Tom Graves, ‘Freshman in Spirit’
Meet Rep. Tom Graves (R., Ga.), the “freshman in spirit” who played an instrumental role in making sure Republicans kept their pledge to cut $100 billion:
Rep. Tom Graves (R., Ga.) arrived on Capitol Hill several months in advance of the GOP tidal wave of November 2 — and certainly without all the fanfare. But he still considers himself a member of the freshman class — “a freshman in spirit,” he tells National Review Online. And while most Republican veterans would probably love to describe themselves as such, there are, in truth, few who actually fit the bill. Graves is one of the few.
In fact, Graves’s name appears on a number of select, enviable lists. In 2008, FreedomWorks, the conservative grassroots organization, honored two state lawmakers with “Legislative Entrepreneur of the Year” awards. One was Marco Rubio, then speaker of the Florida house. The other was Graves, then serving in the Georgia assembly, where he had led a successful effort to cut more than $3 billion from the state budget (long before austerity had caught on with most nationally known Republicans). In December, Graves was one of four new members named to a coveted post on the House Appropriations Committee. His selection “thrilled” Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), the six-term fiscal hawk also chosen for the committee. Anyone familiar with Flake knows there are few lawmakers who are fiscally conservative enough for his taste.
And here’s a clip of Graves’ speaking in defense of an CR amendment to defund “Obamacare,” a term that, as you’ll see, makes Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) sad: