It did not take long for US Representative Gwen Graham to create a controversey among her supporters.
Graham, who defeated Republican Steve Southerland for the District 2 House seat last November, promised voters she would vote against electing party leader Nancy Pelosi as House speaker during her campaign.
On Tuesday of last week, Graham kept that promise by voting for Democratic Rep, Jim Cooper of Tennessee.
Her supporters, for the most part were silent on the issue, but not on her next two votes.
During the campaign Graham said “our problems can’t be blamed on only Republicans or only Democrats – we need more people in both parties committed to working together and finding real solutions.”
Consisntent with this sentiment, Graham voted with Republicans earlier this week for the Keystone XL Act and changes to Afforable Health Care Act (AHCA).
On the Keystone Act, Graham said, while drivers across North Florida are enjoying low gas prices today, energy policy must be planned with long-term goals in mind. Keystone XL will play an important role in keeping energy prices low, which benefits our country’s economy and national security.”
With regard to the changes to the AHCA, Graham co-sponored the Save American Workers Act, which passed the House of Representatives 252-172. The legislation will replace the 30-hour definition of full-time employment imposed by the AHCA with the traditional 40-hour definition.
Grahama said “I’m for keeping the good and fixing the bad parts of Obamacare. We all agree we need to keep insurance companies from discriminating against people and we need to continue to work on lowering costs, but limiting part-time employees to less than 30 hours is more harmful than helpful for workers in North Florida. This legislation will fix that problem without repealing the good parts of healthcare reform.”
Her votes, which were consistent with Southerland’s positions, frustrated a number of supporters who took to social media to express themselves.
Jennifer Ross wrote, “Keystone TOO??? And she voted against Pelosi for leader of her own party and for the sneaky GOP undermining of the Affordable Health Care Act to hurt workers and pay off employers. All in one week. What the hell will she do to “represent” against us NEXT week?
Louise Ritchie commented, “Gwen Graham is among the Keystone friendly folks…. I didn’t support her campaign for her to do things like this.”
Brian Lee said, “I am shocked and utterly disappointed that Congresswoman Gwen Graham voted today in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. So many energy and environmental advocates that I know in Leon County spent so much time and energy working to elect her, and she votes like Southerland would have.”
And Tom Baxter wrote, “I voted against Southerland, but I had no illusions about Graham. I wonder if/when she’ll ever cast a vote that Southerland wouldn’t.”
But Stephen Hodges tried to explain the votes to her supporters by commenting, “it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s anti-environment, but if she wants to be a player–and an ineffective elected official does no one any good–she’s going to have to triangulate and prove that she’s independent. Hence, her vote against Pelosi. In this political environment, an ideologically pure candidate cannot be elected from the left side of the aisle, and even if they were elected, they would be marginalized immediately.”
What possible motivation could she have had for voting for the pipeline? If she did it to “fit in” with the other folks in Congress, perhaps she is “fitting in” with the wrong party. That pipeline is the worst thing that could happen to the US…big deal that she voted against Pelosi..looks like that is the ONLY thing she did this week that she promised..
This is a tough job. It would be very hard to navigate around the trickery that prevails in the House of Reps. I saw a great bill that was defiled by additional verbage that ruined it, making it deserving of a ‘no’ vote.
The bill was about proper licensing for exploratory wells. Additional baggage was added that referred to pain capable fetuses, which is based on junk trash so-called science. It made the good bill worthless. The ‘no’ vote could then be spin twisted to use against her record. Just a a small example of how congress works. Disgusting, unfair, manipulative. I don’t excuse bad votes, but I sympathize for those we trust who are thrown into that viper pit of vile tea snakes.
Her vote FOR the pipeline makes no sense at all, political or otherwise. Her explanation of that vote is illogical.
I like to think I know her. Based on that assumption I predict that these are the last of her wrong votes.
I voted for her because I want her represent the people in north Florida. Hooray for someone who takes that stance. I am certain that I will not agree with her every vote, but I wholeheartedly appreciate her dedication to her people, not just her party.
I, for one, would like to see those “R’s” and “D’s” disappear. Maybe that is what she is working on.