, and whether it will be a healing one, or a final paroxysm before the descent to oblivion, only God knows, and he’s not telling.

  5. Alan Frederick says:

    Their constituents get their lip service. The oil lobby gets their vote.