Politics & Policy

Bachmann’s Role on the Hill

The Los Angeles Times explores how much influence Michele Bachmann has in the House:

As a junior lawmaker in the minority party, she [Bachmann] had little hope of passing significant legislation. But members and former aides say she made little effort to find Republican support.

As gas prices soared in summer 2008, she introduced four energy bills aimed at easing access to domestic oil and gas. Two found no other support from House members.

Just before Obama signed the landmark healthcare law in 2010, both Bachmann and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) drafted similar repeal bills. Bachmann immediately introduced hers on the floor, while King — one of her allies — sought broad support from his colleagues first. She got the publicity, King said in an interview, because “she doesn’t feel bound by tradition.”  …

Emboldened by the tea party’s role in the GOP victories in November, Bachmann sought the No. 3 spot in the House leadership — Republican conference chair. She dropped the bid after lining up public commitments of support from just five other members. Since that effort, members say she rarely speaks at the regular closed-door strategy meetings. Her tea party caucus, which has 60 members, has met sporadically and has made no major effort to take a role in policy debates.

Full piece here.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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