Bachmann: With re-election, role in Congress could expandAfter four years in Congress U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has become a national leader among conservative Republicans.
After four years in Congress U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has become a national leader among conservative Republicans.
A player in the “tea party” movement who recently appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine among other female conservative politicians, Bachmann predicted that she would gain a larger presence if the Nov. 2 election shakes out in her and Republicans’ favor.
Bachmann said she would have a bigger role in Congress if Republicans takeover the U.S. House: “I think that will happen naturally.”
“My voice is one of many voices in Congress, but it’s been a very strong voice and for someone who’s a second-term member of Congress, I’ve been able to have a fair amount of influence, even being in the minority,” she said.
Sixth District voters like her vocal opposition to the Democratic majority, she said.
“That’s what I’m hearing more than anything: ‘Michele, go get them – you go, girl,” Bachmann said. “I hear that all the time across the district.”
A Republican-controlled House would give Bachmann a good chance at getting bills heard in committee, she said.
Democrats, including challenger Tarryl Clark, have criticized Bachmann for trying to gain a national profile while at the same time showing scant substantive legislative accomplishments in her two terms. But Bachmann said Democrats have been a “back stop” to Republican proposals, so she can be most effective by being vocal.
“There’s a stronger chance if we have a conservative majority that we’ll be able to make the case and pass legislation that I think will advance the economy and lead to job creation,” she said.
Bachmann’s political stock was rising in national conservative circles even before she became a go-to spokeswoman against the federal health care legislation.
Bachmann acknowledged any successful vote to repeal the broad legislation would face a veto from President Obama. Still, she said, Congress should vote to repeal the entire bill.
The massive legislation is not popular, Bachmann said.
“Nobody wants to see this,” she said.
If a repeal is not successful, Bachmann said, lawmakers should just not fund the programs until a new president is elected. Also, they should push to allow people to buy insurance from anywhere in the country and without any coverage mandates.
Bachmann also has protested the federal economic stimulus funding. She said it did not live up to the claims by supporters, including that it would help control unemployment.
Local governments, including Woodbury, used stimulus money to expedite road improvement projects. While Bachmann reportedly wrote letters to federal officials recommending stimulus funding for 6th District projects, she called the package a “failure.”
Bachmann said there are “defensible and worthwhile” projects, but they were “a disproportionately small percentage of that spending.”
At a glance: Michele Bachmann
Residence: West Lakeland Township
Family: Married; five children; has been a foster parent.
Elected experience: Two terms in Congress; state senator 2001 to 2006.