Boustany did not join a group of conscience-driven Republican moderates who said they could not support the more draconian cuts proposed by the Republican leadership. Those cuts were defeated in a vote on Thursday (with Boustany voting to make those cuts).
Republicans, after giving away hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest segments of society (and, in the process turning the largest surplus in history into the largest deficits), have been looking for opportunities to display some semblance of fiscal responsibility while, at the same time, working to extend those tax cuts.
Boustany has been following the GOP leadership at every turn at the expense of the interests of the people of the Seventh Congressional District.
How so? Here's a description of who will be affected by the cuts Boustany supported:
The House measure would cut about 220,000 people off food stamps, allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid beneficiaries, squeeze student lenders, cut aid to state child-support enforcement programs and trim farm supports.Let's start with farmers. The Seventh District has thousands of farmers (pdf) who get substantial supports from the federal government. Boustany voted to reduce those supports.
The Seventh District has a significant number of food stamp recipients. Boustany voted to remove more than 200,000 people from this program. People in his district will be affected.
The bills Boustany supported also reduce funding for Pell Grants for college students and low-income heating assistance programs (a few months after voting to give tax breaks to energy companies!).
Charles Boustany has been a loyal vote for those who raised money for him; too bad those folks don't have the interests of the Seventh District at heart!