There could be a scurry for conservative Republicans to find an opposition candidate in the race for the House Speaker post. One of those names that pundits are pondering – and pushing – is Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)
The GOP leadership is left with significant space to fill after House Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation. Boehner was no favorite among conservatives as he sided or compromised with Democrats and President Obama on many key issues. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been the presumed successor, but he doesn’t light the fire of the conservative faction. He also reportedly doesn’t have quite enough votes to secure the seat.
According to pundits, conservatives are putting out reeling lines for a person with a stronger ties to Tea Party conservatism. The problem is Boehner is pushing for an Oct. 8 election, giving Tea Party conservatives little time to gather their opposition forces.
This is where Justin Amash’s name comes into play. Political experts think he may just be right for House Speaker as he has already offered leadership within the House.
“I often take sort of a mini-leadership role on the House floor,” he added. “I represent an important Republican perspective, and there are a lot of members who come to me on the House floor and maybe even rely on me to provide an alternative perspective to what they’re hearing from leadership,” Amash said.
Amash, 35, would also bring some youth and diversity to the party’s leadership. Amash, an Eastern Orthodox Christian of Syrian and Palestinian heritage, has spoken graciously of older elected leaders. However, he believes there are better and newer ways of doing things.
“[Boehner] and a lot of the leadership team come from a different generation. They were first elected several years ago, sometimes decades ago, and it’s not surprising that their perspective is going to be different than a lot of the newer members,” Amash said in one interview.
Despite all that’s going for Amash, Boehner has not been favorable towards the young congressman.
Boehner has been so opposed to Amash that he pulled him from the budget committee in late 2012, even though Amash voted with the committee’s Republican chair 95 percent of the time. Boehner was also behind the effort to push Amash out of his seat during the 2014 primary election. Amash was re-elected.
According to Amash’s House web page, he was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., earned his bachelor’s degree with High Honors in economics from the University of Michigan and then received a juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. He was a business lawyer for his family’s business before going into politics.
A key thing about Amash, according to political experts, is his perfect voting presence record. He has been present for every single vote in Congress and in the Michigan Legislature when he was a state representative. That is more than 4,000 roll call votes.
One of his key issues is overspending, considering it a fundamental threat to the country’s economy and national security. He introduced a balanced budget amendment called the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment and supports a simple tax code. Pundits report that he is an avid constitutionalist and a stickler for parliamentary procedure.
“I follow a set of principles, I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on. Limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty,” Amash said.
The Michigan representative has been critical of the National Security Administration gathering mass amounts of citizen’s phone data. He watched the entire proceedings when the Patriot Act was debate to make sure nothing, such as an extension of a spying bill, was added while other representatives were out of town.
Another fact about Amash that is promoting his favor among conservative pundits is his use in modern technology to promote his transparency. He explains every vote on his Facebook page.