He was elected. And he certainly did something very different on budget votes.
What is really stunning is our newly elected Congressman, Brad Schneider (D-10th) practically stood alone over the recent budget votes taken by the U.S. House of Representatives during the week ending March 23, 2013.
During that week, Mr. Schneider had six (6) opportunities to vote for a Federal budget. He participated in all six (6) roll calls pertaining to the six proposed (6) budgets pending in the House.
House Roll Call 83
House Roll Call 84
House Roll Call 85
House Roll Call 86
House Roll Call 87
House Roll Call 88
Two of those budgets were prepared by Republicans, including the Rep. Paul Ryan version that eventually passed. But four (4) of those budgets were prepared by Democrats. One was Senate Leader Harry Reid's version.
Brad Schneider voted against every single proposed Federal Budget. Yes, all of them!
In fact, only six (6) Congressmen voted against all six (6) budgets, with Mr. Schneider being one of them. Even extremist Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) voted for two budgets, leaving Mr. Schneider as the new face of extremism in Washington.
Think about it. Out of 435 Members of Congress, only six (6) failed to vote for a single proposed budget, or approximately 1% of all elected Congressmen. Our 1% Congressman Brad Schneider!
Was Schneider being extremely timid in voting for a budget, or extremely fussy in not voting for any budget? Was he too frightened? Was he too principled? He isn't really talking about it. If he thought those votes were heroic or brave, he certainly would have bragged about them.
His press release on the subject dated March 21st merely stated:
"Rep. Schneider Votes to Avert Government Shutdown" (March 21, 2013 Press Release)
"Cites Need to Provide Small Businesses with Certainty.
"Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) voted today for a bill to avoid a government shutdown and provides critical funding through the rest of Fiscal Year 2013. The Continuing Resolution passed the House by a vote of 318 to 109. 'While I believe both sides have to sit down and work toward a long-term solution to address the ill-conceived, indiscriminate sequester cuts, I also know it is essential that we avoid a government shutdown that would have disastrous consequences for our economy," Schneider said. "I hope passing this bill today will help spur action from both sides to begin working on a long-term framework to address our nation's financial planning and provide certainty for our communities and small businesses."
Did he provide "certainty" by voting against all six (6) budgets offered for consideration and joining that unique 1% club? Unlike last year, when his predecessor, Congressman Robert Dold, helped to introduce a bipartisan budget, Schneider introduced nothing, not even offering amendments. His press release reprinted above not so curiously omits his shameful budget votes or his new 1% status.
Voting on a budget for government to live within is one of the most basic functions and responsibilities of elected leaders everywhere. By failing to support even one of the six (6) budget proposals or introduce his own alternative, our 1% Congressman Schneider failed in his leadership responsibilities in a most alarming fashion. This is the same Brad Schneider who during the campaign bragged that he enjoyed reading budgets so much that he does it on Saturday nights. He then went to Washington and dodged a basic responsibility. Not just once. But six (6) times!
If you aren't up to the job, Mr. Schneider, just say so. With the debt crisis and our four (4) year stumbling economy and high unemployment continuing to swamp this great nation, I don't see those 1% Schneider votes as being very principled or honorable. Those votes are classic "kick the can further down the road" positions championed by President Obama.
Is that the future you wish to leave for your children 1% Brad? Continuing spiraling debt, high unemployment, less good jobs and a stumbling economy?
Eight years ago, in 2005, the federal debt was half of what it is today. Then Senator Obama voted against lifting the debt ceiling and against additional spending, decrying the debt that his two daughters would shoulder in the future. Every single Democratic Senator and Congressman voted "no" at that time.
With the Federal deficit nearly $17 trillion and President Obama submitting a budget that called for increasing deficits of an additional $9.2 trillion through 2022, our 1% Congressman pulls this stunt when it comes time to vote for a budget? Since Obama has been President, this nation has operated without any budget.
This isn't 2005 Mr. Schneider. You need to understand that. And to vote accordingly.