As the Tea Party took Congress by storm in 2010, Justin Amash (R-MI) was elected to the House at the age of 30. Two years later, Amash has become a role model for his colleagues in D.C.
Here are six reasons Justin Amash is the best congressman in Washington:
1. He manages his own Twitter account
PolicyMic is told by the congressman's office that Amash manages his own Twitter account.
Generally, a congressman will assign an intern or a congressional staffer to manage social media. But Amash responds to the Tweets of his constituents personally, and this is a great way for him to interact with the people he represents.
2. He posts all votes on his Facebook page
Amash posts all of his votes on his Facebook page and gives a summary of what the bill or amendment would do if enacted.
This helps his constituents to decide whether or not they agree with him on each and every issue.
3. He tells you why he votes "yea" or "nay"
Amash not only tells you how he voted, but he tells you why he voted "yea" or "nay."
There is a reason that more politicians don't do this — it's a huge political risk. When a politician reveals their reason for voting a certain way, the opposition gains information that they can exploit in the next election cycle. For instance, if a politician says they voted against a bill that funds X program, their opposition can use this opportunity to cater to the group that would receive these funds.
But even with this risk, Amash continues to tell us why he votes — another act that helps the voter to decide whether or not they want to re-elect Amash.
4. He is a true non-partisan
Amash voted against his own party more than any other House Republican, and tied for second overall in party dissent.
Presidential candidates and political pundits oftentimes talk about reaching "across the aisle," but few put their words into action. Instead of trying to win party favor by voting in-line with party bosses, Amash seems to actually vote based on principle, something that seems to be increasingly rare in Washington politics.
If we had more Congressmen who weren't afraid to vote against the party line, we would likely have a more effective Congress.
5. He doesn't spend much money on elections
Amash spent just under $1.2 million in the 2012 campaign cycle. This might sound like a lot, but it's 25% less than the average House victor. And with his opponent spending $2.1 million, Amash becomes a part of the 7% of congressional candidates who are elected without outspending their opponent.
Don't you wish we had more Congressmen who spent less time raising money, and more time worrying about their constituents?
6. He has a spine
In 2012, Amash voted against Paul Ryan’s budget and, as previously mentioned, did not always vote the party line. Amash's somewhat "rebellious" behavior got him kicked out of the House Budget Committee, courtesy of John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Amash knew the risk of voting against his own party, but he did it anyway. And once he was kicked off of the Budget Committee, he told Boehner that if he wants to come to Amash's district, "He's not going to be met with very much welcome."
Despite political repercussions, Amash continues to fight for what he believes in — something that all Congressmen should do.
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